Bagpipe and Drumming Lessons

Bagpipe and Drumming Lessons

Learn the bagpipes or drums with us for free! The Dundee Scottish Pipe Band (like many pipe bands around the world) offers free bagpiping and drumming lessons to students interested in joining the band. If you are interested in bagpipe lessons or drum lessons in the Chicago area, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us!

We typically start with our beginning students at 5:45pm. Lessons end at 7:00pm, when we start full band rehearsal.

You’ll find us at the VFW – West Dundee most Tuesday evenings. We practice in the back room. We are not there the 2nd Tuesday of each month. On those weeks, we are there on Thursdays.

Come give it a try! Please contact us in advance of attending, so that we can be sure to have supplies and an instructor ready for you.

Q: How long does it take to learn to play the bagpipes?
A: It depends on your time and dedication. We start you with a “practice chanter”, so we are able to teach you the finger work basics and a few simple tunes. Progressing to the pipes, we teach you the blowing/squeezing technique. Bit by bit and with routine practice, a typical person can learn to blow some tunes on pipes in about 6 months to a year. Many people take 2 years or so. No judgement here! We just like to see progress week to week, and we hope to attract players with the drive to practice and play their best, no matter what level they are at.

Q: What would I need to get started on pipes or drums?
A: You just need a practice chanter (piper) or a practice pad and sticks (drummer). Practice chanters and pads are tools pipers and drummers will continue to learn on, ad infinitum, and either instrument is around $100. We do have practice chanters for sale at cost. Or, to shop on your own and compare options, Henderson’s is a good place to shop for pipe chanters and pipe and drum accessories. Please tell them the Dundee Scottish Pipe Band sent you!

Q: Are bagpipes expensive?
A: Price is not an indicator of sound quality, PLEASE… speak with an experienced piper before buying your set! A nice new set is around $1,200. Again, check out the selection at Henderson’s. Our band may also have a loaner set available for our beginner students.

Q: Do I need to have previous musical experience?
A: No.

Q: How much practice does it take?
A: Like any musical instrument, what you put into it is what you get from it. We suggest starting at around 20 minutes each day, and see where you go from there.