Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson

bringing quality 'piping instruction to you for free
Select course
Site entry page
How to practiseHighland Bagpipe library
(+videos and hints)
Lindsay Davidson's tune library
(scores only)
Smallpipe libraryMedieval pipes librarySite map
About this project.....  

‘Teach Yourself Bagpipes’ was set up in 2003 by Pipe Major Lindsay Davidson BMus(Hons), Dip.Mus.Ed., PGCE, MA(Ed), PhD - an experienced pipe major and former director of a school of piping and drumming in Scotland. The Davidson School of Piping had affiliates in USA and Australia prior to Lindsay closing down to go and live in Poland, where his wife, Irena, is from. Despite the name, the Davidson School of Piping was not Lindsay’s own idea – it was thought of by Richard Kean and Andrew Sutherland in Edinburgh, from the Stockbridge and Barnton Pipe Bands respectively. The idea was to create the Edinburgh School of Piping, but in the final days running up to the foundation of the school, Andrew discovered that someone else had beaten the team to it and set up such a school. Such is life….

At its maximum The Davidson School of Piping had over 200 students and 6 teachers – two full time and the rest part-time.  However, times move on and the team eventually found itself scattered around the world, mostly doing the same thing. When Lindsay decided it was time for him to move on and try the next adventure in life, it was decided to close down the operations and leave a number of pipe bands in its place. This was successfully accomplished in just over a year of change.

If all you want to do is learn to play the bagpipes, or improve your piping, this is for you.

This site is a genuine free service. There are ads and books and CDs by Lindsay for sale, if you are interested and wish to support this work. It has been created in the spirit in which Lindsay himself received lessons – free of charge and for the love and progress of 'piping. It is truly hoped that many more people will learn to play bagpipes and come into piping as a result and go to bands, teachers, workshops, gatherings and so on, and of course buy instruments and books and CDs from all the makers and interested people out there.

 It is hoped that 'piping will grow as a result. Everyone should be able to access quality information and support, free. Franz Liszt refused to charge for lessons...

Please, feel welcome to look at the other online tuition services – this is NOT competition, but an introduction to 'piping. For those looking for tips and advice, please browse and compare with other sites. There are different viewpoints on many aspects of piping - some are presented here, and reasons are given for the stands taken.

Around about 2014 Lindsay decided to include Scottish Smallpipes and a little later, Medieval pipes. There is nothing here yet regarding the history of piping or about making bagpipes, drones, chanters or anything else. However, please note that Gaita, uilleann pipes, Irish pipes, zampogna, galician pipes, dudy, gaida, dudelsack, sackpfiefe, northumbrian pipes, mediterranean bagpipes, bock and so on are all different instruments with different techniques. Maybe at some time someone else will do a site for learning to play these pipes too..

Making the new sections on the old structure was not necessarily very clever and instead of being a series of courses, the site started to morph into a clumsy encyclopedia, with very outdated technical solutions.

In the 'coming soon' section you’ll see that a major overhaul was started in April 2020 to bring the whole site up to date properly. Youtube videos are being included of tunes and exercises and eventually there will also be lessons and explanations. In mid-2021 a new structure was finally conceived and is being introduced step by step. Patience is asked fro whilst this change takes place and the old structure will still be there until the new one takes over almost completely. The side menus are disappearing and a new top menu is being introduced, so if you see this structure, you are on the new layout and navigation system.

The global pandemic has brought new openness and willingness to take part in online groups and offer or take online lessons. Lindsay will not offer individual online lessons because of time, but has set up a virtual pipe band. The band is by invitation only but if you want to participate in a group that is learning at your level or on a suitable time zone, please get in touch with Lindsay, as he is willing to host and lead such groups.  

If you are an online teacher of 'piping, please get in touch so that you can be added to the list of online teachers.

If you are in approval of our spirit and our project and would like to help us develop it, please email the originator of the site, Lindsay Davidson. All feedback is helpful to us, all input welcome and gratefully received.

If you would like to help us get this better known, please copy and paste (or download the txt file to copy) the following email and send it to your friends, pipe major, webmaster etc (DO NOT SPAM ANYONE, CERTAINLY NOT IN MY NAME!!!):

Dear Webmaster,

I have recently came across a free teach yourself bagpipes site. It is a complete school, from zero to intermediate level tunes, with mp3 examples, exercises and very clear and simple instructions arranged in short chapters:

It is set up and led by Lindsay Davidson, PhD, who is from Scotland but lives mainly in Poland. It is an aim of the site many people who for whatever reason find themselves with a practise chanter, not just there, but everywhere, will be able to succeed in learning to play. The belief is that should they stick with piping, all pipers, pipe bands and piping supply services will have something to gain - be it a sale of a bagpipe, music books, reeds, attendance at summer schools, CDs, band membership or one to one lessons. It is in this spirit that the site has been established and is being updated all the time, and it is with this in mind that I respectfully ask if you could possibly find a space on your site for a link.

This is not trying to compete with commercial services, nor detract from them, but rather complement them by getting more people involved and developing the interest of those who already have chanters.

They are not selling anything on this site nor trying to set up competition to anyone.

Piping has for many years been taught free of charge, to its general benefit.

This site is offered in that tradition.

There is a links page for 'where to buy equipment', a 'where to find a pipe band' and a 'where to find a teacher' page. I am sure Lindsay Davidson would be delighted to add a link to you on any of these pages should you wish.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.



Piping Links
About this project
Site map and contents
Youtube Channel
About Lindsay Davidson
Clan Davidson Virtual Pipe Band

GHB Library
GHB Exercises
SSP Library

SSP Exercises

Medieval Music Library