Does what you’re doing make sense?

Learning any skill generally involves transferring knowledge and capability from someone else to you.  This can be direct as in tuition, mentoring or coaching, or it can be indirect as in reading books or articles or watching what others do. However you learn, it is wise not just to accept what you see or hear … Continue reading Does what you’re doing make sense?

Everything you always wanted to know about playing in solo bagpipe contests

Or "Observations of a solo adjudicator after the combined R U Brown solo piping contest and Australian Solo Championships 2019" This article offers some thoughts about HOW to go about competing in solo contests for those inexperienced in doing so.  Perhaps it will also generate some ongoing online discussion and hopefully encourage more pipers to … Continue reading Everything you always wanted to know about playing in solo bagpipe contests

Is Skype too great a compromise for bagpipe lessons?

I have been teaching bagpipes face to face and using Skype for several years, with a number of successes.  The Skype approach is a compromise compared with face to face tuition, but has proven to be a very good one for many situations.  This article discusses using Skype, or other similar internet based tools, for … Continue reading Is Skype too great a compromise for bagpipe lessons?

The difference between swing and lift and why it matters

Understanding these two piping/drumming terms can provide some wonderful new ways to present and enjoy your music. I often comment on how sad I am that many piping/pipe band musicians don’t get to experience good 6_8 playing; the wonderful feeling of playing with swing. So, if swing is such a good thing, what is it … Continue reading The difference between swing and lift and why it matters

Expression and phrasing are not the same thing

As a musical community, we are particularly poor at teaching our musicians correct basic terminology, let alone correct playing technique. I often discuss phrasing and expression with pipers and drummers, sometimes on contest critique sheets. And, yet, I am now clear that many of our musicians, and perhaps even some of our adjudicators, may not … Continue reading Expression and phrasing are not the same thing