The Phase 4 "Buy In"

Phase 4 is the most challenging freedom phase, as it introduces several new fundamentals at once. Over time, we have found that pipers tend to "forget" much of what they focused on in Phase 3 when attempting to put together everything that's required for Phase 4.

To help players "bridge the gap" between Phase 3 and Phase 4, we are implementing a change of requirement for Phase 4 Submissions:

As of April 1, 2022, we'll now require a Phase 4 "Buy In," to begin each Phase 4 Submission.

In nutshell, the Phase 4 "Buy In" requires you to play a simple scale before beginning the performance of the Tune of the Week. This is simple in concept, but will ensure pipers are maintaining great posture, blowing mechanics, and tuning before they start with the challenging fingerwork demanded of the tune of the week.

Phase 4 "Buy In" Protocol

  1. Set your metronome to the right tempo for you, as you normally would for any freedom phase submission.
  2. Before playing your tune of the week, play a simple bagpipe scale, up and down (Low A to High A to Low A is fine), with 4 clicks for each note.
  3. Once the scale is complete, without stopping your recording device or your bagpipes, continue with the playing of the Tune of the Week. Note: You may pause after the scale to regroup and/or retune your instrument!

That's it! Just a few seconds additional, at the beginning of your performance.

Phase 4 Details and Implications

  1. Graders will evaluate your buy-in first.
    1. If there are significant issues with posture, blowing mechanics, or tuning, the grading process with stop there. We'll want to address these issues before we begin over-focusing on the critiques of your fingerwork.
    2. If there are no significant issues, grading of Phase 4 will happen as usual.


Here is an example of me doing the new Phase 4 protocol. This performance would probably pass despite some imperfections...

Related Articles