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Losing Interest

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.. Losing Interest

Post by Dai Robb on Wed 20 Feb - 17:27:04

I will not mention any names, but over the past couple of weks i have spoken to two very good freinds of mine, both pipers of some repute. Okay maybe in days of yore perhaps they were a force to be reckoned with, Both playing at the highest level.
They have both intimated that they are "fed up" with the pipes at the moment, both tempted to actually "hang them up" for good.
I must admit my circumstances were slightly different, I was moving around with the forces so could not settle down in a band, but these two guys, i feel have a helluva lot to offer even now? yet they are bored with the Practice etc.
Have you got to that stage yet, ? has going to practice become a chore? rather than something to look forward to, I know I always enjoyed practice, what would it take to get that "excitement" back into your Piping, I am saying Piping here, mainly because those I talk about are Pipers, but same question to drummers. Has being a Piper/drummer lost it's enjoyment for you, if so why?
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by KatieMc on Wed 20 Feb - 18:57:22

I reached that stage practically before I even got started, unfortunately. I had an instructor for the first 10 or 12 weeks, then he moved to another state and I was left on my own.

I had all but given up a few months ago, then Richard found me. Smile We started lessons via Skype, and now I have hope! I WILL be a piper some day!!

KatieMC


Last edited by KatieMc on Tue 20 May - 2:26:51; edited 1 time in total
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Wed 20 Feb - 19:17:45

A few years ago I was absolutely scunnered with bands. The thought of turning up to band practice just turned my stomach. It got to the stage I dreaded turning up to band. I had been pushed and pushed since a was knee high to a grasshopper by my dad. As you are no doubt aware pipe bands is a big thing in my family and has been in the family for decades. When I was hardly able to walk I was taken to pipe band competitons in my kilt. I have a pic of me when I was two sitting on the bands bass drum holding the sticks in my kilt very cute haha. Pipe Bands were my life basically and still are lol. I decided enough was enough and packed it in for a year. It was the best thing I have ever done. I then went back a year and half later totally refreshed and now I look forward to band. I have a very busy timescale teaching and learning my own stuff but I am loving every minute of it. If it ever comes a time where I feel like that again I know its time to slow down.
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Dai Robb on Wed 20 Feb - 20:48:17

Plus of course Fiona, you FOUND Drumming ??? laughing laughing drum drum
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by janelle on Thu 21 Feb - 11:35:55

I play in 2 bands and guest with for a few others when they need it. Yet I feel this way about my everyday (street) band. I really don't enjoy practice and have got to the stage where going to gigs is a chore. This isn't due to me having played for so long, as I had a very long break and have only been playing again for 7 years. It doesn't help that my husband will no longer have anything to do with many members in this band.

I can't wait to go to competition band practice, and the whole family love going. I really enjoy any extra or guest gigs we do.
As our competition band is a long distance band we only get together, once a month then fortnightly at the start of the season. So having a regular band to play with is important.
I think I have just out grown my everyday band and due to internal politics, the comraderie has gone. I know it's time to move on, but I have made the choice to try and stay with my DS and Bass player (his wife) at least until we hopefully find something else that suits our needs.
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Thu 21 Feb - 12:59:08

I think my father started concentrating on perfecting my birl the day I was hatched lol.

I loved pipe band at school and in the TA/OTC bands, not only for competing but also for the great craic.

I also enjoyed competing in the solos back then, but to borrow a word from Fee.....I also got scunnered with the whole pipe band scene in the late 80s. Many of my piping friends had moved on elsewhere and it just wasn't the same.

Practicing a couple of evenings a week, competing or attending gala days etc on Saturdays and Sundays....and then there was the playing for highland dancers / weddings / funerals maybe twice a week.....I just got sickened by it all. Didn't have much time for anything else.

I had intended continuing the piping when I came out here in '88 and went to a couple of band practices but I really didn't have the time, what with work and subsequently....marriage and the kids. In reality however I'd just had enough of pipe bands.

Sixteen years later after a holiday back home, with the kids older..... and I was desparate to get back into it.

I was one of the driving forces in resurrecting the local band, however again...people would turn up for practice one week but not another and I felt I had taken on the role of quartermaster, secretary, chairman etc etc. and the keeness began to wane.

I'm still fairly into it all but can't attend practices myself now as the day of the week / timings for practices suit the majority but not me, however I keep my hand in and still take care of the band stores and administration.

I do however regret that I ever gave it up. When I was a teenager I used to compete against other youngsters, one of whom was Iain Spiers....and to see where he has got in the piping world....makes me realise what I may have been able to achieve.

