Join our Pipe band

Nelson Mandela Artillery is always looking for new members to join our bagpipe band. If you have an interest in learning to play bagpipes or Drums and want to be a part of an exciting group, please contact us. We have members from all walks of life, and we tutor all aspects of the pipe band. Have you possibly matriculated and come to Study in Cape Town and looking for a pipe band – please pop Grant Scheffel grant@bagpipes.co.za a line, and he will chat with you.

Learn to play bagpipes

Two different types of bagpipes

Learn to play Scottish bagpipes at any age and any level of experience, in Cape Town CBD. Begin your first steps in your musical journey with Nelson Mandela Artillery Pipes and Drums. We provide a grass-root training programme and tutoring to allow you to play in our band.

The Bagpipes are Scotland’s National instrument and is played throughout the world. Learning to play the Great Highland Bagpipe as a solo piper or as a member of our team is an amazing musical journey with learning outcomes and experiences that go far beyond musical performance!

Training would start with a Practice chanter before moving onto the bagpipes!

What is a practice chanter?  

The bagpipe practice chanter is a double-reed woodwind instrument whose main function is an adjunct to the Great Highland bagpipe.

Want to learn the bagpipes? Contact us today!

Learn to play the bass drum

The bass drum

The bass drum is like the heartbeat of the band. The bass drum is physically the biggest instrument and certainly makes a statement – usually, the bass is pitched one octave below the bass drone of the bagpipes and set the pace for all the bagpipers and snare drummers while adding a harmonic bottom tone of the band. There is a good reason for the bass drummer to play in the middle of the entire band, they keep everyone playing together as a unit.

The bass drummer must have an excellent sense of rhythm, every note the base drummer play is of utmost importance since the tempo and stability of the whole group’s playing relies on the base drummer!

Unlike bass drummers in other marching bands, a pipe band bass drummer plays with large soft beaters in an up and down swaying motion. Not all notes are played in the same volume, the bass drummer will vary the strengths of the beats, adding plenty of depth and dynamics to the melody.

It’s all about the bass! Why not learn how to play it?

Learn to play the tenor drum

The Tenor drums

This is the drum that fills in the middle tones in the pipe band. Unlike the snare drums which are pitched, all the same, the tenor drum can be pitched to various notes. The tenor drum adds melodic and stereophonic aspects to the drum corps.

In a bagpipe band, you can have two types of tenor drummers: A rhythm tenor drummer or a flourishing tenor drummer.

what is the difference between rhythm and flourishing tenor drummer?

Rhythm tenor drummer:  Focuses on the rhythmic beating of the music. A rhythm tenor drummer normally follows a pattern framework (for example hard, soft, medium, soft). This would help set the groove for the entire band.

Flourishing tenor drummer: Adds fancy swings or “flourishes” with their mallets which visually complement the music being played.  Like the rhythm tenor the flourishing tenor also plays rhythmic beats, but naturally, spectators are drawn to watching the flourishing tenors since they add more flare and dramatics to the rest of the marching or standing band. They represent music visually through flourishing.

Be rhythmic or flourishing; learn to play the tenor drum!

learn to play the snare drum

The snare drum and sticks

The most prominent sounding drum in the band the snare drum! It is named the snare drum because of the snare mechanisms on both the top and bottom drumheads. Snare drums have a very high pitched and crisp sound, which really compliments the notes played on the bagpipes. The notes played on the snare drum are very quick and precise.

When taking snare drum lessons, you will learn the proper stick grip, which is different from a kit drummer. You will focus on gaining speed and control from intensifying the use of your fingers in conjunction with wrist and arm motion.

Contact us

To book the Nelson Mandela Artillery Pipes & Drums for your special occasion no matter how big or small please fill in your detail below or contact us directly.





Band practice times

Tuesday Full Band Practice: 18:30 – 21:30

Saturday Full Band Practice: 9:30 – 12:30

Location: The Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town

Playlist

Band of Brothers
Encore Highland Cathedral
Amazing Highland Finale
Scotland the Brave
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Be the prominent sounding one in the group, learn to be a snare drummer!

Learn to be a drum major

Drum major of the Nelson Mandela Artillery leading the marching pipe and drum band

The drum major – the first person you see in a pipe band parade! A drum major or field commander as its also known as the frontman of a marching pipe band. Normally dressed in more ornate clothing than the rest of the band and is responsible for providing commands to the ensemble, leading them while marching and directing them what to play, when to play and what time to keep.

Be the leader of the pack, become a drum major!