A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

The Wonderful World of ... Other Bagpipes. All the surly with none of the regs!
Daniel Mahfooz
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:17 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8

A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Daniel Mahfooz »

I don't see what's so hard about customizing a bagpipe with a chanter that has the exact same fingering as the tin whistle. Even though limited, it can play whatever a whistle can play on a bagpipe in the same style! Is it possible to take out the fipple of the whistle and just make a chanter out of it's metal piece?

Is this possible? If so how do I create it?
Any tips?

I don't care if it doesn't sound like a whistle or like a official bagpipe. Just as long as whistle skills are directly transferable to something that sounds good enough to be called a bagpipe.



Thank you. :puppyeyes:
User avatar
MTGuru
Posts: 18663
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:45 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by MTGuru »

Welcome, Daniel. The bagpipers will be along shortly. But I'd say if you want to play whistle, play whistle. If you want to play bagpipe, play bagpipe. Both whistle and many open-fingered bagpipes use the same basic simple system diatonic fingering, making it fairly easy to translate finger reflexes from one to the other. Breath skills vs. bag skills are a different story, of course.
Daniel Mahfooz wrote:I don't see what's so hard about customizing a bagpipe with a chanter that has the exact same fingering as the tin whistle.
Probably because you'd need to understand the acoustics of resonant pipes.

A tiny standard D whistle or a fairly large bore low D whistle would probably be a nightmare to reed. Even if you could reed a typical cylindrical whistle body, you're converting an open-end pipe to a closed-end pipe. Which means it will now overblow the twelfth and not the octave - if you can overblow it (over-pressure it) at all. So it won't behave like a whistle anyway. Notably, many bagpipes have only a fundamental compass of one octave or slightly more, and are not overblown.

An exception are the Irish uilleann pipes with a 2 octave range, and a set of open fingerings similar to whistle - which is partly why most uilleann pipers readily play the whistle as well. It sounds like that may be what you are interested in, at least a practice set (chanter/bag/bellows, no drones/regs). Why reinvent the wheel? With the caveat that I've heard naïve attempts to play uilleann pipes like a glorified whistle without understanding piping, and the results are not very pretty.

Another option might be a programmable MIDI wind controller with a whistle-like fingering setup. If you don't care if it sounds like a whistle or a bagpipe, you can make it sound like a glockenspiel.

I guess your query is confusing because: a) If you're already a bagpiper, then you already understand most of the above, and that fingering is only a part of it; b) If you're a whistle player, then you're radically underestimating what is involved in making a transition to any kind of bagpipe. Maybe more information about your music background and your goals would elicit better answers. Best of luck.
Vivat diabolus in musica! MTGuru's (old) GG Clips / Blackbird Clips

Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.
Kypfer
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:27 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 12

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Kypfer »

what's so hard about customizing a bagpipe with a chanter that has the exact same fingering as the tin whistle
... no problem, take a practice chanter, block and re-drill the holes that are out of tune with your requirements, then fit it to a bag and play. Small-size bagpipes are available that use a practice chanter as standard fitting.

As for modifying a whistle, probably not, for all the reasons MTGuru mentioned (and maybe others).

Also, again referring to MTGuru's reply ... there's a whole new skill-set involved in getting a set of pipes to play a melody in a tuneful manner, the fingering is probably the least of your worries :lol:
"I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order."
User avatar
MichaelLoos
Posts: 645
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:53 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I'm here because I just wanted to change my location... but it turns out much more complicated than I thought. Do I already have the 100 required characters?
Location: Klietz, Germany

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by MichaelLoos »

Kypfer wrote:the fingering is probably the least of your worries :lol:
Perfectly right - a bagpipe of whatever type played like a whistle (or recorder) just doesnt sound like it should, one of the reasons being that you can't stop the air feed like you can with a mouth-blown instrument, therefore you need to learn finger techniques to overcome this in order to get the playing structured.
The galician gaita employs open fingering which is mostly identical to whistle fingering, except that it has a leading tone below the fundamental. It has a thumb hole for octave "D" but you can also get this tone with whistle fingering, keeping the lower holes closed except for the top index finger. Still, to make it sound "right", you will have to learn additional techniques, otherwise it will sound like a whistle player messing around with a bagpipe without really being able to play it...
Daniel Mahfooz
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:17 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Daniel Mahfooz »

:-? Thanks for all your answers maybe I was being a little too optimistic. But is there a way this could be possible in one form or another ? I mean how bad would a bagpipe with a tin whistle chanter sound, how hard would it be to learn? It can sound like Galican bagpipes or any form of bagpipe only without the drones etc. i'm just wondering if the sound can be changed to sound like a pipe and the skills transferred.
User avatar
Feadoggie
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:06 pm
antispam: No
Location: Stout's Valley, PA, USA

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Feadoggie »

I agree with all of the above. But....

If you just want to cobble up a pipe-ish sounding instrument from a whistle then I suggest you make a "membrane pipe" chanter. Google is your friend. It's pretty interesting work but not too complicated. I make them using the bodies of my DIY CPVC whistles. It's a hoot. But it is not a particularly serious substitute for any type of traditional pipes. It's more like a super loud kazoo. The "quality" of the tone in the end has to do with the type of material you use for the membrane - lots of possibilities. Who'da thunk that? Have fun!

Here's a video of one such setup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12IKuuvFgW4 Yes, you can add drones if you are industrious enough to figure things out.

My apologies in advance to all the pipers that view this.

Feadoggie
I've proven who I am so many times, the magnetic strips worn thin.
User avatar
pancelticpiper
Posts: 4939
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Playing Scottish and Irish music in California for 45 years.
These days many discussions are migrating to Facebook but I prefer the online chat forum format.
Location: WV to the OC

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by pancelticpiper »

Like Michael, the bagpipe that came to my mind was the Gaita Gallega.

