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Old 05-11-2018, 04:52 PM   #1
Pip01
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 3,085
Default Old Dogs... New Tricks?



Greetings to All,

In a previous Post... one of our Moderators... Andrew... made
the suggestion that... rather than dragging ourselves over to
FaceBook (and from which I stay well away)... some of the
"more mature" (Ha!! Now there's bleedin' laugh!! :) members
in our ranks... might elect to use this section of our Forum...
to help spread... experiences... ideas... and thoughts on any
new-er approaches that they have made... or wish to make...
regarding physiological difficulties... that they may have... in
playing our Great Beast... that might be of benefit to others.

There are a fair number of... well... not "tricks" per se... but
rather "trade craft" that we all acquire... to assist us in our just
getting through... the next set...

One iron-clad rule... in out mortal world...

"The older the feet... the more steep the hill."
(And... there just ain't no way... around that. :)

So if any here wish to jump into this particular pond... to share
any solutions they may have... to any particular problem(s)... or
are in search of ideas... or approaches... to any difficulties that
may be in the offing... I would be in favor of that... and its possible
benefit to others.

Ah... "The Old Geezer's Posts"... :)

Well... there it is...

Jump right in... if you wish... :)

Regards to All... "As the Old Chariot Rolls Along"...

Pip01



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Last edited by Pip01; 05-11-2018 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:42 AM   #2
Tim Flood
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Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

I'm in, as long as we all stay on our meds.

Tim
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:37 AM   #3
johnsog
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Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

This would be very helpful for those of us rapidly approaching geezerdom or who are already there!! I feel so sad hearing people say they are too old to do something they love.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:44 AM   #4
DNorwood
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Location: Mint Hill, NC
Posts: 59
Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

I can only imagine the topics:


a) Piper Health: Capsazin is your friend.

b) Skip the Grip: Substitute gracenotes for grips, doublings, and toarluath.


c) Old Hands: How to play a jig like a slow air.


d) Bagpipe Setup: Play a McLaren #12 with confidence.
Effficient Air - use of Golf Tees to optimize play time.



e) Old is Sexy: Playing Ravel's Bolero on the GHB
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:35 AM   #5
plainspiper
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Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

Norwood your suggestions are the best I've heard in a long long time. Sat at my son's baseball practice in Windsor trying to practice on my ancient ABW chanter with no countersunk holes and about threw it into the nearby pond. The kids I am sure heard me cussing (and I'm supposed to be a pastor with "Reverend" in front of my name no less...)

Working on the etudes section of Archie Cairns book is putting me in pain with both my ears and my hands.

I finally went and took a swig of Evan Williams and called it a day.

....ok...back to practicing..new morning and school is OUT I made it through ONE YEAR as a special education teacher and didn't have a nervous breakdown...thank God for my pipes.

OH and regarding what Tim said--along those lines of "staying on our meds"...I guess I'll put this out there too and you can take it for what it's worth...I had a bad experience with some guy who (shall remain nameless here) was making all kinds of accusations on my selling my Wygents on a FB seller page, and said he was reading off of whatever I had put on HERE discussing my problems I had had with them at one point. He did NOT know if I had fixed them, refurbed them, or even if they were the same reeds. He simply was calling me a liar and that I was trying to dump garbage. I later found out he had been banned from BobDunsire at least 12 times and has kept making fake accounts, so this is how he is getting info. His assumption was that I was dumping them and started a bunch of garbage with me and then it went downhill from there--said I needed to be "red flagged" and more. Basically starting a flame war acting like he was Lord Protector of the Facebook sellers page. This from the dude who's been kicked out numerous times. I hope for that matter he's reading this and knows that I know he's been banned.

So, I know how things go on forum pages with people being judgmental and making assumptions and for that matter--not having a sense of positive intent when someone says something. I'd also say that when I started a group on FB for older pipers a few weeks back--my old geezer group--as Pip noted--my number one priority was to keep things positive, and if you're joking make sure its known you're joking because some people in this day and age do get over-sensitized when they don't know you and when its in text you cant see someones body language or face.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I'm a sensitive person..but I teach kids and am teased mercilessly by some wonderful kids I'd adopt and take home any day of the week! I've got rhino hide on one side of my personality and soft suede on the other. So for me, I agree with Tim--as long as people aren't snarky or judgmental and give constructive criticism rather than just complaining about something--I'd love to discuss things here--even rather to--as long as its not something railed like "well if you EVER think you'll be a good piper or should even be HOLDING a set of pipes--you CANT do that (whatever it is)!"..that kind of stuff gets old and pushes people away.

