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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 05-27-2018, 08:35 AM   #1
Tom1136
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Default When to say farewell....

At 66 I'm finding I can no longer keep up with the band even on "tunes of gold" type music. My hands just don't seem to function as well in addition to the pain of arthritis. Is it time to give it up and take up the kazoo...? I can still play for funerals and although I'm terribly not fond of them, weddings. But maybe I'm doing a dis-service to the instrument I've loved for over 25 years by "hanging on". Any thoughts or similar experiences? Tom
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:06 AM   #2
Pppiper
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Default when to say farewell....

You can never do a disservice to the instrument, so long as you love playing it. Play for yourself first ... everything else is secondary.

You don't have to play for funerals, or weddings, or in a band. You dont HAVE to do ANYTHING. Just love the instrument, and play. That's what it's all about.

So if you still love it, there's no reason to "hang it up" ... ever. If you physically can't get the full pipes going, try smallpipes. Eletronic pipes, practice chanter alone even ... it doesn't matter, so long as the pursuit is one of pleasure, enriching your life.

Pipe on my friend ... for you.

Cheers,
~Nate


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Old 05-27-2018, 09:16 AM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: when to say farewell....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom1136 View Post
At 66 I'm finding I can no longer keep up with the band even on "tunes of gold" type music. My hands just don't seem to function as well in addition to the pain of arthritis. Is it time to give it up and take up the kazoo...? I can still play for funerals and although I'm terribly not fond of them, weddings. But maybe I'm doing a dis-service to the instrument I've loved for over 25 years by "hanging on". Any thoughts or similar experiences? Tom
Try private lessons for a while with a credible instructor to clean up your stuff. ....could maybe get you well on track and squeeze out more quality years.
I did have an E finger cortisone injection a year or so ago for arthritis...helped greatly. For a long while before every time I played an E hit back it felt like there was a thumbtack taped to my chanter.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:25 PM   #4
Pip01
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Posts: 3,368
Default Re: when to say farewell....




Greetings, Tom1136, and to All,

A few weeks past... and at Andrew's behest (prodding? :) ...
in our Adult Pipers section (though I am never quite sure
about the accuracy of the term "adult" when applied to any
...of us :) ... some chat has now begun on and about this and
these sorts of matters. (Adult Pipers... Old Dogs... New Tricks?)

I gave up parade engagements last year... had to... and no
way around it. Simply no longer enough pulmonic capacity to
march... and play!! :(

However... I do still... and shall... and for the foreseeable future...
accept engagements for the wide variety of occasions for which
we are usually called. Most often... it is as a solo piper... but there
are also occasions when additional pipers (and a drummer or two)
are requested... and I go beating the bushes to see who might be
available... and then... we're off again!! :)

I have had four regular band affiliations in the past... and as you
are presently in one... I would offer this purely personal observation...

Continue on with your band... Continue at the practice chanter table...
If a call comes in for one piper... or a couple of them... standing about...
and playing in a hall... or some such... then go out... and play it. :)


And... and mainly... continue to interact with the members... even if
it is as an "emeritus"... for there are many things that you have had
to learn... and that you now carry about with you... and that are of
great value... and that will assist the younger ones to... steady on...

Trusting that all shall go well for you... and with all others who now
find themselves increasingly... in this presumably... leaky ol' boat... :)
and with...

Regards to All,

Pip01



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Last edited by Pip01; 05-27-2018 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:01 AM   #5
piper Q
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Default Re: when to say farewell....

Saying farewell to the pipes may occur for all of us someday, as for saying farewell to the band. That doesn't need to occur.

You are an asset even if you are no longer able to march. You can assist in tutoring new pipers. and helping able pipers polish their playing. While for some Cardio-pulmonary function may decline, it is not a show stopper. There may be events where you don't parade, but walk onto line to perform. A pipe band does an annual September 11th Memorial. They formed the backdrop to the speakers and played the concluding ceremonies.


My Piping instructor was well into his 80's and had some health issues. But he loved the pipes dearly and maintained himself on the pipes as best he could. Slow down if you must, play more relaxed if you can. but do not surrender your pipes to an idea of old age and infirmity.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:53 AM   #6
Anndrah
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Default Re: when to say farewell....

Also, make sure you pipe is playing as efficiently as possible. Have others play them to verify that they are.
You can also try deep tissue massage (Rolfing) on you forearms to regain some control in your hands. Acupuncture may also be worth a try.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:57 AM   #7
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: when to say farewell....

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper Q View Post
but do not surrender your pipes to an idea of old age and infirmity.
As soon as you do that the process only accelerates! Keep playing and it'll keep you young!

I suppose it is a balance (isn't it always?!) between how frustrated you become at not being able to do the things you used to do with out thinking about it and the enjoyment you take from it.
I raced motocross all my younger years, I'm very sore now and have given it up completely. But when I couldn't do what I used to, i got slow and wobbly, and it became sore (old injuries) and frustrating I stopped. I still love it, I've still got the videos and the memories, and love to watch it. I don't miss it too much really, and I certainly don't miss waking up in hospital on a drip and covered in plaster and stitches.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:05 PM   #8
Chris C.
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Default Re: when to say farewell....

I wouldn't give up. Even if you just play slow airs. It's still bagpipes, and it still is a special thing. Don't quit.
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:52 AM   #9
Ken MacKenzie
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Default Re: when to say farewell....

At 74 I still want to play every day. Arthritis and all. But... I no longer play GHB. SSPs and whistle and with a great group of friends of all ages. I limit my playing time because the sore paws seem to be an accumulative thing so if I stay under an hour most days it's bearable. After long session with a group I lay off for a few days and suffer, mostly, in silence.

I've tried many different meds etc. for relief but find that Evening Primrose Oil taken every day seems to ease the problem a bit but only after a few months waiting for it to kick in and then following up with faithful usage. This was recommended to me years ago by a Dr. piper friend who is a rheumatologist and it seems he had a partial answer. At least in my case.

Don't quit now, lots of good playing years ahead, just move it over a bit.

Ken
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:43 AM   #10
John Bolt
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Default Re: when to say farewell....

A band member lasted to 86 and it might have been more the 80k drive that made him quite. Another member is still going strong at 86 and looks 70 something and seems to have no problems.



So having said that not having the oomph to play is one thing but has anyone found something other than Ibuprofen that's natural and that actually works for pain?
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