Humble Beginnings

Welcome to The Ups and Downs, a blog for pipe band drummers!  Working on has been a passion project for me for the last several years and I have very much enjoyed the organizational challenges, creation of materials, brainstorming and chatting with other educators. exists because I feel that while mainstream drum kit players have literally hundreds of websites, magazines and teaching materials available to them, pipe band drummers do not.  This website strives to provide several things that I think are lacking in the pipe band drumming world.

First, has created The Bare Bones: a system to learn to read and correctly interpret our notation system.  Every possible rhythm in our drumming vocabulary is covered in a series of graduated, easy to digest, rhythmic studies complete with audio recordings and performance notes/explanations of the idiosyncrasies inherent in our unique drumming style.  Second, thanks to Bruce Gandy, will be home to the first library of pipe tunes recorded specifically for drummers called The Drummer's Companion.  This is most definitely a long-term project but Bruce has already been in the studio for one session and the results are tremendous!  You can download individual tracks in our store.  And, lastly, this blog: The Ups and Downs will strive to provide drummers with solutions to the common problems faced by the pipe band drummer.  Topics will range from practice techniques and warmup exercises to the complexities of personnel management and motivational techniques.

On a personal note, I have been very lucky in my life to have had some incredible educators that have greatly influenced my own teaching.  Besides the many talented drum teachers that have provided the inspiration for this site, heartfelt thanks must go to my partner Adelle Meagher who is one of the most creative and thoughtful educators I know.  Her constant encouragement and educational expertise have proved invaluable to me throughout this project.

Thanks for checking out!  If anything is unclear or if you have any ideas for the site or for me to address in this blog, please email me at or leave a comment below.  Thanks for supporting!


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