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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.

The Great Hemp Controversy—Part 2

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When it comes to bagpipes, the phrase “more than one way to skin a cat,” could not be more true. One of the biggest areas of conflict is what type of hemp to use and where to use it.

The Great Hemp Controversy—Part 1

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When it comes to Highland bagpipes, the phrase “more than one way to skin a cat,” could not be more true. Go to any band practice and ask advice on how to do something. You will get 5 different answers and each person will insist that their way is the best. One of the biggest areas of conflict is what type of hemp to use and where to use it.

"What Is Hemp?"

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Hemp is the thread that is used to used to make bagpipe joints airtight and sealed while still allowing them to slide against each other.

Protecting Your Ears—Part 1

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Our ears are the most important tool we have when playing the bagpipes.

"What Is a Crunluath?"

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A crunluath is a movement of embellishment that is found in most piobaireachd.

Iain Dall MacKay

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Iain Dall MacKay holds an important place in the history of piping. Considered one of bagpiping's greatest composers, he is known to have authored at least 30 piobaireachds. Iain Dall had the distinction of being both piper and bard to the chief of the MacKenzies, an astonishing feat for the time.

Admitting Your Mistakes

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When you fail at something, or make a mistake, or come in last place in a competition, it’s easy to want to hide from it. Nobody has to know about it. You can put it in a dark little corner in your mind that only you know about. You only want people to know about the things you do well. Right? The problem is that failure is a way to learn. If you don’t admit to the failure, you don’t learn the whole lesson.

Patrick Mor MacCrimmon

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The MacCrimmon family, the Hereditary Pipers of Clan MacLeod, produced many great pipers and are credited with a tremendous historical influence on the art of piobaireachd. The most influential member of the family was Donald Mor MacCrimmon. Patrick Mor, one of Donald Mor’s sons, who followed his father as Hereditary Piper, was known as a great player and composer.

Music Tells a Story

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All music tells a story of some sort. Bagpipe music, especially piobaireachd, can have a rich history and meaning. While the appreciation of these stories has declined over the years there was once a time when a simple tune could save a life.