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 Post subject: Bagpipe advice
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:55 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Manitoba, Canada
I recently acquired a set of mouthblown Flemish pipes/Cornemeuse du Centre. They are new and beautifully made by Michael Mac Harg of Vermont. (I would like to post a pic but am unsure how to do this).
I am new to piping, but I do play flute and diatonic button squeezebox. I know I have a learning curve ahead of me but I was wondering if any list members could give me some practical advice. For example, right now my biggest challenge is keeping the bag inflated enough to sound both the single drone and the chanter and to sustain the pressure. I live in rural western Canada, with no other pipe players or teachers around so I would be interested to hear from others who have traveled this route before.
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Bagpipe advice
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:05 pm
Posts: 95
Well, I have no special advice, apart of keep piping. The working on the bag will rapidly become an automatism if you keep on blowing every day. À thing you can do is shut off the drones and try to keep your fondamental steady (if you play G/C pipes, it will be the low G) after what you can open the small drone, and the big one after...

If you want some french and flemish bagpipes music, just send me an MP.

And if you come to eastern Canada (Québec), WE could met !

Nic


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 Post subject: Re: Bagpipe advice
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 774
Location: Midwest
First off, Order the Boulanger book. Here is a link to the English translation of it. Comes with a CD, cost about $35 total and they shipped it super fast (fastest I have ever gotten anything from Germany)

http://spielleute.de/wbc.php?sid=9542a8567&tpl=produktdetail.html&pid=127&rid=11&recno=13

then.... look around in these threads
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=88905
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=90473
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=88741&start=15

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Bagpipe advice
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:55 pm
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Location: Manitoba, Canada
Thanks Nic, anima, for the advice and links. All useful. I tried ordering the English version of the Boulanger but on the website list of countries for one's address they have the USA but not Canada. There is Croasia - go figure! I emailed the publisher and hope that can be resolved.
Interesting discussion on the old thread about reeds. Which raises the question, how long can I expect my (plastic) reed to last, given a reasonable amount of use and good care? Is making one's own reeds a practical option?
Good to know lots of players have been through these early stages.
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Bagpipe advice
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:53 am
Posts: 611
Location: Burgdorf near Hanover, germany
I'm very sure Michael Hofmann of spielleute.de will find a possibility of sending the book to Canada.
I had a plastic chanter reed in regular use for about 8 years, before a crack in the material developed. This may have been an exception, but if treated well (which basically means - leave it alone) a plastic reed should last a couple of years anyway. My plastic drone reeds are still going strong after 12 years.
Making your own reeds is always a good idea. There's a fairly good instruction here:
http://www.sackpfeifenbau.de/cgi-bin/xp ... 19&screen=
It is well illustrated, so don't worry if you can't read German, I think it is understadable. If you're in doubt, I can translate it for you. The required staple length for a G-Cornemuse (16 pouces) is 31 mm, if you can't get cornemuse staples from your pipemaker you can use oboe staples shortened to 31 mm (remove the cork and shorten the wide end) - all this provided your instrument follows the standard bore design.
The type of plastic needed is polystyrene from yoghurt containers (look for the sign "PS" or/and the number "06" at the bottom); unfortunately, PS jars are becoming hard to find in Germany, I don't know what the situation is like in your part of the world. It is always worth it trying several brands, there are differences in material composition and thickness which make some more suitable than others. 500 grams is the right size, 250 gr are smaller and have a narrower curve which will make for a louder reed (and possibly tuning problems particularly on the lowest tones).


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 Post subject: Re: Bagpipe advice
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:55 pm
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Location: Manitoba, Canada
Thanks Michael. Despite my rusty (let's say 20+ years rusty) German I was able to figure out the instructions on the reedmaking page. Most of the yogurt pots I have just examined are <pp 05> plastic. I will do more research.
I can't get over how helpful the piping community is.
Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Bagpipe advice
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:53 am
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Location: Burgdorf near Hanover, germany
MichaelM wrote:
Most of the yogurt pots I have just examined are <pp 05> plastic.

Same problem here.
When I go to the supermarket, I look underneath all the plastic pots and buy without even looking what's in them...


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