With more than 70 years involvement with piping at a high level, Bill has been involved with most aspects of piping. From competing, composing, judging, teaching and of late documenting his knowledge with the the development of his world renown Interactive Bagpipe Tutorials.
The concept of Interactive Bagpipe Tutorials is the lesson is presented as a PDF with hyperlinks in the document to video or audio files, where Bill demonstrates or explains aspects of piping.
As far as we are aware, Bill was the first person to introduce to piping the concept of "Interactive Bagpipe Tutorials".
Bill's Bagpipe Tutorials are packed with information, techniques and tips, gleaned from his 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.
Below is a brief summary of Bill's piping career. For a more detailed information, see the About Bill page.
Bill started his bagpipe playing as a young lad with the Boys Brigade and upon turning 18 was drafted into the army and served his time with 1st Battalion, The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment).
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.
A little while after receiving his Pipe Majors Certificate, Bill was appointed as the Pipe Major for the 1st Battalion, The Royal Scots.
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.
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.
Bill has always had a passion to share his expertise and knowledge with the piping community and has freely given of his time to tutor pipers and bands. This tutoring formed the foundation for his various Bagpipe Tutorials.
While tutoring, Bill started to document his lessons and create audio recordings (later video recordings), for his pupils to use as support material. Upon retiring he started the process of compiling his lessons into tutorials.
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 tune section by section.
To date Bill has produced 4 tutorials.
Browsing through this website you will find plenty of useful information and below are hyperlinks to the relevant content.
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.
Periodically 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 Tune Notification Service.
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:
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.
A jovial fellow and great musician. We had much in common including having been raised in the same county of Fife. While Sandy was on the Pipe Majors course 1952 we met up very briefly when I was in the same Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh, just after my National Service Basic Training 1950 with The Royal Scots.
I have a tutorial for Donald McKillop which was composed by Sandy
Your 2 tutorials have just arrived last Thursday in perfect condition.
I want to express my gratitude for the very thoughtful arrangement of the Tutorials...it 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"
... 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 ...
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 ...
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.