the band Happy German Bagpipers  


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In 2008 Falk and Friedhelm began to rebuild the band.

The result: in 2009 we were Germany’s youngest bagpipe band. Uwe deals with the Scottish-traditional part of our concert. Laura, Anastasia and Ian are currently learning to play the bagpipes. Laura can already play the bagpipes well enough to be able to play in public which she did successfully in December. The musical versatility of our very young band has been listed on the page “Members of the band”.

Enjoy the HAPPY GERMAN BAGPIPERS when they perform. You will be amazed at how much these young musicians have learnt in this very short time in order to be able to present the variety of music we play.
To match the vitality and pep of this young band we have also tried to jazz up our homepage. Take a look at our site and enjoy.

Our young generation–an independent band and very versatile:

We are always being asked how we manage to teach our young members so quickly:

No. 1: Talent, feeling for rhythm and lots of practise. Depending on their musical progress, members ofthe band practise the entire spectrum of our percussion instruments. Learning to play the bagpipes always starts with learning to play the percussion instruments and the tenor drum. Friedhelm is an expert in all drum techniques and is in charge of teaching.A professional drum teacher teaches our young drummers on the drums, step by step. This is the only way we are able to play the wide variety of music we do play.

No. 2: Playing by ear. At all our concerts we play without sheet music, and while we are playing we sing, dance, and march – alongside the song and dance interludes. This is why we train our musicians to “play by ear”. This is only way the membersofthe band can watch the other members and their movements. We do not teach our members to read sheet music. This also enables us to play when it is nearly dark. A well trained ear is our top priority!

No. 3: Bagpipe training. We are specialists in training young people to play the bagpipes. Time and again people ask us how we manage to teach our young players to play the bagpipes as it is such a difficult instrument to learn to play. But – if trained properly – playing the bagpipes is relatively easy to learn. What is difficult is tuning the instrument. Here is just one amazing figure: Approx. 80% of all bagpipe players are not able to tune their own bagpipes. Tobe able to tune your bagpipes you need to have perfect motor skills, perfect hearing and perfectly harmonized chanter and drones. Despite the availability of a tuning device, the ear is always the number 1 device used for tuning the bagpipes. The reeds must nearly always be worked on so that they sound good even if the pressure in the chanter is lowthus enabling very young players to play the bagpipes. Basically, you must never “fight” with your bagpipes. Changes in pressure during playing always change the pitch. A player who pumpshis bagpipes like a June bug cannot tune his pipes – and caterwauling is the result. The constant humming noise which comes from the three drones also has to be tuned. Air consumption must be controlled and adjusted to suit the pressure volume in the lungs. A badly tuned chanter and pressure fluctuations make it impossible to produce a good sound together with the drones. See also “Falk-Watertrap" –our very own very successful own development.

If they are well tuned, bagpipes will sound like an organ!!

The paradox is:
If a bagpiper always plays with badly tuned bagpipes and with pressure fluctuations, he will get used to the sound this makes. The ear regards the resulting caterwauling as “normal”. Tuning the bagpipes with a “spoilt” ear is not possible. By the way, we cannot use bagpipe players who have taught themselves or have been taught incorrectly in other bands. Perhaps the layman is not able to understand this, but that’s just the way it is.

This is why we train our own members.

Training the ears, training pressure technique together with balanced motor skills during playing, is also extremely important. This is the “secret” of our training. This way of training isthe only way to hear pleasant bagpipe music even for long periods, e.g. more than 3 hours. And it doesn’t matter whether one, two or three bagpipers are playing!

No. 4: Vocal training. We started vocal training in November 2012 with Ela, a professional singer. Not only does she sing with us, she is also responsible for training our girls. Enjoy our musical versatility throughout 2013 too!!!

Particularly good performances are rewarded with certificates:

Falk and Friedhelm in Punjab/India
October 2009

Uwe, our Piper and teacher for perfection on the bagpipes

Our young guard is always in for some fun. They always bring their own ideas into our music show. Thus, the "old masters of the band" always surprised positively.