How to leard to blow the bag

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Zhuli
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How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Zhuli »

Hello
Thank you for letting me join this forum to ask questions
I know this is not a Scottish bagpipe forum but the Scottish bagpipe forum said my email is a email spam email so I have to join this one to ask my questions
I think I should not uesd my Chinese name to join that forum but I think this forum does not hate my Chinese name
I have no money to buy a tutor so I use the free youtube tutor because there are a lot and they are free
I can now play my 6 tunes on the practice chanter so I want to play my 6 tunes on the bagpipe.
I do not have money to buy a Scottish make bagpipe but my youtube tutor Matt Willis shows some cheap bagpipe are no good
The youtube have some Pakistan make bagpipe that can work but not very well but not cost much
Can the Pakistan make bagpipes work for a learner
Thank you for my question
Sorry for my trouble
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Nanohedron »

Zhuli wrote:I know this is not a Scottish bagpipe forum ...
You're in the right place, so no worries. This particular forum is indeed for Scottish bagpipes (I'm assuming you mean the Great Highland Bagpipes - abbreviated as GHB) and any other kind of bagpipe as well (there are many). The only pipes that don't have a place here are the Irish uilleann pipes, which have their own forum.

You should be able to get good and well-informed guidance here, Zhuli.
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by MichaelLoos »

Zhuli wrote:Can the Pakistan make bagpipes work for a learner
To make it short: NO!
I know some pakistani makers are said to be "better" than others but in general I must say, that I have never seen a Pakistan made bagpipe that was in or anywhere near playable condition as it came - and I've seen many.
The very same question has been asked many times before, and many more people (who never asked) have bought these bagpipe-like things because the price IS tempting, and leads to think "what can you do wrong for 69$?" - the answer, I am afraid, is "you can waist 69$ on something completely useless"!
A cheap and badly made violin will definitely not sound great, but it will basically work, a badly made guitar will not sound great and might be out of tune from the third fret onwards but will still basically work, but bagpipes are different - a badly made bagpipe will just not function and be impossible to play.
A beginner like yourself will tend to blame it on himself (rather than the instrument) and probably give up before he even really started.
All Pakistan made bagpipes that were brought to my workshop over the years would have required
- a new bag, as the original ones were all badly leaking as well as being way too small
- new drone reeds, the ones that came with the pipes being totally unusable
- a new blowpipe valve (although I've heard this issue has become better in later years,
but most of all
- a new chanter - I have never seen a pakistani chanter that only gave a true scale in itself, not mentioning being far away from any "normal" pitch, and absolutely not mentioning tone quality. Alternatively, some (if not all) of the tone holes would have to be blocked and re-bored in the proper positions
Most of them would also have required the tuning chambers re-reamed and the drones re-bored.
If you can find a craftsman who is willing to do all this, the cost will exceed the cost of a proper instrument - and by far exceed what you paid for the pakistani pipes.
So, don't let yourself be tempted by the allegedly favourable price - and don't get fooled by offers of 99$, 129$ or even 399$ - nobody can make a half-decent instrument for that price, these are just the same things that you can get for 69$ - still too much if you expect an instrument.
Rather save your money and get a budget set of pipes, some makers offer plastic bagpipes which are not bad at all - and if from a reputable maker, they will mostly work right out of the box (although a bit of reed adjustment will always be required).
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by RenaissanceGuy »

Welcome Zhuli. Pipes made in Pakistan are notorious for tuning problems and more. As a learner, you need an instrument that works well. Using a defective instrument would only make you frustrated.

There are affordable options available, when it comes to bagpipes that actually work correctly. For instance, the company Bagpipes Galore in Edinburgh, Scotland, sells a set of Great Highland Bagpipes made of delrin (synthetic material), which has good reviews. It is currently on sale for £330.00: https://www.bagpipe.co.uk/products/high ... -synthetic

One thing to keep in mind is that the Great Highland Bagpipes are very, very loud. That will cause problems if you live in an apartment or a dense urban neighborhood.

So Bagpipes Galore also has these quiet indoor practice pipes, currently on sale for £98.99: https://www.bagpipe.co.uk/collections/f ... tice-pipes
I have one of these that I was learning on for a little while (before I switched to uilleann pipes). While it's not an outstanding instrument, the advantage over Pakistan-made pipes is that these actually work, and they are easy to keep in tune.

