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Scottish Smallpipes

GUEST,Steve 08 Jan 02 - 08:45 AM
bill\sables 08 Jan 02 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Mikey Joe 08 Jan 02 - 10:51 AM
weepiper 08 Jan 02 - 03:21 PM
8_Pints 08 Jan 02 - 07:10 PM
smallpiper 09 Jan 02 - 12:58 PM
catspaw49 09 Jan 02 - 01:36 PM
Dave Swan 09 Jan 02 - 02:04 PM
smallpiper 11 Jan 02 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,ollaimh 15 Jan 02 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Steve 31 Jan 02 - 11:48 AM
8_Pints 31 Jan 02 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,crazypyper@hotmail.com 13 Feb 02 - 11:21 AM
Bearheart 13 Feb 02 - 12:02 PM
smallpiper at work 14 Feb 02 - 05:55 AM
Bearheart 14 Feb 02 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,carolj 14 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Yum Yum 15 Feb 02 - 05:08 AM
Dave Swan 15 Feb 02 - 08:54 AM
Mad4Mud 15 Feb 02 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Yum Yum 15 Feb 02 - 11:16 AM
smallpiper 15 Feb 02 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Yum Yum 15 Feb 02 - 07:01 PM
Barry T 15 Feb 02 - 08:38 PM
Mad4Mud 15 Feb 02 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Yum Yum 16 Feb 02 - 07:05 AM
GUEST 28 Jan 10 - 12:39 PM
Cuilionn 28 Jan 10 - 03:50 PM
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Subject: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 08:45 AM

I am based in the UK and am thinking of buying a set of Bellows-blown Scottish Smallpipes, and am looking for some advice. I really want to know basic stuff such as the range of the pipes, whether polypenco (or any other synthetic material) is an acceptable substitute for wood, web addresses for manufacturers, recommended tutoring books/recordings etc.

Anecdotes and useful advice from players would also not go amiss!

Thanks

Steve


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: bill\sables
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 09:03 AM

Steve, Smallpiper is a player of the pipes you are interested in, you could PM him or if you are in the Yorkshire area he will be at the Hase in Hessle near Hull tonight (Tues Jan. 8th or every two weeks from tonight)
Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,Mikey Joe
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 10:51 AM

Try Ian Kinnear. (http://www.scottishsmallpipes.com) He makes pipes for loadsa people and he's a sound huy as well.

Mj

Not a piper


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: weepiper
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 03:21 PM

Ian Kinnear is indeed a sound guy, he made my pipes and very good they are too.

If you are a beginner I think the plastic model he does is an excellent choice (these are what I have) for a number of reasons. First off they are very robust so you're unlikely to have any chanter-splintering moments if you twist it overzealously or whatever. Also they are very stable in tone regardless of changes in weather/temperature/wind direction/the phase of the moon etc etc so you will probably struggle less with learning proper bellows technique and how much pressure to apply. And thirdly they need hardly any maintenance in comparison to a wooden set.

All that said, nothing compares to the sound and general niceness of a really good wooden set, but actually the tone of these pipes is very smooth. I think they're also a wee bit louder than some other sets I've played which might be good if you're planning on taking them to sessions.

In terms of price you're looking at a minimum of about £450 for bellows small pipes, and in practice I would try and spend a bit more. My set I think retails for £650 but it is a combo set with 4 drones and interchangable A and D chanters (generally they come as a single chanter set with 3 drones). After this the price goes up and up....As with all things you get what you pay for and it's worth spending more than you can afford - in the best case scenario you'll become addicted and have a nice set of pipes which will last you a lifetime, and in the worst you'll still have a fairly high resale value if you discover it's not for you.

Here's a link to Ian Kinnear's website
And one to Nigel Richards' - he made my border pipes (now they're a whole new kettle of fish! :-) )
And this is a discussion group about bellows pipes in general - if you read some of the back posts you will learn lots of useful stuff.
Good luck - let us know what you go for!


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 07:10 PM

You might find the web-site below useful if only for the excellent volumes published by Matt Seattle:

"The Master Piper - Nine notes that shook the world"

"The Border Bagpipe Book"

Blue Clicky URL for Matt Seattle's web-site.

