The Olympics are considered a display of peak athletic performance. The best athletes collect to compete on snow, turf, ice, grass, court, and track. It's an inspirational display of athletics and human physical achievement. As with any intense activity (including bagpiping), Olympic athletes suffer through the same mental barriers when trying to stay motivated, keep improving, and attain personal goals.
Chanter reeds with missing corners, splits, or chipped blade edges. Black mold spots. Discolored blades. All of these things can be seen in the hands of pipers from time to time. Know this: None of these things will happen if your chanter reed is cared for properly.
There comes a time in every bagpiper’s life when the winds of change blow and he or she must gather the courage to face up to the end…of your pipe bag. Yes, inevitably one will see the end of your current bag’s life and be forced to switch to something new.
Making the jump to a higher competitive grade or a new improved level of playing the Highland bagpipes can mean certain setbacks, frustrations, and failure for some as the demands and challenges overcome them. Does it mean a lapse in nuts-and-bolts fundamentals when that happens? Is a focus on fundamentals really enough to propel us forward?
The general degree of difficulty in a bagpipe tune is typically gauged by the frequency of certain technique relative to the note groupings and timings, as well as frequency of finger and hand changes within musical beats. The concentration of these aspects puts a demand on the player’s mastery of certain fundamental skills. High fundamental
It’s common for pipers to consider themselves a “wet” or “dry” blower. But calling yourself a “wet” blower or a “dry” blower is basically bagpiper jargon. Neither is true. No one expels wetter or dryer air than anyone else. Part I discussed what is really happening when things are “wet” or “dry.” In Part II we dive into the trouble and the solution.
Moisture problems in the bagpipe can be confusing. The bagpipe needs moisture in order to work at peak efficiency. Too much though, and problems occur. The external conditions whenever we are playing bagpipes are the same for everyone, yet the build up of moisture is not. So what is really going on?
Producing an excellent, quality sound on your bagpipe should be a worthy goal for every piper whether you’re starting out, have a few tunes under your belt, or are an experienced vet in the piping trenches. A water manometer is certainly a vital tool to help you along in this process. Here at Dojo U