View Full Version : uilliean pipes
03-05-2002, 09:30 AM
Ive been contemplating make a cross over to the uilliean pipes. i have a few questions maybe some one can help me out with. whos a good relieable brand that im not going to have to get a second mort :shrug: gage for. are uilliean practice chanters a good idea for beginers?? and last, a good tutor and how different are the fingerings from the highland pipes????
03-05-2002, 09:39 AM
Ah yes, the Octopus.
Not a player myself, but I seem to run into them nonstop.
The problem, I understand, is not really cost (though they are on the nastier side of GHB), it's waiting time. All the good makers have waiting lists of 2-3 years.
You don't get Ullean practice chanters - you do get practice sets consisting of just a bag, bellows, and chanter, and I assume drones can be retro-fitted to these reasonably easily.
The fingering is differently, and most importantly, there's the concept of the second octave to deal with - there's more than nine notes! It's worth getting a penny whistle and learning to play that - the mental processes involved are the same, though the fingerings are *not* identical. If you hate coping with that, you'll most likely hate Ulleans as well. It's not really that difficult, though. You will find that your experience on GHB helps - you will have fingers used to moving independently, some of your embellishments will come accross well, and, importantly, you will already be familiar in a very large degree with the idiom.
The biggest difference, however, is maintenance - octopi are very demanding creatures! You will learn more about reed manipulation than you ever thought possible.
Hope these wafflings are of some help.
I'm moving this to the Other Pipes forum
Hey - I made the jump from highland pipes to uilleann a few years back, and it is a bit tough, but nothing insurmountable. I'd been playing smallpipes for a while beforehand, so the bellows thing was in hand. If you're worried about cost, I'd suggest (like I'm sure you might have heard already) David Daye's penny chanter. Man, what a great deal (and I'm not getting anything to say that!). The few teachers I've had were very impressed with the sound, and I've had no trouble with it at all. Well, at least until I dropped it and cracked the reed. But moving on...He's on the net, I think his site is http://daye1.com/pennychanter.html. (http://daye1.com/pennychanter.html) Lots of stuff about the instrument, and even a file covering the move from highland to uillean pipes. He sells homebuild kits for practice sets there as well, and drones may be on the way. He seems like a pretty good guy to deal with (I didn't have any trouble) and he gives you tons of info on the product. I don't know anything about that uilleann practice chanter. I've seen it and have been a little aprehensive, especially with that hookah looking mouthpiece.
Go for a the penny chanter kit that comes with the completed chanter. Then find a teacher as soon as you can. It's possible to figure out the basics, but once you get into trying to do crans and closed runs and the like, its really helpful to have someone helping you out. If you stick with it, uilleann pipes become really fun to play. And even if you get frutrated, if you only wind up investing $300 or so, you won't feel so bad. Hope that helps. Good luck!