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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 06-17-2017, 01:01 AM   #1
KenGlasgow
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Default Pipe bag issues...blowpipe angle is bad

Hi,
Not sure if this should be in the beginners section or here..but in any case...

So I quit playing the bagpipes a few years ago.. mainly because i couldnt practice in my flat for the neighbours... But last week I decided ti get then back going and got the practice chanter out... muscle memory really is a thing! Its great how my fingers remember all these tunes

Then this morning after getting s few tunes in my head I got the pipes out... gave them a bit of a service, madd sure everything was air tight etc... all good to go (except for a few of the metal decorative parts that I'll glue on when I get the chance...
got everything set up inflated the bag and tried to get comfortable holding the inflated bag with just the blow pipe and chanter plugged in...
Then I remembered one of the reasons I had such a problem playing them... the blasted blowpipe is angled in the oppositev direction to my face...
I had tried a flexi blowpipe, which was decent, tried angling the blowpipe in the bag, didnt make much difference, and various other things, none of which made them comfortable to play...

That said i'm wondering if the bag, a zipper canmore medium synthetic bag, is particularly troublesome?
Would a different brand of bag help make playing the bagpipes more straightforward?
I'm 6'1, the pipes were bought and setup at the piping center in glasgow... i'm living abroad now, otherwise I'd go back there and ask.. (which i really should have done when i was having problems with the setup in the furst place...

Anyway, would love ti hear any suggestions... new bag? If so what synthetic bag do you enjoy playing?
Thanks
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:46 AM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

Get a loop of string, loop it over the bass and blowstick stocks, and put as many twists in it as are necessary to get the blowpipe in the right place. The bag cover over it holds the loop in place once you've got it right.

Most synthetic bags put the blowpipe in the wrong place - you can learn to deal with it, but a loop of string does make life easier.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:43 AM   #3
KenGlasgow
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

Cheers, but when I was looking at the bag today, I saw that I had already tried the string/rope tie idea... it's been 4 years since I last played them and tbh I soent days faffing about with tying the blow pipe and drones together etc...
And I'm not going to start wasting time trying to polish a ####.
If the synthetic bags don't have the correct alignment coming out of the factory then they shouldn't be blĄĄdy selling them, and pipers shouldn't be buying them... imho

So assuming that canmore bags are all made with the blowpipe hole pointing in pretty much the wrong direction... that being the case then surely it's fair to say that canmore bags are junk...
( i say this because i remember wasting many weeks trying to get the blowpipe to sit comfortably near my face, weeks that would otherwise have been spent practicing and indeed i might not have given up playing )

So, with me harboring a fair bit of annimosity towards canmore now... are there any better synthetic bags available?
I'd really appreciate your input, hopefully someone can just tell me what company makes synthetic bags which are designed for humans, not giraffes
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:51 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenGlasgow View Post
what synthetic bag do you enjoy playing?
I now play a collared new Canmore hybid ...size large...I am 6' trim-ish 190# shirt sleeve 34"'; for me the bag is a nice fit and comfortable...great moisture control. FYI I was able to easily set the blowstick stock at a back laying angle so the mouthpiece tip is readily at my lips. Cords are tied at 7" between wood.

Setting the blowstick sometimes takes a few tries...and must be strongly taped in position...about 1/2 of the tie in groove will not be locked in.

Last edited by Andrew Lenz; 06-19-2017 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Fixed messed up quote tags syntax.
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Old 06-17-2017, 06:37 AM   #5
KenGlasgow
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

El gaitero, cheers,
I actually just pm'd u to ask ur opinion, cos i saw your posts on the canmore hybrid thread... really its the blowpipe that i have the main issue with(as well as the bag shspe to a lesser extent)
U mentioned u had used a bannatyne hybrid that had a great blowpipe position? Which of the two would u buy if u had to pick one again?
Cheers
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:09 PM   #6
KenGlasgow
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

Btw, so i was looking at the bag this morning, i had always thought it was a medium size, because the bag cover was a medium and i'm pretty sure for my build i would have got a medium pipe bag... (bought them about 10 years sgo now so csn't remrmber)...

But anyway, the bag label has an 's' on it, surely its not a small size bag?
I took a photo but I don't think its uploadable here...

Basically its a small white square label tied in at the bags seem.
It says...
The canmore pipe bag
10%ptfe
90% polyamide. With an 'S' circled next to that text...

On the other side it says 'gore made in scotland'

So all these years I've been trying to play with a bag that was probably too small?
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:59 PM   #7
CalumII
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenGlasgow View Post
surely it's fair to say that canmore bags are junk...
If it's good enough for Angus MacColl, etc etc.

The right equipment can certainly make life easier, but simply throwing money at a problem is unlikely to improve it in my experience.

To actually answer the question, the only artificial bag I can think of that has an angled grommet is the Ross.

The circles S means small, yes. That's not necessarily a problem, even at 6'1". Bigger issue is that generation of bags had rubber grommets that perish, and if they haven't gone yet, they will soon.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:41 PM   #8
DapperDan
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

I've wondered this about my Bannatyne hybrid bag. It also has the rubber collars.
A regular blowstick, if I let it out of my mouth, pops straight up and stands there at least 4 - 5 inches away from my mouth. Like parallel to my face. If I did that when playing, I'd have no choice but to take a hand off the chanter to pop it back in my mouth. Not something that happens, but I mention it to illustrate my point. To keep it straight in my mouth means it is constantly exerting a noticeable upward pressure - over time my top teeth have moved a bit.
I didn't know the string trick, maybe I'll try that. I have noticed other pipers seem to have a similar setup but if they're uncomfortable they don't mention it. Is this just how bags are cut? Would a tied-in hide bag be different?
What I did do was get a fully adjustable airstream blowstick. Once I worked out a few unrelated problems with it*, I got it adjusted perfectly. So I'm comfortable and my teeth don't migrate anymore, and the airflow is great. But it would be nice to use the matching poly-lined blackwood blowpipe I sprung for when I got the pipes.

*EVERY threaded joint - there are 4 - leaked and had to be thread taped. The valve leaked, and had to be taken out and reinstalled a few times. The threaded joint that holds the valve was not possible to unscrew without using vice grips, which chipped it a bit.

Last edited by DapperDan; 06-18-2017 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:17 AM   #9
Green Piper
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

While I have no experience with a Canmore bag, I have used the Bannatyne hybrids. The blowpipe can be angled to an extent within the rubber grommet - not much but for me it was sufficient.

Charlie
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:47 AM   #10
CalumII
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Default Re: Pipe bag issues...

I know some people do angle stocks in a Bannatyne bag by simply letting it sit out of the groove on one side. Personally, I've seen such arrangements leak, even with tape and so on, and if I did it on my own set I'd be constantly paranoid.
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