The Bagpipe as an Extension of your Self (15): Keep your repertoire as wide as reasonably possible
One of the biggest mistakes learning pipers make is to limit their repertoire to only a small number of tunes.
For instance, upcoming soloists often focus only on their solo tunes, which they pick at the beginning of each season. Some band players only play band tunes, until they are “perfect.”
The truth is, no tune will ever be perfect – that’s the name of the game; how close can you come? Thinking about only one tune for too long will likely ingrain bad habits, and if not, you’ll ingrain your current musical perspective into that one tune. For example, you could very easily become a Grade 1 piper with a Grade 4 interpretation of a tune – if you never give that tune a break, that is.
Try for fresh solo tunes every year. Bands – keep your repertoire on a steady rotation – don’t let your tunes stagnate.
When the beginning of the season comes, explore as many new tunes as possible – don’t pick your set solo or band tunes until you’ve tried a whole bunch.
By keeping as big a repertoire as reasonably possible, you’ll not just learn music and fundamentals, you’ll learn about music and fundamentals. You’ll be a better player for it.
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