#1
Okay. I've been wanting to learn to play the bagpipes for, like... ever. And I was on eBay recently and I found a set for $125 (I assume they were used), and they came with a hardshell case, an instructional book, and a practice chanter (whatever that is.)

My first question is, is that a good bargain? I'm not sure what the going price is for bagpipes, because I've never really dealt with them. I had assumed that bagpipes would normally sell for several hundred dollars, but I suppose that depends upon the make or the brand.

My second question is, what is the best brand of bagpipes? You know, with guitars you've got your Fenders, you've got your Gibsons, et cetera et cetera... and then you've got the crappy ones they sell at Wal-Mart. What brand is the Fender or Gibson of bagpipes?

And my third question is, are bagpipes difficult to play? As it stands now, the only instrument I've ever played has been the guitar. I know that bagpipes and guitar are completely different instruments, so don't bother pointing that out for me. I also know that, as with any instrument, complete mastery is difficult. However, as far as the basics, is it really that difficult?

Response to any of this is appreciated.
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#4
i know that they are silly
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#5
1. It depends. It may be a good price if they're good used ones but if they're new they might be garbage.

2. Bagpipes don't really come in mass produced brands. The best bagpipes are handmade usually by a single person. There are mass produced pipes from the Pakistan and around there, many of which are bad but a few are good.

3. Bagpipes are likely the single most difficult wind instrument you will ever come across. You have to learn on a chanter before you get a full set. The strain on your lungs is intense. The fingerings are easy enough, but ornamentation is difficult.
#6
that would be so awesome if you learned! They seem a bit hard to play but that could be just me..
oh yeah, i don't know a thing about bagpipes.

#9
I forgot to mention, they are extremely loud. But yes, they are awesome.
#10
if you think they were used, i wudnt buy them

dont want any diseases now do we?
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#11
I'll diss if I wanna diss. It's just a bad sounding instrument - and the accordian also.
#13
Quote by Surfer Rosa
I'll diss if I wanna diss. It's just a bad sounding instrument - and the accordian also.


Blasphemy! Both instruments are totally wild... Let's call it contemporary, and we'll all be happy.
#14
To answer your first question, $125 is a very good deal for all that. New pipes do indeed go for hundreds of dollars depending on the brand.

For your second question, it's usually a matter of opinion.

And for your third question, yes it can be somewhat difficult to learn. It's going to take a while to build up your lungs to be able to play the actual pipes for any length of time. Also striking in your drones can be annoying to learn. It just takes practice. As far as the basics, no it isn't that difficult. The finger placement and everything is going to feel weird at first, but you get used to it. The instruction booklet should be able to teach you said basics, but I'm not sure about the more advanced maneuvers. That' where the internet comes in.

Hope this helped
#16
Bagpipes are the total win, but you might get funny looks if you're american. There is an easy answer, simply move to scotland.
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#18
125 dollars is a good price. I guarantee you you are getting a very ****ty set of bagpipes. Good sets of pipes are going to cost you well over 800 dollars, but for a beginner you don't want to spend that much, especially since they are a very difficult instrument to play. A practice chanter is the piece you blow into, as well as use your fingers for the various chord formations. A thing you have to keep in mind is that all of your drones must be in tune to each other otherwise it will sound awful. And I mean perfectly in tune with each other. And don't let an instructional book fool you, you can't learn much from them. You need to get a teacher, someone who has had at least 5 years experience playing. The old saying is 'it takes 7 years to make a piper, and 7 more to play'. Or something relatively close to that.
#20
Thank you, everyone.

I'm actually visiting Scotland next summer. Maybe I can learn by then. Hah.

Anyways. How, exactly, does it strain your lungs? I'm mildly asthmatic, is why I'm asking this.
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#21
Quote by Surfer Rosa
I'll diss if I wanna diss. It's just a bad sounding instrument - and the accordian also.


Aw man, some people just don't 'get' folk music.

Both instruments are badass sounding, provided the person is actually somewhat accomplished on the instrument.

Bitch.
#22
Quote by K-Lizzle
Thank you, kstebor and ColemanSmoov.

I'm actually visiting Scotland next summer. Maybe I can learn by then. Hah.

Anyways. How, exactly, does it strain your lungs? I'm mildly asthmatic, is why I'm asking this.


It just take a lot of windpower, and can be quite tiring after an extended amount of time.
#24
Quote by ColemanSmoov
It just take a lot of windpower, and can be quite tiring after an extended amount of time.

Yeah, I read somewhere (or heard) that first you have to get all the air circulating in there, and while maintaining that circulation you then have to blow into the drones to make music.

Also - do you only finger one pipe at a time, or do you have to finger multiple ones at a time?
There's only one girl in the world for you
and she probably lives in Tahiti.
#25
If I were you I wouldn't bother learning, for several reasons:

1)They are EXTREMELY difficult to play properly. It takes years to get a decent sound out of them and even when you can play them properly the sound still isn't too pleasing in my opinion.

2)You need to practise on the chanter for at least several months if not years before moving onto a full set of pipes.

3)A decent is set is very expensive. They usually cost well over £1000 so a set for $125 (roughly £65) will almost certainly be pretty crappy.

4) Do you have any idea how loud they are? They are probably twice as loud as a full drum kit (this depends on the quality of the set). Which can annoy anyone you are living with and maybe even the rest of your street.
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#26
One pipe is fingered, it's called the chanter. The other pipes are drones. You blow into the wind pipe into the bag, the bag feeds air into the drones and the chanter simultaneously.
#27
A bagpipe is the most pleasant sounding wind instrument, in my opinion.
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#28
Quote by K-Lizzle
Yeah, I read somewhere (or heard) that first you have to get all the air circulating in there, and while maintaining that circulation you then have to blow into the drones to make music.

Also - do you only finger one pipe at a time, or do you have to finger multiple ones at a time?


When you first start up, you fill the bag with air. You the hit the bag at a certain location (different for every person) to strike the drones in. You then continue to blow into the bag to sound the chanter. You alternate between blowing and squeezing with your left arm. This continues to sound the drones and the chanter.

The only pipe that you finger is the chanter.

EDIT: Once again kstebor beat me to your question.
#29
Bagpipes are awesome if played by someone that knows how to play em.
Otherwise you blow in one end and get a dieing cow sound outta the other.
And that's all I know about bagpipes.
Good luck
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#30
Quote by kstebor
One pipe is fingered, it's called the chanter. The other pipes are drones. You blow into the wind pipe into the bag, the bag feeds air into the drones and the chanter simultaneously.

Ahh, that makes sense.

ColemanSmoov - that also makes sense.

Thank you so much for all this information.
There's only one girl in the world for you
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#31
Bagpipes could be the most difficult instrument to play. Good luck. lol

As for the price they are about £1000 up here so $125?? nah get proper ones hand made in Scotland.
#32
Just a note, this information regards primarily the Great Highland Bagpipes, which are the most common type. Uilleann bagpipes and Northumbrian Smallpipes are very different. Then there are various bladder-pipes and Gaita but that's more than you need to know. And you're welcome.