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Old 09-18-2018, 12:47 PM   #11
Kenton Adler
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Batesville Arkansas
Posts: 1,678
Default Re: Cold weather playing

If the temperature gets down into the lower 30s F or below, things can go south on you pretty quickly. Simple physics. If warm, moist air comes into contact with cold, dry air it condenses. And it it's real cold, the resulting water can begin the process of freezing. Wreaks havoc. If you HAVE to play in freezing weather, say at a funeral or something, the best approach is to get your pipe put together, do a quick tune up, then get back in the car and keep YOURSELF warm until it's time. Play as little as possible until you have too. Excess moisture and frozen fingers will do you NO favors. I think the coldest air temperature I have ever played in was about 19 degrees F, and it was unpleasant at best. But I got through it okay.
Kenton Adler

For best results - PLAY LOUD
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:42 AM   #12
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 3,336
Default Re: Cold weather playing

Greetings to All,

Cold weather playing... and that's anything under 0 Celsius
and 32 Fahrenheit... and depending upon... the wind !!... can
be of marvelous tuition... about what to do... next time... and
equally... what not to do... next time!! (We can, we do... learn!! :)

And as with the people also standing there... and most usually
for funerals... we... too... must simply... Carry On... when called

And after having gleaned... and garnered... from past experience...
(though it was most usually thrust upon us!! :)... it can usually turn
out rather well... but the greatest of thoughtfulness... and attention...
and to every smallest detail... must ever be brought to bear...

And when these more difficult occasions (and especially those for
funerals and memorials) are completed... and without (we pray) any
major mishaps... then our countenance should not include aspects of
any pride...but should be... of simple gratitude... for the service we
were able to give.

And yes(!!)... those cold weather engagements are a tough go... but
oft times... they are the much more difficult... for those others there...

Regards to All,


My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...

Last edited by Pip01; 09-19-2018 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:59 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 680
Default Re: Cold weather playing

As far as the pipes go, I say that the bag can make a big difference. I have to recommend the Canmore Hybrid bag for cold weather playing. They breathe so well that moisture was not an issue for multiple cold weather parades, including a St. Patrick's Day parade we played with temps around the freezing mark. The bag was nearly dry inside after an hour of playing with just a tube trap.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:15 PM   #14
Forum Regular
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: St louis
Posts: 185
Default Re: Cold weather playing

North Texas can be unpredictable for weather in March. We always looked forward to St Patrick’s Day work to finance band activities. One year the forecast was included possible freezing rain.

We showed up for the short parade and...freezing drizzle with outside temp around 25 F...and sleet and wind...strong gusting wind from behind as we marched and played. We got through through the first tune in first set and the weather started taking a toll. The fingers were the first to go..wet...freezing. Felt like our fingers were large sausages that had no concept of grace notes. The backs of our kilts were frozen slabs of ice sawing at the backs of our legs. Icicles forming on cords. Bass drones were first to cut out...hard to keep pipes on shoulders...wind from backside blowing them forward. Lips then froze...no hope. No tenors and chanters...reeds would not sound.

Good news ...we limped through the set. Finished the parade marching to drum taps (ice flying off drum heads with each stroke).

We ducked into nearest bar to thaw out and check the damage...amazing no cracks or breaks.

Playing in a freezing rain storm ...I will never forget ...and never repeat.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:06 PM   #15
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Northern California
Posts: 63
Default Re: Cold weather playing

I figured you would want to slowly acclimate your pipes to the existing weather before any performance.

What I'd like to know is what is the best way to bring your pipes back in from the cold and wet. A very slow defrosting? Take every part of the pipes apart? Is there more of an issue with sleeved parts? Metal expands at a different rate than wood. Could this cause separation?
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