If you want a quieter option but something of better quality then the practice pipes above, then you might want to try the practice pipes made by R.G. Hardie (in Glasgow, Scotland), available for £329.17 (that's excluding VAT if you are outside Europe): https://rghardiestore.com/Twist-Trap-Practice-Pipes

For an unboxing/overview of these, here is a video by Matt Willis:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvLKJRD-N5U
Zhuli
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Zhuli »

Thank you for your answers and I am wanting to play GHB bagpipes
Thank you Mr MichaelLoos for your answer to my question
You made a very clear answer and I understand all the answers you made very clear to me.
Do not buy a Pakistan make of bagpipe!!
Thank you Mr RenaissanceGuy for your answer and I understand your answer very clear too.
I do know the quiet bagpipe and the quiet bagpipe Matt Willis show in his youtube tutorial thank you.
I live in apartment block and cannot make any noise trouble
The old man in the next apartment does not like me to play the practice chanter when he is home because I have to play it on the balcony.
I have a big park and and vacant land and I only have to walk for ten minutes so I can practice the GHB bagpipe when I get one
I have a black plastic GHB bagpipe chanter made by McCallum Bagpipes and this is the chanter the bagpipe band plays so this is a good chanter
I have a friend in Australia and he plays the GHB bagpipe in a band
He is a Indian man but I still like him and he is very nice to me and helps me to learn the GHB bagpipe
I do not have a lot of money to buy GHB bagpipe and he said he can find good used GHB bagpipe to buy in Australia and post it to me
I will ask some more questions in this forum to make sure he can buy me a good learning GHB bagpipe
Thank you for your answers and I am very happy I am a member of this forum because you do not hate my Chinese name
Thank you for your trouble
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by pancelticpiper »

I agree the Pakistani pipes are worthless.

Legitimate good-quality pipes made in North American or the UK don't have to be expensive.

There are two blackwood Scottish-made quality sets of pipes currently on Ebay for $500. I've seen Pakistani pipes sell for more than that!

This set is by David Booth (Scotland) for $500, in new condition: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Highland-three ... SwglZf54S-

This set is by McLeod Highland Supplies (Scotland) for $500 in apparently like-new condition https://www.ebay.com/itm/Macleod-Highla ... Sw32Ve6AfC

There's a set of Lawries on Ebay now for just a couple hundred dollars, but the bidding might go up.

The thing that amazes me is the set of Naills for $700 which has been sitting on Ebay with no interest. That set would be twice that new! Naills are proven pipes. https://www.ebay.com/itm/D-Naill-DN0-Af ... 000%7C7000

Buying good used pipes is by far the best way to go, but a beginner usually doesn't know what to look for. You can ask your teacher Matt to recommend a set, he will know which pipes are great values and which pipes are worthless.

Both of my current Highland sets were bought on Ebay. Both are great pipes IMHO better than most pipes made today, both sets were made in the 1940s, one set was $600 one set was $800.

If you want new pipes out of delrin/polypenco I would get Dunbars, or McCallums. Sorry but I have a low opinion of the Bagpipes Galore pipes. This Dunbar set is far, far better: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dunbar-P3-Bagp ... 000%7C7000
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Zhuli
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Zhuli »

Happy new year!
Thank you Mr pancelticpiper for your answer and your good advice
My friend said you are right and I can get some GHB bagpipe on line
My friend has said to get plastic delrin because of my weather
Today can be 30c and 95rh so the plastic delrin will not give me any trouble
He has a dumbar plastic delrin and imitation ivory GHB bagpipe at $500
My dollar and Australia dollar are the same but my dollar is only 75c for US dollar
I can pay $500 but I told him to pay $450 with my holiday money because we can not go on holiday because of the covid.
Thank you for your answer and sorry for my trouble.
Zhuli
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Zhuli »

Hello Mr pancelticpiper
Mr Matt Willis is not my real teacher because i must pay him to be my real teacher
I look at Matt Willis on youtube and do what he tells me so i do not have to pay so i can save money
Sorry to make you misunderstand
Zhuli
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Zhuli »

