I too am a newbie...sort of. Okay, I just restarted learning the bagpipes after a 6 year hiatus, and I must say that I love it. My neighbors, on the other hand, might not be as thrilled as I am. I did, however, forget how tired your right hand can get! It's either I forgot how hard on the hand it is, or I shouldn't practise for 25 min. directly after doing my upper body weights workout. I am determined to get to the full pipes by St. Patrick's day. If that doesn't fly, then at least by the time I go to Colorado for the Dark Arts Festival next year. Gothy goodness and pipes...what more could anyone want?