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 Post subject: A few bagpipe questions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:03 pm 
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Hey guys. I know virtually nothing about bagpipes. But they are one of those instruments that I think is cool and would be interested in learning if I found a cheap option to try out. Well, I was looking at random stuff on hobgoblin, and I found some cheap plastic practice pipes. Expecting them to be unplayable garbage like most of whats on amazon, I googled them. And found that they seem functional.

Heres the pipes I'm talking about https://www.hobgoblin-usa.com/local/sal ... tish-made/
And heres a video of them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6QMzt0 ... =emb_title
And heres a second thing I ended up finding https://www.thepipershut.com/McCallum-P ... p_472.html

1- So I have a few questions. Whats the difference between a "practice chanter" and a 'normal' chanter. To my knowledge you can buy different chanters.

2- This ties in with my first question. Could I buy a different chanter to put on this for a different sound? I don't hate the sound, but its not the bagpipe sound I'm going for. I'm looking for something more like this sound -> https://youtu.be/P0uLDhZXW6w?t=67 timestamped to the bagpipes playing.

3- Is is possible to disable the drones? A lot of the things I listen to that have pipes seem to only be the chanter (or the drones just arent noticeable in the mix. not sure). The second pipes link above doesnt have drones. But having the pipes with drones is just more features overall if there was a way to just plug the hole or something and not use them if I didnt want to.

Thanks for any info guys.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:28 pm 
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On Great Highland Bagpipes (GHB in message board parlance) there are 2 chanters: practice chanters and pipe chanters.
Practice chanters are, as the name implies, intended for practice and is what learners start on to learn the rudiments. The internal dimensions and size of finger holes combined with a low pressure reed make for a quieter, more forgiving instrument. After getting a handle on finger technique and being able to play a half-dozen or so tunes from memory is when a learner usually starts to learn to blow the pipes. Pipers still use the practice chanter to learn tunes and work on technique no matter how long they have been on the pipes.
The pipe chanter is what’s played when blowing the pipes. The internal dimensions and size of finger holes combined with a different type of reed make for the louder, higher pitch, and higher pressure that is characteristic of the GHB. When learning to blow the pipes it’s common to put rubber stoppers in the drones while learning to keep a steady, unwavering tone with the pipe chanter.

Over the past few decades some alternative instruments that use the same fingering as the GHB have grown in popularity. Various iterations have existed going back a few centuries but it has been the last 40 years in which the other Scottish pipes have been produced to play in the modern A440 pitch and have gained their own place in Scottish traditional music. The bellows-blown Scottish Smallpipes (SSP) and border pipes have become the popular choice for social music as their pitch and volume allow pipers to play along with other folk instruments. While the majority of pipers that play SSP and border pipes also play GHB, it’s becoming less unusual for pipers to only play the bellows pipes without ever having blown the GHB.

But you don’t have to limit yourself to Scottish bagpipes, especially if you don’t intend to play Scottish pipe tunes. There are a myriad of types of bagpipes and traditions stretch from the Middle East across Europe. Scottish piping, especially on the GHB, has a rather rigid standard for fingering and musical style and it takes years of dedication to gain proficiency at it. Bagpipes generally aren’t quite like other instruments such as piano, guitar, or violin which are open to nearly any style or genre. Bagpipes are more embedded in the folk culture of their origins. It might be the reproduction, medieval style bagpipe like used in the Eluvetie video is suited to the kind of music you want to play.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:52 pm 
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AaronMalcomb wrote:
The internal dimensions and size of finger holes combined with a different type of reed make for the louder, higher pitch, and higher pressure that is characteristic of the GHB.

And the bore! The conical bore of GHB and Border Pipes is the main reason for them sounding an octave above the cylindrical bore of SSP and practice chanters.

Quote:
While the majority of pipers that play SSP and border pipes also play GHB, it’s becoming less unusual for pipers to only play the bellows pipes without ever having blown the GHB.

I'm not sure that the majority of pipers that play SSP and border pipes also play GHB.