The only advice I would have is....don't give it up, just lessen the amount of time spent. You'll regret it later if you do "hang the chanter up".
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Gordy88 on Thu 21 Feb - 18:19:58

I think the majority of players have been there at some stage, but for different reasons,

Learning the pipes can be a daunting task, and learners can get disillusioned, especially if left like Katie Mc

Competition players have a different problem, they can get overloaded,

I was daft about piping in my teens, especially when i found out how a hairy chest and a kilt affected the girlies!!

I packed in piping at the age of 24, having played in the RUC pipeband, the latter years as P/S, and although bands were a lot smaller then, 12 players was a good size, most of the work was done by the P/M, so I had to stand there and look good haha.

But as I got more and more fed up with it, the harder I tried to make it work, the worse it got,

I left, in October 1990 and driving home felt like a new man, I felt so relieved, and free, only then did I begin to realise how much stress I was under.

I ended up away for 14 years.

Now i'm back, and am at the stage of regretting the years I missed, but in truth, I know that I came back at the right time, sooner, I might never have stuck it, every one will leave, and come back at the right time for them.

The stress and commitment of a grade one career is staggering, and its takes someone of a strong will to do it continously for years.

But as well as that, if any player is playing at the highest level they can, then it is their grade 1 and correspondingly stressful for them, so eventually they need a break, if only for a few weeks

As long as you come back to it, eh?

piper
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by bondy on Fri 22 Feb - 0:37:22

I have been really luckly the RAF has posted me around the world so I have never really had overload however I am now preparing to hit the Solo's in a big way this summer, (NE Scotland and shift work is p*sh for good band piping). I have bought my new pipes got them pretty much sorted picked the tunes I want to play and was getting on really well, however this week I am at the stage where I know the tunes but just cann't get them 100% on the pipes, as such i canny be ars*d with the chanter and don't have the time to play my pipes as the wife is away so i'm a single parent :( At least I know it is only time standing in my way
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by stormy on Sat 23 Feb - 14:23:18

I've got absolutely no interest left in piping.
With over 40 years of experience at all levels in bands I feel confident enough to say that I've been there, done and got the T-shirt.
The time comes however when you say to yourself "Why am I doing this?"
Spending hours getting the pipes going for 20 mins work at a wedding??
Spending hours playing for dancers for less money than I could get for the wedding??
Spending hours trying to get a decent reed for a 25 year old chanter??
Spending hours keeping the kilt pressed and belts polished??
All for what? A few tunes to keep the punters happy?

The past few years have really disillusioned my take on the piping world. Nothing more so than the crap I have read on piping forums from so called professionals and experts with little, if any, experience. I never realised how many things I've been doing wrong for all those years.

I've not "hung up" my pipes but I've "lain them to rest" in the case and I do not see them being played again in the foreseeable future.
It's time for the younger generation to take over from the auld yins and for those who know better to prove me wrong.

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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Dai Robb on Sat 23 Feb - 17:36:06

Hope you dont mind Stormy? but obviously as you may have guessed, folowing our recent chat, when you actually mentioned this to me, I used you and Iain as my "No Name" friends, whilst Iain of course is now back on track and quite happy, mainly because of the challenge of playing with Drumlough in a higher Grade. I can fully understand your feelings, perhaps of course a few months or so off and you might get that "urge" back again, although I have a feeling the next time your pipes see daylight could be Cardiff in 2 years time?
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by stormy on Sun 24 Feb - 2:05:37

Don't mind at all Dai.
Putting how you feel into words is not always easy so I'm glad I phoned you last week.
Cardiff in two years is a long time! Should be a good weekend however with or without pipes!!! lol!

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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Redneck on Tue 26 Feb - 23:38:58

Stormy, I know exactly how you feel, and agree with everything you say. Not so very long ago I was indeed hanging up my pipes for the very reasons you have mentioned.
Fiona actually phoned me as did Dai 'n we talked fer ages, I know myself I'm not the player I was 20 odd years ago and sometimes I get so frustrated and annoyed with myself I just feel like doin' as you've done.

This season will be my last, knowing when to quit IS imo bigger than carrying on if your not happy with your own performance. People have said there's a lot more years left in you yet, but......I know best.

Yes it's going to be hard, piping has been a very big part in my life 40yrs is a long time and I will miss it, however I do still intend to work closely with Stevie and the Drumlough band if I'm needed to help in any way.
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by stormy on Wed 27 Feb - 1:47:24

Redneck wrote:....I know myself I'm not the player I was 20 odd years ago and sometimes I get so frustrated and annoyed with myself.....

