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Piping Tips

Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to know everything about piping, but there are some things I learned the hard way. To save you the same pain, heartache and embarrassment that I went through to learn these little tidbits, I'll place one here every now and then.

This tip is concerned with some things to think about while doing a performance. Drones are sometimes the bane of pipers. They can squak, squeal and make other undefinable noises. They also have a nasty habit of stopping at the wrong time (like when is it a good time for a drone to stop). If you are in the middle of a performance, and your drone or drones start making wierd noises, the best thing to do is to play a solid note on the upperhand and stop the troublesome drone/s. Believe me, the audience would appreciate this over hearing a squaking drone for a whole tune (when drones go bad it's generally within the first two bars or so). If you are really good, you can improvise just the upperhand (instead of just holding a steady note) while tapping the drone out. Being in a band makes this task easier. You can reduce your bag pressure enough to make the chanter kick out, tap to offending drone out and then increase the bag pressure to get the chanter playing again. Believe me, doing the previous is much better than forcing the poor people you're playing for to listen to a bad drone.



Old Piping Tips