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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2001 7:02 am 
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How does one start with the Uilleann pipes, and are they similar in fingering to a Low Whistle?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:18 am 
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Well, first off, you've got to be crazy. Yep. That's pretty much it. Then you can play - or ATTEMPT to play the UP! They are a VERY complex instrument, and take some skill and a LOT of patience to learn well.

Oh yeah...and they cost MONEY too. This is probably the biggest downside to the pipes. an average of anything from $1,500 for a cheap practice set to over $15,000 on some of the rare harder to find makers. Oh and then there's the wait. Anywhere from 6 months on the extremely fast side, to over twelve years for the slower ones!

Now if you STILL want to get started...which I highly reccommend you DO, :smile: you'll want to look at how much money you want to spend, and how patient you can be with lead times.

One nice thing about pipes, and this is true even more than for an expensive whistle, is that if you don't like the set, you can usually sell it for as much if not more than you paid...because the buyer won't have to wait years for it.

Hope this helps a little.

Brian~


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:48 am 
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choke, cough, sputter, stammer!!!

Uh, ok, maybe I'll table that idea for the time being. I'm going to tackle the whistle for now and go from there.

Thanks!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 11:04 am 
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Here's a site I found this morning that offers several tutorials for pipes

http://www.uilleann.com/otherproducts.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 1:09 pm 
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I didn't mean to discourgae you from starting! Just hoped to enlighten you to the extremes of uilleann piping.

I had my first opportunity to play several sets about three weeks ago. One was a half set (bag,bellows, chanter, and drones) and a full set (bag, bellows, keyed chanter, drones, regulators).

First impressions:
You can't play the chanter like you do a whistle. Th fingering is fairly different. Now, that being said, you'll have a start on the pipes if you DO play whistle, because you understand how your fingers need to move to cover holes, and you know something about the music.

Also, you have to learn how to breathe all over again. This time with your ARMS! Since there's no blowpipe lke on Scottish pipes, you inflate the bag with a bellows. You also overblow the chanter to get the second octave as in a whistle.

Now, you can play the U pipes without drones or regulators and just use the chanter, but be warned...if you turn on the drones or regs in mid tune, you will suddenly need a lot more air from the bag, which also means more pumping with the bellows!! :smile:

As you can see, this is pretty complex already! The problem I had was trying to remember that I had to fill the bag with a bellows, and that each squeeze of the bellows meant a slight release of pressure on the outside of the bag. If you don't release the pressure on the bag from your arm, you'll get a rise in pitch of whatever note your playing.

It was indeed difficult, but then i only played each set for like five minutes. Hardly enough time to become a virtuoso. I'd guess you'll need at least a solid ten minutes for that! :smile:

Hope this gives a little better understanding of the dynamics of this amazing instrument!

Brian~


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 8:40 am 
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Brian,
I understand what the bellows and bag are used for but what exactly are the regulators and what are they used for?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 10:09 am 
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Ron,

The regulators are a sort of hybrid cross between a chanter and a drone.

Usually, you have three sets of them. They each have a set of keys that you play either with the wrist of the lower hand, or a free hand. They are similar to the pedals on a pipe organ. You use them in the same manner- generaly to play chords along with the main melody.

If you ever see a photo of the pipes being payed, the section that lays accross the players lap consists of the drones and the regulators. Look for the two or three rows of long levers. Those are the regs.

If you ever have a chance to listen to uilleann recordings, sometimes the regs sound an awful lot like a car horn in the background. Others, they are pure magic!

Hope this helps.

Bri~


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 1:17 pm 
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Well, maybe some day down the road. For now, as a new whistler, I am going to concentrate on that. I really love the sound of the U pipes, but I think I should concentrate one one instrument at a time.

Thanks for the very informative feedback.

Slainte,

Daithi


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 1:25 pm 
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what is the difference between Uilleann pipes and scottish smallpipes? they look very similar


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 1:46 pm 
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The Uilleann pipes consist of the bellows, bag, chanter, optional drones, and optional regulators. The chanter plays two full octaves, the second being "overblown" like a whistle.

The Scottish smallpipes consist of the bellows, bag, chanter, and drones. The chanter fingers just like the Great Highland pipes and plays only 9 notes. It's basically a smaller, quieter, indoors version of the Highland pipes.

Try these pages for some more information:

<a href="http://www.ray-sloan.com/uilleann.html">http://www.ray-sloan.com/uilleann.html</a>
<a href="http://www.ray-sloan.com/scots.html">http://www.ray-sloan.com/scots.html</a>


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 10:43 am 
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I believe that some people make the uilleann pipes out to be a monster, and they aren't. They aren't for everyone, though - and that's OK.

Brian's point about the UPs being a not-so-easy instrument is true. There are other instruments that are far simpler to play and learn, such as a pennywhistle.

