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> How Many Of You Play Bagpipes?
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jbarron 
Posted: 28-May-2008, 11:57 AM
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I was wondering... how many folks out there can play the bagpipes or other Celtic instruments? Are they are hard to learn? How does one learn to play? Is the music taught by ear or by written sheet music?

Just curious.

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Patch 
Posted: 28-May-2008, 05:42 PM
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I have a nice set of bag pipes but do not play well at all. My dog likes me to get them out though!

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Patch 
Posted: 28-May-2008, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE (jbarron @ 28-May-2008, 05:57 AM)
I was wondering... how many folks out there can play the bagpipes or other Celtic instruments? Are they are hard to learn? How does one learn to play? Is the music taught by ear or by written sheet music?

Just curious.

biggrin.gif

I thought some of the good pipers here would jump in by now. My thoughts are, they are rather pricy to buy. Mine were a gift but having them refurbished/rebuilt exceeded what I could have bought a modern mid priced set for. I started with a chanter to learn the basics. I was fortunate to have a near by HS band teacher who taught piping to the local pipe and drum corps. To me, what I learned came pretty hard. I think age and health played a part though. I would recommend that you go to a local pipe and drum corps and maybe you can learn there at little or no cost. They are always looking for new members. Locally they had loaner pipes if you were joining the corps. My advice go where there are good pipers and ask them. I am betting you will find them more than willing to help you.

Slàinte,    

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jbarron 
Posted: 29-May-2008, 11:11 AM
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QUOTE (Patch @ 28-May-2008, 05:54 PM)
QUOTE (jbarron @ 28-May-2008, 05:57 AM)
I was wondering... how many folks out there can play the bagpipes or other Celtic instruments? Are they are hard to learn? How does one learn to play? Is the music taught by ear or by written sheet music?

Just curious.

biggrin.gif

I thought some of the good pipers here would jump in by now. My thoughts are, they are rather pricy to buy. Mine were a gift but having them refurbished/rebuilt exceeded what I could have bought a modern mid priced set for. I started with a chanter to learn the basics. I was fortunate to have a near by HS band teacher who taught piping to the local pipe and drum corps. To me, what I learned came pretty hard. I think age and health played a part though. I would recommend that you go to a local pipe and drum corps and maybe you can learn there at little or no cost. They are always looking for new members. Locally they had loaner pipes if you were joining the corps. My advice go where there are good pipers and ask them. I am betting you will find them more than willing to help you.

Slàinte,    

Patch    

Awhile back, I got as far as buying a chanter from a local music store...figured it might not be too bad to learn since I had already played other band instruments and could read music.

After sounding somewhat like a dying goose and frightening/annoying my neighbors, I figured I'd better try something else or get some lessons.

Thanks for the tip - I'll check out the pipe band here in Denver. St. Andrews is a large group and often does all the local festivals so I am sure I can get more information.
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Patch 
Posted: 16-Jun-2008, 03:21 PM
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Just wondering.

Were you able to locate any free or low cost training?

Slàinte,    

Patch    
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jbarron 
Posted: 19-Jun-2008, 03:22 PM
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QUOTE (Patch @ 16-Jun-2008, 01:21 PM)
Just wondering.

Were you able to locate any free or low cost training?

Slàinte,    

Patch    

I just got back from vacation so I haven't really checked into it yet. Once I get caught up on everything, I'll try calling around and seeing what I can find.

Worst case, I can always wait until the local games the first weekend or so in August and talk to them in person. That might work even better since the whole group will be there.

I also might be able to find someone who gives lessons if I hang around the tents where they hold the competitions.

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 19-Jun-2008, 03:56 PM
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I bought a pipe practice chanter once and started to learn. (I have also played clarinet, bassoon and recorder in my time.) The technique and the way you hold the thing under your fingers is different from modern wind instruments -- you use the second joint of the fingers to cover the holes, which are very small, and the pads of the fingertips don't come into it. So your fingers are straight and not curved, and this allows a lot of speed for the special ornaments of the style. There are a fair few real pipers here who can tell you more and better, so I won't say too much, but you do use sheet music to learn, and there are hundreds and hundreds of tunes and more advanced pieces. It takes time, but it improves with practice like anything else. You use the chanter for a while alone, to learn notes and finger technique, before you get the whole set of bag and drones, and you can always practice new tunes with just thepractice chanter to preserve peace in the neighborhood; but the bag and breathing is a whole new coordination and takes mucho practice all on its own. I never got that far. smile.gif
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TamiMcLeod 
Posted: 03-Sep-2008, 05:18 AM
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I can make the dogs on the block howl...

But it takes years and years to learn... so i guess it is a start lol
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Hibson 
Posted: 14-Jan-2010, 02:19 AM
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If anyone is still interested in the pipes, I learned some of my playing from the College of Piping's Highland Bagpipe Tutor series. I don't scare the neighbors....now biggrin.gif

College of Piping, Tutor series
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tjbren 
Posted: 19-Jan-2012, 12:17 PM
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A hundred years ago, when I was young, I was given a set of bagpipes by my great uncle after he returned from a visit to my ancestors homeland of Newburgh, Fife.

I loved them - then dog loved them and sang till her throat was sore; however, one day I came home from school and could not find them! NOBODY seemed to know what happened to them, not even my folks.

Forty years later, my parents were still claiming they had no idea what happened...

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