Also--When you think about HOW MANY people are making pipes now and HOW MANY opinions there are about "who's the best?" theres going to be discussion--but a lot of times what I read on FB or other places in general concentrate ONLY one whats bad about one and not whats necessarily GOOD about the alternative. Alexander DeGraham makes pipes--put some photos up. Under the photo I read from some guy "that's ugly". Why do garbage like that? He has no clue how they sound, and its just a bullying slam. I'd never let a kid do that to one of my other kids at school for their work they've done--I don't care if its ugly in your opinion or not. It just does not need to be said. At some point you draw the line between "free speech" and having an opinion, and also saying you're entitled to your opinion but if you state it, will anything GOOD come from it? I had an old farmer in my church when I was pastoring who said "when in doubt, shut thy mouth". Probably should get that as a bumper sticker for a few politicians I know of locally too.

There was a discussion a while ago about a horsehair sporran that I make as a case in point--"run away" or the like was one comment. Well, thats fine if that's your opinion--but then why doesn't someone say "why" that is. I have a ton of stuff from Pakistan that's piping related--dirks, knives, a rabbit hair sporran--even a Claymore. What exactly is wrong with that? I'm not putting it into a Scottish museum and as far as the quality goes--well--I'm not an idiot--its good stuff. But if I wanted Pakistan made bagpipes and someone said to me "run away" I need to know WHY that is. Not just say "well anything that's Pakistan made is crap". "If you use Pakistan made bagpipes you'll never win anything"--well what if I'm not competing, and for that matter--why are they not as good? Giving constructive criticism is the key. State WHY and not just be snarky.

So the question I ask, is when people say "run away" and "that's garbage"--What possible good does that do without qualifying it? There is nothing worse for my students at Brush High School than when they are doing something and I say "STOP please!" and they ask "why not?" and I say "well, because I said so and I'm the teacher!". That won't stop the behavior, eventually it starts again, because they don't think theres any real reason for them to stop talking, poking pencils into the ceiling, spilling their water bottles..etc." But if I say "stop that--you're making holes and you're going to be paying for that ceiling tile--its 30 bucks"--well that ends it pretty quick. There is an aspect to CRITICAL THINKING that has been lost in our over-opinionated gripe filled society. As one of the moderators DID note--the piping community is divided. Why make it more divided? I agree with him 1000%. But if so there needs to be a discussion of why it is divided and make changes necessary to stop the divisions. Otherwise all the hope in the world won't stop the negativity, and I see negativity killing both people and organizations and schools and churches ALL THE TIME. Its the ONE THING I will not put up with at my school with anyone--even the principal. I call him on it, and he calls ME on mine.

The upshot from a couple folks I've talked to privately though--and this includes all kinds of pipers--is that they've gotten burned from someone on another website OR they've had something they felt was shoddy hurled at them here on BD and they just stay away. That's very sad. For me, that hurts me because when I need answers this is where I go--been here off and on since Bob was alive, in fact the last time before I combined by accounts Bob had reset my password and I still have his email--he was a great guy.

So that's my rant for the day. I hope it explains where I stand on snark and negativity but also on giving opinions. Unvalidated opinions that are negative hurt the cause. If our "cause" as a piping community is to embrace more people into the community, and get more young people involved, and HEAL some of the past hurts people have gotten from negativity--it CAN be done. I've seen it in many schools and other organizations. But you have to call it what is is and some need to "take their meds"--which for me means--when in doubt...

Last edited by plainspiper; 05-24-2018 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:26 PM   #6
Pip01
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 3,085
Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?





Greetings to All,

Born under the reign of George the VI... and well
before our "Atomic Age"... and having both Maritime
and Military histories... along with some later Securite'
assignments (with all that all of those entail and imply)...
I seem to have a rather short and not very remarkable
medical history... but I do have a rather long and rather
convoluted surgical history. (Rather like Humpty-Dumpty...
and very grateful for competent physicians and surgeons...
rather than... "All the King's Men." :)

I no longer accept engagements in parades... having stood
down from that last year... but I do (and shall continue, and
for the foreseeable future) accept engagements for a wide
variety of other occasions... weddings... funerals... memorial
services... private parties... corporate events... and the like.

And, I play a full set... all three drones. (But I am quite happy...
that there isn't.. a fourth!! :)

In this matter of playing... a salient item that has changed for
me... in the last few months (two remarkably bad bouts of flu
last winter)... is the volume of air... that I must now maintain in
the bag.

Heretofore... the bag's air volume seldom crossed my mind.

Like most... I blew it up... played... and replaced the air as it
was needed... and sometimes (and like most :)... it did get a
bit low... (and especially in the pubs :)... time to time... but was
of little consequence... I just blew a bit more... and all was well. :)

Now... I find that I must... and to maintain the required pressure
on the reeds... play from the top 10 or so percent... of the bag's
air volume (now, this is a very rough guess-ti-mation on my part)
to properly maintain the music. (I find that if I fall too far below that
10-ish percent... that it takes much more Time... to play "catch-up.")

