Student Information

Student Information

Aspiring Pipers

What do I need to get started?
Learning to play the bagpipe will be the most rewarding and frustrating experience of your life.

The bagpipe is first learned on the practice chanter. The chanter is used throughout your piping career for fingering practice and to
learn new tunes. Depending on ability and commitment, the beginner will play the practice chanter for six months to one year, or
longer, before he/she is ready to play the bagpipes. A tutorial is also needed to guide you through the learning process.

The practice chanter you purchase should be made of plastic/polypenco. The “standard length” is usually preferred over “full length”. Countersunk finger holes make it easier to find the correct finger position. The chanter should come with at least one plastic reed. Acceptable brands of chanters include D. Naill, Dunbar, Warmac, or McCallum.

Purchase the Sandy Jones-Beginning the Bagpipe, tutor and cassette, or, the College of Piping Book #1 and cassette. Another
great learning resource manual is the “How To Manual for Learning to Play The Great Highland Bagpipe” by Major Archie Cairns,
CD of London, Ontario, Canada. This manual comes with a CD of Major Cairns playing and describing key chapters of his manual.

How much should I expect to spend?

  • Tutor: Approximate Cost – $25.00
  • Practice Chanter: Approximate Cost – $70.00
    (best deal around is
  • Bagpipes: Approximate Cost: $800 – $2500

Aspiring Drummers

What do I need to get started?
The first thing a drummer needs is a good sense of rhythm!

Drums are first learned on a practice pad, which will also be used throughout your career when learning new pieces or to practice
without driving your family crazy! Drummers graduate to the actual drum based solely on ability – generally between six months to a
year for students new to drumming and music in general. A tutorial is also needed to guide you through the rudiments. We recommend Doug Stronach’s Pipe Band Snare Drum Tutor, volume 1 with the CD-ROM.

The practice pad you purchase should be made specifically for pipe band drummers. They are usually made of hard rubber. An excellent combination Starter Package is available at for $75. It includes Cameron Pro sticks, Medium Cameron practice pad, and Doug Stronach’s Pipe Band Snare Drum Tutor vol. 1 (book and CD-ROM). Or, you may purchase each item separately, but they may end up costing more when you figure in shipping, etc. You will also need to get an electronic metronome, which can be purchased at any music store.

How much should I expect to spend?

  • Tutor: Approximate cost – $36
  • Practice Pad: Approximate Cost – $35
  • Drums Sticks: Approximate Cost – $20
  • Metronome: Approximate Cost – $30
  • Snare Drum: The drums are owned by the pipe band and are checked out to qualifying drummers.