How do we stay productive during the months when it seems like practicing bagpipes is one of the last things we want to do each day? Many things in life demand our time and attention. At times, it will seem like bagpiping is at the back of a crowd, jumping and waving its arms to get noticed.
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
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?
Here we see and hear the beginnings of what has kept Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band at the top of the Grade 1 band scene for so long. In 1990, the band placed 4th overall. While the general quality of pipe band performance and musical presentation has come quite a ways since then, we can
Let’s say you had a question about, well, anything. These days, all of us will automatically move to our phones or keyboards and consult Google for the information. We just do it. We never think, “Oh, I don’t feel like typing in a query to Google, I’ll do it tomorrow.” But that is the way pipers will treat sitting down to learn a new tune, or improving their technique.
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.