Kids, Don’t Try This at Home!

When is something called a tutor book not really a book you could conceivably learn from.  When it’s Logan’s Tutor of course!

When I was about 12 years of age, my Scots grannie gave me the chanter above.  It was made by Boosey and Hawkes, the well known British instrument maker and music publisher.  Somewhere along the way I also acquired a Logan’s Tutor and set about trying to teach myself the chanter.

At the time I was playing the clarinet and I can remember working out the chanter fingerings and trying to play them with straight fingers.

I picked up a new Logan’s Tutor a couple of years ago as sentimental souvenir of my first failed attempt to learn the pipes.

In most programs of musical instruction, a student’s first tunes are simple ones like, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star progressing towards Ode to Joy.  But in piping ….


How in earth is Lord Lovat’s Lament appropriate as tune #1?  What on earth was Captain John MacLellan MBE thinking?  Weirdly enough, Bruce’s Address (or Scots Wha Hae), a good beginner tune is listed at the 28th tune in the book.   Most folks would have abandoned the mission by about page IX in the preface.  I know I did.

In fairness, one could use Logan but only if you had a teacher.  Logan gives me some appreciation what an earth-shattering pedagogical breakthrough Seumas MacNeil’s 1952 College of Piping Tutor 1 (the green book) must have been.






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