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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 05-03-2018, 01:46 PM   #1
DRCanady
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Default Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

This has been a wakeup call, getting started playing pipes. In other parts of the world it might be more common to find multiple generations of pipers, here in the USA not so much. Receiving mom or dad’s first set of pipes to get started is not the norm here.

Like any band instrument, lessons and a proper working instrument are a must. My son’s first English made cornet was only $250 (used). My daughter’s first clarinet (also used) was $100… new pads were another hundred. She played it from 4th grade through 10th before her French made beauty was “needed”. Early lessons were free through an after school program. After 6th grade band was just another class in school. Total investment $200-$250 for years of enjoyment. In this area schools have loaners for families that can’t afford instrument. Awesome!

My practice chanter was <$100 (Hardie). Lessons are $50+ea. Going every other week you are still committing to $1,200+ a year and that investment doesn’t include the real instrument. Shopping for a pipes has been a bit depressing. I’ve been looking. $650 gets you sticks. $850 may include a bag, maybe even drone reeds, but no chanter. A complete ready to play starter set of pipes with all the needed parts is close to a grand. Looking at the 20+ instruments in my home, only 2 exceed that investment, and with few exceptions I have gigged with every instrument I own.

Understand, I’m not saying this investment is too much. What I am saying is it is a cost prohibitive activity for many individuals. This may explain why there were so few musicians at last weekend’s competition. On a positive note, many of those musicians were young. There is hope and potential growth for the future of piping here in the US.

I’m done venting….Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:32 PM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

$50?????? .....hopefully a more than 1 hour session?
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:45 PM   #3
phinson
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

Paraphrasing John Wilson, piping is not a hobby...it's a way of life.


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Old 05-03-2018, 03:24 PM   #4
DRCanady
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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$50?????? .....hopefully a more than 1 hour session?
I heard $60 an hour from one person.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:36 PM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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I heard $60 an hour from one person.
Probably a common name,... Bruce,Gordon,jackColin,.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
DRCanady
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious CommitmentÂ…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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Paraphrasing John Wilson, piping is not a hobby...it's a way of life. Paul Hinson
I'm a gigging musician. Music is a way of life. I enjoy and appreciate every aspect of music from the challenge of learning to play different instruments, learning new songs, enjoyment of playing with others, and getting feedback from an audience. Music is a release and a comfort.

Just a fun observation. If bagpipes were less expensive I don't believe there would be more bagpipe players, however, there would be more good bagpipes in closets gathering dust and I could score a great deal.

Sadly, few people are willing to put forth the effort required to gain minimum competence in any musical instrument.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

My kid plays baseball, here in Colorado. Colorado is not a baseball state like many others, it's a football state first (Broncos) even though we have a pro baseball team. But, I hear you on costs to be involved. Kid is a catcher, so 400 bucks for good gear. 250+ for a good mitt. Baseball lessons at the batting cage, 30 minutes, 30 bucks.

When I started a Little League team at the local rec center it was the cost of a T shirt and maybe 25 dollars a piece for umpires and use of the field.

Now, for my kid to play in a high school team not run by the local daddys who play their own kids over everyone, and to get a college look, it runs 1000 to almost 3000 dollars. You go all over the country, its fun, but its expensive. I get comments from my friends out here that baseball is a "white boy" sport but then I point out how many from Cuba and the DR play in the MLB. But to be on a good good team here, it IS expensive and for a lot of folks its prohibitive. So, it depends on what you are shooting for.

I pipe for fun and the enjoyment of the music. Period. But I DO like having good quality stuff. I realize though I don't have to have it all right now, even though I'd like to. Always something to work ahead for.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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But I DO like having good quality stuff. I realize though I don't have to have it all right now, even though I'd like to. Always something to work ahead for.
We did competitive (Travel team with a paid coach) soccer for a few years for both kids. I feel your pain.

Among my many instruments I have a 2012 Martin OM16 guitar. I've been playing guitar since 1971 and only now sprang for a good one.. I gig enough to pay for all my instruments many times over but I'm still a cheep you-know-what. I've managed to put together these pipes for about $400. I got them up and running about a week ago. My first public performance:

https://www.facebook.com/david.canady.75/posts/10216275563304582?notif_id=1525313607329482¬if_t=f eedback_reaction_generic&ref=notif
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:40 PM   #9
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

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Originally Posted by DRCanady View Post

Understand, I’m not saying this investment is too much. What I am saying is it is a cost prohibitive activity for many individuals. This may explain why there were so few musicians at last weekend’s competition. On a positive note, many of those musicians were young. There is hope and potential growth for the future of piping here in the US.

I’m done venting….Thanks!
Woodland is a small Games. Even still, it was a pretty decent turnout, piping wise.

Wait until Labor Day weekend for the Pleasanton games. It's the largest on the west coast and will have probably 3-4 times the pipers and drummers of Woodland.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:53 AM   #10
John McCain
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Default Re: Pipes, A Serious Commitment…The Grumbles of a Newbie

What if you wanted to play bassoon, or sax, or trombone, or piano, or violin? Same moaning?
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