Frequently asked Questions
Below are many of the most commonly asked questions and quick answers. For reference, the questions are grouped by the following categories: booking process, payments, performance preparations, uniforming, tunes, and learning the bagpipes.
If you have a question not answered here, please email email@example.com.
Q: Are you available for my event?
A: You can track Piper Jonas' schedule of upcoming performances by visiting the Bookings page. Reserved dates are updated regularly as booking deposits are paid.
Q: What is the process for booking?
A: Typically a non-refundable deposit is required to guarantee the date against other inquiries/bookings. The deposit may be waived for short-notice bookings such as funerals or last-minute surprise events, but applies for any event more than a week out. The process is initiated through an invoice for the deposit. Once booked, a consultation over phone or email (client's preference) can be held where timing, tune selection, and next steps are discussed.
Q: What if I need multiple pipers or a small ensemble?
A: Given enough notice and based on others' availability, Piper Jonas can typically arrange to have a ensemble formed for an event. This could range from a couple pipers to a 'mini-band' of both pipers and drummers. Feel free to bring this up in the free consultation if you're interested in additional players.
Q: Do you travel? If so, are there travel fees?
A: Piper Jonas has traveled for events as far north as Mendocino, east as Auburn, and south as Santa Barbara. Please note that locations outside of 20 miles from San Jose might incur additional travel fees. Piper Jonas typically serve cities within the following California counties: Alameda, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Joaquin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept for the deposit/balance?
A: Payment methods are flexible for our clients' convenience. The electronic invoice allows for debit/credit card payments directly through the invoice although additional payment methods are also accepted:
- Deposits: checks, PayPal, Venmo, debit/credit cards, and Bitcoin
- Balances due on the day of the event: cash, checks, PayPal, Venmo, debit/credit cards, and Bitcoin
Q: How long will it take for the bagpipes to be warmed-up and tuned?
A: As Piper Jonas performs frequently, tuning remains fairly consistent and allowing the pipes to be warmed-up and tuned within 10-15 minutes. Once tuned, the bagpipes should maintain their sound for a considerable time - however weather and environment conditions may require the pipes to be re-tuned.
Q: What else should I consider about the event or venue?
A: Two considerations are 1) is there a suitable place to warm-up and tune the bagpipes prior to the start of the event? and 2) if the event is a surprise - is the tuning location one which is far enough away so as to not spoil the surprise? Those who have never experienced the sound of the bagpipes might not realize the volume is significantly louder than that of other instruments.
Q: What is the dress/uniform I can expect at the event?
A: Piper Jonas wears a modern band dress uniform which includes (head to toe):
- glengarry with cap badge
- shirt (short or long-sleeved depending on the weather/occasion) with vest and tie
- jacket (depending on weather/occasion)
- kilt and sporran
- hose socks and flashes
- ghillie brogue shoes
Q: What kilts/colors are available?
A: Piper Jonas typically wears a Douglas Modern Blue tartan kilt which is predominantly dark green and blue with royal blue and white accents. Other options include a kilt using the International Law Enforcement tartan which is predominantly light blue with dark blue, red, and yellow accents. I am looking to also adopt an Ancient Douglas Red tartan which is predominantly red with black, grey, and yellow accents.
Q: Can you play contemporary tunes or classic rock tunes like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Freebird?
A: Unfortunately no and for two good reasons: 1) many songs don't sound right when transposed to the bagpipes because the instrument only has nine notes encompassing one octave, and 2) bagpipes that are featured in songs typically are accompanied with other instruments like guitars and drums, but otherwise would sound terrible on their own. For more information on my bagpipe tune repertoire and commonly requested tunes, please visit the Tunes page.
Learning the Bagpipes
Q: How did you get started learning the bagpipes?
A: Piper Jonas started taking private lessons in 2001 with Bill Merriman after being introduced through a friend in the Boy Scouts. For more on his backstory, please visit the About page.
Q: Do you give bagpiping lessons? Are you taking on new students?
A: Yes, new students are being accepted as long as scheduling permits. For more information, please visit the bagpipe lessons page.