Just how I feel Ian.
I know the sound that I'm looking for but with todays reeds and rising pitch it is getting harder and harder to maintain this. I do not feel that I should have to spend 's on a new chanter every few years and yet feel that without doing so I'll never get a decent reed to match my Sinclair. Nearest I can get is a Troy reed but even after much work I get close to the sound but the reeds have no "bite" or "sparkle" to them.
I have tried to get back into the band scene recently but the inclination to attend practices was not there when I was working shifts. I've kept myself going on my own but this past year has really been a drudgery rather than an enjoyable experience.
Played damn near non stop in the pubs at Cardiff two weeks ago (and yes, I enjoyed the sound of my pipes and what I was playing) but it would not satisfy me personally to play the same instrument at a paying gig.
I don't want to ever play when I am not up to the job and not enjoying it.
That's how I'm feeling at the moment, so a long period of inactivity is required. My heart is just not in it.

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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Dai Robb on Wed 27 Feb - 14:01:20

Whilst I would be sad to see these two special Friends "retire" I can fully understand their decisions, I know the standard they set themselves, and also that if they could not reach that, they would not be happy.
Having the B*** to be able to say? thats it I am not giving the performance that I require from myself, will be hard, but I admire them both for being able to do so.
The only consolation being guy's?? you will have more time for drinking at the bar?
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Wed 27 Feb - 17:43:32

stormy wrote:
Redneck wrote:....I know myself I'm not the player I was 20 odd years ago and sometimes I get so frustrated and annoyed with myself.....

Just how I feel Ian.
I know the sound that I'm looking for but with todays reeds and rising pitch it is getting harder and harder to maintain this. I do not feel that I should have to spend 's on a new chanter every few years and yet feel that without doing so I'll never get a decent reed to match my Sinclair. Nearest I can get is a Troy reed but even after much work I get close to the sound but the reeds have no "bite" or "sparkle" to them.
I have tried to get back into the band scene recently but the inclination to attend practices was not there when I was working shifts. I've kept myself going on my own but this past year has really been a drudgery rather than an enjoyable experience.
Played damn near non stop in the pubs at Cardiff two weeks ago (and yes, I enjoyed the sound of my pipes and what I was playing) but it would not satisfy me personally to play the same instrument at a paying gig.
I don't want to ever play when I am not up to the job and not enjoying it.
That's how I'm feeling at the moment, so a long period of inactivity is required. My heart is just not in it.

Stormy, I don't intend to hark on again (well, maybe not completely true).....but there's perhaps nobody in the entire world who can make a Sinclair sing, like Geordie Lumsden.

George himself has long played Sinclair chanters and I know for a fact that he is still making chanter reeds for many (including some of the CURRENT top solo pipers). And yes, I'm talking about 1980 chanters. I am reliably informed that John Angus Smith and even Stuart Cassells are getting their reeds from him.

The most recent email address I have for him is :

George.Lumsden@lineone.net

Toodle Pip old bean.
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by stormy on Fri 29 Feb - 0:20:14

Thanks TBP, I'll bear it in mind. At the moment however my heart is just no longer in it. If I ever get the notion again I'll give him a call if I need reeds.

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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Dai Robb on Fri 29 Feb - 1:09:08

You could maybe take up the drums then Stormy?? drum drum
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Robbie.Crow on Fri 29 Feb - 1:20:56

aye...!
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Piping Connections on Fri 29 Feb - 12:15:58

Dai Robb wrote:You could maybe take up the drums then Stormy?? drum drum

Very difficult for a Musician to take a step down to become a Labourer laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by wee_fee-Fee on Fri 29 Feb - 13:03:24

Piping Connections wrote:
Dai Robb wrote:You could maybe take up the drums then Stormy?? drum drum

Very difficult for a Musician to take a step down to become a Labourer laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing

(tut tut tut) OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Angry at least we don't pretend to play the tunes. Where's my golf tee Razz laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Dai Robb on Fri 29 Feb - 20:53:43

I could tell you where to put your golf tee Fiona? somehere dark and hidden?


Last edited by Dai Robb on Fri 29 Feb - 21:58:30; edited 1 time in total
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Robbie.Crow on Fri 29 Feb - 21:20:39

Where? Wales?
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.. Re: Losing Interest

Post by Dai Robb on Fri 29 Feb - 21:58:55

Robbie.Crow wrote:Where? Wales?

Whats that? somebody say something??
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.. Re: Losing Interest

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