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 Post subject: Beginning Pipes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:09 pm
Posts: 4
Hello all,

I have been playing whistle for a little over six years now in bands and for my own enjoyment, but I have always loved and swooned over the sound of the pipes. The more I hear and see them, the more I want to play them! I am starting to think about the best way to begin, and the best set to buy off the bat. I have read many forums with mixed opinions, but I wanted to get a feel for myself!
I have heard starting with a practice set is a way to go. I have also seen David Daye sets (specifically the ones you self-assemble) and they seem to be great players and very cost-effective! I am mostly wondering where I should start, and the best route/maker/approach to all of this.

Thanks,

Tanner


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Pipes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:19 am
Posts: 595
Location: Portland, OR
Practice set is indeed the typical place for someone to start on the pipes. Once you get going, it's good to get drones sooner than later, so you can get used to proper bellows techniques for stable drones. I personally owned a practice set for a year before getting a set with drones, and because of issues with that particular set, I didn't start using drones in earnest until I got another set a year later.

The best set to get, not considering cost, is a set from the maker closest to you. Without knowing where you live, we can't give advice on that. David Daye sets have a good reputation and are a reasonably priced place to start. You could also keep your eyes open for a quality used set, but you'd also want to set aside money for a reed maker to make a new reed for it. I luckily have a piper maker near me, so when I started I bought a used CJ Dixon set off Ebay and got it reeded locally. Now I make my own reeds.

Some quality cheaper options other than used, if price is a concern, both in the USA and Europe: Whitmer, Childress (student sets), McNicholl (3D printed chanters), and Martin Gallen.

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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Pipes
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:58 pm
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Location: North America
If you can find a pipe teacher that has "loaner" practice sets, that's the way to go. I was extremely fortunate: my teacher had several practice sets on hand for new students, and he kept sets from several different makers so his student could get a sense of what type of pipes he eventually wanted to buy. I settled on a Kirk Lynch half set and have been practicing and playing lustily ever since (about 2 years).


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 Post subject: Re: Beginning Pipes
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 104
Here's what I'd say, for what it's worth as someone who took up the pipes not long ago and was asking around this forum likewise. :)

I got a half set straight away as there are no pipe makers in my country (and only a handful of pipers, for that matter). That way the drones are there when you're in a phase in your learning that you need them. You don't have to use them until you're comfortable with the idea, and it saves the trouble of sending the set internationally back and forth for upgrading. Of course in this case it's better that you're sure about your motivation and that you'll stick with the instrument. If you're up to only trying out, then I'd say a practice set is the best solution, regardless of your location.
Of course there's the financial aspect, as well, and if you're lucky enough to have a maker close to you and other pipers to get tuition from, then you might as well start with a practice set and upgrade when you feel like it, if you feel like it, since in that case it's significantly less trouble.

As my personal opinion, in turn, in addition to what has already been said in this thread, it's better to save up money for a set that you'll be happy with for a long while. This doesn't mean that I'm saying that sets by makers whose prices are from the more affordable end are bad choices at all, but, as a general idea, to me it makes sense to have a set that you won't want to trade for another in a while.

Hope you find a set!


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