So….I finally clicked on one of those “build a free website” posts on Facebook and…built a free website. It’s for my musical pursuits, so that perhaps someone in the Charleston area looking for a bagpiper free in the middle of the week for a military ceremony or on a random Saturday for a wedding will possibly find me. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to make it show up in a search engine…any advice?? CURRENTLY, the web address is here:
— but I may have to bite the bullet and pay for a yearly subscription in order to buy my domain name which could help it to show up when you type “Charleston Bagpiper” into a google search. There are many, many pipers in the Charleston area much more talented than myself, but perhaps my particular piping background would appeal to some, and then perhaps I’d be the only one available on a certain day/time for another. I decided that, even if it’s a little embarrassing because other “better” pipers may look at the website knowing that I’m not the best of the best, it’s still worth it for the five engagements I might get per year that actually pay money – since those five gigs can easily help me pay for bagpipe camp in the summer. 🙂 Hey folks, I need some way to finance this craziness!! Although, it’s not like we’re into boating or something much more expensive….
John took a few pictures for me to use on the site this past Saturday when I returned from playing for a funeral and hence was already all dressed up. 🙂
If you happen to check out the website, let me know what you think. I’d love some free feedback. 🙂 Comparing it to a few of the other “Charleston bagpiper” websites, it’s definitely different in many ways. For instance, mine is a lot more about visuals and has links to some fun videos. Another difference is that I included lists of popular tunes so that people could look them on on youtube to see what types of pipe tunes suit their needs. I also noticed few pipers listed their prices, and I know that when I’m looking for a service I usually like a ballpark figure without having to contact people, so I can compare prices more easily. I would love to make the prices lower, but I also don’t want to “underbid” the other pipers out their and therefore have people unfairly contact me because sure, I’m willing to show up somewhere to play “Amazing Grace” for 50 bucks. Slip me a twenty on the side of the road, and you won’t even have to twist my arm to get me to play you a few tunes. Wait – just ASK when you see me with my pipes and I’ll play anything for anyone. I just love playing the bagpipes and enjoy seeing other people light up when they hear them. But, that being said, I know from talking to my first teacher, that you can’t go around asking for small fees for this sort of thing because it is such a rare skill and because, as I said, it might anger other pipers. Our pipe band has prices it quotes to people who inquire about solo pipers for funerals, so I started with those in mind and then listed other options.
I also mentioned my whistle playing on the site and hope to announce the name of the band I am now playing with very soon. Currently I have only attended two practices, and there aren’t any shows in the next month or two, so until I actually perform with them on stage (and then they say they want me to do it again!) I will wait to post their name. 🙂 Suffice it to say they are a great bunch of folks, all with day jobs and many with families, who play about 12-15 times a year for assorted venues (pubs, parties, festivals) and practice/jam once a week. I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed the last two weeks with them, the highlights being some great meshing with the fiddle player on a few jigs and reels, singing harmonies on “Eli the Barrow Boy” by The Decemberists (because no whistle I have plays near to the key it is in), and the spontaneous jam to “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues which kept coming to a close, and then restarting by one or another of us. So fun. All for now, as I’m off tomorrow for an epic 15th Reunion weekend at the US Naval Academy. 🙂