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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:45 am 
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Apologies if this has been covered over and over but I know there are a few uilleann players here and I'm hoping to find out a bit more. Keeping in mind that I have never even held the pipes in my life, though I tried to learn highland pipes as a kid. Is there much crossover with the whistle and chanter? is it even called a chanter? Too many questions. All I know is that I like the sound.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:40 am 
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The whistle prepares you in the sense that you learn to use and control your fingers. Other than that, they are very different instruments. I have taught a few very fine young whistleplayers who were taking up the pipes and they struggled about as much as anyone else. In fact approaching some things on the chanter in the same manner you would on the whistle can be a hindrance.

The pipes require a fair bit of commitment, especially during the beginner phase.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:12 pm 
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I've also started beginners on the uilleann pipes, mostly people coming from Highland pipes, fewer coming from whistle, plus sax players etc etc.

I've found that the Highland pipers have the most to un-learn, the most ill-suited habits to overcome. They invariably try to play the uilleann chanter like their familiar Highland chanter. I tell them that they need to set aside everything they think they know about piping.

Whistle-players do better, in my experience. While there's nothing exactly the same, yet the fingering of the whistle is oddly analogous to that of the uilleann chanter, and they figure out the differences soon enough.

Unlike Highland pipers, whistle-players don't have a burdensome load of complex and useless ornaments to abstain from. Rather, their whistle ornaments translate fairly well to the uilleann pipes.

I did see, long ago, an old Irish whistle player who took up the uilleann pipes and simply played the chanter like a whistle. It didn't sound like piping, but it was stylistically "Irish", and it worked well enough for the dancers I suppose.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:52 pm 
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Good answers. I'm really not looking at tackling this white whale at this stage of my playing but I'm really just curious about the cross over, which you guys have covered. It's important to keep my options open mind you. Cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:25 am 
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Just a warning: the uilleann bug bites hard.

You may end up dropping out of your current musical life, and your social life too, going off-grid, selling off everything you own to afford a set of pipes, and end up alone in a room playing pipes all day.

Here in Southern California we have a wonderful support group for the uilleann-afflicted. The best thing would be if you could find such a group near you.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:22 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Just a warning: the uilleann bug bites hard.

You may end up dropping out of your current musical life, and your social life too, going off-grid, selling off everything you own to afford a set of pipes, and end up alone in a room playing pipes all day.

Here in Southern California we have a wonderful support group for the uilleann-afflicted. The best thing would be if you could find such a group near you.



Haha, I appreciate the warning. I started helping a friend with his button accordion with a bit of tuning and cleaning etc and guess what? I'm now tuning and playing C#D box!! Kill me now!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:50 pm 
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I used to tell people to 'lie down until the feeling passes' when they would inquire about the pipes. You really want to seek out other sufferers for support if you pursue the pipes. You don't want to wind up an IPO. . . .Isolated Piping Outcast. When you start out you have a lot to sort out, and it is easier with support. :D

Bob

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:24 am 
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I think I'll stick to just enjoying the sound for now. The accordion is already a deep enough rabbit hole.


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