Hello and thank you for your help
I am now very happy
My friend buys for me the dunbar plastic delrin GHB bagpipe in Australia $450 and he will post it to me and I will have my own GHB bagpipe in 2 weeks
He tells me to buy some drone reeds because the GHB bagpipe did not have any drone reeds
I will ask for some more questions to see how to buy the best drone reeds for a learner.
I have my McCallum GHB bagpipe chanter and 6 GHB bagpipe reeds from the Malaysia shop
I can play piano very well and I can hear in tune very good.
I have put my reeds my chanter to make them work for me before my GHB bagpipe is at my home
My Indian friend advice was to look at the youtube video by my friend and see what the problem is and see if the problem is the same as my problem is so I can fix it.
Mr Matt Willis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6PyHUbs5Ls
Mr Chris Apps High A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkYS1B11Mc8
Mr Chris Apps flat F https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-YgJXnb_ro
Mr Glen Harley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01XCzcE-OMM
Mr Husk flat F https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AScw8YE4ftI
I have the big flat f trouble but I cannot understand the youtube video lessons very well so I ask the oboe teacher to look at the youtube video lessons and tell me what to do because he makes the oboe reed and they are like a small GHB bagpipe reed.
He did not like what Mr Matt Willis did because he said the reed was not the good reed so pushing the metal bar up the reed will make it even more no good but because Mr Matt Willis does not make the reed that he thinks he does not know this thing very well.
He did not like what Mr Chris Apps did because when Mr Chris Apps fixed the reed the bottom a was very sharp at tuner 490 and the top a was more than a lot sharper and the tuner stops at 500 so was the top g so the chanter was not in a balance and will not play well
He did like that what Mr Chris Apps did for the flat f was the best way to fix the reed but the reed was not the right reed for the chanter because the bottom a and the top a was not in balance and he said what he did will make the reed very hard and a lot of trouble for a learner.
He did like what Mr Glen Harley shows best because he makes the reed what is best for the chanter and does not make the reed a flat reed or a hard reed to be trouble for a learner.
My teacher wants to ask Mr Glen Harley some questions because not everything can he understand like why the chanter do not all have the right pitch and why he need the stick and how much to trim the reed and what is the ef bisect because I can not find in google and bing and the big bagpipe forum
My teacher did not say Mr Husk is good for tying the string around the reed to fix the flat f
I am very happy to join the forum because I did I am going to learn a lot so I can play the GHB bagpipe.
I am using Microsoft spelling check and grammar check so my writing is better and I do not make any one misunderstand me
Thank you for my trouble
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Glenarley »

Good day Zhu Li
My name is Dale and I created one of the you tube videos you referenced, I also received an email from your oboe teacher which I feel best to address in this thread. He found me through the name on the bag, very resourceful of him. He asked all the right questions so I would suggest that as a novice to double reeds you listen to him.

I don't usually participate in forums but as you made raised some interesting questions I feel bound to address them.

My family has been making bagpipes for more than 25 years, my brother makes small pipes, uilleann pipes and chanters and makes exceptionally good uilleann pipe chanters and reeds. I make GHB's, chanters, repair old sets and make all types of adapters such as split stocks and moisture tubes. I also make synthetic GHB chanter reeds to suit custom chanters and pipers. We have a close personal and professional relationship with Bill Hart here in Sydney. Bill is the most prolific maker of small pipes down under having made and sold more than 400 sets as a sole maker. Bill also has an extensive collection of exotic bagpipes that he has made and learned to play, the zamponga being his latest project. My point is that we have a reasonable knowledge and skill set where bagpipes are concerned.

To help with your understanding, this forum has a bias towards uillean pipes, small pipes, flutes and drums whereas the other forum you were alluding to is more focused on the GHB. GHB pipers are competitive as they have solo and band competitions all over the world regularly. I would have to go back to the 70's to remember the last time I knew of an iulleann pipe contest, not to say there have not been any in the meantime. This makes the GHB piper's attitudes quite a bit different and you will find this out very quickly. The uilleann and small pipers seem to be more about the music and entertaining audiences whereas the GHB mob are more about being better than each other and keeping the judges happy. This is a generalisation only as there are many fine GHB pipers playing to audiences but, you will still find many of them in competitions also.

The point I am making is that this GHB competitive nature flows over to the equipment and there is a lot of one-upsmanship over the age and maker of one's pipes.

A common joke we hear - Q: How do you know if the piper playing in the same competition as you is playing 120 year old antique bagpipes? A: He/she will always tell you.

It should also be noted that many fine uillean and small pipe players did cross over from the dark side and are therefore accomplished GHB pipers also.