I'd also add that there are sound reasons to choose dry-(bellows-)blown pipes over wet-(mouth-)blown in the smaller reed sizes, especially SSP.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:34 pm 
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Loads of good info, thanks for the reply. I read it multiple times. It definitely sounds like I want to be starting out with a practice chanter haha. Are different style of pipes chanters specific to that style of pipes, or can they be interchangeable? I'd agree in that GHB probobly arent my ideal pipe style. When you mention these differences in pipes, is it moreso the style people play the music they are usually playing with them, or do Scottish pipes physically play that much different from medieval style? I have looked up the pipes the guy used in his cover, they are redpipe epona's (he said in a comment). Which are over $1500. Very far out of my budget haha. I'm not sure if there are any super cheap ones similar to the ones I found on hobgoblin or not, which are what especially peaked my interest. I appreciate pipes, but I'd only plan to dabble and play the Eluveitie and other songs I like that have pipes. So more basic level stuff. Nothing worthy of expensive pipes and years of honing my skills haha. Not sure how well these Scottish practice pipes or the McCallum practice ones I linked would be for that goal.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:41 pm 
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A practice chanter is generally for GHB because it’s a more physically demanding instrument. The fingering is specific to Scottish pipes. The pressure required to make the reeds sound varies greatly from one type of bagpipe to another. There is also wide variation in the dimensions of the stock which is the pipe that connects the chanter to the bag. Those factors make swapping chanters impractical if not impossible.

The Redpipe is electronic which adds to the cost but also means it can change pitch and fingering with a turn of a dial. The website says it’s a medieval bagpipe which would predate the GHB which only came into its current form less than 300 years ago. You might be better going in the direction of medieval pipes or a Galician gaita. The Galician gaita has a very easy pressure compared to GHB and has a much wider range. You’ll get a lot of mileage that way and you can play a wider variety of music.

If you don’t play a whistle, start there. They are even more affordable than a practice chanter and they are the secondary instrument for a lot of pipers anyways. If you already play penny whistle the fingering will adapt to easily to the Galician gaita or medieval bagpipes.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:05 pm 
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Ah I didnt realize the fingering would be different on Scottish pipes vs others. I saw the same holes on each and thought they would be the same. Very good to know haha. I did a bit of research, what I read makes a little more sense now. So Uilleann pipes and pretty much all others besides Scottish (GHB) have the same fingering. which is more similar to whistle fingering than GHB's. I think?

I saw that the redpipe is electronic. I thought that was just for the air, but makes a lot of sense now because I know Eluveitie uses the same one I think and they play in different keys. But I was originally thinking they just swap chanters.

I do currently play whistle (with pipers grip). So I understand the concept of different breath requirements and stuff. And am hoping that learning to blow into a bag and covering slightly different holes wont be TOO hard haha. But like every instrument, its always harder than it looks.

My search attempts for a medieval found this,
Link
I thought it was a fishy listing because the name says Scottish and Medieval but then I realized you choose which one. Seems to have decent reviews. Maybe its what I'm looking for? It has no drones though, which is a little sad. But I doubt I'm going to be getting that in any decent quality for this price. The only other thing I can find is amazon junk, that with more digging, found plenty of bad reviews.

Thanks for all the good info so far, helps a lot.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:34 am 
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Narzog wrote:
So Uilleann pipes and pretty much all others besides Scottish (GHB) have the same fingering.

No. Uilleann pipes have very different fingering (+ range and style) from Scottish types, but that doesn't mean most others are the same. They're not.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:52 am 
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Thanks for all the info guys. I'll just stick to whistling for now, seeing that my idea of getting the sub $200 Scottish practice pipes isnt going to work. I did more research and it seems like everyone I listen to uses electric Redpipes. Which are really far out of my budget.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:04 am 
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The pipes uou link “are”a practice chanter. In the form of a goose and 2 drones .
This is very similar to SSP .
I hada similar set yrs ago. Great fun and a perfect way to start off. Just block the drones off at first

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Heres a few tunes round a table, first three sets;

http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/werty
http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/jigs-willie
http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/jigs


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:13 pm 
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fiddlerwill wrote:
The pipes uou link “are”a practice chanter. In the form of a goose and 2 drones .
This is very similar to SSP .
I hada similar set yrs ago. Great fun and a perfect way to start off. Just block the drones off at first

Hey, thanks for the information, sorry I didnt notice this until now. I've been thinking small pipes could be my best route if I were to get into any sort of pipes to dabble. So maybe at some point I'll pick these up.


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