Nature or nurture? Do the top pipers in the world possess some sort of genetic predisposition that allows them to play with speed, grace, and expression?
How do you get good at something? The answer has always been practice, practice, practice. The real question is, how long does it take to get good? There is the saying, that has been around for a while, that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Does it really take 10,000 hours to become a master?
Knowing a tune is good.
Knowing a set is better.
Being able to play a good sounding set that also lets you check the tuning on your pipes is the best.
Having a good tune, or set, that allows you to make sure everything sounds correct, but you can also use to entertain, kills two birds with one stone and gives your repertoire depth.
The Victoria Cross is the highest military award for members of the armed forces of the Commonwealth countries. This award is given for valor in the face of the enemy of the “most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.” We are going to look at three bagpipers who have won this award.
Regal. Stately. Majestic. It’s one of the biggest bagpipe tunes ever, behind only "Amazing Grace" and perhaps "Scotland the Brave." "Highland Cathedral" is – or should be – in every piper’s repertoire. But how much do you know about this tune? Time and again you’ll see it listed in programs as "Highland Cathedral" – traditional Scottish bagpipe tune. But that’s wrong.