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First pipe band — any advice?

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  • First pipe band — any advice?

    Hi all,

    I’m quite excited to join a grade 3 pipe band in my area in about a month once local stay at home orders are relaxed. I’ve been communicating with the P/M via email, who has been a great resource so far.

    That being said, what are some tips or advice that you’d offer to a piper joining their first band? Tips? Do’s? Don’ts? Many thanks!

    Best,
    Joe
    Practice is the best of all instructors. - Publilius Syrus

    My Piping Blog- A student's musings on learning the Great Highland Bagpipe.

  • #2
    Re: First pipe band — any advice?

    Try to attend as regularly as you can, pay attention when stuff is going on or about to be going on, be on top of your maintenance and learn the music as quickly as you can. Practice regularly and remember: every boat has people rowing it forward, people who are dead weight, and people actively rowing in the wrong direction. Help with the rowing, but try to keep your hands off the tiller.
    http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
    -- Formerly known as CalumII

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First pipe band — any advice?

      Thank you for the pointers, Calum! As always, your perspective is much appreciated. I quite like the boat metaphor as well.


      Best,
      Joe
      Practice is the best of all instructors. - Publilius Syrus

      My Piping Blog- A student's musings on learning the Great Highland Bagpipe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First pipe band — any advice?

        Joe,

        This article might be helpful:
        https://www.bagpipejourney.com/articles/joinband.shtml

        Andrew
        Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. • BDF Moderator
        BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First pipe band — any advice?

          Bring donuts.
          Would you say I have a plethora of piñatas?

          -El Guapo

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First pipe band — any advice?

            In no particular order:

            -Don’t worry if you can’t hear yourself. If you can, you’re out of tune or out of time.

            -Keep your eyes on the PM.

            -Own up to any mistakes you make.

            -Shut up and play.
            You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First pipe band — any advice?

              I love Andrew's articles and pointers; and the others above give great advice, too.

              If you're at Grade 3, you're moving to a different dimension on some levels. From that level up, there are expectations that may or may not be at lower levels, depending upon a number of things, including the P/M's expectations.

              I would expect everyone's instruments to be set up well. I would also expect music to be worked on and memorized at home....i.e., practice is to work on all the dynamics, etc....NOT to be memorizing, looking at music, and so forth. Be prepared and ready for the real focus. When you step in that circle, you're an asset; not a distraction.

              Congrats and all the best. You'll have a blast in such a band. There's little more camaraderie-driven than playing well as a band. Cheers, Michael

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First pipe band — any advice?

                Solicit the advice and counsel of the band and it's members and not the opinions of others who have no affiliation. They will be happy to share the do's and don'ts as well as other advice you will need to be successful in their environment.
                Believe me, if you go back to your band and tell them that people on the BDF, or that band or this band said blah blah blah, your days in that band are already numbered - either by your attitude or their loss of patience.

                That said, perhaps the post was more about the excitement of joining the band. In which case - Congrats and best wishes on your endeavors.

                Let's talk in a year. We'll see where you are. :-)





                Originally posted by Joseph Diodato View Post
                Hi all,

                I’m quite excited to join a grade 3 pipe band in my area in about a month once local stay at home orders are relaxed. I’ve been communicating with the P/M via email, who has been a great resource so far.

                That being said, what are some tips or advice that you’d offer to a piper joining their first band? Tips? Do’s? Don’ts? Many thanks!

                Best,
                Joe

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First pipe band — any advice?





                  Joseph,

                  The warmest of congratulations!!

                  This... is but another... of your piping accomplishments!!

                  As with the military... "Be smooth... and keep a low profile"...

                  Learn... from the older ones. Keep up... with the younger ones.

                  But and mainly... relax... and have a grand time of it!!

                  All the Best!!

                  Pip01





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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First pipe band — any advice?

                    As Calum wrote really.

                    Learn the tunes quickly in your time.
                    Be there on time and ready for the practice to start. Of course there is the social element, get the work done then gas away.
                    Listen to your PM carefully.

                    Relax and don't take criticism to heart. Accept that sometimes it's just not your day/night (trust me I've been there).
                    There will be some negative folk in cliques, happens everywhere. It's human nature. Don't get caught up in it, go with the flow.
                    Not all advice is pukka, if you are unsure of something ask one of the leadership.

                    Most of ALL HAVE FUN!!! It's what it's all about after all. Some of my fondest memories are from my time in pipe bands. Cool places I've gone to, places we've played, results we've had, the craic in the beer tent afterwards and epic parties on the band bus home. Amazing.
                    Last edited by Mac an t-Sealgair; 06-03-2020, 12:40 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First pipe band — any advice?

                      If somebody gives a bit of advice, keep in mind they took the trouble to do that because they care about the band, they care about you, and they want you to succeed.
                      proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First pipe band — any advice?

                        First, let me say thank you all for sharing your perspectives and pointers! They are all greatly appreciated.If I were to distill the pointers offered here, I'd say that they boil down to: being humble, having fun, and to never stop learning!

                        Originally posted by kful View Post
                        Bring donuts.
                        Interestingly enough, I was thinking about bringing donuts to practice! Great minds think alike.

                        Originally posted by Andrew Lenz
                        Andrew -- as always I appreciate reading through the articles on your site. Thanks for sharing!


                        Originally posted by DNorwood
                        Solicit the advice and counsel of the band and it's members and not the opinions of others who have no affiliation. They will be happy to share the do's and don'ts as well as other advice you will need to be successful in their environment.

                        Most definitely! This isn't my first shake with joining a musical ensemble, but I'm always interested in advice that more seasoned players might be able to offer.



                        Originally posted by pancelticpiper
                        If somebody gives a bit of advice, keep in mind they took the trouble to do that because they care about the band, they care about you, and they want you to succeed.

                        Of the many excellent tibits offered in reply to my initial query, this one struck me in particular. That perspective is much appreciated.


                        Thanks again all, I'll have to report back once I'm able to make it out for practice.


                        Cheers,
                        Joe
                        Practice is the best of all instructors. - Publilius Syrus

                        My Piping Blog- A student's musings on learning the Great Highland Bagpipe.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First pipe band — any advice?

                          Avoid getting elected to the committee.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So Joe, are you still a member of this band. Please update us with your experience either way. Thank you Sir.

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