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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.

Make a Plan for Practice

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How do you practice? Do you play through all your tunes until you hit a rough spot and work on that? Do you pick a section of a tune and spend all your time working on that? How do you know if your practice is productive? There is a way to practice that will help you make the most of your time and allow you to improve at a quicker pace.

Bagpipers and Copyrights

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Every now and then, heated discussions arise online about bagpipers sharing copyrighted material. For as long as I have been a bagpiper, copyrighted material has been freely shared in every community that I have been part of. Let’s discuss.

"What is Polypenco?"

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Polypenco is a brand name for Polyoxymethylene (POM). It is an engineered thermoplastic used in precision parts requiring dimensional stability and stiffness.

"What Are Bagpipes Made Of?"

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Most people know that bagpipes are usually made from African blackwood (dalbergia melanoxylon). However bagpipes have been, and are, made of a variety of materials. Some of them are good, some less so. The question becomes: why is African blackwood used in bagpipes?

Piper Kenneth MacKay and the Battle of Waterloo

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The Battle of Waterloo was the decisive engagement of the Napoleonic Wars. The Battle saw many brave men distinguish themselves. One of them was Kenneth MacKay, Pipe Major of the Grenadiers of the 79th Regiment of Foot.

Bagpipes - An Instrument of War?

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There is the long-held belief that Bagpipes were classified as an instrument of war and were banned in the Act of Prosription of 1746. This stems from the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising 1745. It is believed that bagpipes and their playing, were banned. Unfortunately history is always complicated.

Competition Fail

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Mistakes happen. No matter how hard you practice or prepare at some point in your carrier you are going to mess something up. The thing that sets the better players apart from the herd is how you recover. This is the story of a mistake.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ivory Rules

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On June 6, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a new rule governing the import, export, and sale of African Elephant ivory across state lines. This new rule strengthens and clarifies issues with the sale, ownership, and travel of ivory. Included in the rule are areas of interest to all musicians, which particularly affect bagpipe owners.

Bagpipers and the Victoria Cross

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The Victoria Cross is the highest military award for members of the armed forces of the Commonwealth countries. This award is given for valor in the face of the enemy of the “most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.” We are going to look at three bagpipers who have won this award.