What Are Grades?

Grades are a way of regulating competition standards for CLASP competitions. Members of CLASP must obtain a grading from the officials in order to compete.
CLASP competition comprises of 3 grades; grade 1 is considered the highest standard of piping within the league, while Grade 3 is the entry level standard. However, Grade 3 is not a grade for learner pipers – some applicants may not achieve this standard when graded.
Competitors will be given a grade for Piobaireachd and/or a grade for Light Music. Competitors do not have to compete in both Piobaireachd and Light Music events and the grade may differ between the two disciplines.
After competing in competitions, members may be re-graded if their standard is considered, by CLASP officials, to be inappropriate for the grade level in which they competed.

How Do I Obtain A Grade?

There are two ways to be graded. The submission of an MP3 audio recording via email or an audition.

MP3 Recording

Where recordings are submitted via email, playing must be on the bagpipe and should include:

  1. One complete Piobaireachd if you intend to compete in Piobaireachd competitions and require a Piobaireachd grading.
  2. 2/4 March, Strathspey and Reel (Minimum 4 parts each) The March can be played separately from the Strathspey and Reel. This set of tunes will determine an applicant’s Light Music grade.

Recordings must be emailed to and


Auditions can be arranged by appointment and will normally take place at The National Piping Centre unless an alternative venue can be arranged. To arrange an appointment please email and
At the audition you will be asked to play as in 1. and 2. above.

North American competitors who have a grading from any ANAPBA organisation need not apply for a grading and may simply submit their current grading. Gradings from other overseas organisations will also be given due consideration.
In either case whether you submit an audio recording or take an audition you will be advised of your grading within 14 days.