Thursday, September 4, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
<--- The great John Wilson's MacDougalls
There is nothing more discouraging than a bagpipe that is hard to play. Here is the great secret... your pipe can be easy to blow and still produce a wonderful sound! The first place to start is the bag. Make sure you have a set of stock corks and check the bag for air-tightness regularly. Next, make sure that your stocks are properly hemped. If the entire drone is turning when you are tuning, your stocks are not properly hemped and you may be losing a significant amount of air!
Next, make sure you have a good air valve and a blowpipe that is not to restrictive. I recommend an Airstream for the maximum air flow. Many pipes come standard with a blowpipe that is not suitable, I learned this the hard way.
Next, make sure that your drone reeds are not too open. You should be able to shut off the reeds simply by increasing the pressure on the bag. If you cannot, your reeds may be taking too much air, making your pipes very difficult to blow steadily.
Lastly, there is no reason to play a chanter reed that is too hard. Purchase your reeds through a reputable dealer and pay the extra price to ensure that you are purchasing a reed that will play and not expensive firewood.
Don't be afraid to have an experienced player look your pipes over and help you get them set up properly, most players are very willing to help. Good luck and happy piping!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I tend to laugh at these type of comments... but at the same time I see their point. As highland pipers we must always remember that we are musicians first, competitors second. The problem today is that so many pipers are taught to compete before they even come close to understanding the music. The strictness of competitive style piping can result in some of the most amazing music. (example)
If we lose sight of the music we become fodder for bagpipe jokes and perpetuate the myth that bagpipes have to sound like this.
Take the time to learn about the music you are playing. Learn the history and evolution of the different styles of our music. Learn about the great players of the past and how they contributed to the music we have today. Learn about music theory. Learn how to get the best sound out of your instrument. When you play in public be polished and professional and you will be regarded as a musician and not a novelty.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
This page is dedicated to all pipers; those who love the pipes; those who want to play the pipes; those who want bagpipes at their funeral; and even for those who hate the pipes (there is hope for you yet!).
Through this page I hope to share experiences, knowledge, insights, humor, trivia, fun stories, or anything else that has to do with piping. I hope that you will share as well!