Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pipe Band Forum 11-14-07

Solo Competition Preparation

I usually get there early enough to play a bit and tune up. I try to tune myself as best I can and I'm getting pretty good at it now. I get a final tuning by the PM or PS before I go over to the judging area. I was warned against watching the competition, but to be honest I enjoy it. So I like to watch especially if I'm one of the first of the group. I'll stick around and watch the others perform.

I never play my pipes close to pipers who are playing for the judge - I think it is inconsiderate and I've seen some annoyed looks from judges when a piper strikes up in the vacinity while he/she is judging. I generally trust the final tuning done by the PM or PS, but pipers are allowed five minutes to make final adjustments, so if you need to strike up and check before you begin that's the time to do it.

I've placed several times including first place twice in the two years I've been competing in grade 4 and I've totally bombed several times (although I've always finished the performance). Having been at both ends of the spectrum and realizing that the judges are there to critique (not critisize) and encourage, I've become more comfortable with solos to the point where I'm really not too nervous anymore. The result is that my pre-performance rituals are much more relaxed now.

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