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The Best Way to Learn Bagpipes?

The Best Way to Learn Bagpipes?


ImmersionBelieve it or not, we all know what the best way to learn bagpipes is already. It's not the Dojo Tutor, it's not your weekly lessons. It's not your band (at least, it's not any band I've ever seen). It's not even the Green Book.

Think about it - how did you learn all - literally all - of the things you're good at?

Let's use speaking English (or your first language) as an example. This is something most of us are extraordinarily proficient at. I'm not talking about grammar, or spelling, or reading - I'm talking about speech. For the most part, all of us can clearly communicate ideas, express emotion, solve problems, and be creative using our speech. There are different styles (accents) in language, too. So, I guess, my point is that English is really similar to music and bagpiping.

Ok. So. How did you get so good at English? I think we all know - it all has to do with immersion. When you were a kid, you were immersed in a place with tons of English speaking people. So, you learn the language extremely well and, if you think about it, extremely fast!

If you really want to learn to speak french, you should just go to france. You can take classes, sure. But nothing beats immersion.

That's how great pipers become great too. They have communities and relationships in their lives that allow them to immerse themselves in the music. Perhaps they're in a great band, or a great competitive organization. Perhaps, like I did, they had a group of friends that loved to play music together.

How do you immerse yourself in piping? I mean, truly immerse yourself.  If you don't have an answer - you need to find one if you truly want to become a good piper. I really think it's the only way.

Dojo U is our attempt to extend the opportunity of immersion to you. If you come learn from us, several times per week, I guarantee you'll begin to achieve levels of fluency you never realized you were capable of - or, you didn't realize you were capable of it so soon.


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


  1. So very true, since there are no pipe bands around here, I either watch it on YouTube, play CD's watch the Dojo, and also drive my wife and dog crazy practicing.