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Advice for Beginners

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For the new piper, maintaining your bagpipe will be as much of a challenge as playing the music itself. Your instrument will require regukar maintenance and care in order to perform well.

The following items are essential to get you started on the bagpipe:
  • Drone & Chanter Brushes
  • Stock Corks (for seasoning)
  • Drone Corks
  • Yellow Hemp
  • Beeswax
  • Highland Pride Finish Oil (see section on oiling)
  • Pull Through Swab
  • Bag Seasoning (for hide bags)
    Case Humidifier
 
Get To Know Your Pipes

Unpack your bagpipes and identify the parts by referring to the bagpipe anatomy sheet. Your bagpipes have been set up and tested by us. Before playing, check that the reeds have not come loose during shipment. Use care when removing and replacing reeds. To remove a drone from its stock, hold the stock firmly with one hand and with the other hold the bottom section of the drone near the projecting mount. Rotate in one direction and remove carefully. Replace in the opposite direction. The blowpipe can be removed in the same way.

Use care when removing the chanter from its stock. To safely remove the chanter, hold above the High A hole at the wide part, where it meets the stock. Hold the stock and rotate the chanter carefully in one direction. Avoid holdin the chanter at the bottom and twisting it free, as this can crack wood chanters and even damage Poly chanters.

Breaking In Your Pipes

We recommend that you play for only fifteen minutes per day for the first three weeks. After each practice session, make sure to dry out all excess moisture. Moisture left in the bagpipes during this sensitive period can cause cracking. Stocks can be dried out with a cloth and drone tops with a soft brush.

Use a pull through for the narrow lower joints of the drones. Pay particular attention to the blowpipe and blowpipe stock. Your bagpipes should not be played at temperatures below 40F and should not be exposed to sudden temperature changes. If during the winter months the humidity level in your home drops below 40% we strongly recommend that you invest a few dollars in a case humidifier. This will help prevent shrinkage and cracking.

Oiling

Oiling can be carried out once or twice per year, primarily in the winter months. We recommend Highland Pride Pipe Guard finish oil. This can be applied to the inside bore of the drones with a brush or pull through. After oiling leave the sections to dry before re-assembling, and buff off any excess oil.

Hemping

The hemp joints must be kept in good condition in order that your pipes perform well. Be careful not to over-hemp. When re-hemping, begin with a short length coated with black wax so it grips to the wood. The hemp should be wound on evenly and the last layers should be coated with bees wax. Pre-waxed yellow hemp works very well for hemping the drone stock, chanter and blowpipe joints. When hemping the tuning pins it is unnecessary to finish with waxed hemp. Take extra care that these areas are not too tight. You should be able to tune with two fingers but at the same time your drones should not be slipping out of tune. Pay attention to how much moisture is present in the joints after you play. Hemp can swell making the joint too tight and can even cause stocks to crack.


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Promotion applies to standard shipping within the U.S. only. For free shipping, order must total $199 or more before shipping and taxes. Free or flat rate shipping is not available for bass drums, bass drum cases, or bagpipe services. Promotion applies to orders placed on or after November 29. Offer ends December 14, 2012.