Cambridge and Districts Pipe Band
Learning pages.

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Cambridge - Town Events Calendar.

The Cambridge and Districts Pipe Band can teach you how to play the bagpipes and / or the drums associated with pipe bands.

What do you need to start?

Neither bagpipes or a drum is needed. The band provides the drums and can provide bagpipes on short term loan. However for learning the bagpipes it will be a while before any bagpipes are needed. If it's a piper you want to be then you will need the following at the outset. 1. A practice chanter and 2. A bagpipe tutor book. If you're intending to be a drummer then a pair of pipe-band snare drum sticks will be needed (or maybe at some stage a pair of tenor or bass drum batters) along with a tutor book.

First the books you need for learning:

The 4-IN-1 Bagpipe Tutor Book.

The band provides these for free courtesy of Mitchell's Bagpipe Centre , by copying some files onto a memory stick. You print off pages as necessary.
The piping tutor book is authored by the current Pipe-Major, Bryan Mitchell. It is available to learners outside the band as well, but with a cost. Other books such as The College of Piping Tutor series, The Shepherd Way, and others are also available through Mitchell's Bagpipe Centre.

The S. Rogerson Drumming Tutor Notes.

These drumming instruction notes were authored by Stuart Rogerson and we combine these with notes from the RNZPBA drumming instruction available in pdf format - all can be copied onto your memory stick.

Now the instruments:

A piper must have a practice chanter. It is used to learn all the basics, exercises and tunes, for the rest of your piping career. This instrument is a means to an end, being much quieter than the actual bagpipes, it requires much less air - but more air than a whistle or a recorder, however it is not an instrument that you'd play in public or with other instruments. You know now that a piper is the only musician that learns on one unique instrument to enable the playing of another fairly impressive instrument! The band has some sets of loan bagpipes available to learners for a nominal hire fee, while they save for their own set of bagpipes. Both practice chanters and bagpipes are available from Mitchell's Bagpipe Centre

The drummer has
three options.
A snare drummer must have a pair of proper pipe-band snare drumming sticks. These are different to drum kit snare drum sticks. Also necessary is a drumming pad. The pad replicates the bounce of a snare drum head, but is much quieter.
A Tenor drummer uses a different type of soft ended drum batters, and a Bass drummer uses a larger type similar to the Tenor drummer.

drums - when sufficient expertise is shown the band provides a band Snare, Tenor or Bass drum for parades and playouts. The drummer uses their pesonal snare drum sticks or drum batters.

A range of Practice Chanters shown beside a full size chanter.

A set of Bagpipes

The range of Drums - L to R: Snare, Tenor, Bass, Snare.

A photograph of the band in full uniform
(No.2) (19/11/2000)

(This shows the different size of drums)

The Drummers in Victoria Park The Pipers in Victoria Park The band marching down Victoria Street

If you're interested in learning to play the bagpipes
or the drums, the band would like to help you.

Bryan Mitchell, Pipe-Major
(contact through Mitchell Kilt Hire / Mitchell's Bagpipe Centre E-mail to
Address: 2371 Cambridge Road, RD1, Te Awamutu. Ph (07) 870 5242
Jim Kerr, President, 15 Vogel St., Cambridge. Ph (07) 827 7259

Copyright 1999
Mitchell Kilt Hire
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