Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Beginners, Intermediate, +
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Beginners, Intermediate, + Discuss issues, tackle problems, share experiences, ask questions, and look for specific help...

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-30-2015, 01:33 PM   #1
fifthoffive
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maryville, TN, USA
Posts: 20
Default Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

My goal is to be able to play with a band for parades, etc, but not necessarily competition. The other people in my class are much younger, and pick things up more quickly. My instructor joked that he wished he'd started at 18 instead of 38. I told him I wished I'd started at 38 instead of 58.

My private teacher is starting to talk to me about purchasing pipes. I've only ever played on a PC. I am working on several songs (Amazing Grace, High Road to Gairloch, Mairi's Wedding, Skye Boat Song, Brown Haired Maiden, These Are My Mountains, Barren Rocks of Aden, etc.) and feel pretty good about most of them considering the amount of time I've been playing. My main problem is in playing with others. It can be a real mess as I get frustrated when I make a mistake and find it hard to pick back up. Clearly something I need to correct.

Are there people out there who started as late as I'm starting that actually make it to a band? I'd hate to invest in pipes just to play by myself in a room in the basement. I need to hear some success stories!
fifthoffive is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 04-30-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
KDB
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 56
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

I took my first lesson 3 weeks before my 45th birthday. My only prior musical experience was an abortive attempt to learn guitar when I was 9.

I played my first "gig", a night with the band at the local pub, two years later. I didn't play all the tunes, but I kept my drones going.

Since then, I've played parades, massed bands, a few competitions.

My band is a Grade 5, but I'm in the circle. I can play a good number of tunes, I can tune my own pipes (drones and chanter), and I can play in unison with others.

I recently purchased a new set of pipes and set them up myself, without assistance. The best piper I know (a Grade 2) told me that they sounded good and I believe him.

I know I'll never be a "great" piper, but I'm having fun and making music.
KDB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 02:00 PM   #3
KJPiper
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 31
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

Been there for sure. I Started at 45 and for the first 6 months fiddled around a bit. Got an instructor then after a bit I joined a band just before my 47th birthday. I was marching with the band after 7 months. The playing with others took some time for me, but it will come. Most of all get good instruction and practice as often as you can. Things will fall into place for you in time. Oh and have fun with it. I look forward to practicing with pipes or chanter every day when I get home from work. Best of luck to you.
KJPiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 02:36 PM   #4
Rooklidge
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: CA
Posts: 1,479
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

Started pipes at 52, but was a snare drummer from a teenager. Completely different animal. Tired of bands now, and just enjoy practicing and occasional competitions. It's all for fun and to keep the plaque from taking over.
Rooklidge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 03:22 PM   #5
tbrown747
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lebanon, PA
Posts: 963
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

I'm not an older learner, but I have researched the concept to help instruction for some older pipers in the area.

It's true that you're never too old to learn an instrument and there are many pipers who started later and life and derived enjoyment and success.

The learning method is a little bit different because your brain works differently than younger players. I encourage you to research instrument learning for older players (it doesn't have to be bagpipe specific). I didn't save any of the resources I found, but to give you an example of what I mean (from memory; I hope I didn't get it wrong);

One instructor found that older learners learn best with a counterintuitive tempo set. Younger players can, in a single session, play a new piece at increasingly faster tempos because they absorb the new information so quickly. For older learners, it can actually be more helpful to play a section more and more slowly as the practice session progresses. It can take up to 48 hours for new practice information to be absorbed by the older brain, so look to reap your rewards up to two days after the related practice session.

PS - everyone makes a mess of playing with a band for the first time, and sometimes for quite a while after that.

Last edited by tbrown747; 04-30-2015 at 03:24 PM.
tbrown747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
Steve Mack
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dillwyn, VA
Posts: 309
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

I started at age 49, and I'm still playing at age 73, FWIW.

With best regards,

Stephen
__________________
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen
Steve Mack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 05:32 PM   #7
fifthoffive
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maryville, TN, USA
Posts: 20
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

Thanks, everyone. I feel a little more confident that with time, patience, and practice I'll be able to get where I want to be.

I know I'm having a heck of a lot of fun... most of the time, anyway.
fifthoffive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 10:03 PM   #8
David
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Haifa, ISRAEL
Posts: 4,351
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

I have taught older students, and diligence can compensate for age. The real problem is that getting up to musical tempo is more difficult for older players. Beware that bands sometimes encourage speed that a new player cannot handle. AND new players often believe themselves to be somewhat hidden in the group. Mistakes are never really hidden. It is important to know how you play solo, especially tempo, expression, blowing. If these are off in solo playing, then they will be off in band playing.

So plan on becoming a decent soloist first. Consider a few solo competitions to be a better contributer to a band. ALL musicians need objective criticism in order to improve. Young or old.

Good luck!

Last edited by David; 04-30-2015 at 10:13 PM.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2015, 05:50 AM   #9
fifthoffive
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maryville, TN, USA
Posts: 20
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I have taught older students, and diligence can compensate for age. The real problem is that getting up to musical tempo is more difficult for older players. Beware that bands sometimes encourage speed that a new player cannot handle. AND new players often believe themselves to be somewhat hidden in the group. Mistakes are never really hidden. It is important to know how you play solo, especially tempo, expression, blowing. If these are off in solo playing, then they will be off in band playing.

So plan on becoming a decent soloist first. Consider a few solo competitions to be a better contributer to a band. ALL musicians need objective criticism in order to improve. Young or old.

Good luck!
Very interesting perspective. I find the push to increase tempo is a problem for me. I hope the speed will come with time and practice.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone suggest solo competition as a way to improve enough to join a band. The word "competition" is a real stressor for me, and for others probably. Beginners especially may feel that competition is for more experienced players. In a competition, the goal is to win, which usually means beating the other competitors. I need to adjust my definition of competition.

Last edited by fifthoffive; 05-01-2015 at 05:52 AM. Reason: additional thought
fifthoffive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2015, 06:39 AM   #10
Pip01
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 3,333
Default Re: Anyone here start playing GHB as an older adult?

Ah, 5th of 5,

My music started with the singing... in the family... at
somewhere around 4 or 5 years old. (A musical lot.)

Thereafter, at about 8... one of my Great Uncles (and I
always capitalize them :)... presented me with a child's
fife... and down this wonderful and winding road I began..

But... I did not pick up a set of pipes... until I was in my
22nd year... and with truly great and long... time gaps...
in my practice and playing in between: the Merchant
Service, children, Military, work/travel... and other such...

I know and have assisted others... who, like your self...
did not begin until rather later in life... and because of
their dedication, their tenacity, their patience... and their
love of the music... and just how this Great Five-limbed
Devil simply sounds!!... have all done quite well... and
have made their mark. (One fellow did not begin until
his late sixties... and he now stands in the circle... and
goes On Parade.)

...Just keep after it!! ... It will come!!

All the Best!!

Pip01


__________________
My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...
Pip01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:05 PM.