BAGPIPERS: END THE STRUGGLE!
March 3rd to 30th, 2023:
Make Your Bagpipes Easy at Dojo U
Join by February 28 to get 3 months of Dojo U Premium Membership
for just $45 (2 months FREE – save $90)
Hi, I'm Andrew Douglas.
I'm the co-founder of Dojo University, and I'm also a 2x World Champion, multi-prize winner at the Silver Medals in Oban and Inverness, and certified bagpiping examiner with the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Join us this March as we build great instrument fundamentals from the ground up, and reconnect with why you wanted to be a piper in the first place – to truly express yourself!
What's the deal with this "Makeover Month"?
Frustrated, dizzy or out of breath every time you pick up your pipes? Far too many pipers struggle in "bagpipe hell" with an instrument that's way too hard to play...
It doesn't have to be this way. Piping should be an easy and enjoyable pursuit every time you play!
We want every piper to not just feel comfortable piping, but to also know how and why, so you can repeat the process and guarantee an easy instrument every time in future, too.
So in March 2023, we're on a mission to make your bagpipes easy.
We're taking over our entire online bagpiping school from March 3rd to 30th, to focus on "making over" your bagpipes. Here's what we'll be covering each week...
Gut Your PIPES and Prepare For Space
To kick off, we're going to rip off all existing hemp and re-do it ourselves. We're also going to untie our drone cords and tie them on again. No more waiting around for your pipe major to help you with your pipes – you should always be confident to make any necessary change to your own pipes.
Then, we'll learn how and when to ask the single most important bagpipe maintenance question of all: "Would I wear my bagpipe to outer space?" And we'll show you a 4-point system to perfect your bagpipe posture.
Opening Your Drones
With one drone going, we'll explore blowing/squeezing coordination, blowing cadence, maintaining posture, lip seal, starts, stops, and more. Then, we'll open up our bass drone. With the second drone going, we'll reinforce much of what we learned in the previous sprint, and also work on basic drone tuning.
It's light-years easier to work on basic tuning at this stage than it is to learn it later on in the process.
After working on tuning during this week, you'll almost be a master at it before you've played a single tune!
Marching, Striking In, Cutting Off, and Integrating the Chanter
During this week we'll be working on marching, strike-ins, and cut-offs, which sounds straightforward... but is often far more difficult to do well than most pipers realise.
Then, we will integrate the chanter into the mix, with no drones going. We'll cover a simple test to work out if your reed is the right strength, and figure out the best ways to then apply that to your pipes.
Putting It All Together – the Chanter With Your Drones
During the final week, we'll learn to tune our drone(s) to our chanter (easier said than done – though once you learn how it's done, you won't have to worry about getting your tuning spot on ever again!).
We'll learn about dreaded "mental blowing anomalies" and how to combat them. And finally, we'll put everything we've covered so far together, so we can enjoy playing some great music.
LIVE WORKSHOPS WITH PIPING LEGENDS
We're looking forward to welcoming some of the world's best pipers back to the Dojo this March for some expert, world-class instruction in our guest instructor workshops.
13-time world champion Pipe Major of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, awarded an MBE and two honorary doctorates for services to piping and drumming
6-time world champion Pipe Sergeant of Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, winner of Highland Society of London Gold Medals, the Clasp at the Northern Meeting, the Canadian Gold Medal, and the first North American piper to win the Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championship
"Make your bagpipes easy" workbook
Designed to guide you through our "Makeover Takeover" month, this workbook is the ideal add-on to accompany your progress!
JUST $35 – ORDER ASAP FOR DELIVERY IN TIME FOR THE START OF OUR BAGPIPE MAKEOVER!
Meet the Dojo University Teaching Team
Our Dojo University team are led by world-champion bagpipers who have been master instructors for decades, working with bands and soloists all over the world, from complete beginners all the way up to professional pipers and Grade 1 bands.
Our teaching faculty are all leaders in their own bands and extremely experienced instructors, performers, and band leader, with decades of experience to guide you to Bagpipe Freedom.
As a Dojo U student, you'll be getting the best advice in the world, from people who don't just talk the talk; we've walked (and won!) just about every walk there is at every level in the bagpiping world.
We run between 3 and 6 live online classes every weekday, and a few classes every weekend as well. During the March Makeover month, we'll be running at least two dedicated daily classes to help you work on the weekly topics and end your bagpipe struggles!
BOOK PRIVATE LESSONS
Dojo U Members can now book private lessons with members of our teaching for dedicated 1:1 instruction.
