The Royal Scots Cap Badge


The Complete Pipers Handbook

It is my pleasure to recommend “The Complete Pipers Handbook” written by Pipe Major Brett Tidswell.


Below is the content of an email I sent to Brett congratulating him on the production of this excellent book, which I think aptly describes the contents of his book.


the complete pipers handbook
Dear Brett,
Your book “The Complete Pipers Handbook” (in A4 size 61 pages) is fantastic. It so well illustrated, organized, and presented, covering very well just about every aspect one could think of in its subjects (about the pipes, how they are made, hide and synthetic bags, care, tuning, chanter and drones and the reeds, general maintenance, proper dress – kilt, headdress etc., how to practise beneficially, setting up pipe corps, psychology of performing, and teaching methods).

I have always felt that a book in the hand is hard to beat for accessibility. The book is so comprehensive that I feel it leaves little to the imagination in what it covers; something to cherish. It is unlikely to be surpassed by any other book of its kind. I wish you every success with it, and feel especially that the World of Piping needs to be made aware of it. No one who is serious about their piping, Pipe Majors and teachers included should be without it.
Bill Robertson.


The content of Brett's handbook has been crafted from many years of playing bagpipes and being involved with teaching the art. He currently holds the position of Principal of Piping with Australian Pipe Band College and was previously the piping instructor for the Australian Defence Force for a number of years.


Below are some extracts taken from the Introduction to his book, The Complete Pipers Handbook.


... It would often seem that many of the pipers who struggle to achieve a good sound from there bagpipe, have handicapped themselves before they start. A poorly maintained instrument can be the cause of ...

... This is an instrument that requires continual and on going maintenance to deal with atmospheric, temperature and other changes that occur naturally when playing ...

... Even pipers at the highest level can achieve better results with a greater understanding of the instrument ...

... It Is hoped that the publication will enlighten and encourage the average piper to be more self-reliant. Some chapters may also assist the Pipe Major to gain some of the knowledge needed to:
  • Set up a band.
  • Get the most out of their players.
  • Tune a pipe corp under a variety of conditions.


More information about The Complete Pipers Handbook can be gleaned from Brett's website School Of Piping. While you are there have a look around at his site, he has included some interesting articles.
bagpipe chanter maintenance
bagpipe drone maintenance
bagpipe manufacture


Brett has many years of piping experience under his belt and some notable achievements as well. One of them would be, to be the only piper to win Australia's top solo piping competition (a record 12 wins of the RU Brown Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal) as well as pipe majoring an Australian Championship winning Pipe Band.


Some of the chapter headings for “The Complete Pipers Handbook” include:


  • The Great Highland Bagpipe.
  • Blow Sticks, Valve and Mouthpiece.
  • Tying On A Set of Drone Cords.
  • The Bag and Cover including tying in, and care of synthetic bags.
  • Joints, Slides and Hemping.
  • Moisture Traps, Tone Enhancers and Gadgets.
  • Understanding Drones and Reeds.
  • Pipe Chanter and Reeds.
  • Blowing a Bagpipe.
  • Cleaning and Oiling a Bagpipe.
  • Tuning a Bagpipe.
  • Setting Up and Tuning a Pipe Corps ...
  • Plus a whole lot more ...


If you would like to order a copy of The Complete Pipers Handbook, this link will take to his order page.


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