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Terrahawk 05-31-2018 11:52 AM

Starter PCs
Does anyone have any suggestions for decent cheap import chanters, rosewood or cocobolo. I think years ago when I took on several students around the same time & I was getting them for $15-20 each, and if the student was sticking with it after 6 months they'd get a quality practice chanter.

I just got one for a new student with very small hands to help her with getting the mechanics down, as her full-size Wallace is a stretch for her trying to get the basic posture and scale at this point. It was $25 from AAR, amazon or ebay, and the reeds were totally worthless, something I'm used to. I put a $7 reed in it and its tolerable until she gets the basic mechanics down and has a foundation and graduates to her full sized again.

Anyone have any sources for these? I used to keep one in the car in the hot southern summers and balmy winters to practice at lunch and they were surprisingly resilient.

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!

Zummerhaus 06-17-2018 05:45 AM

Re: Starter PCs
I'd steer clear and try to get a group discount from a proper maker. No idea if the likes of McCallum with CNC would be open to this, or Walsh/Dunbar over your way. I did stumble on 3D printed chanters recently, could be another idea.

el gaitero 06-17-2018 06:55 AM

Re: Starter PCs
Mccallum can provide short poly tops with their plain poly chanter ( no ferrule no sole). These PCs cost a wboping $75.

I’d think a child with a good sounding $75 Mccallum pc would have more impetus to fare well than one starting out with trash and told “oh well .. no’s only $25.” if not advancing.

A smallish 8 year old boy I taught couldn’t get his finger around to cover the LA hole...only until about the 3rd week....he had the right drive and desire to “..just do it..

I’d swag Pipers Hut in Ohio might offer a deal on a group purchase.

DamhCabrachPiping 07-10-2018 03:30 PM

Re: Starter PCs
I would steer clear of anything that isnít a properly made mode.

Go with McCallum, Dunbar (itís what I started on), Pipers choice (fairly comparable to McCallum)...

The sweeter sound will reward students for doing it right, instead of still sounding like trash.

I had one rosewood chanter that looked quite nice but obviously not worth playing.

The bore is rough, that causes the sound to match...

This past winter I finally got my dream chanter.

McCallum ABW with poly top and full engraved nickel everything. The sound drives me to play more.

I may still have that ol rosewood beating stick somewhere but only because I donít have a fireplace to give it a proper send off.

Depending where you are in the world there are better options than Ali Baba bagpipe supply lol

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Shawn Husk 07-10-2018 07:27 PM

Re: Starter PCs
So $25 on a marginal pc, then another $7 for a reed, and shipping on both, let's call it an even $40 for a chanter you're going to end up replacing. You can get a very good basic plastic pc from several places with a quality reed for about $60 shipped. And often times much much cheaper on the used market. I usually pick up any cheap quality pc I see on the used market that's in the $40 range just to keep around for new students. They are out there. Check out Northwest Bagpipes, they've got some great prices on basic pc's.

piper Q 07-21-2018 12:23 PM

Re: Starter PCs
My first instructor had me purchase a PC as part of the agreement, I could see the practicality behind that as I would always have it with me. But for a younger beginning student who may be encouraged by parents, possibly having a rental PC of decent quality is the way to go. Have at a minimum a deposit of 50% the cost of the PC.

Go with a good poly PC even at the higher cost. Have the parent's sign a contract acknowledging that the PC is a rental to be returned if the student withdraws. If the Parent lays down a security deposit, they'll either want that back and return the chanter or you can purchase a new chanter with a portion of the proceeds from teaching and the deposit which is not refunded if the chanter and reed are not returned.

Think about teaching as a business proposition if you are doing solo instructions. How many facilities rent band instruments? it is the same idea. Also go with a solid PC reed. Explain the hows and whys protecting the PC reed from damage as well as that can be included in the cost of a deposit.

While a solid PC, new at $75 may seem expensive, it is well worth the price over time if a student sticks with the program. If the student drops out and the PC is returned, the deposit is returned and you have a PC for the next student.

If I have some one who is interested and considers sitting in on the fundamentals, fingerings and basic scale exercises, I have a PC available right from the start that stays with me. They have time to think over the commitment they need to make and it is no foul and no harm but for some time.

el gaitero 07-21-2018 01:37 PM

Re: Starter PCs
Rental? Deposit? Refunds? So the first kid only has to make a half committment....and the next kid gets a used pc.

Iíd like the Ďyouíre either in or your outĒ commitment please.

All the other approach seems like dragging a kicking horse to water.

No thanks. ....And no participation trophies either.

3D Piper 07-21-2018 06:53 PM

Re: Starter PCs
The smallest PC I found (of quality) for little hands was this one:
all the rest were just shorter tops on a regular hole spaced PC.

All my students have to purchase their own PC, usually a Gibson Long (so we can all match when playing together). It is an investment, but they seem to take it more seriously when it costs them/parents money. I did personally buy several and loaned out, and some never came back.. I learned that lesson the hard way.


el gaitero 07-22-2018 07:55 AM

Re: Starter PCs
Imo any child pc Iíve ever heard is terrible...compared to the standard pc tone and pitch. Pc makers agree the same about their own product. And share the view to make do with a standard length pc from the onset until/ as the child grows into it.
I replace the mouthpiece on a wood top with a 1Ē nub of vinyl tube and use a basic sole-less acetal pc bottom bringing it to about 15Ē length.
Kids 8 yrs old can then work with it..and in not too long will be ready to move up. And it will in the interim blend with my own pc.

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