Also some of Julian Goodacre's English bagpipes have fingering very much like that of a whistle.
Richard Cook
c1980 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle
Kypfer
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:27 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 12

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Kypfer »

how bad would a bagpipe with a tin whistle chanter sound
... it's probably not a case of "how bad" but "if at all". The average whistle body is rather larger in internal diameter than a chanter,so getting a reed to fit may be your first problem. I do believe, in the first instance, you'd be better served modifying an existing playable bagpipe to play as you want it, rather than trying to adapt a whistle to act as a chanter :wink:
"I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order."
User avatar
CHasR
Posts: 2464
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:48 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: canned tuna-aisle 6

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by CHasR »

sounds to me as if ya just wanna rock out yer whistle stuff on a pipe.
www.redpipes.eu I have one or these & the user can program it to use open (whistle-ish) fingering and play in any key.

what Panceltic said is good advice though.
Fact is, any "open-fingering' pipe chanter can (sadly) be played just like a whistle, and it will sound *exactly* like a bagpipe being played as if its a whistle. :boggle:
mwilson
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:38 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by mwilson »

Feadoggie wrote:I agree with all of the above. But....

If you just want to cobble up a pipe-ish sounding instrument from a whistle then I suggest you make a "membrane pipe" chanter. Google is your friend. It's pretty interesting work but not too complicated. I make them using the bodies of my DIY CPVC whistles. It's a hoot. But it is not a particularly serious substitute for any type of traditional pipes. It's more like a super loud kazoo. The "quality" of the tone in the end has to do with the type of material you use for the membrane - lots of possibilities.
I've had a project like this going back-burnered for about a year, since before I'd met real pipers. I've had better luck with tone quality than you seem to describe. Tweaking for a higher membrane tension gives you a pipe that's slower to speak, with a smoother tone, sharper pitch, and lower volume. I'd say you can move up the tone quality spectrum from kazoo, to around where harmonicas are. I have an unfinished chanter pipe here that so far sounds like a cheap saxophone. And some tolerable drones -- a bit buzzier.

A large bore cylindrical chanter will never, never, never stand up with GHB, but maybe in a kind of jug band context ...
User avatar
bogman
Posts: 515
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:27 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: N.W. Scotland

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by bogman »

In my opinion the characteristics of bagpipes and whistles are just too different to successfully play one with the fingering of the other. Whistle players who want to play bagpipes should learn the rudiments of the particular bagpipe they're interested in and bagpipers who want to play whistle should learn whistle rudiments. Just my opinion but I've never heard a hybrid that was anything near acceptable and don't ever expect to.
User avatar
MTGuru
Posts: 18663
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:45 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by MTGuru »

MTGuru wrote:Maybe more information about your music background and your goals would elicit better answers.
Again, Daniel, my suggestion wasn't just rhetorical. For example, if you're an experienced world musician looking to add a bagpipe sound to a recording, that's one thing. If you're an amateur newbie just looking to mess around with a hybrid instrument, that's another. Give us more information.
Vivat diabolus in musica! MTGuru's (old) GG Clips / Blackbird Clips

Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.
User avatar
Tjones
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:16 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Tjones »

I have a small pipe in D with open fingering and it sounds very nice. I'm not sure how to post a wav file. But I could email any one interested. Here is a Picture of the pipes. And they are for sale.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1149 ... 9424312323
User avatar
Feadoggie
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:06 pm
antispam: No
Location: Stout's Valley, PA, USA

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Feadoggie »

mwilson wrote: I've had better luck with tone quality than you seem to describe. Tweaking for a higher membrane tension gives you a pipe that's slower to speak, with a smoother tone, sharper pitch, and lower volume. I'd say you can move up the tone quality spectrum from kazoo, to around where harmonicas are. I have an unfinished chanter pipe here that so far sounds like a cheap saxophone. And some tolerable drones -- a bit buzzier.
:) Yes, I agree. I experimented with quite a few designs and membrane materials too. And I do have a decent sounding combination at this point. I was actually surprised at how much I could get out of the membrane pipes - great fun, learned a bit and it was well worth the time and effort IMO.

My comments above were more in relation to a first time maker following the instructions out on the web. I am afraid most initial attempts will sound rather kazoo like.

But the bottom line, and hence my suggestion, you can take a whistle and make a pipe (like) chanter out of it, sort of.

And, Daniel, if you do try to turn a Gen whistle into a membrane pipe you will need a short spacer tube atop the gen tube to get the tuning right. The membrane has to essentially be at the same position as the blade edge of the original plastic whistle head.

Feadoggie
I've proven who I am so many times, the magnetic strips worn thin.
Daniel Mahfooz
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:17 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8

Re: A bagpipe with a chanter that has whistle fingering

Post by Daniel Mahfooz »

Thanks for all the answers! It seems uilleann piping is something I should learn separately in the future I can't cheat my way out of this one. HOWEVER the membrane pipe is really interesting and I've been looking all over for the best one. I know that it has a lot of potential and could sound like a snake charmers flute if made properly, not too mention it could look nicer than the pvc models. I was thinking maybe clay, or something else that makes it sound stronger. I'm really unsure, as of now all I play is fiddle and whistle and have no experience with pipes. It would be great if I found a way to alter the whistle so it sounded like a awesome variation of tiny pipes with drone and all, something like the Dizi or Pungi.


Any ideas? How can I perfect this membrane whistle idea?
It would be epic if even the little tunes I play subtlety sounded like pipes.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXix3Hp4m1o

This is the best one I've found so far.
Post Reply