Pipe Corps

Pipe Corps

So You Want to be a Piper?

Well, you have come to the right place.  The Pipes and Drums of Lindsay is a band which focuses on teaching and instructing.  We gladly welcome new students and players of all abilities.

Pipers during Massed Bands

In order to play the bagpipes you must want to play for years to come.  This is not an instrument which can be picked up once or twice a year and played.  The instrument requires your constant attention as does your musicianship. The exciting part is that the Great Highland Bagpipe is the royalty of outdoor instruments.  Its distinct sound is heard all over the world whenever there is a significant celebration. You will play music that has moved people to dance and march, weep and sing for hundreds of years. Resign yourself to the fact that it is going to take some time.  Every instrument does.  The key to success is to have a great attitude and enjoy the challenges the instrument and the Corps playing have to offer. You will be part of a group of musicians who encourage each other, who depend on each other, and who enjoy each other. The Corps is only as good as the average of its members, therefore everyone is depending upon each other for overall performance. This isn’t about learning to play the bagpipes. You will learn to march in step, to respond to verbal and visual cues, march in interesting weather at exciting events, and be an important part of a form of music which has ancient roots. You will also have a unique talent which will be in demand by family and friends and will allow you entry to bands in most places of the world.

How long will it take?

Your instructor will start you off with a practice chanter and some basic scales.  You will have a scheduled lesson every week of the school year and are expected to practice for one half hour, five or six times per week. If you practice at least this often, and focus on the rudiments that your instructor has shown you, then within eight months to a year, you should be able to join the band on the street. This may sound like a lot of practice, but think of it this way; if you love doing something, then why wouldn’t you want to do it every day? Enjoy the music you are making right from the start. Don’t wait until you are on a parade. Even if you practice a half hour every day of the year for ten years, you have put in less than a year of work.

The Bagpipe Consists of:

  • Chanter (the part that is fingered for the melody line)
  • Blow Stick
  • Drones (two tenors and one bass)
  • Bag (the reservoir of air which allows the piper to take a breath without stopping the sound of the reeds)

Q & A

Is it expensive? You only need a chanter to get started. Do I have to read music? No, You will learn as you progress. How often must I practice? Ideally 1/2 hour per day, every day.  Frequent short sessions are the key to success. Do I have to compete? Not if you don’t want to.  Some of the band competes while other members do not. Can girls join? Girls, boys, men and women of all ages are welcome.  Your attitude, not your age or gender, is the key.