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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 05-09-2018, 01:54 PM   #61
WBpiper
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Interesting that I ran across this video today ... relating to an individual's getting into piping, but whose family wasn't altogether wealthy.

Food for thought.

https://youtu.be/ISOe9Ao00wc
Very interesting, thanks for sharing
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:23 AM   #62
SquintingPatrick
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Interesting that I ran across this video today ... relating to an individual's getting into piping, but whose family wasn't altogether wealthy.

Food for thought.

https://youtu.be/ISOe9Ao00wc
Bruce Gandy is, of course, one of the world's best pipers.
Here's Mr. Gandy playing a set of MSR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo7W1GhEQTo

Like some other top pipers, he gives skype lessons. There is a huge amount of resources out there now, unthinkable just a couple decades ago. There is the Piping Centre, with Roddy MacLeod presiding, and charging considerably less than $50/hour. It is a matter of priorities. If you are driven, the solutions present themselves.

As for support of the piping community, pipers are like family. The moment you blow up a set of pipes, you have friends all over the globe. If you contact any pipe band, the general experience is that anyone who expresses an interest is received with open arms. A piper never lacks for friends.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:41 AM   #63
gisahag
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

“A few here are making this such a black and white subject.Either you full-on commit to pipes or we don't need your kind. “
I don’t think that’s what’s going on. People are just pointing out that the pipes are an instrument that requires a significant amount of time and practice just to get technically competent enough to play even a few simple tunes to a standard that other pipers consider acceptable, and it’s damn near impossible to do it without proper lessons. “Showing an interest” probably won’t be enough to get you there, and it often requires a significant period of borderline obsession. While it’s possible to pick up a guitar or a banjo, teach yourself a few chords and pretty quickly you can strum a tune, there is no piping equivalent of “three chords and the truth”
So I agree with you. Bagpipes are expensive, and so are lessons if there’s isn’t a band nearby that offers subsidised lessons. But all the early technical learning is on the practice chanter (the dating years to use your relationship analogy), which is relatively cheap, and without the full on commitment to work on the practice chanter then it’s probable that you won’t get to the point of needing to spend money on pipes. If I hadn't done it as a kid, I'm not sure I'd start now.

Neil


Last edited by gisahag; 05-10-2018 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:56 AM   #64
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

In great retrospect I value a biscuit an engineer boss of mine tried to instill in me during the onset of my career....” if you don’t pay anything for it
, it has little value...”


Granted ...at my age and experience if someone gave me a set of old S/I Hendies..I’m not going to think they’re worthless. But give a young kid the same....meh. Or an old abw pc,...etc.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:03 AM   #65
johnsog
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

There is a wide range of attitudes toward any instrument. Some do require greater financial output than others and we each have a choice of putting in as much work as we are willing to give to achieve the desired result. A very wise woman came up to me once after a smallpipe concert and said I must really love my instrument. I responded that, yes, I indeed love the sound of my pipes, small and great. She stated that she meant I must really love that particular instrument in order to want to spend so much time with it. If we can at all manage it, we should purchase an instrument we will love enough to want to spend that much time working with it. That is a true joy!!
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:31 PM   #66
Chris C.
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

Aside from the money spent on lessons, I don't see all that much difference between someone getting serious on pipes and say, rock guitar.

Your average Gibson or Fender guitar, new, is going to run $1000 or more, and there aren't many good new amps (30-50 Watts) that will play a gig that will run you below $300-$500. That doesn't even count the extra equipment -- stomp boxes, electronic tuners, extra strings, etc. Decent stomp boxes can run anywhere from $80-$200+. Most rock guitarists have at least 2-3 of them.

The used market is better in guitars, obviously, because there are a lot more guitars out there.

