Home Media Frequently Asked Questions What is "Tune Building?" (And why do I care?)

What is "Tune Building?" (And why do I care?)


Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.

Speaking of eating, have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? Maybe you over-booked your calendar, resulting in not doing a single thing well all day long! Maybe you "multi-tasked" doing the dishes and cleaning the living room (and watching Ellen) at the same time, resulting in your evening chores taking three times longer than they should have. Or, maybe you like driving and texting all of your buddies at the same time.... Time out! Let's stop the analogies there (slaps forehead).

Well, learning bagpipe tunes for beginners and intermediates tends to be the pure definition of "biting off more than you can chew."

You approach the tune way too fast.

You try to play the part all the way through (instead of taking small, methodical, chunks and perfecting them, then putting the chunks together).

I mean, let's face it. You wanna get this tune learned fast. Why? Well.... because. That's why.

But, what have you achieved in the process of utilizing this genius approach? Well, I betcha 50 bucks (unofficially, I mean, no, I'm not gonna cough up the cash if you prove me wrong) there's a whole bunch of rotten playing in there that has to get fixed. But in your rush to learn the tune that rotten playing has already been engrained as habit so fixing it is going to take a long time. If it can ever be fixed.

Is there a better way? Of course there is. Do one thing at a time; do it slowly at first; get it done right the first time.

Above is a lesson by yours truly on the "Tune Building Approach" we utilize at the Dojo to learn tunes right. If you can learn even the slightest bit of patience, you can learn tunes twice as fast, and twice as well. 



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. Enjoying listening to your lessons. I am going slowly, but learning a lot, thanks to you covering all the teaching material in a concise friendly manner.