Join today to receive a special introductory four-pack lesson offer, to supercharge your makeover experience!
"Playing the pipes was supposed to be my little slice of heaven each day. Instead, I get a big slice of hell with a side of dizziness."
Dear Struggling Bagpiper,
The above quote was part of an actual response I received when I asked my email list how I could help them succeed.
Believe me, when I sent the email, I wasn't expecting to run into an emotional brick wall with the responses. I was... ya know... just trying to do my due diligence as a business owner.
Why did I get emotional? Surely, I've seen this sort of thing before.
As it turns out, there were two reasons.
Reason 1: It's not supposed to be this way, for anybody! Nobody decides to learn the bagpipes in hopes for a struggle.
The pipers who succeed (not just in playing well, but also in enjoying the experience)... they're not struggling. They're not tense. Somehow they've cracked the code to make their bagpipes easy to play. If you're reading this now, you deserve that too.
Reason 2: Countless, I mean countless people had already responded with the Exact. Same. Painful. Experience.
How could there be so many folks out there struggling? And not just struggling – hating it! Hating the experience of simply picking their pipes up.
I want to share some actual quotations from email responses I received. Do any of these resonate with you?
"...I want my bagpipes to be my friend, not my enemy."
"I feel like I'll never be more than a mediocre piper because I can't control this octopus..."
"If I don't get answers, I'm eventually going to have to quit."
"I play much better on the practice chanter than I do on the pipes."
"When I try to play my bagpipes I am firing all over the place in a disorganized way."
"I am so tense (when playing the pipes) that my thumbs get very sore, from gripping so much."
"I have been playing my bagpipes for 20 years and they're still not easy or comfortable."
"No matter what I do, I never have enough breath to keep the pipes going for more than 30 seconds."
“If I was confident in tuning, I could pick up my pipes, play a couple of tunes, get them close and get stuck into a session. That would make me want to play them, to jam my way through tunes, old favorites, or focus on some new material. I spend so much effort on trying (and failing) to get them sounding reasonable that I hate playing, so I just do the bare minimum, then back in the box. I've lost my mojo :-(“
And these were just the well worded examples! As the proprietor of an online school for bagpipers, I was shocked and a bit freaked out that we had failed so miserably, so many times, to help people develop a bagpipe that was comfortable to play.
When I pick up my pipes, I never have any doubt that they'll be comfortable.
I never lack any confidence that I can get them sounding truly enjoyable in a few minutes' time.
As I play, I'm generally fully relaxed, and able to focus on the music.
And, if I experience any discomfort or tension being brought on by my pipes, I have a quick, easy, no-brainer way to correct whatever the issue is. That way, I can get back to my session (i.e. having great fun and enjoying music-making) as soon as possible.
Now, I'm not saying this to brag. I'm saying this because it's finally time for you to enjoy the exact same experience when piping.
At Dojo University (our online, worldwide bagpipe school) we're so dedicated to helping you achieve this feeling, we're taking over our entire online bagpipe school for the month of March 2023, with a program that promises to teach you bagpipe comfort and confidence in 30 days, or your money back!
This program guarantees:
When you pick up your pipes, there will never be any doubt that they'll be comfortable.
You'll no longer have any lack of confidence that you can get them sounding truly enjoyable in a few minutes' time.
As you play, you'll be fully relaxed, and able to focus on the music.
And, if you experience any discomfort or tension being brought on by your pipes, you'll have a quick, easy, no-brainer way to correct whatever the issue is. That way, you can get back to your session (i.e. having great fun and enjoying music-making) as soon as possible.
If you follow our program for 30 days, we promise bagpipe hell will be in the rear-view mirror.
At the end of the month, you will be a drastically more confident, comfortable piper. Period.
Will you still have days where the pipes aren't cooperating? Yes. But you’ll know exactly how to attack issues that crop up, so you can get back to playing music.
To tie this all in with our theme – piping can finally become that little slice of heaven to look forward to each day. That's the way it should be.
And for a strictly limited time, you can get 3 months of Dojo U Premium membership for just $45 (2 months FREE, save $90!) giving you access to our March Bagpipe Makeover Takeover plus everything else Dojo U has to offer.
Dojo University is the longest-running and most successful online bagpiping school in the world.
We teach thousands of students around the world how to play good music – mastering the art of learning and playing the bagpipes in the process – in a highly accessible way that is completely unlike anything else you'll find online or in person, anywhere in the world.
We created Dojo U because we noticed that too many pipers were struggling out there in the world. Bagpiping should be a joyful experience, each and every day you pick up the pipes. If it's not, we strive to fix that before it's too late.
