This week I'd like to discuss the subject of #hashtags. Hashtags are commonly used on Twitter to categorize posts so that others can follow those hashtags and comment, share and otherwise interact. They are incredibly useful! I use them all the time when browsing Twitter for news, drumming videos to watch and educational ideas.
When it comes to pipe band drumming, however, I have found I'm out of luck! There is no unified hashtag for pipe band drumming. Here are some of the pipe band drumming hashtags I've encountered on Twitter complete with opinionated commentary. #blunt #wecandobetter #hashitout
#drumming: This is simply too vague. Drumming is a big world. There are tons of kit players, hand drummers, jazz drummers, corps drummers and drum companies out there. Entering #drumming into Twitter yields virtually no pipe band drumming related content. It's a great hashtag to use if you're a kit player. If you're a pipe band drummer... not so much.
#pipeband: We're getting a little more specific here but if I'm searching for pipe band drumming related content I'm going to have to wade through a ton of other stuff including photos of trips, band awards and (gulp) TONS of bagpipe related content--reed makers, contest results, online courses and the list goes on and on and ON!!!
#drumlife: Again, too vague. Anybody who owns a drum and has a life (or not because they're always on Twitter) uses this hashtag.
#tenor: Lots of singers here. Lots and lots of singers. The Irish Tenors, The Canadian Tenors, The Three Tenors, The Ten Tenors. Lots and lots of singing. Absolutely nothing about tenor drumming.
#midsection: Just for the heck of it I entered #midsection into Twitter and quickly discovered I should lose some weight. No sign of anything at all about tenor drumming
#basssection: Orchestral double bass players have hijacked this hashtag!! If you want to know more about double bass this is the hashtag for you.
#pipebandlife: This is actually a very common hashtag. There are many aspects of pipe band life--and they are all weird. We play super loud instruments dressed in extremely warm ceremonial type clothing that's exceptionally difficult to iron. We stand around in fields waiting all day to play for five minutes. It costs a lot of money. We drive long distances to play in parades only to complain about aches and pains afterwards. We learn very complex music that only a handful of people know how to play properly. We put a lot a sweat equity into improving only to have a judge tell us we're borderline incompetent. There's many aspects of pipe band life. Pipe band drumming is only one of those aspects. This hashtag will yield a few results but you'll still have to do a lot of sifting.
#scottishdrumming: I think of pipe band drumming like I think of hockey. Hockey was invented in Canada (although, in true Canadian style we're still fighting over exactly which town had the first game). There have been many great Canadian hockey players over the years: Rocket Richard, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and now Sydney Crosby. They were all pioneers in their own right and helped grow the game into what it is now: a truly global game. Now there are competitive teams from all over the world. Hockey is no longer just Canada's sport. Similarly, pipe band drumming started in Scotland. However, it is now a global phenomenon and top level bands from many countries not only compete but also push the boundaries of the art form. It's time to drop the "Scottish" from pipe band drumming.
#pipedrumming: Entering this hashtag provides only a small return of results. To me, pipe drumming sounds like someone who bought some PVC pipes and started drumming on them. #bluemangroup
So now what do we do? Well, I think it's time that pipe band drummers decided on a hashtag that will unite us all... and here it is:
Simple, concise, self-explanatory. It even looks good. Not too short, not too long and it describes EXACTLY what we're searching for!!
So, if you post a video of yourself playing through a drum score... #pipebanddrumming
If you're recruiting drummers for the new season... #pipebanddrumming
If you've got a drumming event to promote... #pipebanddrumming
If you post a video of your favourite corps at the Worlds... #pipebanddrumming
We'll all be able to see each others' content. This will make us happy. It will bring us together!!
No more fruitless searching for pipe band drumming content. Let's all get on the #pipebanddrumming hashtag train and create a nice little community on Twitter for ourselves. If you find this post on Twitter I promise you'll find the hashtag. This could even work for Facebook and Instagram too. Let's make it happen!