Bagpiper Hiring Guide

If this is the first time you've researched bagpipers or feel somewhat lost when it comes to bagpipe music -- you're not alone.  In fact, upwards to 90% of prospective clients admit they're hiring a bagpiper for the first time and don't know how to start the evaluation process. If that describes you, this guide should help provide some structure to the process, answer some initial questions, and perhaps form some new questions. 

 

Quick-start overview

Planning for the bagpipes

The most commonly asked questions during phone calls with prospective clients is "what is typically done" or "what's the best way to use the bagpipes" in their event. Nearly two decades of experience has shown that while some use cases are more common than others, what's best for the event will depend on how the bagpipes can best add to the atmosphere you're looking to create.

Some consideration when planning for the bagpipes include: 

  • Cover the basics: especially in the early stages, prospective clients don't need to have much information on-hand to get started. Basic information such as date, approximate time, and location are enough to determine availability and a general sense of how much travel and time might be involved.
  • Create a rough draft: get a general sense for where the bagpipes might be included in the itinerary. Below are some of the more common options:

Weddings

  • as guests are arriving/seated
  • for the processional (wedding party/bride/both)
  • for the recessional
  • piping newlyweds into the reception

Memorials/Funerals

  • as guests are arriving
  • mid-service or at the end of service
  • escorting the casket/playing as it's lowered
  • played nearby or at a distance?

Celebrations

  • as a birthday surprise
  • "mini-concert" setting
  • welcoming golfers to the clubhouse
  • signaling the start of an acitivty/meal, etc.
 
  • Flexibility to make changes: there's always some flexibility when it comes to the schedule. While some events are naturally more time-sensitive, other events like parties may be less structured. Just let the bagpiper know as soon as those changes occur so they can adjust accordingly -- even if those changes occur mid-event!
  • Details to consider as the date approaches: as the event date approaches, the following details can also help ensure a smooth and successful performance:
    • cues for the start/stop of the performance
    • marching vs. standing in a specific location
    • bagpipes have a volume somewhere between 108-111 decibels (dB) outdoors and up to 116 decibels indoors with the right acoustics - placing it in the same range as a chainsaw or rock concert. More than 15 minutes of playing indoors or 24 minutes outdoors can become a bit much for audiences.

 

Next Steps in the process

After reading through this guide, if you still feel as if you don't have enough information, please reach out to Piper Jonas with your questions. All consultations and estimates are free with no-obligation, so ask as many questions as needed until you're comfortable and confident. On the other hand, if you're ready to move forward with a quote, get a quote and see if Piper Jonas is available and matches your needs. 

 

Looking for more information? Just ask.

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