Hints & Tips

Aspects of tuning – reeds

Aspects of tuning – reeds

By Roger Gould-King Figure 2 shows a typical chanter reed design suitable for most chanters and the average piper’s blowing habits. This design follows the principle that all dimensions of the blades are based on a simple ‘rule of 3’. For example, the staple is 4mm in diameter, which multiplied […]

Aspects of tuning – pitch, scale and drones

Aspects of tuning – pitch, scale and drones

By Roger Gould-King Today, there is a phenomenal increase in the number of pipers. Whether this is because of the increasing popularity of the instrument or whether it is a natural incremental function of the population explosion is not clear. What is clear is that along with the global expansion […]

The doubling of C

The doubling of C

A short tutorial on how to make your C doublings crisp and distinct. This is by Captain John MacLellan and taken from The International Piper of October 1978. By Captain John A. MacLellan MBE Having listened to umpteen performances of ceòl beag during the competition season, it has become very […]

The competition march

The competition march

Today, we once again delve into our not inconsiderable archives to bring articles that we feel will be of interest to pipers, regardless of whether they are a student or a seasoned competitor.  These articles remain free to all and we will continue to add more each week. Today’s article […]

"… a re-tie of the bridle may solve a lot of problems for the piper."

Bridling the drone reeds

During the 1970s and 1980s, David V. Kennedy was a prolific contributor to the pages of both the Piping Times and The International Piper. His article here, on the subject of cane drone reeds, has been taken from the January 1980 edition of The International Piper. Clearly, if you play […]

Learning a new tune

Learning a new tune

For anyone using this time, or even this Easter weekend to either learn or teach (using a telecommunications application, of course), this article may be useful. It was written by the famous Seumas and published in the October 1992 edition of the Piping Times. By Seumas MacNeill There are several […]

Disinfecting bagpipes

Disinfecting bagpipes

Following Tommy Pearston’s article last week, cultivated from the Piping Times archives, we reproduce another of his pieces on hygiene, this time on the subject of disinfecting our instrument. This article appeared originally in the Piping Times of June 1953 and covers some misconceptions and sound advice on disinfecting our […]

Hygiene is to the fore more than ever.

Your set and your health

With many events falling victim to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all monitoring the guidelines from our respective governments around the world. Our chosen is just that: a hobby. Some take it more serious than others but it’s still a hobby. As The National Piping Centre advised on […]

The case for a ‘second’ chanter

The case for a ‘second’ chanter

By David V. Kennedy In the last few years, pipers have recognised that the pitch of the chanter of the Scottish piob mhor has risen to approximately B flat from A natural. Chanter makers seem to have responded to a popular demand to make higher pitched canters – mostly from […]

Placing a metal plaque at the bottom of a pipe chanter or bass drone helps with quick identification. This chanter belonged to a John Forbes and dates from 1854.

How you can protect your instrument

Pipers are often in the spotlight displaying their talent – and their expensive instruments. Our pipes are one of our most important assets so it makes sense that we look after them properly and make sure they are protected from thieves. Adequate insurance is a must. Those who are members […]