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. "My father was my inspiration to take up piping, he was in a band when I was a kid and I actually took a few lessons at that time." In his spare time, Dan enjoys Photoshopping people into places they'd never expect!

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