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Posted: 2/3/2006 6:53:03 PM EDT
I love listening to bagpipe music. It would be pretty cool to be able to play a bit. The nice low price of a practice chanter would let me practise without spending a lot of money on an actual full set of bagpipes. Finding some nice beginer sets for about $70 that include a practice chanter and some instructional DVD's and books.

Advice for a newbie?
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:53:52 PM EDT
get a kilt to "complete the look"
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:03:14 PM EDT
Find a teacher. Seriously. And try to find a DECENT teacher. Also, make sure it's what you want to do as well, as pipes are fairly expensive (for a decent set at least, NOT PAKISTANI!!!!).

I don't play the pipes, but my brother does. I played snare for about 15 years in pipe bands, along with my brother, and we both won a lot of awards in solo competition, at the amateur and professional level. Sadly we haven't played in a band now for about 15 years, but there aren't any decent bands out my way, and I'm not wasting my time with hacks that won't practice. BTDT.

Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:05:20 PM EDT
I tried once.

It's hard. I sounded nothing like the folks on TV.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:20:19 PM EDT
Bagpipes make me cry
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:24:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/3/2006 7:27:00 PM EDT by Beltfedleadhead]
I play the pipes. I have for the last 8 years.

Find a good instructor. There are many nuances that a book and tape cannot convey. They are good once you get started, and want to practice between lessons.
Call around to local pipe bands. Many of them offer free lessons to people who express interest and dedication.

A good starter kit costs around $60-$100 and includes a practice chanter (either poly or african blackwood), a book of exercises and a few reeds if you're lucky.
You begin on the chanter, (which resembles a recorder) until you get the fingering and breath control to move onto the full pipes.
The process traditionally takes about a year, give or take. It also gives you time to save up for your set, which usually cost around $700-$1000+.
Buy a set made in Scotland, if possible. Canada makes some fine pipes as well. You can basically spend as much as you want, but you'll have plenty of time during your learning process to pick out your pipes and learn who's the right maker for your budget.

The key to the pipes is DEDICATION. You have to remember that piping is an ancient art and carries with it a massive history and very proud tradition. They are weapons of war that rouse men to march to the gates of Hell, if need be. Why else do you think the British banned their use during their occupation? They were terrified of the pipes influence over the Scots.
If it sounds silly, you haven't stood beside a piper at a funeral or marched next to one in a band. Once you do, you'll be a new man. I promise.

I really hope you pursue this art. There aren't many of us, and it's always great to see a new piper enter the family!

IM me if you have any questions at all.

[/rant]

BTW, Zombies HATE bagpipes.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:28:19 PM EDT


I too have a love for the pipes.. my pipes extend to the calliope also.. and real pipe organs too..

I thought I saw on ebay where one might pick up a chanter and books for pretty cheap... a lot of seller.. also a good place to buy the pipes when your ready..

realist out
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:30:53 PM EDT
A great site for info

Bagpiper.com
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:38:22 PM EDT
Just don't try playing "If you think I'm sexy"
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:42:41 PM EDT
I love bagpipes.

That said, I took lessons for a while and had to quit because I couldn't afford them. Also- keep your chanter stored away safely, ants like to eat the stuff in the reed for some reason.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:47:04 PM EDT
my brother inlaw comes from a family of cops and when his mother died they had a police bagpipe
player at the funeral.As sad as the funeral was, when he started playing was when I cried
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 7:59:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Beltfedleadhead:
BTW, Zombies HATE bagpipes.



Aye. That is the truth. My grandfather practiced alot and I *never* saw a zombie while he was practicing. In fact the women took off grocery shopping and I shot .22 in the back until he was done.

My gramps played a full bag 'o drones until a couple years ago. He's 90.

Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:04:14 PM EDT
Can't play them nor teach them, but I sure do love listening to them play. Must be the long distant Scottish in me.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:04:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:
get a kilt to "complete the look"



Already do. And no, you can't have pics.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:17:10 PM EDT
Bagpipes are one of the few things that can make a man march to hell and make a man break down.

If I ever I went to war, I'd want bagpipes.

