View Full Version : Where to start?
12-31-2001, 07:56 AM
I have a practice chanter and a book/tape combo and have been practising a bit but am undecided which type of pipes I ultimately want to learn.
I am pretty sure the GHP is not it and wish to start off in the righ direction before spending a lot of time on the wrong pipes and fingering. I have always loved the sound of the Smallpipes and the Uillean pipes but am curious as to the difficulty in learning them as opposed to the GHP. I am new to music and already at the age of 45 which I guess is a late start and only invision playing alone for fun and relaxation.
Your suggestions as to level of difficulty and what kind of chanter I should be starting with ?
12-31-2001, 03:49 PM
That's a really tough question. I suggest you find out when and where the pipers' sessions are in your area, check out the sound of the pipes you might like to learn, and go from there. Each type of bagpipe comes with it's own set of "issues".
Taking up an instrument is a little bit like getting married. The romantic wants to plunge right in and doesn't see any problems that aren't easily solved. The pragmatist weighs positive points against negatives in an attempt to make the best decision. Both approaches are correct. But once you are married you had better be committed to work through the tough times.
I hope that helps.
12-31-2001, 05:05 PM
Thanks for your views. I do already know what pipes I like but have a feeling they are not the best choice for me or my temperment, the Uillean pipes. The sound is simply remarkable but to me they seem very complex and expensive. The GHP would be great if I played with a band or out of doors and I have endless CDs of their unique sound. Smallpipes seems the best balance of my likes anyway but as I said earlier I am unsure if they would be more or less difficult than the others. For reflective, solo playing they seem well suited and the ones I have heard have a nice sweet sound and don;t seem to use as many embelishments.
So, back to the initial question. Difficulty. If Uillean pipes are no more difficult than GHP or SSP I know where to start. But if the Uillean pipes are as difficult as I hear I feel the mouth blown small pipes may be the wisest choice.
12-31-2001, 06:23 PM
I was sort of in your shoes but Im a beginner with some health issues.
Uilluen pipe is my fav then the small pipe.
I ended up beleive it or not with a Deger Electronic Pipe.
Hey, It sounds not to bad going thru my dalshowman amp.I had same idea as you. Not going to play in band etcetc.,just in house.
Nice thing also is the pitch is changeable. So you can play in all keys. WHich is what I want for myself to play along with different songs.
Investigate Deger Pipes you will be surprise.
I know I was and I bought them from hearing them over the phone. And having a ball.Thanks Jim!;-]
Oh and another thing Im 57 and pretty messed up physically. But I do have the advantage of knowing music for 40 year,eg:guitar pedal steel piano etc etc.
But Im still pondering a half set Uillean pipe!!
Good New Year Everyone.
[ December 31, 2001: Message edited by: Kanuckster ]
01-01-2002, 09:19 PM
For ease and versatility, the Deger is very good. I have one too. I play with earphones when my wife is in the house. I also use it with the ceilidh band I play with because it is dependable as death, plays in different keys, has a fairly even volume from one note to the next, and is more tempered than the GHP, and it doesn't confuse the sound man. What I don't like about it is the tone, which sounds pretty artificial to me, but when you're mixed in with guitar, keyboard and fiddle tone doesn't matter that much. I also don't like the fact that you can't impart subtle nuances the way you can when your actual flesh covers the holes.
But to get back to the original topic: give the UP a try. The Irish Pipers' Club lends out practice sets to members. If it's what you really want to play, then go for it. Also, you don't have to play fast or with the superhuman dexterity of Paddy Keenan. Rollicking through a raft of jigs at a nice, easy pace is more enjoyable in many ways to rocketing through them.