This is the second installment in a series on how to structure your practice time to seriously improve your piping. Click here to for Part 1: Set goals
When you practice, be sure not to mindlessly play your pipes. Listen carefully to every tune you play, whether it’s a slow air that you’ve played for years or a new competition tune, and listen for places to improve.
You should find things to improve on every tune you play, every time. There’s no such thing as a perfect run through, and if when you finish a tune you don’t have a list of at least a few things you can improve for next time, you’re not listening carefully enough.
We all have at least a few tunes we can play completely on autopilot, and those are great to play while warming up at the beginning of your practice. Since you don’t have to think so much about what note comes next, use those tunes to focus on perfecting execution and blowing steady tone. Listen to improve every tune, every time.
Develop an ear to critique your own playing, and apply it every time you pick up the pipes or practice chanter. Focusing carefully on your practicing is a great way to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and it’s what separates great pipers from mediocre pipers.