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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:37 am 
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I am still looking for some type of bagpipe that will give me the sensation of playing the pipes without all time necessary of learning a totally new instrument.

I had a uillean practice set for a year. But age and time were against me. I love the bagpipes of any ethnic group, with uillean and highland pipes tied at number one. But alas!

But I found this site below and am asking does anyone on this board have any knowledge or experience with Welsh bagpipes.

On the link below, the instrument has one drone and a chanter in D, which would make it easy to take whistle fingerings and directly apply it to these pipes.

http://www.tyrbwlch.freeserve.co.uk/bacbib.htm

Any help would be appreciated.

Mark

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:12 pm 
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Location: Surlyville
Mark,
I listened to the sound samples on the link you supplied. Could you be happy with the sound of that instrument?
Take a listen to TerriK on Scottish small pipes in the Clips & Snips section.
http://nwparalegal.com/music/kings-of-laois.mp3
You might want to do more research for your next instrument.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 7:56 am 
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Hi Tony

Thank you for the link. I find the Scottish small pipes to sweet. I guess, well I know I have eccentricity about me that likes that edge.

For myself, yes I could be happy with the sound of the Welsh pipes. I have listen to pipes in the highlands of Vietnam, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and various parts of North Africa. And they all had something I loved about them.

I was raised around the GHP and they can stir me to conquer the world, or at least think I can, and I will sit and listen for hours to a uilleann piper and cry and dance with them.

But there is something about this very simple bagpipe that I like. No it isn't a session instrument or a real ensemble instrument but for novelty and difference I think that there can be a place for it.

Just something different.

I have ordered a CD and haven't put out any funds yet.

Again thank you for taking the time to respond. I didn't think that I would get many hits on this subject.

Mark

PS. Besides WHoA if have BAD - bodhran acquistion disorder also. That might be a clue. M

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 9:35 am 
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Location: SV/Strayaway
i am just wondering if you would be happy with a one octave instrument? the range of the uilleann pipes played a large roll in my choice of pipes.
best of luck in your yearnings for that reedie sound,
tansy


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Hi, Mark-

Some folks who are used to the whistle may find the single octave of welsh (or scottish) pipes extremely limiting, so be warned.

I play whistle and shuttlepipes. These are a mouthblown small pipe with GHB fingering. I sometimes think I'd like to get a UP practice set, which is why I lurk here. I find the GHB fingering to be fairly easy. I don't confuse my whistes and pipes at all. Never did. And it doesn't take long to learn if you have a decent teacher.

One word of advice that I have to give is to get a teacher for whatever kind of pipes you do get. The first couple of months with a teacher will help you avoid problems that can take years to unlearn. Seriously. Any local pipe band will probably have someone willing to give lessons. Playing bagpipes is easy, but playing bagpipes WELL is not going to happen soon without a competent instructor.

GHBs can be daunting for the first couple of lessons, even on a practice chanter. The difficulties I had were the continuous airstream and the ornaments. You can't tongue any notes. None. UPs will let you stop the chanter on your leg for a staccato sound, but GHBs don't have an option anything like that. Hearing about it and trying it are two very different things.

And then, you will learn ornaments before you learn tunes. With the whistle, I learn a tune, then gradually add ornaments. With the pipes, the only way to make a clean transition between notes is to use an ornament. So, you end up practicing scales with ornaments for a couple of weeks before you get to actually play a simple tune. Worth it, but it can be annoying.

With any pipe that doesn't let you stop the chanter for expression, you will have both of these hurdles.

My advice is to find a local bagpiper and ask to be shown the scale on a practice chanter. Try it out yourself. My experience is that GHB players are really pleased to see anyone who wants to know more about the pipes. The fingering will feel funny at first, but in some ways it really is easier than whistle fingering, once you get used to it.

Anyway, didn't mean to write a book. Get the welsh pipes if that's what you want. You should play the instrument that is dear to your heart. Be sure that this is what you want before you put down cash. But be aware that even with open fingering, you will have some real differences compared to the whistles. The fingering on GHBs is not as hard as some people think it is. Really, I find the blowing and squeezing on the bag to be more of a challenge than the fingering.

-Patrick


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 5:50 pm 
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Patrick

Thanks for your nice thoughts and don't worry about it being a book.

I have had a GHB practice chanter for years and did at one time have a teacher for quite a while. I did learn the scale and lot of the fingerings, and know that there is no such beast as tonguing on a chanter. But life and lives are interupted either by our own actions or powers beyond our control and I left the chanter idle for more years than I want to remember.

And it is not that the Welsh bagpipes appear simple and therefore easy. Being a visual artist most of my life what appears to be simple and limited can be extremely complex, difficult and boundless. Or perhaps naught.

I know plenty of pipers here in Windsor, who will be more than willing and happy to help me on the GHB if I ask for it. And the same for the UP's.

I have been surfing Google, looking for North American contacts/teachers, festivals etc.. that I could talk to and such.