Do not let anyone put you off because of the pipes you are playing. The Dunbar pipes you have bought are a fine set of pipes by a skilled pipe maker and with the correct reeds and a good piper they will sound just grand. It's not the wand but how you wave it. Obviously this would not apply to poorly designed and manufactured pipes but this goes without saying.

Just because you play with the same putter as Tiger Woods does not mean you will also putt as well as he does.

I will make another you tube video and try to make the points your teacher raised on the reeds clearer. I will do a reed from go to whoa and try to show the exact amounts of trim and pitch.

I would like to correct one of your comments on what Chris Apps did in his video you referenced. When he trimmed the reed to affect the high A he stopped at that point because he had made his point. He would never play with a reed that had 20+ cents differential between the A's and if you listen to his playing on you tube you will hear what I am stating. He can certainly play the GHB and he does make fine reeds.

I will get back when I have had the time to do the video.

ALB
Zhuli
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Zhuli »

Hello Mr Glenarley and thank you for your answers
He is not my teacher he is the oboe teacher where I play on the piano
Sorry to make you misunderstand
Thank you for knowing my GHB bagpipe is a good bagpipe
He has made a good bargain for me to learn the GHB bagpipe
His friend is a GHB bagpipe player and is very good so he will teach me the GHB bagpipe and i will be the teacher for his son to play on the piano
I am very happy because this is a very good bargain for me.
I will show my GHB bagpipe teacher your youtube lesson and i think he will understand very well.
I do not understand all the things you say so he will i think.
I am very happy to be on this forum and because you do not hate my Chinese name I am learning how to play the GHB bagpipe.
I am sorry for the big GHB bagpipe forum for not letting me be on the forum but it is my good luck to be on the chiff and fipple forum
Thank you very much the forum peoples and have a happy and lucky new year
Thank you
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by pancelticpiper »

Glenarley wrote: I would have to go back to the 70's to remember the last time I knew of an uilleann pipe contest, not to say there have not been any in the meantime.
Just to set the record straight there are uilleann pipe contests on a regular basis both in Ireland and in places around the world that have Comhaltas branches that put on contests.
Glenarley wrote: The uilleann and smallpipers seem to be more about the music and entertaining audiences whereas the GHB mob are more about being better than each other and keeping the judges happy.
I've spent 45 years in the Highland pipe world and over 40 years in the uilleann pipe world and I disagree with this. The people saying that Highland pipers don't care about the music and only care about what judges think always seem to be people outside of the GHB world. The vast majority of the people inside the GHB world I've known over the last 45 years have dedicated their lives to the music. Competition for them is viewed as a path to becoming a better player, not the end-all and be-all. This is true of pretty much all the very good "serious" competitors I've known. The joy is in playing the music. Competitors know that you can't control what judges think.

I suppose there are people for whom it becomes only about winning and not about the music and camaraderie of the piping world. I've not met anybody like that.
Glenarley wrote: The Dunbar pipes you have bought are a fine set of pipes by a skilled pipe maker and with the correct reeds and a good piper they will sound just grand.
Yes indeed Dunbars are fine pipes and often overlooked by pipers who don't know about them. I think Dunbar's image problem (if indeed it is a problem) comes from the fact that they make so many delrin/poly pipes. I played a gorgeous African blackwood Dunbar set and other pipers didn't recognise it. When they asked (no, pipers do not go around announcing what pipes they play) and I told them they were Dunbars they would always say "I didn't know Dunbar made wood pipes".

I've had three African blackwood Dunbar sets, and a poly/delrin Dunbar set, and I should mention that Dunbar bass drones don't get on well with EzeeDrone reeds. Rick Pettigrew will tell you the same thing. The best reeds I tried were the Kinnaird original style, they sound super in Dunbars. EzeeDrone tenors work fine in Dunbars, they're just a bit quieter. So when volume wasn't important I played EzeeDrone tenors and a Kinnaird bass in my ABW Dunbars, or all-Kinnaird when I wanted a bigger sound.

It is strange, in the Highland piping world, how certain makes of pipes will be popular in certain regions but not others.

So here on the USA Left Coast no-one has heard of ABW Dunbars and few people play pipes by Scottish makers like MacMurchie, Gellaitry, Wallace, Tweedie, Donaldson, and Booth. Many Americans play pipes by American makers like Gibson, MacLellan, Kron, and Kyo which don't seem to be known much in Scotland. (It makes sense especially when African blackwood was banned from international shipping.)

