Reviews, Hints & Tips

The fundamentals of strikes

The fundamentals of strikes

On day 10 of the February Piping Challenge Finlay MacDonald, Director of Piping at TNPC, discussed the technique of playing strikes, and explained how strikes are one of the three fundamentals when initially learning to play. Finlay’s video can be viewed again here on The National Piping Centre’s Facebook page. Dan […]

Building stamina in your playing

Building stamina in your playing

On day eight of the February Piping Challenge Dan Nevans presented a 30 minute Facebook live stream on the topic of developing the stamina to play your pipes for up to an hour. It’s a very informative and entertaining talk from Dan (with added bagpipe faeries), and is essential listening […]

Theory Top-Up: Double Tonic Tunes

Theory Top-Up: Double Tonic Tunes

By Tim Cummings Piping Today #76, 2015. Imagine for a moment that it’s February in the North Country, and you’ve been invited to a friend’s sauna.  You enter into the thick, steamy, blanketing air of the sauna, which in midwinter feels absolutely wonderful, rapidly softening petrified muscles that have been […]

D throw techniques with John Mulhearn

D throw techniques with John Mulhearn

John Mulhearn explained the technical aspects of learning the light and the heavy D throw on day six of the February Piping Challenge. The video can be found on The National Piping Centre’s Facebook page here. On day seven Wilson Brown spoke all about 2/4 March playing, and stressed the […]

Stuart Letford reviews the James Duncan Mackenzie Collection

Stuart Letford reviews the James Duncan Mackenzie Collection

James Duncan Mackenzie had a busy and creative lockdown. The Silver Medallist from Lewis, Scotland published this, his first collection, at the end of 2021 and he has just released his third solo-piping album, a recording that features music from the book. Too many collections produced these days contain page […]

Stuart Letford reviews ‘I Piped That She Might Dance’

Stuart Letford reviews ‘I Piped That She Might Dance’

I’ve long thought that Angus MacKay’s life would make for a great film. It has it all: sex, drugs (well, alcohol), rock n’ roll and a young death. Angus went from a childhood of poverty to an adolescence spent frequenting palaces and hobnobbing with the great and good of his […]

Review: The Conundrum: International Piping Night

Review: The Conundrum: International Piping Night

By Stuart Letford The Conundrum: International Piping Night, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, New Auditorium, Glasgow (January 25, 2019) The new auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, imaginatively called the, er, New Auditorium, was the venue for this multi-national line-up of pipers brought together by composer, flute player, piper, instructor, […]

Stuart Letford reviews ‘Bagpipe Brothers’

Stuart Letford reviews ‘Bagpipe Brothers’

Bagpipe Brothers by Kerry Sheridan was published in paperback in 2006. It’s taken three attempts for me to finish it. There are two reasons for this: 1) given its subject matter ­– the four pipe band members, all firemen, who played at the funeral of every colleague who perished in […]