As I started playing the chanter I began going to the Charleston Police Pipe and Drum Corp practice. It turns out there are 5 levels of expertise in bands and pipe players. Grade I is the best and Grade V is the novice. At the time we just had a Grade IV band and they graciously let me sit in and practice with them. After Grade IV practice was over we would go out for Grade VI practice- beer and french fries.
Band practice consists of anywhere from 3-15 members and we sit around the table with our chanters. It looks something like this:
We have 2 chiropractors, a doctor, a nurse practitioner, several police officers, some high school and junior high kids, some engineers. The pipers practice together on chanters sitting around the table and then we get out our pipes. The drummers practice in another room rat-tat-tatting on their little practice pads. If we're gearing up for a competition the drummers and pipers will practice together each practice. We practice at the Citadel's pipe room.