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David Lairson

David Lairson
David has been playing the bagpipes for over 20 years. He is an instructor and soloist with the Palm Beach Pipes & Drums and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band. David is active in the Florida competition circuit, and when he is not practicing or playing he works as a computer technician. He currently lives in sunny South Florida.

1/5th Seaforth Highlanders Welcome to France

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In this part of the continuing series about bagpipe tunes of the First World War we are going to discuss the tune the “1/5th Seaforth Highlanders Welcome to France.” This is a jaunty, 2/4 tune written by Corporal H. Gammock of the 1/5 Seaforth Highlanders. This tune gives us a great opportunity to discus the role of the Territorial Forces in the First World War.

Major MacRae’s Farewell to the 72nd Highlanders

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In this part of the ongoing series on bagpipe tunes of the First World War we are going to discuss “Major MacRae’s Farewell to the 72nd Highlanders.” This celebrates the great Brevet-Major John MacRae, D.S.O. of the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.

The Cellars of Authuille

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Next in the series of tunes of the First World War we have the great tune, “The Cellars of Authuille,” written by the great Pipe Major William Lawrie of the 1/8th Battalion (The Argyllshire) Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It is a bit difficult to find the inspiration for this tune, so an educated guess has to be made. When first published, the tune was titled “The Cellars of Authuille, 1915,” which gives us a hint. In 1915 the 8th battalion, part of the 51st Highland Division, was stationed on the Western Front.

Improve Your Fingerwork With the Unorthodox

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As much as we would like to, we can’t practice all the time. Working to improve your playing everyday is important. With only so many hours in the day time on the practice chanter and bagpipes can be limited. However, there are things you can do to help improve your playing and pick up other skills at the same time.

The Highland Heroes of Mons

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In this continuing series of article on tunes of WWI we will be talking about the tune “The Highland Heroes of Mons” written by Pipe Major Robert Meldrum. The tune commemorates the first battle of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War, the Battle of Mons.

8th Battalion K.O.S.B. Farewell to Winchester

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Another fine bagpipe tune from the WWI era is the “8th Battalion K.O.S.B. Farewell to Winchester.” This is an example of a tune used to commemorate a milestone in a battalion's history that is not a battle.

6th Highland Light Infantry's Farewell to Gallipoli

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There are a great many bagpipe tunes written to commemorate the events and people of  WWI and a number have become well worn classics. Many of these tunes were written by men who served and stand as lasting memorials to their experiences.

Embellishment Practice Tunes

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Exercises are a good way to improve your embellishments. But basic exercises tend to be monotonous and it’s easy to lose focus. You may also find that something you can play well in an exercise becomes rough once you find it in a tune. An easy way to solve this problem is to find a tune that has a lot of the embellishments you want to practice.

Illusions

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Close your eyes and touch the tip of your nose with your finger. Without looking at a clock, how long have you been reading this article? Place your hand under running water, is it hot or cold? Are you in pain, are you hungry, do you have to use the restroom? All these are senses in addition to the fab 5 and there are many others. The problem is senses can be fooled. When trying to learn, it’s good to know what’s going on in your head and how to use that to improve.