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Adult Pipers Related to Adult piping or pipers, this is the place.

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Old 06-03-2017, 10:55 AM   #1
Forum Regular
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Glengarry County ON
Posts: 161
Default First solo competition

I hate to see the "adult" section go so silent so here goes.

I'm in my 7th decade and although I have piped for a while, I came at it all wrong (sort of self taught with some help from family; street band tuition and finally post retirement group lessons at a local piping school).

The local branch of the Province's piping society holds an over 40 3 part solo competition so I gave it a try?

The first leg was a 2/4. As was to be expected, I was a little nervous, but played with "technically some good things to say". Placed 2nd.

The 2nd leg was an air into a 6/8. Nerves were under control, but I was experiencing some health problems around the time of this outing. Played anyway and the comments weren't too bad. Drones not 100% locked in but pipe held. Solid controlled tempos". Again 2nd.

The 3rd part were finals. It was a medley of our choosing (4 tune types min time of 2:30). The first two legs, us oldsters played first so my audience was the judge, steward, bartender and family. For the final, piping followed drumming and the audience went from about 5 to around 50. I played a 9/8 march, 2 jigs, an air, a strathspey finishing with a hornpipe (minimum repeats so about 3:45). Unfortunately, I'd spent half the time between these two nights getting patched up so was a bit down on power and it showed. "Chanter well balanced, drones drifted". But for the playing "Nice start, good transitions, very steady tempo throughout. Very nice music, enjoyable performance. Unfortunately seemed to struggle with strength of instrument". Again 2nd.

I'm don't think competition should be the be/end all of our music, but it is part and I'm glad I finally gave it a try. Already thinking about what I could play in the next season's event.

So the purpose of this rant is go ahead shake off the nerves, find a suitable event and give competition a go. It makes you pay attention and even though there may not be time left to impress as many people with your prowess as there would have been if you'd started in your youth, we're supposed to be playing for ourselves and the music.

Not too old to rock & roll; Pipe on!
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:31 AM   #2
John Blunt
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Spokane, Washington USA
Posts: 600
Default Re: First solo competition


Good to hear about another old guy making the jump into competition. It's also nice to have opportunities at Games to play in classes that divide out with a thought toward age as well as accomplishment. I'm also in my 7th decade (is that possible?) and have bounced between Grade IV and the Adult class. I started a decade ago and use competitions as a good barometer to how I am doing and where to concentrate improvement efforts. There is nothing wrong with your results and it shows that you can put together a medley and execute it. Congrats and, after it's all done, there is the Beer Tent.

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Old 06-09-2017, 01:18 PM   #3
Andrew Lenz
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Posts: 10,136
Default Re: First solo competition

Congrats! Many pipers don't have the will or fortitude to even give competition a try.

Andrew T. Lenz, Jr.
www.BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." ---Mark Twain
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:00 PM   #4
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 1,248
Default Re: First solo competition

I started competing at 60. I'd had my pipes for about 8 years when I started thinking about competing, but I was really crappy. Moved, got a good teacher who worked hard with me, and convinced me to give it a try. I've done 10 competitions now, and gotten 3rd, 4th, 5th and two 6ths. I'm 64, and having the time of my life. You're NEVER too old....
"Your Honor, I solemnly swear I am up to no good"
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:50 PM   #5
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 3,679
Default Re: First solo competition

Good on you, Linz! I hear so many who fail to start, as though it's too late (and as you said, one's never too old). Or they say, "I wish I'd started when I was younger." Well, if my math is correct, you've now had 12 years of piping under your belt and having fun; as opposed to bemoaning never having started. Good show!
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:17 PM   #6
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Falkirk Scotland
Posts: 14
Default Re: First solo competition

I am 64 and just started chanter lessons 2 years ago have my pipes joined a local band Alloa Bowmar hope to get out with the band soon
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Old 06-22-2017, 09:16 AM   #7
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 2,675
Default Re: First solo competition

Ah, jedburgh, and All,

So very good to see you... and the others here who
have joined in... making this jump into your and their
heretofore... unknown waters.

All... and for myself included... reminiscent of any of
our first "public" playing... and our fervent prayer; "Oh
Lord! Please help me not to make a great and bollixed
dog's breakfast out of all of this!!"

And the more 'tis done... the less internal consternation
there is... :) and the more latitude there is for improvement.

Congratulations to you (!!) ... and to all who choose... to
give this part of The Game... a proper go!!

Regards to You, and to All Who so Strive,


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

Last edited by Pip01; 06-22-2017 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 06-22-2017, 09:48 AM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 170
Default Re: First solo competition

Glad I'm not alone. I'm in my mid-thirties, and I'm soon reentering the ring again now, for the first time in over 20 years.

One quote from the original poster grabs me in particular, in relation to all this:

I'm don't think competition should be the be/end all of our music, but it is part and I'm glad I finally gave it a try. Already thinking about what I could play in the next season's event.
I'll be doing the same this year, and I'm thinking the very same thing.

Cheers to you, and best of luck in your endeavors ... I daresay, you have the right idea already!

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