James Beaudry: I'll Get There One Day

I’ve always dreamed of being able to play the pipes, even as a child. I decided I was going to make learning a priority.

I just wanted to play for the love of the music. I am now competing and in a grade 5 band.

I remember getting goose bumps from hearing a pipe band at a parade when I was 8. That was all it took. I loved it everything about Celtic culture. But, growing up in a dirt poor mining family in a small town, learning the pipes wasn’t an option.

Being patient is a big struggle for me. I expect a lot out of myself. I have craved a lot of time out of my schedule to practice. I took the bagpipe makeover course as soon as I was ready to jump on the pipes. that helped cut down on the learning curve so much. However, playing in the sweet spot for several songs in a row is a challenge. I also, rush things when my fingering is a challenge. But I’m really focusing on slowing that down and playing to a metronome.

At first I did fall into the thought of “ I’m starting so late in life I’m not sure if I have the time to get good” I now think “ I’ll just keep doing everything very intentionally, and as intense as need be. I’ll get there one day.”

I did consider quitting the pipes once. Only for about a week. But I can’t give them up. I need them for many reasons. They are absolutely vital to my mental health and I just love it too much. And my wife would for sure kill me if I stopped for any reason. She sees how much I love it and supports me 100%.

I think the Dojo community is a great place to be. Overall the information and knowledge from everyone is great! The Dojo team is awesome! Everyone does a great job. The video selections are outstanding! It really covers everything you could possibly need covered.

It has helped me really scoot my piping along! Because of the Dojo I’m not making the beginner mistakes that I would have, and needing to unlearn the bad habits.

I started with the Bagpipe Makeover class. So I was learning maintenance properly from the start! I had a set of used pipes and had several thing corrected by the Dojo staff and immediately had improvements.

I stopped doing reps and just focused on how Andrew and Carl recommend learning. It’s def a noticeable improvement.

My confidence on the pipes goes up every week. The techniques I’ve learned from the Dojo has helped tremendously!!! I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish so far, and in such a short span of time. I'm 100% confident that if I had not joined the Dojo, my piping would be so far behind what it is, I would very embarrassed about the lack of progress. I know more about setting pipes up, steady blowing techniques, calibration than some of the people I know who have been playing for decades. Seriously, the Dojo has been an absolutely awesome membership and investment.

After about 6 months on the pipes, using Dojo methods, I placed 6th in a pipe competition of 25 participants. If I would have played a little slower the judge said “You would have placed much better”.

I was also able to help a piper with the calibration of his pipes. He was really struggling and didn’t know what was going on. I used what I learned in the Dojo Bagpipe Makeover class and got his pipes so efficient he said “I’m having more fun on the pipes now than I’ve had in a while."

James Beaudry, Montana, USA

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