Information for Potential Piping and Drumming Students
Clansman Pipe Band provides piping and drumming instruction free of charge to those who wish to join the band but need training, whether starting from scratch or just requiring a refresher program.
When learning to play the highland bagpipe, it is necessary to begin with a recorder-like instrument called a practice chanter which each student must provide. If you do not already own one, a good quality practice chanter that you will be able to use for many years can be purchased from the band for $50-$55. The practice chanter is used when learning but will also be used throughout your piping career for practising and learning new tunes. The first part of each band practice is normally devoted to group chanter practice with all the pipers seated around a table.
Piping students must also buy a tutor book containing exercises, tunes and some musical theory. The tutor book used by Clansman Pipe Band is the "College of Piping Tutor, Book 1". The band is able to sell these for the excellent price of $20.
Students normally spend at least a year on the practice chanter before moving to the actual bagpipe. The pipe band owns three bagpipes that can be loaned to students for up to 12 months while they are learning. It will normally take about two years to qualify for membership in the pipe band. When you are ready to buy a bagpipe, your instructor or the Pipe Major can advise you on what to buy. A good new bagpipe will cost about $1500. Excellent used bagpipes can often be found for $800-$1200.
The criteria for qualifying for band membership can be seen here. [link to criteria document]
Snare drum students need a pair of drumsticks and a practice pad for a total cost of about $45.
Bass drum and tenor drum students need only a pair of appropriate drumsticks costing about $45.
Once you are considered able by your drumming instructor, you will be permitted to play with the band and a drum will be provided for you. Drums are the property of the band.
Uniforms, with the exception of shoes, are provided by, and are the property of, the pipe band.