And whether you're a complete beginner, a parade player, an experienced piper, a pipe major, or a pro-level competitor... you can free yourself from musical frustration at Dojo U.
At Dojo U, we do things a little differently to how you may have approached learning to play the bagpipes before.
One of the key reasons for our ongoing success is that we're always evolving, improving, and growing, so if you've been a student and left us for any reason – you'll probably notice that the Dojo looks a bit different to what you might remember (and has a lot more value to explore).
We'd love to welcome you back and show you around!
How Does Dojo U Work?
Many students start with us wanting to 'choose their own adventure', hoping to find quick solutions to specific topics – like 'fixing' their embellishments, blowing, tuning, and instrument maintenance.
And you definitely can find courses, resources, articles, and classes that cover all of those things (and so much more) in our in-depth, self-paced course catalogue...
However, most students eventually realize that the fastest path to mastery (and the best value in being a Dojo U member) is to follow our main teaching stream, which our live classes and supporting resources complement.
Here's a quick preview of what you'll enjoy access to as a Dojo U Premium Member:
What People Are Saying About Dojo University
“I feel a genuine sense of belonging...”
"Through Dojo U I’m finally getting much of the formalized and theoretical training I never obtained through private instruction in the past. On top of this, I’m regularly able to have my playing constructively critiqued to continue to focus my improvement areas and moving forward.
Dojo U has been very accommodating with their instruction from all sources and I feel a genuine sense of belonging with so many that participate in the various programs. Thanks Dojo U!"
British Columbia, Canada
“The Dojo has given me an extremely affordable outlet where I can learn on my time from some of the top pipers in the world..."
“In today’s technological age, Dojo University has created an educational institution where pipers of all levels can obtain much needed instruction. Offering not only live weekly classes that suit anyone’s schedule, they also have a full back catalog of old lessons covering all aspects of piping.
Living in Memphis, I am devoid of higher instruction, so the Dojo has given me an extremely affordable outlet where I can learn on my time from some of the top pipers in the world!"
“The success of improvement builds on my desire and I look forward to the time of day I get on my pipes!"
“I've been piping for 30 plus years and struggling along the way. The Dojo U method works! My family and pets have seen and heard the improvement in my piping!.That has been the best kind of feedback for me. The success of improvement builds on my desire and I look forward to the time of day I get on my pipes! Thank You Dojo!"
Washington State, USA
Sign Up for Dojo University Premium Membership Today
A Dojo University Premium Membership is $45 per month, and benefits all ages and stages.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
"Don't Believe" in Online Bagpipe Lessons?
Believe me, you're not the first person to have doubts about the effectiveness of online bagpipe lessons.
Our school is indeed a big shift from the typical "master-->apprentice" approach to teaching bagpipes.
It is indeed harder to teach certain skills over the internet (as we can't do much that's truly "hands on.")
It's true, some of the "in person magic" that you can get from a truly great solo lesson or group session might not seem to be as magical in an online setting.
The Thought Experiment
All of these difficult challenges indeed crossed my mind one beautiful day in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was the year 2011 and my wife and I were on our honeymoon. We were sipping frozen cocktails, and daydreaming. My wife was presumably daydreaming about normal things... but not me. I was, of course, daydreaming about bagpipe stuff.
The daydream went like this:
- "I really used to love bagpipe camp as a kid.
- As an adult, I love teaching at bagpipe camps, because no one has more fun (and gets better faster) than at a bagpipe camp.
- It's too bad bagpipe camps are so expensive, require so much travel, time away from work and family, etc. It's really too bad...
- You know, if you could do a bagpipe camp using the internet, the price and challenges of going to piping school would be greatly diminished, and the school could serve far more people.
- But that will never work. (and here I proceeded to list all the reasons an online bagpipe school would never work. It included many of the "objections" we discussed above)
- Ok, ok, but what if somehow we could make it work. What would be gained?"
And so, I proceeded to think about all of the incredible benefits that could be had at a fictional, mystical "online bagpipe school."
- Instead of a great bagpiping experience for one week per year, we could up it to 52 weeks per year!
- The price of this service could be much less than "real" bagpipe camp. Much, much, much less.
- Wherever you were in the world, you could experience incredible bagpipe sessions from the world's best pipers.
- No commute, no gas money, (and in 2020 and beyond - no health risks!)
- We could teach students with a longer-term strategy (not confined to just one week).
