Are top pipers like athletes?

Most pipers would likely nod in agreement that by the end of a long rehearsal, a 6 minute Medley or MSR will leave you winded if you’re not in good shape, especially if you have not been playing your pipes regularly!

This begs the question, does it help to be athletic to be a good piper? I’d say yes and if you have followed Andrew Douglas for any length of time you know he was into CrossFit or P90X or something like that and probably still is. I also once heard Andrew say something like if you need to play a 7 minute medley then you should be practicing for maybe 9 or 10 minutes at a time. And then there’s parades, right?

Anyway, this is one of my favorite SFU videos, watch the pipers closely beginning at :40, and notice the ease with which they are playing this somewhat difficult instrument. You can’t do that if you’ve spent your life eating too much shortbread! I’m not discriminating against drummers, those things are not light and they’re awkward to carry.

What are your thoughts?

Author: Dan

Dan has been with the Highlanders since 2013 and was a student under fellow Highlander Joe Schreiber. Dan's inspiration to take up piping was his father who was a member of the Billy Mitchell Scottish Pipe Band in Milwaukee when Dan was a kid. Dan took a few lessons back then but it didn't stick. Professionally, Dan works in IT and also enjoys helping Senior Citizens be a little less anxious with technology. In his spare time, Dan enjoys real beer without all the trendy flavors and too much hops, and is a bit of an Audiophile. Dan has also been known to use his Photoshop skills to put friends into some places they'd never expect!

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