The Royal Scots Cap Badge



A free resource of Bagpipe Tutorials, Tips and Techniques brought to you by,

Pipe Major William (Bill) Robertson, formerly
1st Battalion, The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)


Bill's Bagpipe Tutorials are packed with information, techniques and tips, gleaned from over 60 years of involvement with playing the bagpipes. This site is a great resource for those who wish to learn to play the bagpipes or for those who wish to develop or refine there piping.

Read what some of Bill's friends have to say about his bagpipe lessons.


  • It Began With The Boys Brigade
    Bill started his bagpipe playing as a young lad with the Boys Brigade and upon turning 18 was drafted into the army.

  • The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming
    Bill was tutored at Edinburgh Castle by the famous PM Willie Ross MBE. About one year after graduating from The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming he was promoted to Pipe Major for The Royal Scots, 1st Battalion.

  • Playing Internationally
    Besides playing at various locations around the world while in the Army. Bill has also taken civilian bands to compete very successfully on the International Circuit.

  • An Accomplished Piobaireachd Player and Composer
    In his personal capacity Bill has been recognized as a Piobaireachd (Pibroch) composer of some note, as well as a very successful competitor. Bill's biography will reveal more information about his piping journey and achievements.


Bagpipe Tutorials Website Content


There is plenty of useful information in this website for bagpipers and below is a brief indication of some of the website content.

  • Bagpipe Lessons - Some Techniques and Embellishments ...
    This section contains a few bagpipe tutorials on how to play various embellishments, finger positioning on the chanter and some notes about chanter maintenance and care.

  • FREE Bagpipe Tune Lessons
    Every month Bill publishes a FREE Bagpipe Tune lesson. Some of these tunes include Scotland The Brave, Amazing Grace, Black Bear, Kilworth Hills, The Skye Boat Song, Caledonian Canal, The Royal Scots Polka and Bill's own composition Pipe Major Bill Boyle, New Zealand Scottish Regiment.

    You can be notified by email whenever a new tune is published by subscribing to Monthly Tune Notification Service.


  • Bagpipe Tutorials on USB Flash Drive
    Bill has documented his bagpiping knowledge onto DVD. The bagpipe tutorials are interactive with links in the document to relevant audio and video files. This means that Bill has enhanced his tutorials with additional video examples and audio instruction. It is almost as if Bill was in your lounge giving you one on one instruction.

    Bill's bagpipe tutorials cater for three levels of piping proficiency:

    1. Beginners Bagpipe Tutorials
    2. Advanced Bagpipe Tutorials
    3. An Introduction to Piobaireachd Teachnique Tutorials.
    4. 115 Piobaireachd Tutorials

    Bill is constantly updating his bagpipe lessons with new content and improvements.


  • Piobaireachd Tutorials
    Bill has much to offer Piobaireachd (Pibroch) enthusiast. His Pibroch compositions have been recognized and published in various Piobaireachd books.

    Bill's latest DVD is titled An Introduction to Piobaireachd Technique. This DVD is suited to those who desire to explore the art of playing Piobaireachd or who wish to improve their technique.

    Bill's teaching style is unique. He does not play the tune through one time and then tell you how to play it. Rather, he breaks the tune down into sections and talks you through one section at a time. By doing this you can work at learning to play the piobaireachd tune section by section. This makes it a whole lot easier for you!


  • Frequent Asked Questions About Bagpiping
    This is the section where you can ask Bill about a bagpiping related question. You can also read some of the question asked and Bill's reply.


  • Piobaireachd Historical's By Ron MacLeod
    Ron MacLeod has spent years collecting Historical Piobaireachd Stories. With his kind permission he has allowed us to publish his work on this website.

    He has grouped this collection into three categories:

    1. General Piobaireachd Stories
    2. Lament Piobaireachd Stories
    3. Salute Piobaireachd Stories

    Ron has also transcribed A History of Piobaireachd which was delivered as part of Stuart's Pipe Major training at a 1955 Band School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is similar to what Bill Robertson had to write and learn while on his Pipe Majors' Course at Edinburgh Castle, under the direction of the famous Pipe Major Willie Ross MBE.


  • Bagpiping Articles In this section we have grouped together some bagpiping articles and other bits and pieces to do with the site.

    Why not take a look and see if there is anything that may be of interest to you.


  • Keep Yourself Up To Date With The Latest Bagpipe Tutorials Updates
    Use the handy RSS feature to be able to quickly view the latest website page additions or page updates are. Look on the left hand column for RSS icons which you can click to subscribe to the RSS feed. The Icon looks like the following one

    RSS Feed


    Alternatively you could go to Bagpipe Tutorials Blog Page for a quick overview of what content has been added recently.

Keep Up To Date, With Most Recent Pages

A selection of bagpipe tunes taught by PM Bill Robertson, ex The Royal Scots

Interactive Bagpipe Tunes - A PDF document with links to Audio and Video lessons. Highly rated, easy to use and very informative.