I wish I could play them, but I'm having enough trouble with this damn tin whistle.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:24:22 PM EDT
My brother was pro, dropped out for a while (hard to play on a submarine), and is now doing it again. He's been playing since he was around 10 or so, and he's knocking on 30 now.

The most impressive thing I've EVER seen...Hunter Mountain, NY (I think it was there...been a long time)....they had their annual bagpipe/Scottish games thing...

Now, imagine some 200+ pipers.

Imagine you are at the bottom of the mountain. Imagine they are close to the top.

Imagine they start playing up there...and in formation, march down, playing all the good war tunes. (Yah, a lot of the pipe songs are war-themed).

Holy Shit. It made me cry and get angry and want to start charging hordes, all at the same time. It was just...trancendent. It was watching an artist create a masterpiece...and having him/her do it for a good solid hour. Perfectly in time, perfectly in tune, just wow. There was no bandleader, there was no maestro...it was just 4 or 5 ranks of players, with one guy in front, marching them down a hill.


If you don't buy how powerful a group of pipes can be...pick up almost any piper group, and throw on Amazing Grace. Starts out with a lone piper...and then bam, you got 50 more behind him/her. It's a flow I can't describe. Just wish I had the talent to play.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 8:53:24 PM EDT
I don't play but I have always wanted to.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 11:04:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:34:48 AM EDT
One of may absolute favorite tunes.

click
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:59:24 AM EDT
I try to get my girlfriend to play my bagpipe but she's not always interested.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 11:36:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AJE:
I try to get my girlfriend to play my bagpipe but she's not always interested.





because it's a skin flute.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 11:36:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2006 11:39:35 AM EDT by Beltfedleadhead]
I played at a mason's funeral once. What a WEIRD bunch. They wouldn't let me in the church, I had to stand outside in the rain and play.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 11:41:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
I love listening to bagpipe music. It would be pretty cool to be able to play a bit. The nice low price of a practice chanter would let me practise without spending a lot of money on an actual full set of bagpipes. Finding some nice beginer sets for about $70 that include a practice chanter and some instructional DVD's and books.

Advice for a newbie?



No advice on playing the bagpipes but you gotta come down to Williamsburg this summer when they have the Scottish Festival. It is downright OUTFREAKINGSTANDING!!! They have bagpipe competitions that will blow you away!

Plus no matter where you go on the grounds you can hear them playing. There is something mystical about that sound. It was truly one of the best events we've ever attended.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 11:43:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2006 11:43:59 AM EDT by Lockedon]
this is the gayest thread yet on arfcom......bunch of dudes in skirts talking about blowing sacks....

Link Posted: 2/4/2006 11:53:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lockedon:
this is the gayest thread yet on arfcom......bunch of dudes in skirts talking about blowing sacks....




There's always ONE...
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 12:02:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2006 12:14:59 PM EDT by Az_Redneck]
I took it up and still have the chanter. I just didn't stay with it because I'm not musically talented at all. There's a lawyer who was giving free lessons. The only stipulation is you had to join his marching band for parades and the Highland Games competition they have here.. I think I paid about $25 for my chanter at a local Celtic shop

ETA: If you ever get the chance, there's a group that does pipes and pipe organ which is INCREDIBLE! Give it a listen (And no, it's not teh ghey) I knew Scottsmen that throw the telephone pole thing (I forget the name of it) and let the joker above call them gay!
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 12:11:16 PM EDT
I would love to learn how to play the bagpipes as well. In fact I think I might just look into this.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 12:13:19 PM EDT
He who jests at scars, hath never felf the sting of a wound.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 3:19:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2006 3:20:11 PM EDT by deej86]

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:

Originally Posted By deej86:
get a kilt to "complete the look"



Already do. And no, you can't have pics.


This thread would be better off without pix. No offense bro.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:54:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Az_Redneck:
I took it up and still have the chanter. I just didn't stay with it because I'm not musically talented at all. There's a lawyer who was giving free lessons. The only stipulation is you had to join his marching band for parades and the Highland Games competition they have here.. I think I paid about $25 for my chanter at a local Celtic shop

ETA: If you ever get the chance, there's a group that does pipes and pipe organ which is INCREDIBLE! Give it a listen (And no, it's not teh ghey) I knew Scottsmen that throw the telephone pole thing (I forget the name of it) and let the joker above call them gay!



