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Where do I start with learning the Bagpipes?

Are you considering learning the bagpipes? If so, good choice, but how is your general knowledge when it comes to the instrument. For example, did you know that the origins of the bagpipes lie within the Persian Gulf? The Romans then brought the instrument to Scotland approximately 2000 years ago. It is also an instrument which has been deemed as a weapon of war, even used in the first world war to play soldiers into battle. Of course today the bagpipes are more commonly associated with classical folk music and are usually played as part of traditional ceremonies or celebrations. So if you are considering learning the bagpipes, look no further than our quick “how to” guide”, which offers tips and tricks on how to get started.

Bagpipe lessons can be done with a private teacher or indeed via online resources. The advantages of a private teacher is not only the specific and one to one tuition, but also the option to gain advice on which bagpipes to purchase from the outset. A teachers experience and knowledge is invaluable and could prevent you from making a costly mistake. However if you are struggling to find a teacher in your area or prefer to learn online , there are also webpages which can offer you similar help. Here are a few tips on purchasing your first bagpipes.

  1. It is advisable to start with a practice canter and it is not necessary to buy bagpipes till a later date.
  2. A practice chanter is a valuable tool throughout your development as a bagpipe player, so be prepared to invest in a quality chanter.
  3. Don’t be tempted to purchase your bagpipes over eBay. If you are buying a second hand set of pipes, buy in person so that you can ask questions.
  4. Preferably buy pipes which are manufactured from African Black Wood, however Polypenco is always a good alternative.
  5. Remember that cheaper bagpipes are more difficult to play so be prepared to invest between £500-£800.

To kick start your learning it is best to listen to lots of pipe music to discover what you really like and want to learn. If you like the tunes that you are playing you will be more motivated to keep practicing. Discover whether you are looking to be a solo piper are want to play as part of a band.

Becoming an accomplished player of the bagpipes can take some time, so be prepared. Practice, practice, practice but do not give up. When you seem to hit a brick wall and are getting frustrated, put down your instrument and come back to it later on when you are feeling revitalised and refreshed. Be patient and track your achievements so you can see how you are progressing.

Let us know how you’re getting on below!

Hevia

Hevia

Off Kilter

Off Kilter

Anxo Lorenzo

Anxo Lorenzo

Sevan Kirder

Sevan Kirder

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  • I’d love to be able to play the bagpipes. Such a unique sound all of its own.