What's involved in playing the pipes?

"To the make of a piper go seven years... At the end of his seven years, one born to it will stand at the start of knowledge, and leaning a find ear to the drone, he may have his parley with old folks of old affairs...." - Neil Munro

The bagpipe is one of the more difficult musical instruments to play well. Although there are only nine notes, the continuous flow of sound requires that intricate grace-note embellishments be used to separate the notes. It is the accurate playing of these gracings within the structure of the music that takes several years of study to master.

In addition to the musical intricacies, the instrument requires good coordination and some physical strength to control the tone. Huge lung capacity is not a requirement. It is necessary to develop a strong diaphragm to support the pressures required for a good sounding instrument.

Additionally, once the basic technique and some music are learned, a commitment of a few hours each week is required just to keep the instrument in a playable condition. More time is generally required for the player to advance.

Beyond these basics, there are many different styles, types and genres of music. The interested student can easily spend a lifetime.

It's also a lot of F-U-N!!

Copyright S.K. MacLeod 1996-2016