Cabre.
One tosses a Cabre.
Tossing the caber is easily the most recognisable trademark of Scottish Highland games and is one of the most spectacular of the heavy events.

The origins of caber tossing are unknown although it has been suggested that it was developed by foresters for throwing tree trunks into the river. It would be difficult to devise a more physically demanding method of moving felled timber and the more likely explanation is that it was a sport amongst foresters that became part of the traditional Highland Gathering events.
The dimensions of a caber - or cabar in Gaelic - can vary enormously but the norm weighs about 150lbs (68kgs), is 18 feet (5.5m) long and about 9 inches (23cms) thick at one end, tapering to about 5 inches (l3cms) at the other.

The caber used at Crieff for the Scottish Heavyweight Championship each year weighs over 150lbs (70kgs) and is 17ft 4ins (5.3m) long. The Braemar caber is only 132lIbs (59.9kgs) in weight but is 19ft 9ins (6m) in length. The largest caber recorded in the Guinness Book of records is 25ft (7.62m) and 280lbs (127kg).


Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:05:17 PM EDT
The pipes stir my soul.
The highland/Scottish/Celtic festivals are outstanding !!
I've been meaning to learn to play since i was a kid. I've just never had the time to commit to it but I will find the time soon.
Does anyone know of a good site for downloads of pipe tunes ?
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 11:35:42 PM EDT
This thread has encouraged me to take them up once again. I signed up with the #1 piper in AZ. He's won many awards and has even played for the Prez... He only charges $30/hr too, but he's 60 miles away...

I started this as a young man and quit because of family problems. I'm going to finish this!

Thanks for starting this thread. I pulled out my old chanter and music and I'm ready!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:39:06 AM EDT
Mjohn3006,

Where in VA are you? If you are in SW VA send me a PM. I can give you details. I am a member of 2 Scottish organizations that will be happy to assist you.

Doc
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:51:38 AM EDT
I always considered the Bagpipes to be the missing link between noise and music
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:00:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 5:01:36 AM EDT by uglygun]
Like many in this thread I've always been moved by them. Certain melodies get me teared up and will cause me to have chills down my spine lasting several minutes. I'm also an audiophile having built a couple of car systems tuned for sound quality as well as sheer volume.

Nothing like listening to live performances on a system designed for sound quality and can run a few hundred watts RMS.

That and it's the anti-rap. I've got several discs in my truck and when some little bass head ricer pulls up next to me I can drown him out quite nicely with a melody or slow air march.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:46:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 5:47:55 AM EDT by mjohn3006]

Originally Posted By USNDOC:
Mjohn3006,

Where in VA are you? If you are in SW VA send me a PM. I can give you details. I am a member of 2 Scottish organizations that will be happy to assist you.

Doc



I'm way up here in the Fairfax area.


I got my chanter. Dunbar "Millennium" Long Chanter
www.hendersongroupltd.com/buy/ck4d.html
My fingering is getting better I can pretty much pick it up and my fingers go to the right spots. I am now learning the base notes.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:50:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By uglygun:

That and it's the anti-rap. I've got several discs in my truck and when some little bass head ricer pulls up next to me I can drown him out quite nicely with a melody or slow air march.



When I was in college, the college campus was nice, but to go shopping you had to go into more..um..."urban" areas.

I would love driving around blasting bagpipe music while 90% of the other cars had rap going.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:56:05 AM EDT
I have my own set of Highland pipes, & took lessons for awhile. It was difficult to learn but I am able to play a couple of songs & I hope someday to start practicing again & get to the point where I can really play pretty decent.

My pipes cost me over 1K, & that was probably about 11 or 12 yrs ago.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:58:33 AM EDT
I was taking lessons and such when I was much younger, 12-13 yo. At a reenactment A drunk stumbled into my tent and stepped on my practice chanter and broke it. I took that to be a sign that I should just stick with Fife and Drum.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:58:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
One of may absolute favorite tunes.

click



That tune is what is known as a slow air.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:03:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By uglygun:

That and it's the anti-rap. I've got several discs in my truck and when some little bass head ricer pulls up next to me I can drown him out quite nicely with a melody or slow air march.



