The Duncan McCall Pipe Band is a Grade 5 competition and concert pipe band under the direction of Pipe Major Steven Bicknell and Drum Sergeant Michael Paige.

Piping

A new set of bagpipes (this does not include a case or bag cover) range from $950.00 on up. This seems high to some people. As an instrument, it is not as expensive as a tuba or a grand piano, but probably more than a clarinet. Remember, pipes are not mass produced, and the best sets are made of African Blackwood. Sometimes bagpipes can be bought used, but there is a high demand, and they are usually not any cheaper than a new set.
You will need chanter reeds for the instrument, and these are provided by the band in reasonable numbers. Drummers will supply their own drumsticks.

How Long does it Take to Learn to Play?

This is different for each member, and depends greatly on how much time you dedicate to studying and playing. You will never stop learning. In general, it takes several months to a year to apply the rudiments of piping and drumming to basic musical phrases. Most people study these rudiments a minimum of 6 months before they begin to play pipes or drums. Most beginners practice their instrument about a year before they can play well enough to perform easier tunes with the band. It may take up to 3 years or more before you will be able to compete with the band. To progress rapidly you must have, above all else, SELF DISCIPLINE. You must commit to your lessons. You must have the discipline to practice your rudiments as well as learning new tunes and playing the instrument.

Do I Have to Compete with the Band?

Competition is not a requirement, but can provide an elevated level of challenge and discipline. The positive effects of competition result in a general tightening of sound and unison. We highly encourage new pipers to participate in solo competitions. There is no better learning situation than the high pressure of solo competitions. You will be judged and critiqued. The experience will make you a better piper, faster.

How Much Practice Time will this Take Daily?

Each person progresses at his or her own rate based on his or her ability and or practice time. The more you practice, the faster you progress. We recommend a minimum of 30 minutes daily if you can. As you begin to play pipes and drums, you will need time for practicing the rudiments, as well as extra playing time on your pipes or drum. It is better to practice a small amount every day rather than a large amount once a week. After a piping student gets onto the pipes, they must also blow them several minutes a day even if you can't practice, just to keep the instrument in working condition.

 

We also have information on drumming.

Now Available: Our Self-titled Debut CD

Band CD

More Info and Order Online

 

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