Continue reading "A selection of bagpipe tunes taught by PM Bill Robertson, ex The Royal Scots"

Lung Operation (Cancer)

I played the pipes 50 years ago in an RAF pipe band. I've decided to try again with a new gortex bag. However in spite of making the -pipes as airtight

Continue reading "Lung Operation (Cancer)"

Chanter finger positions

Where can I get sheet music with clear finger positions relating to tunes played, I purchased a book on the internet that professed to having this, but

Continue reading "Chanter finger positions"

My drones are having issues

Im a beginner piper, but when I blow my pipes my drones cut out by the time I'm pushing hard enough for my chanter to start, its either one or the other,

Continue reading "My drones are having issues"


I have just lost 3 front teeth upper right in the middle. I have a small plate but it split I'm sure with the blowpipe , as when I play the plate rocks

Continue reading "Teeth"

Mrs. MacDougall - 6/8 March

Mrs. MacDougall, 6/8 March, a free bagpipe lesson by Pipe Major Bill Robertson

Continue reading "Mrs. MacDougall - 6/8 March"

drone problem

I was taking out my drones to clean them with a brush and accidentally put the base drone reed in the blowpipe stock and now it is stuck what should I

Continue reading "drone problem"

Bagpipe brand

What bagpipe brand is suitable for B flat orchestral chanter?

Continue reading "Bagpipe brand"

High G

Hi Bill, I am having real trouble tuning my high G on the Bagpipe Chanter. It just wont tune to G and does not even register on a tuner. Any suggestions?

Continue reading "High G"

Sharp C on chanter

Why is the C slightly sharp on my chanter and other noted slightly off? -(six weeks newbie)

Continue reading "Sharp C on chanter"

Deger pipes V Highland pipes

I have been an off and on piper for many years and now intend to focus more (work pressures v pipes - now I am retired). Due to breath limitations I am

Continue reading "Deger pipes V Highland pipes"

My Bagipe Sounds Like a Duck?

Ok, so I have a brand new McCallum practice chanter as I recently decided to start playing. As the title implies, my chanter sounds essentially like a

Continue reading "My Bagipe Sounds Like a Duck?"

Blow pressure and drone read tone

Can drone reads be adjusted to sound with less air pressure and still maintain a proper tone?

Continue reading "Blow pressure and drone read tone"

The Pretty Dirk

The Pretty Dirk, a free piobaireachd lesson by Pipe Major Bill Robertson

Continue reading "The Pretty Dirk"

Age 7 started piping at Thornhill .

I was taught to play the bagpipes by a piper at Edenburgh castle the date was around 1944 .He was a Welsh man I think his name was Ross but not shore I

Continue reading "Age 7 started piping at Thornhill ."

Clarity of Execution

Calarity of execution for 2/4 marches, a free bagpipe lesson by Pipe Major Bill Robertson

Continue reading "Clarity of Execution"

New Band Chanter

Hi Bill Have received my band chanter its MaCullum few years old. The holes are bigger and look to be wider apart. I am having a lot of trouble getting

Continue reading "New Band Chanter"

Playing the Pipes

Hya when trying to play the Pipes, My lips get so sore that i cannot Blow the Chanter, i cannot keep the Chanter in My mouth, it just falls out, i have

Continue reading " Playing the Pipes"

Bagpipes vs practise chanter for learning

Hi there. I have recently started learning how to play the bagpipes. I have been using a practise chanter but a couple of days ago I had a friend let me

Continue reading "Bagpipes vs practise chanter for learning "

Easy, Medium or Hard

Hi Bill, When is it time to move up on reeds? I am a beginning piper and I am thinking if I move up on reed strength, it may help with some issues.

Continue reading "Easy, Medium or Hard"


Bill At His Daughters Wedding

Bill preparing to play for his daughters wedding



The most recent
is shown at the top of the list.



Your 2 DVDs have just arrived last Thursday in perfect condition. I quickly checked them running some Movies and MP3's...everything fine. I started with your tutorial which runs excellent on my Macintosh computer (Adobe linking fine with the movies and sound files!).

I also want to express my gratitude for the very thoughtful arrangement of the seems to me that you thought of everything one needs to know in order to approach piping and the bagpipe itself. A well done piece of work with many of your valuable experiences and knowledge built-in! Thanks very much!!!

I wish you all the best and overall health for you and your beloved one's. Many regards to "down-under"

18th January 2010.


... thank you for making the effort with your DVD it has been invaluable ... I found a piping instructor here at Edinboro University and have been taking lessons from him for about a year now ... he was amazed how far I had come with no personal instruction other then you ... In fact, I played my first funeral back in August. I played Amazing grace just as you taught it to me ... (On the DVD.)

Again Thanks
David Lindsay
25th December 2009.





... I feel that what Bill is doing with his piping knowledge leaves all the other tuition site behind and is a great credit to him ...

Terry Power
16th October, 2009.



Dear Bill,

I thought that I would just express my thanks and admiration for your Advanced Comprehensive Guide.

The more I use it the more appreciative I become.


Allister Smith
28th September, 2009.


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