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Bagpipers and the Victoria Cross

David Lairson
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The Victoria Cross is the highest military award for members of the armed forces of the Commonwealth countries. This award is given for valor in the face of the enemy of the “most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.” We are going to look at three bagpipers who have won this award.

The Heroism of Bagpipers During WWI

A Games Day Routine

David Lairson
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Competing at a highland games, or other venues, can be a nerve-wracking experience. There are so many things you have to think about. Do you have everything you need? Do you remember how the tune goes? Are your reeds going to behave? Do you know where the judges are going to be? There are all sorts of things going through your mind. These sorts of things can effect your performance almost as much as how you play. Having a set “Games Day” routine can help you manage these things and let you focus on your performance.

Games Day Tip: Avoid that Panic Moment

The Judges Speak! The Top 5 Reasons Pipers Fail to Reach the Next Grade Level

Andrew Douglas
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Finally, some answers! I recently spent some time "surveying" bagpipe judges from around the world, and taking mental notes on key concepts regarding pipers reaching the next grade level. This wasn't an official double-blind, triple tested, bell-curve study - I simply asked judges that I knew one simple question: "What are the top reasons piper's fail

Practicing Slowly

Learn a New Tune the Dojo Way

John Holcombe
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When first looking at a new tune, how many of us get out our practice chanter, take a few deep breaths, and start plowing our way through the entire first part, or goodness knows, the entire tune? It’s a new tune, so it must be OK to sound a bit sloppy at first, right? Those embellishments will come around over time, I’m sure, after I’ve played the tune a few hundred times. And besides, I’m so good already that I don’t need to use a metronome! Unfortunately, these statements describe too many novice and intermediate level pipers. So, let’s take a look at a logical, proven, and reliable way to approach a new tune.

How to Use a Metronome to Learn a Jig