If you're just starting on your piping journey (or you're coaching someone along who is), this is a common question to ask.
After all, usually when you're just starting out, unless you've already been around pipers and know what's involved, you probably had grand plans of learning to wrestle the 'Scottish octopus' at your first lesson... and then you were handed a skinny recorder-looking thing and told to make honking duck sounds into something resembling a musical scale, if your experience was anything like most pipers out there.
So when is the best time to buy yourself a set of bagpipes?
It might surprise you to hear that it's sooner than you think...
Here at Dojo University, we recommend you get started as soon as you can play a tune.
In our Bagpipe Tutor Course, that's Chapter 2, which for most learners is really only a few weeks after they start learning on a practice chanter.
Now, many bands and tutors would tell you that you have to wait an arbitrary amount of time before you get started.
"You have to have been learning for at least 12 months and be able to play six tunes to memory."
This makes absolutely no sense.
Firstly, the sooner you get your hands on a set of pipes, the sooner you can start learning all about how they work first-hand. If you're a Dojo student, you can take our Transitioning to the Bagpipes course in tandem with the tutor, so you're ready to get started on the full bagpipes as soon as you've finished learning the basics (plus, you'll already be ahead on the basics like posture and tuning).
Plus, assuming you're an adult who is reading this, chances are you've both caught the piping bug and are enthusiastic about actually angling towards a tangible goal
And sure, you could change your mind, but as long as you buy a good quality instrument (contact our team or ask for advice if you're not sure what this means!), bagpipes will always have a pretty strong resale value.
So let's say you risk losing $200 in a resale if you decide to give them up in a few months' time - rather than seeing that as lost money, think of it more as the rental cost for the time you spent on it.
Take our word for it - there is no rule about when you should buy your first set of pipes. The sooner, the better!