I think as we grow older, or at least I; that it is simplicity that we want rather than complexity. Could I be happy with a limiting instrument and with that sound as Tony states; I own seven bodhrans, and a fist full of whistles, but basically they all are the same instrument but yet each in themselves has a different sound. Each in their simplicity takes time to master as you move from simple tunes to complex ones.And with time and practice, even the most daunting and complex tune, moves towards artistry and mastership that makes it look simple once learned.

Patrick your advice is sound and welcomed. I hope someday that you get your set of UP's.

Mark

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 1:18 am 
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Ya know...I really disagree about the limitation of notes on the GHB or other similiarly fingered pipes! When I started playing a couple of years ago I easily found several octaves worth of notes on my chanter. In fact, I was even playing notes that were previously unknown to mankind. I do find that the more I've played the fewer notes I really need...only about nine or ten now.

I truly believe that you should find the type of music you love and then seek the instrument(s) that will help you in creating it for yourself.

I chose to start with the GHB because, when I first heard them almost 40 years ago, I fell in love with the sound. Then almost three years ago I heard several Trad Irish groups on the Internet and have since taken up the whistle and UP.

If I try to play Irish music on the Scottish pipes then yes the pipes are limited in their range. But if I play Scottish music on the GHB and Irish music on the UP then neither instrument is limited at all.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 11:09 am 
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Hi John

A good thought on being happy with yourself and what you are doing. It goes a long way in learning anything and being happy doing it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 11:44 am 
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Hi John

A good thought on being happy with yourself and what you are doing. It goes a long way in learning anything and being happy doing it. And once I have decided to purchase the Welsh bagpipes, you want to believe that I will make a real go at it. I might be the only one in five hundred miles that plays them but I will become the best I can be, happy to be doing it.

We are all struggling to create and define ourselves,in what seems to becoming a more complex world than any of us wishes, or ever wanted to think about.

There is no defining "ism's" or the absolutes of a right way left anymore in the world. If something or someone makes you happy and it makes your world seem more understandable, then by making that choice in a small way the world becomes a better place, and as long as no one else is hurt by your decision or your actions.

I was thinking last night on why perhaps I am interested in the Welsh pipes. From what I have read, it is closer to a medieval bagpipe, and many years ago I had a real interest in music of that period and to a lesser degree still do. Maybe, just maybe that is the reason.

Being an artist you learn that life and art have limits. The size of the paper or canvas, the limits of what you can do with a pencil or paint. It is what you do within those limits and the materials used that makes what appears within those boundaries as art. Do I need a thousand pencil stokes to make a drawing or like a Zen master, three strokes of an ink brush and the drawing is done.

I want to thank all of you for your kind thoughts, concerns and insights. I haven't gotten down the real need to purchase them but it is looking that I will.

Mark

PS I guess that may mean that I might be the first kid on the block in this town. And probably the only one!!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 2:44 pm 
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So, have you looked at David Marshall's medieval pipes? Check 'em out at http://www.ancestral.co.uk

He does both open fingering and ghb style fingering. Worth the look just for the fun pipes!

-Patrick


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 9:35 am 
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Thanks Patrick !!!!!

I just lost an hour and a half when I should be doing something else! And I have alot to do this day.

It is a wonderful site and just complicated things even more for me. But the instruments are great and what sound! AND I DO like their sound.

Thanks again for your interest.

Mark

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 11:06 am 
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My wife and I bought both of the videos he sells on his site, too. One is just the video catalog, the other is a really fun survey of medieval and rennaissance musical instruments. Both are great. Mediocre production quality (I work at a TV station, so I am kind of picky about this) but the information is conveyed really well. If you get them, you'll have to line up a way to convert them from PAL to NTSC format. The local university here has an international VCR to check out, so I was able to hook it to my home unit and make copies that are viewable.

Also, have you looked into Swedish bagpipes at all? They are really interesting in several ways. As I understand it, the drone and chanter both play with single reeds. Again, it is an open-fingered pipe. A Google search will get you to several places that can tell you all about them.

-Patrick


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2002 1:11 pm 
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Yes I have looked at the Swedish pipes, and I can get my brother-in-law to copy videos for me. He teaches film making at the University of Windsor.

On Marshall's page, I found that I liked the Pastoral pipes, and "Celtic" Brittany pipes.

So many pipes not enough time and money.

Thanks again for your help and interest. I will just go off into the corner and make a scheme to purchase a set, talk about Enron and creative accounting.

Mark

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2002 2:13 pm 
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You should check out the work of Jonathon Swayne, he is highly respected in the English pipemaking world. A lot of the pipes like welsh and pipes from the middle ages are made up, there are no surviving examples. This does not mean that they don't work. John Swayne does make a half long style bagpipe bellows or mouth blown that plays an octave and a half and sounds good and is developed from historical examples.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 2:25 pm 
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Location: Markham, Ont. Canada
These might be helpful;-) These intrigued me as well, but after I heard them, I thought them to be a little harsh. Pretty cool looking though!! The big hairy beast!

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/162/bagpipes.html

http://www.goatindustries.fsnet.co.uk/e ... gpipes.htm

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/162/bagpipes.html

http://www.tyrbwlch.freeserve.co.uk/

If I see anymore links I'll post them here.

Cheers,

Paul


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