Monday, November 22, 2010
Another great season of piping has come and gone and the winter season is upon us. For many pipers, the summer was full of long hours hard practicing and many weekends full of performances, parades, travel, and competitions.
Although very rewarding, it's easy to get burned out after such a taxing schedule. It is natural to let up on the playing for a bit after such a long season. Remember, however, that the offseason is the most important time of the year for a piper who wishes to progress. Use this time to reflect on your progression as a player and to set goals for the upcoming year. Don't let your pipe box collect dust. If you don't play your pipes regularly you will risk taking a step back. Instead, carry the momentum you have achieved forward into the new year.
Here are a couple suggestions for the off season:
Play your pipes as often as possible. The practice chanter has its place, but I don't recall the last time I performed with one. You worked hard over the summer to feel comfortable playing for long periods of time, that hard work can be lost in as little as two weeks without playing. Keep it up!
Go back to basics. Have any bits of technique been getting you down? Now is a great time to pull out "Rhythmic Fingerwork" and hammer out these bits so they don't get in the way of your music.
These investments now will pay great dividends next spring and summer. Keep up the good work!