postheadericon Came on, Play the Bagpipes!

How to Find a Great Highland Bagpipe Teacher
The BBC News reported on February 28, 2007 that the 40-member Wick Royal British Legion Scotland Pipe Band recorded a noise level exceeding the sound of a jet taking off. Regardless of the size of the band, the Great Highland Bagpipes are hard to miss. Listening to a massed band can be a captivating experience that motivates many to try to learn how to play the Great Highland bagpipes themselves.
Don’t Wait
If you decide that you want to be more than just a casual observer of the bagpipes — that is, you want to learn how to play them — don’t wait too long. Like any musical instrument, it takes considerable time, effort, and commitment to become proficient.
A Teacher is Important
Once you’ve decided that this is something you really want to pursue, you need to find a good teacher. Andrew Lenz goes into great detail on this on his website Bagpipe Journey.
If you don’t learn to play the bagpipes correctly, you can pick up bad habits that are hard to break. The bagpipes are not an easy instrument to learn, so trying to master it on your own is not recommended. Taking lessons from an actual person is extremely beneficial. They can provide feedback, help you move forward, teach you correctly, and generally keep you motivated.
If you don’t live close to an instructor and aren’t willing to commute, there are some other options. Jori Chisholm offers lessons via webcam and taped recordings. Adrian Melvin also offers webcam services.
Finding a Teacher
Finding a real live bagpipe teacher is invaluable. Some good ways to find a teacher are to go up to a piper playing at a wedding, in a bar on St. Patrick’s Day, or in a Scottish festival, and ask them for recommendations. If they don’t teach, they probably know someone who does. Or just simply type in your state and Scottish festival on any Internet search engine and you will come up with a local festival listing. On Andrew Lenz’s Bagpipe Journey web page he also recommends contacting funeral homes, churches, wedding planners, or bars, as these are all people who utilize bagpipers.
Another way to find a bagpipe teacher is to use the resources in your community. Look through the community education listings in your area. If there aren’t any listings, contact them to see if they’ve held any classes in the past and can give you a contact name. Locate bands that live in your community. Sometimes bands will offer free lessons to try to increase membership in their band.
Another very excellent resource can be found at the Bob Dunsire bagpipe directory. Here you will find information on bands from all over the world as well as a forum that can also be used as a resource for finding a teacher.
Materials and Expected Costs
Once you’ve located a teacher, they will have you buy a practice chanter. Costing less then $100 and basically a glorified recorder, the practice chanter will help you learn and practice fingerings and embellishments. There are several types of practice chanters out there so it’s best not to buy one until you’ve located a teacher who can help you pick one out.
Do not, under any circumstances invest money in an actual bagpipe without the guidance of your teacher. For one thing, you will probably work off of your practice chanter for a up to a year before you are ready to play the actual bagpipes. Why invest money in something you might not be able to play for a long time? But more importantly, a good set of bagpipes typically cost upwards of $1,000 and you want to make sure that you invest in a quality set of pipes. Again, your teacher can help guide you through this important decision.
Good luck and don’t forget the ear plugs!
Finding a Teacher
Finding a real live bagpipe teacher is invaluable. Some good ways to find a teacher are to go up to a piper playing at a wedding, in a bar on St. Patrick’s Day, or in a Scottish festival, and ask them for recommendations. If they don’t teach, they probably know someone who does. Or just simply type in your state and Scottish festival on any Internet search engine and you will come up with a local festival listing. On Andrew Lenz’s Bagpipe Journey web page he also recommends contacting funeral homes, churches, wedding planners, or bars, as these are all people who utilize bagpipers.
Another way to find a bagpipe teacher is to use the resources in your community. Look through the community education listings in your area. If there aren’t any listings, contact them to see if they’ve held any classes in the past and can give you a contact name. Locate bands that live in your community. Sometimes bands will offer free lessons to try to increase membership in their band.
Another very excellent resource can be found at the Bob Dunsire bagpipe directory. Here you will find information on bands from all over the world as well as a forum that can also be used as a resource for finding a teacher.
Materials and Expected Costs
Once you’ve located a teacher, they will have you buy a practice chanter. Costing less then $100 and basically a glorified recorder, the practice chanter will help you learn and practice fingerings and embellishments. There are several types of practice chanters out there so it’s best not to buy one until you’ve located a teacher who can help you pick one out.
Do not, under any circumstances invest money in an actual bagpipe without the guidance of your teacher. For one thing, you will probably work off of your practice chanter for a up to a year before you are ready to play the actual bagpipes. Why invest money in something you might not be able to play for a long time? But more importantly, a good set of bagpipes typically cost upwards of $1,000 and you want to make sure that you invest in a quality set of pipes. Again, your teacher can help guide you through this important decision.
Good luck and don’t forget the ear plugs!

Thanks for Reading.