- We could teach students the art of integrating bagpiping into their daily lives; not that bagpiping is just something fun you might get to dive deep into one week per year at a far off place.
- We could develop an incredible community of pipers that grew together over time.
- And the list of "good" things went on, and on, and on.
So, just over a decade ago, it became clear that I couldn't afford not to try to build the world's first "online bagpipe school." And so that's what I did (with the help of my extremely talented team, and amazing world-class instructors).
All of the challenging bits above are still challenging. It would be amazing if I could some how magically reach through my computer screen and help a student whip their pipes into tune.
But the reality is, these challenges have made student and teacher better as a result. And meanwhile, the positive benefits (many of which I predicted back in 2011) keep proving greater, and greater, and greater.
Advantages vs Disadvantages of Online Bagpipe Learning
Dojo University is a fantastic product for bagpipers with and without access to in person instruction:
Bagpipers without access to in-person instruction can utilize Dojo U to (quite literally) ascend from the very first day picking up a practice chanter to becoming an advanced bagpiper. Many have already done it!
Bagpipers with access to in person instruction can and should supplement their in-person lessons with the Dojo. The Dojo can help you develop a more rounded skillset than private lessons typically offer, and can provide you with the support an community any bagpiper needs to be successful.
The Pros List
Here's all the reasons Dojo U works so well
The Cons List
Here are the downsides of Dojo U
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Andrew's "Double Your Money" Guarantee
You are "double protected" by Andrew's Satisfaction-Guarantee. Simply keep a short-form practice journal to show that you've diligently attempted to follow our program, and we'll double your money back for up to 6 months of your membership if you're not satisfied with the results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to quit my private lessons to do the Dojo?
Just kidding, of course!
At the Dojo, we have plenty of students who supplement their private lessons with our classes and courses.
In fact, their tutors often remark on how rapidly it improves their knowledge and ability – due to our common sense, objective approach, we're a wonderful way to 'fill the gaps' that solo lessons can't provide, in your own time and at your own pace, with a whole community of pipers around the world cheering you on.
Do you offer classes in my time zone?
Short answer: yes.
Longer answer: We have worked hard over the years to expand our live class times to accommodate North American, European, and "Down Under" Time Zones.
It's a work in progress still, but you should find some live classes that fit your schedule regardless of where you live in the world.
We're always expanding and refining the classes we offer, and welcome feedback. We also try to accommodate as many of our students as we can – so if you have some bandmates you want to invite to join who are in your timezone, it'll help make the case for us to put on more classes for you!
Dojo U is clearly just for beginners. Is there anything for me, the more advanced player?
Dojo U is a methodology that can greatly benefit any player, regardless of their current "level."
With a growth-mindset, advanced players can find the breakthrough they've been looking for at the Dojo.
It happens all the time, to students who have been graded by associations in many grades (including those 'advanced' ones!).
As long as you're ready to embrace a "beginners mindset", to roll up your sleeves and walk the walk with us, and to get down to work with us and with our program, we guarantee you'll see marked improvement in your piping.
Dojo is just for solo players right?
This is the assumption about the Dojo that gets under our skin the most!
The Dojo is most certainly NOT just for soloists.
It's for anyone who wants to master bagpipe technique in order to achieve true musical control and expression.
Band players of the world: Is it not your intention to develop great technique in order to help manifest the musical vision of your pipe band?
If that is indeed your intention (and I hope it is!), the Dojo is an ideal place for you.
Whew! Ok, we're done with our rant now.
Is the Dojo for beginners?
Our "Bagpipe as an Extension of your Self" Tutor course, combined with our constantly varied (and infinitely scalable) weekly program of classes and tunes, makes the Dojo the very best place in the world for a beginner to get started.
And, if you read my guarantee above, if a beginner diligently follows our program for 6 months and doesn't see great results, I'll double their money back.
What do you have to lose?
What computer gear do I need for Dojo University?
This is a great question. To get started, you really only need two things:
- Any computer/device that can play videos and operate a "Zoom" conferencing platform.
- An internet connection that supports at least 5mbps download speed and 1mbps upload speed. Test your speed here.
Dojo University Is Different
Yes, you can find bagpipe instruction elsewhere on the internet and in person, but Dojo University is unique because it's built and taught by real-world bagpipers who have actually built these resources based on real-world experience (read: successes).
In other words, we aren't people who couldn't do so we made a course instead. We've been in the trenches teaching AND performing - we detest untested theory and believe that the best way to learn something is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands a little dirty. If that sounds appealing, then welcome! In Dojo U you've found your bagpipe home.