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Make Sure Your Fundamentals are Fundamentally Musical

Make Sure Your Fundamentals are Fundamentally Musical


Bagpipe Music TerminologyIn your quest to learn the bagpipes, you’ll hear at least a zillion different terms thrown around, and often they are quite ambiguous. Here are just a few:

  • You need more expression.
  • Finger sounds.
  • Hold that note longer.
  • Your technique is crushed.
  • Your technique is muddy
  • Missed technique.
  • No Strong Weak Medium Weak.
  • Skirls.
  • Squeaks,
  • Squawks
  • And so on.
  • And so forth.

Unless you have a lot of blind faith in your instructor(s), it won’t be long before you start to ask - “What the heck does all this mean?” You might even get frustrated.

The truth is, all instructors mean well, but their passion is for piping - not necessarily for discovering ways to perfectly explain concepts to their students. That’s where the Dojo comes in - we can help you understand all of this crazy terminology within 4 main fingerwork fundamentals (Melody, Rhythm, Articulation, and Dynamics), and three main instrument fundamentals (Bagpipe Maintenance, Tonal Quality, and Tuning).

Check out our “search the archive feature” to see all of the topics we’ve ever taught, broken down into the main (and totally musical) fundamentals!


Andrew Douglas Andrew is a prolific practitioner of the bagpipe, having been active at the highest level of pipe bands, solo competition, teaching, and creative endeavors for the past 20 years. He's also the founder and creator of Dojo U and of PipersDojo.com