One of My Motivators

December 11, 2008 on 9:39 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Solo Piping, Tips | 3 Comments

November through to January have traditionally been my fallow practice months.  In part,  because I’ve been fed up with piping and needed time away and, part because I know time away from practice is a very good and healthy thing, especially when that practice is regular and intense.  I’ve always felt better about piping after a good break.  That’s got to be a good sign of a good “training” regimen.   I recommend planned time away from piping – or drumming – or any crazy intense pursuit.

When its time to get back to the bags and the piping way of things I’ve always found piping music books a great motivator.  Flipping through pages and playing each tune, revisiting old phrases and melodic turns somehow kick-starts my interest.  Through this MBFA (music book flipping activity) motivation technique I’ve not only reignited interest but have often learned many gems once over-looked in haste, or through the fingers of a less-experienced – or different – version of myself.  I like music books for their neat and tidy snapshot of a composer’s way of thinking, his taste, his way of seeing his musical world all in one slim volume.  

There’s a vibe to a good music book and usually a strong thread of brand excellence.  Consider a simple book/word association: 

  • John Wilson Book 1 & 4-parted jigs
  • Donald MacLeod Book 1 & competition strathspeys
  • G S McLennan’s Book & big technique
  • John MacFadyen Book 2 & 4-parted hornpipes 

Anyway, need some motivation, a kick-start, fresh eyes on your piping?  Grab your chanter and a music book and go crazy.




  1. That’s funny Mike.
    If you use my bathroom, all of J W’s books as well as D M’s are in a basket within easy reach. Heck, I think your book 5 is in there too. And yes, there is a spare practice chanter on the shelf! Annie gets angry if I am in there too long.
    A break is a good thing, but not for too long!

    Comment by Sean Mc — December 11, 2008 #

  2. My collection of tune books is limited to the big collections, but they are no less inspiring. The books I have are full of great tunes, and flipping through them I’m reminded of tunes I loved learned and forgot, tunes I’ve heard and must learn, and tunes I’ve never heard and must learn. It definitely gets my piping excitement going again.

    And yes, I also keep a practice chanter in the bathroom.

    Comment by keydetpiper — December 12, 2008 #

  3. Chanters in the bathroom! 😮

    Reminds me of an English Beat song …


    Comment by mike — December 13, 2008 #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Dunaber is using WordPress customized and designed by Yoann Le Goff from A Eneb Productions. feeds rss Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS.