Phase 3 Challenge Week

Freedom Phase 3: Bagpipe Posture, Blowing Mechanics, and Tuning Drones

Now that we are successfully playing some basic music on our practice chanter, the next Freedom Phase begins to integrate the bagpipe itself into our arsenal. 

In this step we will address three essential "bedrock" fundamentals when it comes to the "big instrument":

  1. Displaying great bagpipe posture (the 4 non-negotiables).
  2. Displaying excellent physical blowing mechanics. (Steady blowing with a manometer).
  3. "Decent" tuning of two drones together (bass and 1 tenor).

Resources to Help You With This Freedom Phase

Your Assignment:

  1. Put a golf tee or ear-plug in your chanter. Attach a Dojo-style water manometer to your middle tenor.
  2. Record a video sustaining manometer within half an inch of a set target for 60 seconds, with excellent posture, and Bass + 1 Tenor "decently" tuned.
    1. Target should be minimum 24 inches of water
    2. All posture points + manometer level should be visible in recording.
  3. Important: Stand so that all 4 posture points AND the water level of the manometer are visible in the video!
  4. Here is an example recording of a successful assignment: (Coming Soon)
  5. Here is a brief lesson on how to video record your bagpipes, and share it using a link.
  6. A PDF checklist of the exact criteria we will evaluate you on can be found here.
  7. Submit by Thursday at noon Eastern US time.

Do your best with the assignment. If you don't succeed (which is more common than not), that's ok! You'll get great feedback from our team for you to use to try again next week. Utilize the One-Take Rule and don't fall into the trap of negativity with this exercise. Even if it doesn't always feel like it, you are getting better at a rate far faster than ever before!

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  1. Hi Carl, I think I may have misunderstood this weeks assignment. On reading Andrews email I concluded I needed to select a competition style hornpipe and submit parts 1 & 2 on practice chanter. I have recorded this and it is ready to upload, however when I read your instructions this evening it is to be a video of piping posture, blowing mechanics holding a steady pressure and tuning two drones together. I am not able to get the video done this evening and will be away tomorrow. Am I able to submit the video next week?

    1. Hi Tony, No, not as part of the phases, we'll be on to parts 3 and 4 next week. But, you CAN upload the video of your posture to be reviewed in either discord, or post it in the Lounge Group and we'll be happy to give you feedback! You can also upload parts 1 & 2 for this week in the same way! Happy to help out and give you some feedback. Cheers, Carl

  2. Hi Carl,
    I thought that we were only doing the Phase 3 Challenge this week. Anywise, here is the link. I am afraid that I really need to get my shoulder looked at as it has been bothering me since before our last band competition on Labour Day. I am planning on playing the slow hornpipe "Joe McGann's Fiddle" for Phase 5 entry next week, but I thought I was supposed to submit Parts 1 & 2. I should be on your class tomorrow morning.

    1. Hi Vince,

      Please upload the link to your phase 3 challenge submission under your current phase.

      If there's any doubt about your shoulder, it's probably worth at least chatting with your doc to see what might be the cause and if it's not too expensive to look into. At least then you'll have an idea of it but if it bothers you and play exacerbates it, you'll need to find a solution eventually. Maybe just some stretching?

      Joe McGanns fiddle is perfect, but we'll be on to parts 3 & 4 next week. So get those going over the weekend. 🙂

      Lastly, no class for me today, but I'll see you on Friday.