Hints & Tips

Maintenance, part 2

Maintenance, part 2

Stocks By Seumas MacNeill Having dealt with the bag situation the next obvious consideration is the state of the stocks you intend to tie on to your bag. Most people probably feel there is not much in the way of maintenance to be done on the simple five wooden tubes, […]

Maintenance, part 1

Maintenance, part 1

The Bag (size and shape: the stocks: seasoning)       By Seumas MacNeill One of the most important things for a piper is the state of his bagpipe. The choosing of tunes, the ability to play well, the chance to perform for somebody’s pleasure (maybe his own), all go for nothing if […]

The scales of practice

The scales of practice

By Dugald B. MacNeill Pipers will talk endlessly about their pipe chanters and go to great lengths to get them just right, or what they believe is right. They will spend money on reeds and buy new pipe chanters to increase the chance of getting both the correct scale and […]

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 […]