One of the biggest fears some pipers have is that one of their drone reeds will suddenly come out of its reed seat and fall into the pipebag, leaving you with no ability to play. If this ever happens, trust me here, it will occur during one of your most important performances. But there is a way to totally eliminate the possibility of a drone reed becoming dislodged, and that is to “thread” the reed seat using a commonly found tool.
Have you ever felt that you were struggling with your pipes, or that they were too hard to blow, or that you just couldn’t blow enough air into the bag to maintain the correct pressure? Can you play for no more than 10-15 minutes, even with an “easy” chanter reed? Have you answered "yes" to any of these questions?
Are you like many pipers who think that using an electronic tuner is the only way to get a great sound out of their bagpipe? Have ever told yourself that you simply don’t have “an ear” that is trained well enough to tune your own pipes?
A 6/8 march is a lively tune written in compound time that is played with a palpable and definite “swing” rhythm. Picture a pipe band marching down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, playing a sprightly 6/8 march, with their kilts swinging to and fro. That’s what we’ll be shooting for as we discuss 6/8’s.
Most pipers have heard their pipe major or piping instructor, sometimes quite forcefully, urge you to “blow tone”! But how many PMs can fully describe what the term means, or how to achieve it?
A tune with a time signature of 4/4 (also known as "common time") means that there are four beats in every bar, and a quarter note gets each beat. Thus, the upper number indicates the number of beats, and the lower number designates which note value gets each beat. Some 4/4 marches are simple and straightforward to play, but others can seem daunting with their complexity.
Like many such open-ended questions, it depends! A short answer would be that the time it takes to learn the pipes depends on age, enthusiasm to learn, patience, and a willingness to spend sufficient time learning and practicing.