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Learn to Play
Bagpipes or Scottish Drums

An important component of KUPD's charter is a commitment to provide piping and drumming lessons for future band members. If you ever wanted to play in a pipe band, here's a perfect opportunity to learn from experienced instructors in a friendly and supportive environment.

Contact Pipe Major Maria Roberts or Drum Sergeant Rick Clayburn to arrange for your initial meeting.
(Don't forget to remove the NOSPAM text included in the email addresses.)

The sooner you start the sooner we can welcome you into the circle!

How Does it Work?
Beginning pipers and drummers meet at 6:00PM to 7:00PM on Tuesday nights before the regularly scheduled full band rehearsal, which lasts from 7:00PM to 9:00PM in Lexington, Kentucky. Piping students will need to provide a practice chanter and an instruction book. Drummers will need drum sticks and a practice pad. Please do not buy any practice materials until you've met with your instructor, who will help you select materials and sources of supply. Student membership dues are $25 per year, the same as band membership dues. That's all you need to do to get started! When you reach a certain level of proficiency and familiarity with the band's music, your instructor will arrange for an audition to demonstrate your abilities to join the band.

What to Expect for Pipers
For pipers, it can take six months to a year on the practice chanter before you're ready to tackle an actual set of Great Highland Bagpipes. But don't worry, the time will fly by because you'll be immersed in a whole new musical world. First you must learn the scale and other embellishments inherent in bagpipe music. You'll also be learning to understand the similarities and diferences that distinguish pipe band music from more common Western musical forms. You'll learn breathing techniques, develop finger coordinations, and practice important rhythm and timing exercises as you progress. When you're ready for your pipes, you'll have experienced pipers available to guide you for your purchase, playing, tuning, and maintenance.

What to Expect for Drummers
A pipe band drum section consists of snare, tenor, and bass drums, which work together internally and as an ensemble with the pipers. The crisp and intricate snare drum helps to enhance the melody of the pipes, the important bass drum maintains the tempo set by the pipe major, and the tenors fill in the middle tones and often twirl their mallets while they play. While we call it a pipe band, a well-oiled drum section is a requirement not an afterthought. How quickly can you expect to be playing? It depends on your abilities, the band's needs, your experience, and how quickly you progress at learning the subtleties of pipe band drumming. Lessons are usually given on a practice pad but you'll have access to the band's drums when you're ready.

Take the first step and contact Pipe Major Maria Roberts or Drum Sergeant Rick Clayburn. (Don't forget to remove the NOSPAM text included in the email addresses.)


The roll has sounded . . .
the pipes are struck in.
Join the excitement of
Kentucky United Pipes and Drums.

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