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
Why does one piper sound dull and boring while another sounds so interesting and musical? As pipers (and drummers) we are taught techniques of playing bagpipe music. “Hold that low A”. “Your tune needs some more phrasing”. “That note’s a dotted quaver”. These are good things to think about when you’re learning how a tune … Continue reading Dare to play with expression
How Brett Tidswell tuned his drones on-stage for a hornpipe and jig contest.
Drone tuning is actually a reasonably simple process, not a mystic art. Yet I see so many pipers, including many A grade soloists, who approach it in a way that makes no sense and often produces poor results. This post is about common mistakes in the drone tuning process, not a tutorial on how to … Continue reading 8 Common Drone Tuning Mistakes
In my opinion, the strathspey and reel are the crown jewels of light music. Outside of Grade 1 bands, I rarely hear strathspeys played well, by bands or soloists. Even among A grade soloists I hear in NSW, I don’t believe the correct way of playing strathspeys is widely understood. Strathspeys require some strong finger … Continue reading Strathspeys are not so hard to play