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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 03-09-2018, 03:25 PM   #1
Mountain House Piper
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 1
Default New to the pipes looking for advice on a practice chanter

A friend recently passed and left me a set of Hardie pipes(mid sixties according to Hardie). I want to get a good practice chanter that isn't going to cost my first born. What make and size should I get?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:37 PM   #2
el gaitero
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estados Unidos
Posts: 5,993
Default Re: New to the pipes looking for advice

A new abw RGHardie, Mccallum, Naill, Sinclair,Shepherd,...all excellent choices ,..bling of your choice/ budget...but whichever...get a standard length so you blend in tune with the most usual chanter at a band table...which you’ll be able to cozy up to and read your music. A Walsh reed also highly recommended.
You could check eBay for a vintage of these or other historic notable names ..eg Lawrie,Glenn, Henderson,etc. not MIME .

Last edited by Andrew Lenz; 03-09-2018 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:37 PM   #3
Andrew Lenz
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Posts: 10,380
Default Re: New to the pipes looking for advice on a practice chanter

Welcome to bagpiping!

I'd recommend checking with your instructor and picking a chanter that matches his/hers. That'll make life easier.

If you are considering teaching yourself, read this:

Andrew T. Lenz, Jr.
www.BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." ---Mark Twain
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:52 AM   #4
Green Piper
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,528
Default Re: New to the pipes looking for advice on a practice chanter

Iíll second Andrewís advice about instruction.

For PC, you have two main types: long and short. I was told that with short/regular PCís, you typically rest the bottom end on a tabletop while playing. With the long version, you can rest the bottom on your thigh (seated).

Most (all) modern PCís of quality have hole spacing similar to a pipe chanter, and the holes are countersunk to feel more like the larger diameter holes of a pipe chanter.

I have played in three different bands, the first two didnít really care which brand/type of PC was used, although they preferred them to be relatively close to each other. The third band supplied Gibson poly long PCs and the tone around the practice table was pretty darned good. All bands were grade 3 or 4.

My favourite PC is a long Naill wooden pc that I have setup with an easy reed. I can play for hours on it and the reed is easy enough to circular breathe.
"Melancholy as the Drone of a Lancashire Bagpipe" (Behn, Aphra 1678. Sir Patient Fancy)
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:06 AM   #5
piper Q
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Currently Mississippi, who knows where next
Posts: 402
Default Re: New to the pipes looking for advice on a practice chanter

A standard length Polypenco, aka Delrin engineered plastic chanter is sufficient for most student and at roughly $65 U.S. depending upon source not excessive new. Some come with rubber O-rings and others use hemp at the joints. But all perform equally well.

Please, avoid the wooden Pakistani rose wood or similar practice chanters, they may only cost $25 to 30 but will not sound as well or hold up as well in the long run.

I have a Dunbar & Eller PC with 24 years use and abuse and it is still doing yeoman work for me. As for PC reeds, a quality manufacture one will set you back between $12 and $20 depending upon source. Generally there will be several recommended PC reeds available all will work equally well, though you may need a small dental appliance rubber band to aid the reed sounding in tune with other students.

If you have a teacher near you, she or he may make recommendations based upon their experiences. As for chanter lengths, usually they come in child's, standard, and long. Counter sunk holes on a standard length chanter aren't really needed.
Breaching the peace? What bagpipes officer?
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: New to the pipes looking for advice on a practice chanter


I recently bought a long polypenco Gibson practice chanter. Sent here to Ireland from Canada.

I have to say I prefer it in every way to my old Kintail blackwood and certainly to my poly Chesney.

It seems to be crafted differently from usual practice chanters.

The recessed holes are very like a real pipe chanter.

The tone and scale are true.

And I remember reading in these forums somewhere that the back pressure is different. More akin to a small pipe. It requires more air but I feel this is good training for my blowing stamina.

Everyone has a favourite pc. Gibson is mine for the above reasons.
Hope this helps.

Regards and good luck!

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