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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 07-17-2008, 10:47 AM   #1
sjbpiper
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Default All in the Bag

After reading some recent posts I've got to wonder, what is it with bags and seasoning? My bag is 8 years old, leather lined with gore- tex, with a zipper, and it is MAINTENANCE FREE. Rubber grommets w/ a little electrical tape, the only thing tied in is the chanter stock, and it's air-tight. I've played plenty of other guy's pipes and it has a superior feel to full synthetics- feels like leather because it IS leather. Maybe I'm missing something here? If there is any resonance or sound quality generated IN the bag (debatable) what could be the difference between lined leather and greasy leather? Why the added hassle?
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:29 AM   #2
Don Robertson
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Default Re: All in the Bag

I remember reading somewhere years ago, that several PM's in the top pipe bands in the world chose to stay with hide bags (sheepskin particularly) because they felt there was a sound difference. Whether or not that remains the case now days, or if it was ever really tested beyond the PM's "opinion", I don't really know. For me, the choice of bag is two fold, one economics, I can't afford, or justify, spending the money on one of the new high tech bags. The second reason is familiarity, I've used a loaned Canmore bag from my PM, and didn't like it, I'm just more familiar and comfortable with a plain L&M bag.
Good point though, it would make an interesting experment to see if there was a difference in sound from one type of bag to another.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
oldsoldier
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Default Re: All in the Bag

Perhaps it stems from having a better overall feeling for the bag? I've only played a leather bag once...I did notice it felt more, well, "there", than my canmore bag. My PM states he has better control of the leather bag than a synthetic. As I am still new to piping, I have every reason to believe that, even after only one session with a leather bag. I am just more comfortable with my canmore, as its the only one I've played, barring that one time.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:51 AM   #4
sjbpiper
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Default Re: All in the Bag

I'm not counting the full synthetic bags, just seasoned or non-seasoned. So when given a choice between "leather" vs "leather", I'm just wondering why some would opt for one that sounds like such a pain in the a-- to own and operate??
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:47 PM   #5
Kyle Coughlin
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Default Re: All in the Bag

I play a sheepskin bag. I really like it.

The bag moulds to your body after about a moth of playing, which hybrid bag dont. You only have to season it 1 or 2 times in the first month of playing the bag, then only once every month or two. If you are playing every day,(or every other day) then you have no problems! If your not playing every day, sheepskins can be hell!

As to the tone, I DO think that sheepskin bags enhances the chanters tone, it makes the top hand alot fuller, and gives the hA a nice ring. No doubt Hybrid bags are great,but in my oppinion, Sheepskin bags are the best bag in the world, and are not a pain in the a-- to own and operate!
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:53 PM   #6
bugz
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Default Re: All in the Bag

Quote:
Good point though, it would make an interesting experment to see if there was a difference in sound from one type of bag to another.
: Don't get me started. I've had quite enough discussions on what constitutes a valid experiment under controlled conditions in the ABW vs. Delrin ("plastic") Pipes thread.

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Old 07-17-2008, 12:58 PM   #7
Gray
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Default Re: All in the Bag

My gortex-lined hide bag actually absorbed less moisture than my seasoned hide bag.

I never made friends with my 'hybrid bag'--It pressed on my forearm uncomfortably.

Leather and seasoning works best for me and I'm a wet blower.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #8
Chris Hamilton
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Default Re: All in the Bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray
My gortex-lined hide bag actually absorbed less moisture than my seasoned hide bag.
To be expected ... seasoning absorbs moisture.

The bags are NOT gortex-lined, by the way ... only Canmore makes Gore-Tex bags ... any other brand is a similar but not identical synthetic material.

And it doesn't matter how much the synthetic liner breathes ... if it's wrapped with another layer of leather on the outside, moisture has nowhere to go.

Chris
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:27 PM   #9
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: All in the Bag

Seth, Shawn here, sheepskin, although labor and maintenance intensive is actually a very wonderful medium for pipe bags.

Some of it's benefits have already been mentioned above; moisture control, the way it will mold to your body like a fine pair of leather driving gloves or a good leather jacket, the tonal qualities which are NOT debatable but actually exist (don't get me started).

What is more a sheepskin bag has a wonderful smell and feel, and for those of us who like to feel 'closer' to their instrument it can add a special bond between pipe and piper. With sheepskin it's almost as if your pipe takes on a living quality of it's own. I know it sounds hokey but that's how I would describe it.

You do have to have or make the time for it though, you simply MUST play often to keep a sheepskin happy. (see....the wife analogy is very appropriate here) If you play often the bag stays supple and practically maintenance free; less moisture issues and seasoning required. But if you fail to play often you can run into the "stiff as a board" syndrome which is not pleasant.

Having to play every day is a nice feature, you will learn quickly grasshopper.....

Okay, I'm done........

Shawn
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
PM Riley
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Default Re: All in the Bag

i can only take a guess that the sheep, or any other animal skin, has more elastic quality to it. with that being said if you have a bag that can expand and rebound rather quickly you would have steadier blowing which leads to brighter notes and better control.
of course i dont play a skin bag because i dont really have the drive i guess to take that on. 3 kids 5,3,2months, if i have a spare moment i want to play not season. i will be looking at a scotion<sp> bag. seams there the shiznit, yo.
my 2cents
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