When a local West Coast USA piper moved to Scotland to compete in a Grade One band the pipers there were fascinated by his MacLellan set, it stood out on his shoulder for sure (MacLellan pipes have a unique profile).

Different kettle of fish, Atherton pipes, due to SFU having so many Athertons in their ranks, and them also having a distinctive look.
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Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Glenarley »

Good day Zhu Li, that is indeed great news and nobody is happier for you than I am.

Forums like this are about reaching out and getting help and this has clearly worked for you.

Some advice if I may. As with your piano playing, it is all about practice and technique.

One of the biggest issues we have with GHB pipers of all levels is not practicing. The GHB is a very loud instrument so finding an appropriate place to practice can be problematic, especially in your part of the world. You can use the practice chanter to learn tune fingering but the bigger issue is bag control.

When you take a breath, you are passing bag control to your arm and when you start to blow after your breath you are taking control back from the arm pressure. This is called transitions and if you get the transitions smooth your piping will sound better for it. To get this right you need a good technique and lots of practice. If you have too much arm pressure or too much breath pressure on transitions you will have sharp notes or even chirps. If you let the pressure drop you will have flat notes or even chokes. Watch this video, Bob Shepherd was one of the best GHB tutors of his time and pay careful attention to the breathing technique of the pipers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARtfEtgxWHo

You will notice they take and breath without any shortshifting. Regular steady breaths mean less transitions therefore, less opportunities to make transition mistakes. You will also notice no big ballsack cheeks. They breath with tight embouchure from the diaphragms so there is no pressure latency (lag) from having to fill their cheeks to get to the correct pressure, just like a good oboe or clarinet player. You will see some great pipers with bad blowing technique and ballsack cheeks but to do this they must have exceptional bag control. Lots of practice.

One learning technique is to spend lots of time only playing your drones only in the bag, something you can do where you live and something most people can do in their homes without disturbing others. Your drones will tell you straight away if your transitions are good and it will also get you good at tuning your drones. I make chanter bleeds that are a plug that replaces the chanter in the stock and the bleed has a hole size that simulates the exact amount of air your chanter would be using if it were in use. This means you are practicing your bag control on a bag that is using the same amount of air as with a chanter but without the noise. You can now practice without leaving the house so no excuse to not practice bag control every day.

Practicing with your drones will also help with learning to tune. Listen to this video, he is called the bagpipe master so I guess he is a teacher like an English or maths master.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui9uC_n_k28

Because of your major scale stuff, the F to hG won’t sound too bad but the F to E will sound a bit off to your ear. You will also, in time, pick that the drone’s loss of harmony with the chanter really stands out when he plays the F. This is because it is a bit sharp, the F needs a bit of tape so it does not sound out with the drones. Funnily enough, your ear will tolerate 10 cents sharp but will kick up at 5 cents flat.

This is another example to listen to. I picked on the same tune.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KD0zHfczpw

Same problem with the F but listen to the pitch. In the first video he is at about Bb while she is about 482, typical band pitch. She has the wrong pitched reed for the chanter as I discussed in the video but notice how the F sounds worse against the drones at the pitch she is playing yet, it is sharp about the same amount as the bagpipe master. This is why some very fine pipers will not play solo piping up at band pitch.

The ability to be able to hear this mismatch with the drones and fix it is why the really good pipers just sound so good.

My point is, practice as much as you can and only practice good technique, record yourself and listen, then, listen to a recording of a good piper playing it. You will spot the difference.

Good Uilleann pipers have to have exceptionally good bag control to seamlessly jump between the octaves, just have a listen to a few of them at work and look to see if you can spot any extra movements when they bump to the octave.

That’s my threepence worth, I wish you all the best and I will post the video I said I would.

I apologise for any offense I have caused by my reference to the competitive nature of the GHB mob, of which I am one.

While I am very aware of the Irish Comhaltas, I did not see them as a formal competition. They are about promoting Irish music and culture and I have always viewed them as Irish festivals as all Irish instruments and song are on display at these events. I thought they were peer reviewed and I had no idea that the uilleann judging was done by formally trained, credentialed judges like is the case with the GHB competitions. Today I learned something new.

