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Old 01-18-2013, 10:04 PM   #1
volnewbiepiper
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Default Suggestions? when no instructor close by?

I live in a very rural area with no instructors nearby. Trying to self teach with practice chanter, COP book, and YouTube. Feel like I am progressing pretty well. What is my next step? Any suggestions on when to start looking for a set of pipes? Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:38 PM   #2
Kirby Allen
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Default Re: Suggestions?

Many of the instructors on the forums use skype to teach people that can't make the drive or live in remote areas like yourself. You can start looking for a set of pipes now to see what you're looking for and an idea of the cost.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
CelticHiker
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I would recommend an on-line instructor and start attending piping workshops, schools and camps. Trying to go it alone with just the green book is difficult and can leave you having to spend a lot of time unlearning and them relearning various things.

As for pipes, if you have the cash and want a set, go for it. Just realize you may have to rebuy everything at some point down the road. It would be more cost effective to know a little more and have an instructors guidance before purchasing but I bought my pipes 5 years before I started playing them. They now live in a box and I play another set that I bought when I figured out what sound I was looking for, but I never regretted the purchase itself. I do regret not getting a poly set as my first as I could have then just rotated them to my bad weather, parade pipes saving me yet another purchase.

Good luck and welcome to the insanity
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:07 PM   #4
Ken Gordon
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Default Re: Suggestions?

As ipipe2 says, how would you know how well you're doing unless someone knowledgeable tells you?

Skype lessons will certainly make a gigantic difference in both how well, and how quickly, you learn to play properly and well.

Workshops and quality summer schools are absolutely top-notch help and well worth the cost and time. I learned enough in a one or two week summer school to keep me very busy for an entire year afterwards.

Pipes: a set of quality poly pipes would be an excellent first set, and you would always use that set in inclement weather, even after you had bought your "best" set later.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
fastzorro
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Default Re: Suggestions?

Hi Vol

I am a 90% self taught. It's amazing what you can get off the internet. The first thing you need however is a rather hard & high desire to get it right (as best as you can find out on your own but really, you can get it 90% right if you do all your homework). For myself, I have a family musical & musician background and that helped a lot. The first year I pretty much concentrated on familiarization of my pipes, maintenance, muscle build up & coordination, blowing style, the blue book and in between all that going to town on the PC and getting the fingering right. learning songs (to try & play for just playing) be hanged. I have been at it one year now & have only 4 songs I can play well but, my pipes are now a part of me, I just need learn real songs now. Now, after this reply you will get responses from some seasoned players (and fine pipers they are too) saying no no no, get an instructor! Well, I'm poor and can't afford lesson after lesson at $40 an hour and I feel I have done quite well. Now that's not saying everyone can do it, just have the drive, desire, commitment, endurance and the love of the pipes, you'll get through it.....
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Suggestions? when no instructor close by?

If you can swing it, get a good teacher. In person is best, but there are a lot of great teachers out there on skype.
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Last edited by Richard Mao; 01-21-2013 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
CelticHiker
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Default Suggestions? when no instructor close by?

Getting it 90% right is still 10% from what you should be aiming for. For example, and this is a little thing but still shows a lack of understanding, we don't play songs on the pipes, we play tunes. You sing songs and if you can sing and play the big pipes at the same time I will be impressed. Seems like a simple little thing, but say that in a group of pipers and you will get corrected immediately.

As for price, lesson costs very widely. I know some get them for free and others pay upwards of $50 an hour. It all depends on what works for you and what you can afford.

I admit that I was self taught to begin with and I didn't really have any problems once I got real instruction, but I don't attribute that to anything other than a great tutor system (John Carnes tutorials) and a ton of luck. I also didn't touch the pipes until I had someone to tell me what to do and how to do it.

I wouldn't do it again if I was starting over, I would get with a Skype instructor from the beginning and avoid the possibility of getting 10% wrong and then having to spend 90% of my time unlearning and relearning to do it right.

Last edited by Richard Mao; 01-21-2013 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:45 AM   #8
fastzorro
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Default Re: Suggestions? when no instructor close by?

[QUOTE=CelticHiker;1221554]Getting it 90% right is still 10% from what you should be aiming for.

The 10% is in fact using an instructor. There are a few things you really do need an instructor for however, paying 100 or 200 bucks for 3 or 4 lessons is way batter than 1 or 2 thousand bucks for a bunch of stuff you can do on your own.......
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:59 AM   #9
Kirby Allen
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Default Re: Suggestions? when no instructor close by?

We can judge by hearing it, if you've got a mic to record the pipes or practice chanter you'll get some pointers for free.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Suggestions? when no instructor close by?

Like Zorro, I'm about 90% self-taught. I started off with the COP "Green" book and Donald MacLeod's series of books and record albums (that was a LONG time ago!). The fellow who got me started acted as more of a coach than an instructor and would come to the house about once every month or so and we would make an afternoon of it. He suggested that I go to the North American Academy of Piping (then in Crossnore, NC) where I could get some real instruction.

My first lesson at the Academy was under the late Duncan Macfadyen. He and the other instructors corrected my mistakes and showed me the difference between playing good music and what I had been doing.

The Academy is still in operation (now in Valle Crucis, NC) and today they have a full range of instructors that will help you immensely!

Their website is www.naapd.org

You should STRONGLY consider spending a week there!! It will be time very well spent!!!!

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