Friday, August 27, 2010

Scottish Thistle with Butterfly: Bagpipe Lesson, Pleasanton Highland Games, Musical Sociality, Improving Piping, World Univ's Bagpiping Subject

To my bagpipe teacher,

Greetings. I hope your summer is going well.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, Saturday, and piping with you (30 minutes only, from 2-2:30).

(Here, by the way, is World Univ & Sch's Bagpipe subject:

Here are a few questions beforehand.

In addition to an ongoing, monthly lesson with you, I'm thinking about joining a piping group on a weekly basis, for more opportunities to pipe, both musically as well as in terms of learning great tunes.

Who are great pipe band majors / leaders / teachers in the Bay Area in your view? The Piedmont Pipe Band is pretty close geographically to where I live, and is thus convenient, but it's a grade 4 band, I think, and I think I'd prefer more challenge and higher standards. The Prince Charlie Pipe band is a grade 2 band, but a big time commitment all weekend, and a farther commute for me to South San Francisco. But I think mostly I'd like to play more, and socially, with an emphasis on musicality.

Is a quartet happening that you know of?

I may try to get a read on great piping / learning opportunities in the Bay Area at the Pleasanton Games, by meeting and seeing pipers there.

Do you know of a good drummer, or 'privy piper,' in the East Bay who might just like to jam sometimes?

I'm also looking for ideas for a practice chanter carrying case, for the car, for example, perhaps with space for music, beyond a mailing tube. :) I'm curious about your thoughts about this.

I'm planning to play the Piobaireachd (Pibroch) "Lament for Captain McDougall" for you tomorrow by memory as we talked about, and, if it's o.k. with you - with the intermediary step (a kind of 'goose,' a bagpipe for learning in the stage between the practice chanter and full highland pipe) of playing WITHOUT the music, but WITH Donald MacLeod's recorded version on ear phones - he plays all variations. He also plays significantly faster than your recording ... a good exercise for me .... just a head's up.

It would be great to play my pipes for you just briefly, so you can get a feel for them, and for their tuning. I think you may have only heard them briefly.

Let's see what we have time for... :) Looking forward to the lesson.

See you soon,

( - August 27, 2010)

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