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Purchasing second practice chanter

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  • Purchasing second practice chanter

    I'm considering buying a second practice chanter (sparked by my PC needed a new sole). Any recommendations on what to look for and what to avoid (hoping to keep it under $100US). Thanks.

  • #2
    Naill long. Done.
    My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC

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    • #3
      gbmacd, you'll get a lot of different opinions since there are a lot of good makers. My mentor is currently recommending a Gibson PC—before that for years he recommended a Tru-Tone PC. I have one of Robin Beck's Cowal PCs and it's my favorite of the ones that I have . . . I keep it here on my desk at work. It's literally 6 inches from my right hand as I type this. Naill has made good instruments for a long time, no complaints with that recommendation by Patrick.

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

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      • #4
        If buying a new wood chanter, choose an option with poly or poly-lined chanter top. This provides a water resistant top that can be played for longer periods and without fear of the the top splitting from extended exposure to breath moisture/water.

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        • #5
          Appreciate this help. I have lots of questions rattling around given the research I've been doing. Any thoughts on benefits of learning on standard or long (I understand the Cowal is somewhere between those models), inset holes, etc.? Are there certain benefits to my development as a piper, given that I am still at beginning stages. Is the sole merely aesthetic? Do I lose something if I purchase all poly rather than wood or poly and wood?

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          • #6
            Long you’ll rest on your leg, short on a table, either held in the air though long is heavier, long will continue to sound if you cover the very bottom accidentally. Soles are decoration. Poly won’t break if ya drop it.
            My Piping Blog (recordings, articles, reviews, etc.) - Homepage - Pekaar's Tune Encyclopedia - Convert BMW to ABC

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gbmacd View Post
              Any thoughts on benefits of learning on standard or long
              I don't think it matters in the least. The only time I've given the matter any thought is that standard length is great for propping on a tabletop, and long PC's are great for resting the bottom of the chanter on my knee.

              Originally posted by gbmacd View Post
              Are there certain benefits to my development as a piper, given that I am still at beginning stages. Is the sole merely aesthetic?
              Practice chanter length doesn't make a difference. You can't go wrong with a regular-length practice chanter sold by any of the reputable sellers (Henderson's, Pipers' Hut, etc.) Beyond that $60-$80 price point, your money and efforts are better spent on lessons and saving up for a full set of pipes.

              Originally posted by gbmacd View Post
              Do I lose something if I purchase all poly rather than wood or poly and wood?
              Just another $50 or $100 dollars that would be much happier spent on lessons or saving for an instrument. If anything, the wood may prove to be more of a headache. I certainly know that if my first practice chanter had been poly it wouldn't have survived very long at all.




              Practice is the best of all instructors. - Publilius Syrus

              My Piping Blog- A student's musings on learning the Great Highland Bagpipe.

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              • #8
                Full poly is good.

                Long chanters (and some regular sized) have a similar hole spacing to a pipe chanter.

                The countersunk holes are nice because you can actually feel the holes.
                You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

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                • #9
                  I've got two of the Gibson standard PCs. I love them. Holes are the same between the standard and long ones. If you're looking for affordable, with a good sound, I recommend the Gibson. Granted, I've never played on a Naill, but for what it's worth, the Gibson is great for what it is.
                  Don't ask my neighbors about my piping skills. They don't know...

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                  • #10
                    I had a cheap rosewood chanter to start out. It was all that was locally available and all I could afford. I practiced every moment I could...and eventually, the chanter just swelled up and fell apart. If I had a poly chanter back then, I would not have run into the problems of constantly trying to patch up failing joints.

                    Fast forward to today...I recently got my ‘nice’ ABW PC back from Dunbar. I had them install a poly liner and poly mouthpiece stud/nipple. Despite oiling and drying after play time...the PC top had split.

                    I gifted a local musician a PC made from a really nice 1920ish chanter bottom with a poly top I had made to fit. The gift made for a great sounding and looking vintage instrument with an indestructible top.

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                    • #11
                      Get poly. Long or Standard is personal preference. I like Long. McCallum, Hardie, Naill, Dunbar, Gibson, all good stuff.
                      Kenton Adler

                      For best results - PLAY LOUD

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                      • #12
                        I have two of Robin Beck's Cowal chanters. One I bought new, one I bought used. I keep one at home and one at work. I prefer them to my long Gibson or long Dunbar ( I sold the long Dunbar poly pc several years ago).

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                        • #13
                          For seriously long sessions, I love my Walsh PC. It sounds great and in tune and has a water trap so my reed doesn't get soaked.
                          For equally great sound, but lighter and shorter, I use one of Robin Beck's too...its my travel chanter for when I go to Scotland, small, lightweight, but no water trap. When I'm there it's mostly big pipes anyway...

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