Simple enough... more (smaller) breaths... and more frequently...
but this is... a bit of a "New Trick" for me... and wondering if any
others here had the same... or similar... experiences... so I Post
this here... to ask...

Apologies for the length... but clarity... will sometimes stand in
need... of a few more words...

Regards to All,

Pip01


__________________
My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...

Last edited by Pip01; 05-25-2018 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:37 AM   #7
CalumII
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: London Town
Posts: 4,872
Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

Pip,


At your age, you're starting to lose muscle mass - well, you started to lose it in your thirties, but it's speeding up now. That manifests in blowing and squeezing becoming gradually more difficult.


The simplest way to counter-act it is to put on muscle mass - in short, go lift weights. Obviously take advice about how to do so, and don't overdo it, but getting stronger will benefit not just your piping but your life expectancy.
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:19 PM   #8
Pip01
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 3,085
Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?





Greetings, CalumII, and to All,

Many thanks for the tip... and yes... muscle mass... along
with the marbles :)... do become... on the wane... after a
while... but in regard to muscle mass... all is exceedingly well.
(Marbles? Hmm... depends upon... the day... :)

This clinical situation... is purely one of the basic pulmonary
function... and of present "tidal volume."

The little alveoli now stand in need... of some gentle coaxing
along... as I spent far... far too many earlier years... in some
very tropical settings...and smoking far... too many Gauloises
Caporals... et Getaines... while consuming copious amounts of
vin rouge ordinaire... because that's... all we could get!! :)

Still and all... small price to pay... for close friends made. :)

And so... 'twixt all of that... and some later stuff as well... and
coupled with those two bad bouts of last winter's flu... here it
is... come to call...

So this section's question is... any new "breath tricks"... or any
other kind... to be presently courted... learned... and used... by
any of us... out there?

Regards to CallumII, and to All,

Pip01


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With what a brave carouse...

Last edited by Pip01; 05-29-2018 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
slomarch
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wshington State
Posts: 2
Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip01 View Post




Greetings to All,

Born under the reign of George the VI... and well
before our "Atomic Age"... and having both Maritime
and Military histories... along with some later Securite'
assignments (with all that all of those entail and imply)...
I seem to have a rather short and not very remarkable
medical history... but I do have a rather long and rather
convoluted surgical history. (Rather like Humpty-Dumpty...
and very grateful for competent physicians and surgeons...
rather than... "All the King's Men."

I no longer accept engagements in parades... having stood
down from that last year... but I do (and shall continue, and
for the foreseeable future) accept engagements for a wide
variety of other occasions... weddings... funerals... memorial
services... private parties... corporate events... and the like.

And, I play a full set... all three drones. (But I am quite happy...
that there isn't.. a fourth!!

In this matter of playing... a salient item that has changed for
me... in the last few months (two remarkably bad bouts of flu
last winter)... is the volume of air... that I must now maintain in
the bag.

Heretofore... the bag's air volume seldom crossed my mind.

Like most... I blew it up... played... and replaced the air as it
was needed... and sometimes (and like most ... it did get a
bit low... (and especially in the pubs ... time to time... but was
of little consequence... I just blew a bit more... and all was well.

Now... I find that I must... and to maintain the required pressure
on the reeds... play from the top 10 or so percent... of the bag's
air volume (now, this is a very rough guess-ti-mation on my part)
to properly maintain the music. (I find that if I fall too far below that
10-ish percent... that it takes much more Time... to play "catch-up.")

Simple enough... more (smaller) breaths... and more frequently...
but this is... a bit of a "New Trick" for me... and wondering if any
others here had the same... or similar... experiences... so I Post
this here... to ask...

Apologies for the length... but clarity... will sometimes stand in
need... of a few more words...

Regards to All,

Pip01


I suspect you and I are contemporaries in age as well as breathing.

Bad allergy season this spring has me about to bow out of an upcoming solo competition. I am finding it hard to reach that top 10% of the bag and keep the drones from falling out. I don't know if pumping iron will help or whether it might become an overwhelming passion!

I am reaching the point that my small pipes might be the best solution to keep active with a hobby of decades. Just not ready to give up!

Slomarch

Last edited by slomarch; 05-29-2018 at 01:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:12 AM   #10
Tim Flood
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Location: Massillon, Ohio
Posts: 19
Default Re: Old Dogs... New Tricks?

Hello All,

First, let me say I have been on my meds religiously, I think.

My main problem is I have lost the passion I feel is required to practice, maintain and play this instrument. I have dreaded practice times for the last couple of months; used to look forward to practice sessions and could hardly wait to get the pipes out.

After using every motivational trick I could think of, including the fact that my wife loves the pipes, I put them away last night for the final time. May go back to the Uilleann Pipes.

Tim
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