The pipes|drums Survey: Grading and Competitive Drive

Published: December 31, 2010
The pipes|drums Survey: Grading and Competitive Drive Published: December 31, 2010

We set out to find out what the world's pipers, drummers and enthusiasts think about solo competition. Are they driven to improve? Are score sheets wanted? How many of us actively compete in solo competitions? What standard do pipers and drummers feel they play to? Should solo grading depend solely on playing prowess, or should other factors determine whether a piper or drummer should be upgraded? More than 4,000 readers provide their individual response to our survey, and the results are, as always, illuminating. An article exclusively for pipes|drums subscribers.

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
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TIP OF THE DAY
Pipers: Blow your drones without the pipe chanter for a few minutes when you first take your pipes out of the box. Initially, the blades on your pipe chanter reed and the tongues on your drone reeds will be dry (not pliable), which will make the chanter reed stiff and often too much for the drone reeds – causing them to shut off. The warm air that is blown through the drone reeds will make the tongues more pliable and receptive to handling the strength of the pipe chanter. This applies to synthetic and cane drone reeds.
John Cairns, double Gold Medallist

FROM THE ARCHIVES