It's a funny thing but I initially had NO interest in the bagpipes. My friend Tim wanted to learn and knew I played other instruments. He asked me to assist him with sight reading and trying to learn the pipes even though I had never played before. After many years of helping Tim, it grew on me and I decided I wanted to be a good piper.
I thought of quitting when I tried to transition from the practice chanter to the full pipes. The pipes required too much air, weren't comfortable, and my fingerwork and embellishments were awful. I just didn't have a good understanding of how to calibrate everything or how to properly maintain my instrument. For the first 5 or 6 years, we were self taught from the green book and some less than helpful YouTube videos. There is not much in the way of teachers where we live and we thought for sure we weren't going to be any good at this piping thing. My friend found out about Piper's Dojo and there was so much more help there than we had found in years of trying to do it on our own.
Dojo University is like private lessons and workshops but all from the computer at home. You can do any course any time and go to live classes throughout the day. There is so much value here.
When starting out, there are too many people that are really negative to new players or the feedback they give is so vague that its not helpful. Dojo instructors and community members are able to give concise feedback in a way that is helpful and easy to understand.
The pipes are literally 75% easier to play once I understood proper instrument maintenance and proper chanter and drone reed calibration. In the past, I wasn't able to play through a full set on the pipes. I am now able to play all those tunes I'd worked on the chanter with ease.
After a few years of subscribing to Dojo, I'm happy to call myself a (decent) piper. I also and very glad for the people whom I've met along the way. I wouldn't be where I am today had it not been for the Dojo.
Matt E from Duncansville PA