Here’s a hot topic! Do I buy a domestically made bagpipe or an import? These comments are intended for those who are purchasing a wood bagpipe only. Delrin is off the table for the sake of this installment. So why is this even a consideration? 1. Impact on the wood (shrinkage and morphing) 2. After-purchase […]
There are so many points of view regarding what to buy as your first bagpipe that it easily becomes both overwhelming and an exercise in frustration. One only has to venture onto any of the retail or resale sites on the Internet to experience the wide range of instruments for sale and an equally wide […]
In our first installment on this topic we discussed delrin vs. wood, which more or less leads us directly into the next installment of buying a bagpipe: New or Used? If you’re buying a delrin bagpipe, standard models come up for sale from time to time. You’re pretty much guaranteed that the internal health of […]
One only has to ask “What bagpipe should I buy?” to be overwhelmed by well-meaning and diverse responses from around the globe. Just about every piper has an opinion and you will be hard-pressed to identify a consensus among them. You will receive recommendations regarding just about every brand of bagpipe currently being made, as […]
We’ve been talking about air-efficiency of your bagpipe, being the stocks and attached components. In my previous post I focused on the air-efficiency of your drone reeds and how to balance them to the strength of your chanter reed. Today we’re going to talk about setting the pitch of the drone reeds. Let’s start at where […]
I last wrote about the efficiency of a bagpipe based on its ability to hold air. I used a few real-life stories to demonstrate how some obvious and not-so-obvious factors could severely compromise the efficiency of your bagpipe making it more difficult to play. What did the guy say in the infomercial? “But wait! There’s […]
Several years ago I was invited to conduct a workshop for a non-competition band. I hadn’t worked with this band before and really had no idea of what to expect. I attended a function the night before where the band had been hired to put on a performance. This was actually very helpful in understanding […]
The search seems never-ending for the ultimate set of drones. It seems that everyone is looking for that perfect set that will stand out among all others. The Holy Grail of bagpipes. Well, maybe it’s already on your shoulder! In my experience, two common practices today are greatly compromising the sound and performance of bagpipes. […]
When I first started piping, I required a new reed every couple of weeks. You can imagine how aggravating this was. I’d show up to band practice with my pipes going not too badly. By the end of practice my reed was starting to go and I was lucky if I made it through the […]
Today your order of chanter reeds arrived in the mail. You carefully unfold the wrapping to reveal the orderly arrangement of cane soldiers. Breath-taking. You can hardly contain yourself. You rush to get your chanter. In these days of instant gratification we are disappointed with anything less than “brilliant” and are quite likely to pass […]
Among pipers and bands, the search for the perfect bagpipe chanter reed is universal. Of the thousands of chanter reeds made each year, many seem destined to disappoint and live a short and difficult life. There are some who claim, and not entirely without foundation, that the top bands and solo pipers receive the “pick […]
I received an email last night that was a bit disturbing. A very good friend wanted to know if I knew anybody that wanted his band’s uniforms and other gear. It seems that membership is down and they don’t know how they’re going to continue. I’m pretty passionate about this topic. I’ve been involved in […]
It doesn’t just “happen”. There is no fairy Godmother who visits you in the middle of the night with a bag of pixie dust. In any endeavor, preparation is directly linked to competence and confidence and ultimately to success and failure. So what is ‘preparation’? I think, as with all things, it begins with having […]
Well, the count-down is on! Are you ready? This is what “being ready” means to me: 1. My entire bagpipe kit has been gone over. All items are clean, pressed, and ready to travel or to wear. I start at either the top (glengarry) or the bottom (brogues) and work my way to the other […]
I have resisted being dragged into the many side-discussions that pop up from time-to-time regarding the commercial trade in ivory bagpipes. Simply stated, there is still too much dust in the air to get an absolutely clear view of what our world will look like down the road. This morning I awoke to the news […]
The picture above was the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2010. Lots of red fingers! Brutally cold, windy, and dry as a bone. Ah, the memories! St. Patrick’s Day is everyone’s favorite day in March. Parades and Pubs dominate with music and fun for all. It’s also the most difficult day of the year […]
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Here’s a hot topic! Do I buy a domestically made bagpipe...
There are so many points of view regarding what to buy as...
In our first installment on this topic we discussed delrin...