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    Learn how to play the bagpipes

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    Class Overview

    You have decided you want to learn to play the bagpipes. The Bagpipe is a difficult instrument and like any instrument it is easiest to learn as a child or teen; however, a lot of adults have made a hobby of piping. By combining patience and perseverance with an intelligent approach and good instruction anyone can learn to play the bagpipe.

    Good instruction is essential. The pipes are not an instrument you pick up on your own, no matter how many other instruments you play! They are a very technical instrument with a sophisticated system of gracenoting. Written tutorials do not always steer you clear of pitfalls. If you don't have a good instructor near you, there are instructors in North America who will teach by phone or online. You should use every opportunity you can to travel to workshops and summer schools.

    To make significant progress, you should be prepared to practice in a very focused way for a minimum of 20 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. By focused practice, I mean not practicing while you watch Television! Students who work the hardest and spend the most time practicing are the ones who advance the quickest. Talent is only part of the equation; hard work is the key!

    I offer both private one-on-one lessons . All that you will require is a practice chanter and determination to start. I will supply you with sheet music. A tutor book is not required. I will recommend several books as the lessons progress to aid you in home practice. For more information about learning to play the bagpipes see my article on the subject.

    Private Lessons
    I am available for private one-on-one lessons:

    Online; Lessons over Zoom or some other online method can be arranged. This is the preferred method at this time.
    Brampton area; afternoons and evenings and by arrangement, contact me regarding a time
    Downtown Toronto area; Monday afternoons and evenings at Moss Park Armory (on the corner of Queen and Jarvis Streets) not being offered currently due to COVID19 restrictions.

    For beginners a one hour lesson once a week is usually more than adequate.

    For more information:

    10 Years old and above



    Do I need to have my own bagpipe?

    You do not start with a set of bagpipes. Instead, you will start with a practice chanter, which is a small recorder-like instrument that is quiet and also more affordable. In the first several months, you will begin by learning the fingering and gracenoting system required to play Highland Bagpipe tunes. Once you can play a few simple tunes and have them memorized, your instructor will probably suggest you acquire a set of pipes.

    What are practice chanters? Where can they be bought?

    Practice chanters can be made out of polypenco (also called delrin), which is basically plastic. These instruments are tough that cost between $75 and $175. They may also be made out of African Blackwood; these can cost between $175 and $300, or even more if you want silver and engraved silver adornments on it. Practice chanters come in two sizes: regular and long. The long chanter has finger holes the same distance apart as those on the bagpipe chanter. Younger children often start on the shorter version. Some companies also offer a child's chanter for very young children. To see a full line of practice chanters, see the below - McGillivary Piping - Ben Bhraggie House - John Walsh Bagpipes - Celt Works - Kinnard Bagpipes & Reeds

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