Drummer FAQ

What kind of drums are played in a bagpipe band?

The importance of drums in a pipe band?

The drum section keeps the beat for the bagpipe band, but that is not it’s only job. The bagpipe is an instrument that can only be played at one volume level. There are no mechanisms for increasing or decreasing the volume. Everything sounds the same – LOUD! The drum section provides the illusion of the band playing more quietly or more loudly. This musical effect is referred to as “Dynamics”. A good drum section will work together, playing softer or louder parts together. The tenor and bass drummers may accent (strike more loudly) a beat that will compliment the accents that the snare drummers play. The snare drummers will often play parts or “chips” throughout the music to further enhance the dynamics within the ensemble.

Will I have to pay for the lessons?

No, you need only provide a sincere desire to learn and a commitment to practice.

Will I need to purchase any supplies to take lessons?

Yes. You will need to purchase a drum pad and a pair of drumsticks. A small handheld tape/ digital recorder is advantageous, so you can record lessons for later reference or practice sessions to play back for critique. If you eventually join the band, your drums and other supplies will be purchased for you by the band.

*PLEASE! DO NOT*buy anything until you have made contact with us, and visited us at a practice. An Instructor or the Drum Sergeant will discuss what is needed and resources where you can obtain them.

What will the lessons be like?

We like to start each new student as if they are starting from scratch (if you have previous experience this will likely be a quick review). We start with the very basics: Learning to properly grip the sticks and strike the drum. New students are given exercises to work on at home to develop proper technique. At each week’s lesson the student will be given instruction in reading drum music as well as developing the drum rudiments, such as rolls and paradiddles. The lessons are progressive; as each lesson is mastered new material is added.

How long will it take to learn to play?

This will vary depending on your natural ability, previous musical experience and the amount of practice time that you dedicate. With average ability and a reasonably dedicated practice ethic you could reach minimum “street level” (parade) playing ability in about one year. It has been done quicker.

How far you progress beyond “street level” will likely depend on how determined you are and how much practice time devote to the instrument.

Once I learn to play will there be a place for me in your band?


How do I get started?

Send an email to the Drum Sergeant or just show up at one of our practices. For further information for location and times, visit our home page or email one of us.