Welcome to Pipe Band Drummer!

Welcome to PipeBandDrummer.com! My name is Zach Smith and I am based in Nova Scotia, Canada where I lead the drumming program for the Dartmouth and District Pipe Band. I grew up playing drums in a pipe band as a kid but took twenty years off to take a music degree, an education degree, teach drum kit and tour as a kit drummer throughout North America.

Upon returning to pipe bands in 2011, I realized that large gaps existed in the educational materials available to aspiring pipe band drummers. After several years of learning and planning I decided to create this website and PipeBandDrummer.com went live on January 1, 2017. Soon after I began writing regular blog posts, booking recording studio sessions with Bruce Gandy, filming videos for a YouTube channel and planning for three Ebooks (now finished) The Bare Bones: A Reading Method for Pipe Band Drummers (2017), Roll Call: Identifying and Executing Rolls in the Five Pipe Band Styles (2018), and Zero to 60: The 60 Rudiments of Pipe Band Drumming in the Five Pipe Band Styles (2020). It has been a very challenging and humbling journey so far (also very fun) and it still feels like I'm just getting started!

Full disclosure: I am not the best drummer in the world. I have made many mistakes. I've had some amazing highs and devastating lows as a leader. I've won competitions and come last place in others. Every lesson I've learned I will try my best to pass on to you! Check out the resources below and start your pipe band drumming journey today.

Thanks for visiting and happy drumming!

- Zach


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The Bare Bones

Exclusive to PipeBandDrummer.com, our reading method, The Bare Bones is a comprehensive study of pipe band rhythms presented in a logical, easy to digest series of rhythm studies complete with audio examples to help students check their work. The Bare Bones divides the rhythms of pipe band drumming into five distinct styles, each with its own theory component: Marches and Reels (swung), Round Reels, Jigs, 6/8 Marches and Strathspeys.


The Drummer's Companion

Available only from Pipe Band Drummer,  The Drummer's Companion is a collection of competition marches, strathspeys and reels performed by world champion piper Bruce Gandy.  Bruce has reached the highest levels both as a solo and a band piper and his recordings are a valuable practice tool for any aspiring competition drummer. Find your competition MSR, download and start practising within minutes!

The Ups and Downs: A Pipe Band Drumming Blog

The Ups and Downs Blog is a growing resource for snare, tenor and bass drummers of all ages and abilities. Bi-weekly blog posts provide advice, opinions and include educational resources and materials to increase your knowledge and further your understanding of our distinct drumming style. Blog post requests are encouraged. Please email me with your suggestions: zach@pipebanddrummer.com

The 60 Rudiments

If you want to discover the building blocks of pipe band drumming, visit Our Rudiments for a comprehensive list of the 60 most common pipe band drumming rudiments! Subscribe to PipeBandDrummer.com for access to practice charts and tracking tools to help you maximize your rudimental practice!