Bagpiping and Scottish Drumming Legends Share Some Advice

As it’s getting close to the weekend, I thought you might appreciate a bit of pipe band inspiration.  Yes, you got it, I’m going to share a few snippets from the Our Journey hardback book – the limited edition book featuring over 40 of the Worlds greatest bagpipers, pipe band snare drummers, pipe band tenor drummers,  pipe band bass drummers and pipe band drum majors. They share some of the most amazing stories and experience’s – check out a few of the snippets below!

“Celebrate the little successes along the way. To me, it is not unlike climbing a ladder – sometimes it is just one rung at a time. I am big on selecting little goals in addition to big goals. I remember a specific one, when I was about 12 or 13. I had heard some top local players competing with three great tunes – Hen’s March, John Morrison of Assynt House and The Sheepwife. So, I went home and dug out the music from my books. It became obvious very quickly that I just couldn’t play them. The quick gracenote sections, in each of the three tunes, were too tough for me and I just made a botch of it. So, I photocopied the three tunes and put them on my wall with pins. Nearly every day I would take a crack at them, but I just couldn’t do it. Well, about a year later, I found the three sheets under my bed, between some school books. So, I took out the chanter and, guess what … I could play them! I remember that being a real moment of mini-celebration for me.”  – Jack Lee, Pipe Sergeant of Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.

“I think the reward has to be in the journey, and the goals have to be internal, because you only have so much control over the external goals, like prizes. That is perhaps hypocritical for me to say that, because that’s not how I lived my younger piping life. I’ve learned this in retrospect. I was too focused on the goals, and as a result didn’t enjoy the journey quite so much. I had some personal strife as a result, and felt it necessary to give up chasing many of the goals. In some ways I was lucky to survive, but once I overcome those trials, my love for the instrument and its history grew, and it’s still growing. Today, I do what I love, and new goals and accomplishments arise from these activities in ways I never would have imagined 30 years ago. Aside from that, I would reiterate a lesson I’ve tried to impart many times before: the most successful pipers I’ve known, are the ones who have worked the hardest. I can’t tell you how many of the most talented kids I knew in their mid-teens, went by the wayside before they were 21. Many kids I thought would win Gold Medals, are long gone from the scene now.”  – Jim McGillivray, Gold Medallist Bagpiper, Owner of

“For people who experience self doubt, I have a few words of advice. ‘If you think you can’t, then you probably won’t.’ Where I learned this sense of self belief, was during my time as a corps drummer in the Pipes and Drums of the RUC. The band had a great positive attitude where they believed they could be successful, both at home and at the majors in Scotland, before anyone else did. That is a mindset I have carried to this day and try to instil in my corps.” – Leading Drummer of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, Keith Orr – Current World Champion Leading Drummer.


If you would like to secure a copy of this special limited edition book please be sure to order in plenty of time before Christmas. WWW.PIPEBANDJOURNEY.COM


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