Monday, July 09, 2007

Buying new pipes

I played for several years and then put my pipes down for about 10 years. Now I'm starting to play again and - wow - has the world of piping changed. I would like to buy a new set, but don't know what is really out there. I like the recent Krons and Naills that I have heard. When I stopped playing a few years back I was playing at Grade I and would like an instrument suitable for competition at that level. What new pipe makers would you recommend looking into?

It's a great to time to get into (or get back into) piping. There are many good makers out there. I play Naills and recommend them to my students of all levels, but there are other makers that are good too.

In addition to the many new makes of pipes these days, there are so many options for drone reeds, chanter reeds, bags, moisture control systems, etc. I think the days of one-size-fits-all are gone. The goal is to get a great sounding bagpipe that is comfortable to play -- and now there are many combinations that will work.


Anonymous said...

On a similar topic: I used to play (and take lessons from you!) back around 2000, then stopped when I had kids. Back in 2000 when I was playing I bought a set of Naills and then put them in storage for the past few years. The kids are a little older now and I'm ready to pick up my practice chanter and eventually my pipes again. What sort of care/attention should I give to my pipes before I play them again?

I'm in Seattle's nice moist climate and the pipes have been stored in a case all this time, so I think they're in good shape to start with. Any tips?

Jori Chisholm said...

Your pipes are probably fine. You'll likely need to get a new chanter reed going. Also, depending on how old the bag is and they type of bag, you might need a new bag.

mhorstma said...

I assume I'll know if I need a new bag when I discover it leaks? There's really no other way it tell, is there? The bag doesn't have many hours on it to start with, but it is a natural bag, not synthetic.

And thanks for the advice!

Jori Chisholm said...

The best way to check the bag for leaks is to cork up all the chanter stock and drone stocks and inflate the bag to see if it holds air. If it's a natural bag, you might try seasoning the bag.