Ultimate Guide Learn How to Play Maintain Bagpipes Chanter
Pipe Beginners Practice Rehearsals
We currently have several different groups of beginners. The way I’ve tried to break them up is by levels. We have some people that are just working scales, investigating grace notes, birls, grips and D-throws and starting on “Scots Wha Hae'” and “Blue Bells”.
Beginner Handouts and Lesson Plan in PDF Format are available:
Blue Bells Outline
Scots Wha Hae
A tape is given to the student that has vocals of the tunes learned and chanter sessions to practice along with.
The second group up is working on perfecting and practicing the embellishments and starting to learn “Minstrel Boy”, “High Road to Gairloch”, “Amazing Grace” and “Castle Dangerous” (to introduce them to 3/4’s). Emphasis here should be on watching the other students’ fingers and playing together as well as doing the embellishments correctly. The metronome should be appearing in practice at this time. Students should be included in any march drill at any possible point.
The third group would be those waiting to get their pipes or to use the band’s two loaner pipes. They would be learning “Green Hills”, “When the Battle’s O’er” (aka: “Ba’ls O’er),”Brown Haired Maiden”, “Rowan Tree” and “Johnnie Scobie”. They should be learning about pipe maintenance (i.e.:Seasoning, tight joints, chanter cap, extra reeds) and playing together.
Once they have pipes, they have moved to the fourth group. They should start on a “goose” (Pipe drones corked, only chanter in place with “easy” reed) and get comfortable playing tunes they know on the pipes. Once adjusted to reed playing, we start adding the drones, one at a time- outside tenor drone first. It’s also a good time now to try a “harder” reed. Now we start playing the tunes and the sets “Minstrel Boy/ Blue Bells”, “Green Hills/Bal’s O’er”, “High Road/Brown Hair” and “Rowan Tree/Johnnie Scobie”. At this point they are marching with us and playing with us.
Some students may be in-between groups. Everyone learns at different levels and at different speeds, we’ll work with you. The important thing is to get AT LEAST 30 minutes of practice a night and to play S – L – O – W – L – Y.
Drum Beginners Practice Rehearsals
Our Rhythm Tenors and Flourishing Tenors add accent and life to the music. I’m an extreme fan of the Rhythm Tenor and it’s use in ensemble.
Whether you are a former Gold Medalist at band, or a former back row player in a kilty band, or have never played a musical instrument in your life, we are here for you.
The only requirement is desire.
There are no dues.
There are no rules.
There are only lesson fees.
If you want to be a part of a heritage and a tradition that reaches from the sands of Rajasthan to the Dubai, the freshing stream of our bagpipe, to the tumbled down mountains of Uttrakhand, we are here for you.