While I do stand corrected, in fairness, I didn’t say all/only GHB pipers and I did state it as a generalisation and, as I started with the GHB in 1968, I have seen my fair share.

My point was that the GHB world is very regimented in both music and equipment. I could not see an uilleann piper being judged down because he did not have 2mm of hemp showing on his drones or the 2 & 3 finger spacing on his bass drone, but I have seen this in the GHB competitions. I agree we must have standards and rules but I really like the relaxed musicality of the uilleann pipers and that they are largely void of such attention to non-musical detail.

In NZ they still have a lot of session pubs and over 95% of the attendees will bring their Irish instruments although they do get the occasional GHB. They also have their annual tionól in Nelson, (pre Covid). I remember Brian McNamara stayed at by brother’s farm when he attended one such event which goes to show how well supported the Irish music is in NZ.

History tells us that the warpipes were made illegal in Ireland at one time because they were seen as instruments of incitement so piping was brought inside with the uilleann pipes because of the need for music. Enough said.

Again, I apologise if I offended anyone from the GHB mob, I was only trying to be informative for Zhu Li.

Cheers

G
Zhuli
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:16 am
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Tell us something.: I am a learner on bagpipe for 2 years on the practice chanter.

I am Asian and my written English is good for understanding.

I want to lean by asking questions.

Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Zhuli »

Hello Mr Glenarley thank you for your answers and good advice.
I do not understand all your answers but I am very good at practice so i will show my new teacher your answers and he will know how to understand
I start my lesson when my dunbar GHB bagpipe has arrived at my home
I cannot make my chanter reed work well in my chanter so i will wait for my teacher to show me
For my new question how do i know what GHB bagpipe drone reed is the best sound for my dunbar GHB bagpipe
The rain is coming all the time and it is hard to practice in the rain so i can only practice when it is not raining
Thank you for my new question
Glenarley
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Tell us something.: My family has been making pipes and reeds for over 25 years both Uillean and GHB. I am being asked to share pass on information on to other pipers in this open environment.

Re: How to leard to blow the bag

Post by Glenarley »

Good day Zhu Li
The short answer to finding the best sounding drone reeds is to use your ear.

I was shown a forum thread where a GHB piper of some note, (not from Scotland) stated that “the best sounding drones I have ever heard are my 100 year old African Ebony Drones”.

You will hear many such statements but such statements lack credibility and should be treated with caution and an analytical skepticism. Being proud to own a unique set of old pipes from a recognized maker and having a bit of a boast is not such a bad thing. It displays a reverence to the maker and an appreciation of the skill and workmanship and will maintain a value on quality with the makers of new instruments also. Having a revered set of pipes does not make you a great player, only the player of a great maker's instrument. I am sure Fred Morrison could make a brand new set of Dunbar's plain Jane pipes sound a million dollars.

The 100 year old Gabon (African) ebony drones may have been well made and designed however,

100 yo gabon drones + well matched drone reeds + poor unsteady piper = poor unsteady sound
100 yo gabon drones + poorly matched drone reeds + good steady piper = poor (maybe steady) sound
100 yo gabon drones = well matched drone reeds + good steady piper = good steady sound.

The drones. in the absence of the other two parts also being good and steady, are just very well-made expensive pieces of wood with holes drilled down the middle.

Then comes preference.

Some pipers like that edgy, buzzy, high overtone ringing sound out of their drones.

Some pipers like the well rounded hum without the edgy high overtones from their drones.

It is all subjective and there is no best sound for everyone. If you are a solo player and you like the sound then that is the best sound however, if you are in a band then the Pipe Major will tell you what the best sound is.

You might like a low, rounded hum or, you might like a full and strident hum, it is a preference. The bottom line is that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”

If I were you Zhu Li, I would go to youtube and listen to several notable GHB pipers and see what you like the sound of. Might I suggest Fred Morrison and Greg Wilson, two very steady pipers that like to play at a pitch below mainstream band pitch.

And just when you think you have it, throw in the chanter, after all, you are wanting your drones and chanter to harmonise and yet, after all this, none of these things will sound good if you are not steady on the bag. Welcome to the GHB.

The most important thing that you must keep in mind, everyone sounds like crap when they are just starting off. You need Patience and Practice.

If you let me know about what pressure you find most comfortable, I will make you a synthetic chanter reed gratis to suit your McCallum chanter. This will give you one less thing to worry about.

Best wishes

G
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