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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 06-15-2014, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default pipes & sunglasses?

I'm curious if anyone has any opinion (or experiences) about wearing/not wearing sunglasses while piping an event.

I finally invested in a pair of prescription sunglasses recently. I played a gig this weekend and took advantage of using them during an outdoor Flag Day ceremony. They certainly did the trick!

But then pictures started getting sent my way afterwards. On seeing myself, I had a surprisingly strong reaction that I shouldn't have worn them.

I'm not sure why. I suppose I felt the sunglasses "broke up" the effect of the uniform, a step against the formality the whole kit was trying to produce. They also seemed anachronistic - the uniform is meant to be traditional, and the shades were out of place. I also suppose that wearing sunglasses while addressing people can be seen as flippant or defiant.

I'm hoping the question isn't too farfetched. Eye protection is a smart choice, no two ways about it.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

Since having laser eye surgery a few years back, I wear my sunglasses when outdoors in the daytime. Doesn't matter whether I'm piping or spectating, or even cutting the grass. I don't give a hoot whether it's traditional/uniform or not. My doctor told me in no uncertain terms should I be without eye protection, even on days when it's overcast. My vision is worth a lot more to me than someone else's opinion.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

I can see Eagles point, and a very valid one it is too.
I can relate slightly as when I have my contacts in it is much more uncomfortable without sunnies in the sun.

However, as a personal choice, I prefer to pipe without my sunglasses.
Much the same as if I was in a speaking contest, I wouldn't wear sunglasses either.

So for me, no sunglasses.

“Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” ― Paul Brandt
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

At contests it seems to be 'bad form' to wear sunglasses in the competition circle.

But like Eagle says there are many who are under Doctor's instructions to wear them.

I have another issue: the prescription glasses I wear are 'transitions' (what used to be called 'photo greys') and they turn dark in the sun. The only way I could not wear sunglasses is to not wear my glasses, and not be able to see much.

I guess it would have to be a band-by-band or even an individual choice.
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

For medical reasons... hands down... no
exceptions... always correct.

For personal difficulties... increasing light
sensitivity, etc., .....perfectly acceptable.

For mere convenience ... or a bit of flash...
sorry... not a hope...
My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:22 AM   #6
Roddy Livingstone
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

Sunglasses = fine if needed for ophthalmic reasons.
Wraparound mirror shades with psychedelic coloured frames - perhaps not!
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

Medical excuses beside...

I once had the young arrogance to wear shades in a solo competition (cringe). The judge's final sheet comment ceased that idiocy: "Nice playing, Ace".

In band, the DM would wander the ranks before stepping up to the line: "Sunglasses off!". You did not want to hear: "Step outta rank, son". Maybe we were all too serious then, but few things spoil the look like Finster Glints or aviator shades.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

I'm a balmoral type myself but some of the bands I've seen look mighty sharp in their glengarries and matching wraparound sunglasses. Can't see anything wrong with that look, band or solo. If it's old style I want, I'll play old tunes on my old pipes.

Last edited by longwind; 06-16-2014 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

Medical reasons....absolutely!...
Trying to be the coolest piper or drummer that ever stepped foot onto a parade route or contest....Not!. If you (and you know who you are) actually showed up for practice more than once every two months or two weeks before the "Rod Stewart" concert....mmmmm....maybe.
What's even cooler than a cheap pair of sunglasses?.....two or three pipers (in our band) who have really cool flags mounted to their pipes with big a@# cable ties that make it really easy to tune their bass.....but who needs to tune your pipes...you're awesome the way you are!....keep on piping piper!.

Last edited by piperdreen; 06-16-2014 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:33 AM   #10
Dan Bell
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Default Re: pipes & sunglasses?

They are most certainly allowed in my band for competition. Whatever enables everyone to play their best. We're not in the military, there's no score for dress and deportment and this game is hard enough without making it more difficult (or endangering anyone's health unnecessarily).
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