The Ups and Downs: My Eight Year Journey as a Lead Drummer

On August 2, 2019, the Dartmouth and District Pipe Band from Nova Scotia won the North American Pipe Band Championships in grade 4. I am fortunate to be the lead drummer. We won every judging category (1,1,1,1) against some very…

Pipe Band Tempo Wars: Avoiding the Blame Game

Tempo has been an issue in every pipe band in which I've ever played. There have been tempo discussions at practice, tempo related comments after competitions and I have been yelled at and lectured at for tempo related issues. Tempo…

The 6/8 Quandary: How Drummers Can Fix a Broken Style

Chris Thile is an incredible musician. He is without doubt the most talented mandolin player on the planet. His current band, The Punch Brothers, has pushed the boundary of bluegrass to new and unique places using unorthodox chords, complex harmonies…

The Ups and Downs of Our New Reality

This past September my pipe band was buzzing with excitement as we made plans to go to Scotland for the World Championships. Adding to this excitement was the fact that three other pipe bands from the Canadian Maritime provinces would…

Practicing Subdivisions in each of the Five Pipe Band Styles

As a rock drummer, it is helpful to know a little bit about many different styles of music. Understanding, and playing different styles helps drummers to create their own style, based on what they take away from each new one…

Demystifying "Pointed" vs "Round"

There are two mysterious words used over and over by experienced pipers and drummers: pointed and round. Each of the five styles we play are either pointed or round--some are really pointed, others are more round depending on the…