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How did you learn that?

My journey into bagpiping is a combination of good teachers, self-study, online classes, and joining a band. It seems simple, but they all fit together.

It began in 1968 when I received my practice chanter and this book filled with everything from history to technique. I would learn a technique or tune in a group lesson, and then forget how to do everything.

I'd open my little green book, and there were the step-by-step instructions. They led me to learning the basics and helped me with my first Tunes. When I picked up my chanter after 45 years, I pulled my little green book out, along with the music I used to play. I was surprised how quickly it returned and how much I had forgotten. I found myself loving bagpipe music again.

Funny thing, there is even mention of this little green book in one of my Nancy Drew stories, and the little green book is still used today (with updates).

It all begins somewhere. For those interested in piping, this is a great place to begin. I would also recommend both tutorial and in-person lessons, but finding a piping instructor can be tough if one doesn't have any with this specific expertise nearby. That's when I found my online piping home, which eventually led me to my teacher and band.

I share this because many folks I have spoken with seem interested in learning or trying to learn the highland pipes. A decent way to begin is by purchasing one of these little green books along with the practice chanter (which will become a best friend after a while), then join a local or online community that welcomes beginners.

I was lucky to find Piper's Dojo and their online community DojoU, where they have online tutorials, live classes (recorded for those who are nervous about learning with others), all sorts of workshops, resources galore, and my personal favorite: the bagpipe cruise! That's a whole different story that I'll share later. If you have questions about learning to play bagpipes, feel free to drop me an email using the contact link or contact Dojo U for yourselves. It is never too late. 


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