The 30-Day Bagpipe Challenge

Matt Cutts works at Google. He also has a blog where he is currently documenting his many months of attempts to regularly try something new for 30 days. The idea is a not new. It has been applied to everything from weight loss to photography. Even bagpipers have gotten into the act. Some time ago, I posted a piece on the challenges of building composition skills for the bagpipe that included a 30-day challenge of its own. Jori Chisholm over at his Bagpipe Lessons blog has also issued his second annual 30-day practice challenge. These are all very nice, but let’s take a cue from Matt Cutts and kick it up a notch or two. The art of playing bagpipes is detailed and the year long enough to accommodate many “30-day challenges.”

Speaking in strictly Highland bagpipe terms, let’s issue the challenge right now. Let your imagination wander. What would be a cool (and productive) way to spend the next 30 days with your bagpipe?

How about you spend the next 30 days playing nothing but jigs. That’s right, every day. Your whole practice session. Just jigs.

Here’s another: Spend 30 days playing nothing but new tunes. That is a new tune every day for 30 days. One day, one tune.

For those who are easy with their cash, how about 30 days playing a different set of drone reeds each day?

How about performing in front of an audience of some sort every day for 30 days?

Some of these impossible, you say? That is why it is called a “challenge.”

It is worth doing and the rewards are there for the taking. As you can imagine, the possibilities are endless. Yes, band practice might need to slip in there and break your streak, or some other thing might force you to interrupt your momentum, but the beauty of such a set up is that it can truly take whatever shape you want. Bagpipes would become a whole lot more interesting methinks. Some of the bigger benefits might be the as yet unrealized things you might learn about yourself, your instrument, or the music. Are you up for the challenge? What other ideas for a “30-day bagpipe challenge” are there?

  • P Ferguson294

    George Macintyre the great composer from Campbeltown was ahead of the game on that on he wrote a new tune every day for a month years ago so its nothing new.

    • Angus McIntyre

      This might not ever get read but George was my uncle, and i am trying my hardest to find any lyrics to the tunes he composed, one in particular The Hills of Argyll, also it is McIntyre, no worries. I have heard he was a famous piper for the duke in Agryll… lived at the castle. Any help on this would be great, thank you

      • pipervin

        Hello Angus, Sorry, but I don’t have any leads for you. You might want to start with contacting the holder of the Campbell archives. They would certainly have a record of George’s service. Start here: Good luck.

      • Michelle Baker Lindberg

        Angus, he also went by G.M. McIntyre. He is my maternal grandfather. He lived in Campbeltown Scotland. He was the piper for Minard Castle. There is a Minard Castle book of pipe tunes of his composed work available for purchase if you search. Would love to get in touch Michelle4boys @ yahoo. Com

      • Michelle Baker Lindberg

        If you would like to hear one of the songs he composed you can find it on YouTube. It’s called Lucy Cassidy. Here is a link with Rapalje playing

    • Angus McIntyre

      Hello from tropical Alberta Canada, my father was Donald M. McIntyre Georges brother, I know that he had 13 siblings, ive never been to scotland yet but certainly on my bucket list, Angus McIntyre another uncle lives there somewhere, may not be campbeltown, ive met him 25 yrs ago, really not much word from that side of the world with family, Another brother Archie, the crazy one HAHA, he has passed as well my father some 25 yrs ago now… I really appreciate the response back, I would gether that we are family??? some way? thats awesome.

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