Almost 50 years ago, the great Donald MacLeod was the first piper to use technology to share his knowledge with his Piping Tapes of piobaireachd lessons that he made on cassettes for anyone who wished to purchase them.
The renowned piper Bruce Gandy has now launched his own modern version with custom video and audio downloads of lessons of his own popular compositions, complete with a 5-10-minute video instruction, sheet music, sound recording and an information sheet outlining details of the work. Instructional packages for each tune are priced at $6.99.
“I’ve been working for a couple years trying to figure out how to lay out my tunes for lesson and download and we have finally come up with what I think is a good formula to offer to folks for learning my tunes, Gandy said. “I’m starting with 20 tunes and I’m going to add them in groups of five as we go along.”
The inaugural batch of 20 include popular Gandy compositions like “Mrs. Sharon Duthart,” “Coppermill Studio,” and “Jimmy Rollo.” Bruce Gandy is one of the most prolific and played composers on the last 50 years, with several print collections of his music since the 1990s, in addition to recordings and tune commissions.
With his Bruce Gandy Music web property, daily Skype lessons and demand for workshops, Gandy has made a professional career from piping, while maintaining a stringent solo competition schedule.
“I wanted the videos to feel like I had 10 minutes left in a class and give them an idea of what the tune is about and how it goes, what to watch out for and what I think is acceptable for the score. The whole concept started out after talking about all these other composers and ‘how’ they played the tunes, then, it sort of morphed into an info package and I wanted video for the lesson.”
Gandy added that he hopes to add short audio previews and more detailed descriptions of the tunes as the service expands.
Instructional downloads were started in 2007 by Seattle’s Jori Chisholm and his BagpipeLessons.com site, and comprise mainly standard pipe tunes for beginners, with various packages available. Gandy’s service is the first to highlight all-original compositions directly from the author.