BINGO!!

Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:32:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 6:32:53 AM EDT by mjohn3006]

Originally Posted By Searcherfortruth:

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
One of may absolute favorite tunes.

click



That tune is what is known as a slow air.



That song starts slow, then picks up 1 minute into it. What is the name of the tune that starts 1 minute into it?
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:51:49 AM EDT
Bagpipes on the cheap

Make your own PVC bagpipes
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:16:10 AM EDT
Check these guys out, they rock! I've seen them a few times at the Games here in Boise, and they are amazing.

Wicked Tinkers

They play trad. tunes along with middle eastern themed and tribal tunes. They use didgeridoos, all maner of drums, horns, and of course PIPES. They're very funny and extremely talented.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:25:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 7:27:47 AM EDT by Bklyn_Irish]
The best times of my life have been spent playing the Great Highland Bagpipe.

I play pipes in a Grade IV band and am also the bass drummer in a Grade II band in the same program.

All I can say is----- 1) get an instructor and 2) don't buy pipes until your instructor tells you to. Better yet, don't buy anything until your instructor tells you to.

If you're looking for points of contact, let me know.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:29:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 7:31:05 AM EDT by Bklyn_Irish]

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:

Originally Posted By Searcherfortruth:

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
One of may absolute favorite tunes.

click



That tune is what is known as a slow air.



That song starts slow, then picks up 1 minute into it. What is the name of the tune that starts 1 minute into it?



The tunes are the Fair Maid of Barra, The Gold Ring, and The Clumsy Lover, played by the 78th. Fraser Highlanders, a Grade I band out of Canada.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:52:32 AM EDT
in the past several years i really started getting interested in my family's scottish history, i found that my great great grangparents (on my dad's side) were born in lanarckshire, scotland and their children were born there and moved to america. i found my family's tartan (no small task) and i also found out that our family was under the "protection" of the armstrong clan. in the last couple years, i too have had the great desire to learn the bagpipes, fortunately there is a good pipe band around here and they (in coordination with some of the best pipers in scotland) hold a seminar once a year at the local university. i was also one of the band geeks in high school (i played the alto and baritone sax) so i know i have the basic musical skills and hearing everyone here is inspiring me on even more.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:58:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 8:01:43 AM EDT by Bklyn_Irish]

Originally Posted By OffKilter:
in the past several years i really started getting interested in my family's scottish history, i found that my great great grangparents (on my dad's side) were born in lanarckshire, scotland and their children were born there and moved to america. i found my family's tartan (no small task) and i also found out that our family was under the "protection" of the armstrong clan. in the last couple years, i too have had the great desire to learn the bagpipes, fortunately there is a good pipe band around here and they (in coordination with some of the best pipers in scotland) hold a seminar once a year at the local university. i was also one of the band geeks in high school (i played the alto and baritone sax) so i know i have the basic musical skills and hearing everyone here is inspiring me on even more.



Get off your ass and do it. There are piping resources abound in VA. Which band is in your area?


I am guessing that class at the university is either with the College of Piping or National Piping Centre.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:09:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 8:11:14 AM EDT by m24shooter]
I played field drum in pipe band. Grew up with a greataunt and grandmother that would sing or hum Mull of Kintyre and the Skye Boat Song as a lullaby. I've played it for my kids as well, and it still works.
ETA: The root of the Highland Games was from the period that the Brits banned all weapons in Scotland. The Highland Games were a way of using seemingly inoccuous items to maintain martial skills.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:04:43 AM EDT
"Get off your ass and do it. "

sir, yes sir!!
seriously though it's on the to-do list along with joining the local st. andrews society and buying a kilt in my family's tartan, unfortunately i've only just started recovering from a few months of unemployment and my tax money is already being spent on my first AR.
the band in my area (winchester,va) is fairly new but i've heard some of their performances and they seem quite good but i don't remember the name they go by. the seminars are held at shenandoah university once a year and i just remember something about an award winning piper from scotland comes over to run it (he also was the instructor to the guy who runs the local pipe band).
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:20:55 AM EDT
tag. It is something I have thought about off and on, good information here.
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