It is currently Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:01 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 
 Post subject: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:25 pm
Posts: 2
I'm seriously looking to buy and learn uilleann pipes. My question is should I go with a practice set or a half set to start with? I suspect that this has been asked many times before but I couldn't easily find an answer when I searched.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Finland
As someone who has started under a year ago, having pondered the same issue back then, I'd say that if you think you're motivated and you think you can afford it, go with a half set.
If you're really motivated, you will progress, and probably sooner than later you will find yourself in a situation where you really want to get the drone business started, and then it's good that you have them with you straight away.
You don't have to use the drones until you feel comfortable with them, but one aspect of it is that it's nice to get used to them resting on your lap while playing.

If you only want to try out the pipes to see what will come, I'd lean towards a practice set.

That's about the advice that was given to me back then and that's the advice I'm going to give forth, as for me it was good advice!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 am
Posts: 616
Location: Parker County, Texas, USA
My advice would be, buy the most complete set, from a good maker, that you can afford. You won't be sorry later, providing you stick with it (but you said you were serious). If you contemplate buying a second-hand set, have an experienced piper play it first and give you an opinion.

_________________
Deartháir don phaidir an port.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:19 am
Posts: 523
Location: Portland, OR
I would echo what has already been said here, and I would rephrase it as this: if you are serious about the instrument, buy the most complete set you can financially, made by a reputed maker and that is guaranteed to be fully playable and in good condition. Any configuration is a valid starting point: practice, 1/2, 3/4, full, etc. If you are experimenting with playing, a practice set is a great option.

More than one experienced piper has mentioned to me that they recommend people starting with drones. Partly to get used to holding the instrument, and partly to get used to how the air requirements change with drones sooner than later.

My path started with a practice set, since spending more was a tough sell for me, and I wasn't sure if the pipes would eventually become more important than my other instruments that I was already performing on. From there I bought a 1/2 set about a year after, then a full set a year after that. Honestly I wasn't ready for the full set at the time, but I was given a rare offer, so I bit the bullet. Now it's my main instrument.

The change from practice set to 1/2 set was tough, since I was holding the bag and bellows in a way that I had to adjust to hold the drones properly. No matter what there is adjustment when you start getting used to drones, so there as that too, but I expect any beginner to start with just the chanter going, drones or not.

_________________
Life is good.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3623
Location: WV to the OC
When I first started with the pipes, back around 1977, I got a practice set.

I was chatting with an old Irish guy who told me that I should get drones. His reasoning was that playing with the drones forces you to even out your blowing pressure.

After a year or so with the practice set I acquired a set of drones and tied them in and sure enough I had got into the bad habit of underblowing the low notes and overblowing the high notes.

This wasn't apparent until I played with drones. I could hear the drones wildly fluctuating. After a year or so of playing with the drones my pressure was much more even. I came to realise that only subtle changes in pressure are needed to make the chanter do the various things it does (if you have a good reed).

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:25 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for the advice. A half-set it is for me then.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:21 am
Posts: 11
I concur. I started with a practice set in Feb, and I just got my pipes back from KIrk Lynch this week with new drones attached. Its somewhat like starting over again... placement is different. It sits so differently in my lap. I am going to need a longer bellows to bag pipe. And it takes much more air, and requires more pressure control since the drones will start cutting out with too much pressure hen pushing the second octave.

Learn with the half set... its the way to go, man!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner Question
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:19 am
Posts: 523
Location: Portland, OR
Aldwyn wrote:
And it takes much more air, and requires more pressure control since the drones will start cutting out with too much pressure hen pushing the second octave.

I had that impression when I first started with the drones as well, in fact I applied too much pressure in general for quite a while, even a couple years. The key seems to be more about pressure control, because while it does take more air, it isn't an extensive difference once you get used to it. If your drones are consistently cutting out, first try playing with less pressure in general, especially for the second octave. Also consider taking a look at the reeds. My current drones never cut out, but they are also very stable and I've spent a while adjusting my air pressure. I've played other sets that have had issues with drones cutting out, and I had to spend a good amount of time with the reeds, both making sure the drone reeds don't easily cut out and making sure the chanter reed doesn't require too much pressure. So making sure the reeds are balanced. I wouldn't recommend just tweaking your reeds if you haven't before and don't have backups, but getting into reed making helps. And drone reeds are relatively easy to make and require only a few tools.

_________________
Life is good.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.157s | 13 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)