Music is not necessarily a cheap hobby. It can be, but you often have to be a DIY repairperson if you want to keep costs down.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:43 AM   #67
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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This. Serious musicianship calls for a level of sacrifice of which non-musicians are blissfully oblivious.
I think that's very true. I also think that a very good highland bagpipe can be had at a price that makes an awful lot of other serious musicians very jealous.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:04 AM   #68
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious CommitmentÂ…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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A few here are making this such a black and white subject. Either you full-on commit to pipes or we don't need your kind. Why get so butt hurt if someone finds pipes interesting and just wants to check them out. If the norm is a 5% student retention and you don't know who is going to catch the bug, maybe those around the piping community could be a touch more supportive of anyone showing an interest. Just a thought...
I'll all for being as supportive as humanly possible. I learned in a high school band. The ratio of beginners who started on practice chanter to those who made it onto pipes and into the competition band was about 10 and 1. Graduates faced a further winnowing; I can't say how many went on to be lifelong players. Life happens, people find other interests, piping is hard. I'm all for supporting students and welcoming people to the fold, but I'm also realistic about the level of effort that it takes to become a proficient player. Having a tune every couple weeks isn't gonna accomplish that.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:15 PM   #69
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious CommitmentÂ…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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Originally Posted by Chris C. View Post
Aside from the money spent on lessons, I don't see all that much difference between someone getting serious on pipes and say, rock guitar. That doesn't even count the extra equipment -- stomp boxes, electronic tuners, extra strings, etc. Decent stomp boxes can run anywhere from $80-$200+. Most rock guitarists have at least 2-3 of them.

Music is not necessarily a cheap hobby. It can be, but you often have to be a DIY repairperson if you want to keep costs down.
Jumping in with both feet, you are absolutely correct...the cost is very comparable. Pipes may even be cheaper. I have my Les Paul and tube amp. They were not cheap. That being said, it was not my first guitar or amp and I was able to gig with the half dozen prior to the Les Paul. The first being a Chinese LP copy for about $250 new. I don't want to add up the cost of my pedal board (I have 2, one for guitar and one for bass) but they were assembled over years and no one pedal was more than $200....the price of a poly chanter.

You are right on about DIY. I have learned to do all my own set up and maintenance. I've assembled my own fretless bass (parts from 3 guitars) and I've even built one. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

This has saved me tons of money over the years. I teach my guitar students the maintenance basics as well. This may be comparable to learning how to tie in a new bag or fixing a small crack in a drone.

Getting a pick out of a guitar is way easier than a drone reed out of a non-zip bag!

Last edited by DRCanady; 05-11-2018 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:14 PM   #70
piper909
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

Heh! A friend (who's also a forum member) told me about this thread so I had to look in straight away. I'll have to go back to catch up on all the pages of comments I've missed, but to jump in feet-first, I want to say, in case no one else has already, that despite the expense of being a piper initially -- which can be spread out over time, as one attains proficiency and gradually acquires any necessary kit out-of-pocket or obtains band-supplied gear -- piping is one of the few musical pursuits where a decent player with some skills and effort can actually MAKE money performing (weddings and funerals and church services and various public or private events come to mind). In my experience, the pipes and all that they require pay for themselves many times over in the course of time. And if you become really proficient and have teaching skills, you can also earn money as an instructor. And at the high end, there are the professional competitions and judging. There's a lot of struggling musicians playing instruments every other field who never earn as much in a week as a piper can earn in one gig. Austin, for instance, the so-called "Live Music Capital of the World" (ha!) has guitarists playing for $2 cover charges or a tip jar every night all over town. Pipers stand apart from the common music ghetto, for all our troubles and limitations.

Anyway, to a degree, it's all relative. I recently had to have auto repairs done and for what that cost, I could have bought a nice new ABW bagpipe from a name-brand maker. Now, which do you think I'd rather have spent the money on? A quality instrument that would give a lifetime of enjoyment? Or writing a big check and going home with the same old car I had before the troubles started? Most folks probably spend more on their cell phones and service than bagpipes cost, so in a way, good pipes, kilts, etc. are a lasting bargain (until we use up the supply of blackwood, at least).

Last edited by piper909; 05-11-2018 at 10:24 PM.
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