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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 08-11-2017, 05:22 PM   #1
Swepiper
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Default Can a man serve two masters?

So I recently "took the plunge" and ordered a set of smallpipes in A from MacCallum. It's just a standard set with bellows. I really like the sound I've heard on YouTube clips and on various albums, and I'm dying to try it out for myself. Also I love the idea of playing with other musicians without all the tuning fuss, plus being more matched volume-wise. Just being able to play in the house seems fantastic, and I wonder how I'm going to manage the waiting period of 20-22 weeks!!??!

Anyway, now to my concern: I'm a little worried that I might be completely overcome by the smallpipes and neglect the GHB-playing which I assume would be detrimental to my technique. That would be unfortunate. Or else I might play the smallpipes for a while but grow tired of them, and my investment would then just be collecting dust, which would also be unfortunate.

So my question is directed to you smallpipe and GHB-players; can you balance the two and maintain enthusiasm and practice discipline for both instruments, and not let the one have precedence over the other? If so, how do you do it?
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:33 PM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?

M, W, F = GHB

T, Th, Sa = other pipes

S...even PMs and God rest..
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:18 AM   #3
dsb0628
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?

Editing suggestion:

T, Th, Sa = "THE" other pipes
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:53 AM   #4
bob864
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?

I have Soutar SSP. I play them mainly when I'm camping.

There are only so many hours in a day, right? :-) I'm trying to learn mandolin and I play tin whistle too. So just set your own priorities and go for it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:24 AM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
I have Soutar SSP. I play them mainly when I'm camping.

There are only so many hours in a day, right? :-) I'm trying to learn mandolin and I play tin whistle too. So just set your own priorities and go for it.
...and SSP fit more comfortably into the sleeping bag at sack time....
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:11 AM   #6
Pip01
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?



Greetings, Swepiper, and to All.

... Hmmm... The question seems... Can... I... or you...
or we... or any of us... "balance".... those seemingly
divergent...and apparently... opposed aspects of our
lives... that sometimes land upon us... Plop!!... and
still maintain our journey... to where we wish to arrive...

I think the simple answer is a resounding... Yes!!... but...
and with all else of any value... this is something that we
must strive... to attain. ('Twas ever thus. :)

Play away!!... and on both!!... and even on a banjo... if
you have a mind... for these things... of themselves... do
not have any power to injure you... and can even serve
to enlarge... and extend... your present musical horizons...

Without (I pray)... making a bollix of your question and of
your Thread... may I refer you to the on-line edition of the
Harvard (a prominent U.S. university) Classics, from 1909,
"The Golden Sayings of Epictetus"... for your consideration?

There are only one hundred and eighty-nine of them... and
there is a wealth of general good thought and information
to be found therein... as well as many a pointed method...
that immediately pertains to our modes of practice... as well
as how to... "get on"... with unruly (dare I say quarrelsome? :)
PMs and Quarter Masters...

You may well find therein... many a useful shaft... to place in
your piping quiver...

Wishing you the Best of Good Fortune... and with all of it !!,

Pip01

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Last edited by Pip01; 08-12-2017 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:42 AM   #7
Green Piper
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Default Can a man serve two masters?

I have battled with this issue too. I have Gibson Ceilidh pipes with Simon Hope bellows. I have hardly played then in the 8 years I have owned them. Last January at Winter Storm, I saw a Utah piper receive smallpipes in A from Fred Morrison and I want a set too!

This winter, I need to prove to myself that I work both instruments: GHB and Gibson Ceilidhs before I plunge into getting a Fred Morrison set.

Because of kid and work commitments, I have dropped my band piping to work on solo - I play grade 3 in light music and grade 2 Piobaireachd and want to get my light music to grade 2 also. My hope is that as full GHB practice gets tricky in the winter, I can add more smallpipes playing.

We'll see..............

Good Luck and please let us know what works for you.

Charlie
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Last edited by Green Piper; 08-12-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?

.. mistresses, more like. ;-)
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:20 PM   #9
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?

I have a great-playing set of 100 year old Scottish smallpipes and I just don't play them all that often.

I mostly break them out for gigs, say in a quiet small setting where the big pipes would be too much.

But it is difficult to serve multiple masters. At one point in my life, around 20 years ago, I was playing Highland pipes, Scottish smallpipes, border pipes, uilleann pipes, Northumbrian smallpipes, Spanish gaita, Bulgarian gaida, and Cornish doublepipes. It was just too much, and I got rid of most of that stuff, sticking with Highland pipes, uilleann pipes, and SSPs.

But hey look at Sean Folsom, who plays, what, 30 or so types of bagpipes.

About technique, the thing is that Scottish smallpipe chanter are more forgiving as to false fingering than the full Highland chanter, and that fact has come back to bite me on tunes that I originally learned and only played on the SSP, when I played them later on the full Highland pipes.

I play the SSPs in a small ensemble with fiddle and guitar.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 08-12-2017 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Can a man serve two masters?

Practise enough and, instead of serving two masters, you will be the master of two.
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