The old adage from the fable The Tortoise and the Hare is that “slow and steady wins the race.” This is an idea that can have a big impact on your bagpipe playing.
There is probably no piper anywhere who can play through an entire four-parted 2/4 march, or even a two-parter, in a single breath on the practice chanter without needing an intake of air or three to keep going (nevermind an entire piobaireachd).
“I Can’t Get My Bass Drone in Tune.”Tuning a bass drone can be troubling indeed for many new pipers. You may be at a point where you are able to “lock in” your tenor drones quite well, but you always seem to take a long time with the bass. You spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to get it “right,” making you want to toss your pipes into the fire. Don’t do that. It’s going to be OK.
The legend of Genghis Khan is notorious, even to this day. The image of the barbarous, Mongol hordes washing across continents raping, plundering, and killing has been immortalized in history, movies, and art. But such a strong individual as Genghis Khan can teach us and thing or two…about bagpipes.
“How do I make sure I don’t mess up my strike-in?”This is a common question and worry for the band piper. The ubiquitous “attack,” that instantaneous and simultaneous drone sound and subsequent “E,” is a crucial part of a band’s performance. A smooth strike-in by every piper is essential. The answer to this troubleshooting question though is not just something the band player should care about.