His numbers for a "cheap practice set" are a bit inflated. Used practice sets can be had for well under $1000 ($500 - $800 range). I've seen new sets by reputable makers for sale in the $700 - $900 range. Cost for a full set ranges from about $2500 on up. Most I've seen a commercial maker ask for a full set is $10,000 and that is a rare price. Also consider that the instrument is hand made and it is labor intensive.

I have been playing since '98 and have found it to be a challenging and rewarding instrument. It takes practice (as with any instrument) and concerted concentration. It has made me into a more disciplined musician as a result.

I've played 6 string guitar since '76 and I have learned more playing the UPs for a few years than 10 playing the guitar.

Quote:
On 2001-07-02 10:18, Brian Lee wrote:
Well, first off, you've got to be crazy. Yep. That's pretty much it. Then you can play - or ATTEMPT to play the UP! They are a VERY complex instrument, and take some skill and a LOT of patience to learn well.

Oh yeah...and they cost MONEY too. This is probably the biggest downside to the pipes. an average of anything from $1,500 for a cheap practice set to over $15,000 on some of the rare harder to find makers. Oh and then there's the wait. Anywhere from 6 months on the extremely fast side, to over twelve years for the slower ones!

Now if you STILL want to get started...which I highly reccommend you DO, :smile: you'll want to look at how much money you want to spend, and how patient you can be with lead times.

One nice thing about pipes, and this is true even more than for an expensive whistle, is that if you don't like the set, you can usually sell it for as much if not more than you paid...because the buyer won't have to wait years for it.

Hope this helps a little.

Brian~


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2001 9:39 pm 
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There's an old saying (folklore) that says that it takes 21 years to learn how to play the uilleann pipes: 7 to learn the chanter; 7 to learn the drones; and 7 to learn the regulators.

I don't doubt it.

But they've got to be one of the most dramatic and emotional instruments that you could ever hear or play. In the hands of a virtuoso like Paddy Keanan they are simply incredible.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2001 12:34 pm 
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BRIAN!!! What are you saying!? True, uilleanns aren't easy to learn.... neither is the cello for that matter. But sets from the most desired maker alive can be had for $2500 - $4000. Practice sets from DM Quinn can be found for $800 (that's how I got my mighty DMQ chanter, a 1985 classic). My friend, don't be discouraged.... get a D whistle and start practicing. Then talk to an active piper about what brand of uilleann practice sets are worth their salt, from there you can simply order drones and make a practice set a 1/2 set. Brian, am I gonna have to spank you?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2001 1:05 am 
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BOY! I didn't think I was THAT far off! I apologise if you feel I missed tyhe mark.

I have it on good authority (Directly from the makers themselves) that a full set can easily run in the $5,000-$9,000 range. i was just passing along what they have told me in my recent emails.

I've talked to Bruce Childress (in person), Seth Gallagher, Ray Sloan, Andreas Rougge (sp?) and a couple others I can't remember right now off the top of my head. ALL of them placed their full sets in this range. *except for Mr. Sloan who doesn't offer a full set*

Anyway, I am sorry if I was out of line in these prices. Has there been a recent jump in pricing that any of you might be aware of?

Having recently played tywo sets myself, and sounding absolutely horrid, I STILL plan on buying a set of my own at the very first opportunity! Difficult? Yes. Impossible, no way!

B~ :smile:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2001 8:45 pm 
hi Found this site by accident .. lol

I used mess with Chanter ...years ago.

The old timers - my granduncle made and played the pipes way back - used say 7 years learning, 7 practicing and 7 more playing.

That would still be true if we want to excell to the standards they did, but seriously most Pipers I hear - rare these days - do not want to take it that far!

So if you have trained hands already, eg play a few instruments, a tune can be got in a few days. If a cold start it may take 6 months.

Learn the Chanter first, forget all about the 'Plumbing' since besides the fingering you'll need to learn how to mentain and adjust the Reed, later you may want to try your hand at making a Chanter Reed - this is an art which must be tried once if nothing else to teach how insane making a reed can be ... lol

The Fingering is NOT like the Whistle since at best it employs a Closed System, ie in Stocatto mode. I could at one time do simple Hornpipes with excess decoration but after the thrill wore off returned to Fiddle and Banjo.

Using a Metronome while distracting to some is almost a must if you want to sound credible on tape, early on try it and work on that as well as other things.

Costs, when I bought my Bag Bellows and Stick cost around 300 bucks but that was yonks ago. I read of glowing reports of Pipemaker Kirk Lynch these days and that is no surprise, he has been at it for many years, lives in Kansas City Mo.

Price ... emmm no idea.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: toasty on 2001-07-23 23:00 ]</font>


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