Bob vG

Good luck

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 09 Jan 02 - 12:58 PM

Try visiting the LBPS website at netreal.com you'll find all the makers and advice you could possibly want and information about teaching weekends. PM me and I'll be very happy to talk about smallpipes with you. What weepiper says about the placa ones is very true as indeed is the info on price (a brilliant set will cost you £1800) Best of luck John


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Jan 02 - 01:36 PM

Well I'll be damned! I always thought a Scottish Smallpipe was what a Scotsman had under his kilt...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Dave Swan
Date: 09 Jan 02 - 02:04 PM

Watch it, 'spaw.

Steve,

I am pleased to recommend Julian Goodacre. Julian is in Peebles, Scotland. I have two sets of his pipes, and I find them a pleasure to play. Julian's website is moving, so enter his name in a search engine and see what you get. Julian is a fine craftsman and player. You'll find him to be friendly, easy to work with, and very well informed.

Tell him I sent you.

Cheers,

Dave


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 11 Jan 02 - 05:50 PM

Well?


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 15 Jan 02 - 09:53 PM

really it's ilaimh i just didn't check in. i am selling my scottish small pipes, after concluding i am the worlds worst smallpiper. they are heriot and alan in d and c--chanters. african blackwood and ivroid bindings, work weel though the chamter reed is getting old and doesn't like wet weather. full drones, what elae--they sound great


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 11:48 AM

Sorry for the LONG delay in getting back to everyone: flu, sickness you name it I've had it recently...

Have been checking out websites etc. and decided not to get a set of Scottish Smallpies, but to go for Northumbrian ones instead, and have contacted D G Burleigh for a set as recommended on an earlier thread by Smallpiper.

Thanks again,

Steve


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 07:50 PM

Steve,

Congratulations on a wise choice!

Try and practice more frequently than I do: must make more time somehow!

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,crazypyper@hotmail.com
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 11:21 AM

Hello everyone, I have a quick question. Does anyone out there play or own a set of scottish smallpipes (bellows blown) made by Hughes bagpipes in Texas? I have ordered a set and am curious if anyone has any particular opinions on these pipes, such as comfort, ease of playing/reeding, look, intonation, etc... Thanks Ryan.


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Bearheart
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 12:02 PM

Surprised no one has mentioned Hamish Moore. Haven't talked to him in a few years, but he makes great pipes. And knows lots about them.

Don't have his web page handy but a search out to bring it up...

Based in southern Scotland last I knew.


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: smallpiper at work
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 05:55 AM

Yep He's based in Dunkeld near Perth and makes the BEST small pipes in the world! I have a set of his and they are wonderful - pricey but you pays for what you get. Try www.netreal.co.uk/lbps there are lots of links including one to Hamish. Also it is well worth noting for would be smallpipers (as wella s more advanced players)that the LBPS holds an anual teaching weekend at Melrose in the borders I think that the next one is in May but info is available on their site. Cheers John


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Bearheart
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 05:58 PM

Just checked out that website, John, and it's very nice too. Have bookmarked it and Hamish's site. I looked at the contents of their journal and it also looks good. Have forward to piper friends as well. Thank You!

Bekki


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,carolj
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM

Have a look at the Bagpipe Society Website www.bagpipesociety.org.uk/index.htm for details of a Scottish Smallpipe/G border pipes for beginners weekend in Northamptonshire. There are a small number of sets available for loan if you don't have your own.


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,Yum Yum
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 05:08 AM

One thing everyone has forgotten to mention is 'there is usually a waiting list'. Most pipemakers work on orders taken in advance, sometimes up to 3 or more years. I supply bags and bellows to quite a few smallpipe, Northumbrian, Uilleann (etc etc)pipemakers and you would be amazed just how busy they can be. Your best bet would be to contact someone like Jock Agnew (editor of Common Stock)jockagnew@aol.com he may help on any second hand sets that are up for grabs. My humble opinion is that the master of smallpipes/Northumbrian is Colin Ross, Jock can help you with contact phone numbers. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Dave Swan
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 08:54 AM

Does anyone have any experience with the work of Philip Gruar?


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Mad4Mud
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:06 AM

A lot of great recommendations, however I would add a high recommendation for John Walsh's new Scottish smallpipes in A, not to be confused with his "shuttlepipes" in A. His newly designed smallpipes in A are terrific- sort of ugly in that they're made of delrin, but come right in tune out of the box (all plastic reeds) and have a wonderful, classic smallpipe sound (the drones sound A E A). The trouble with most SSP is that they are a bit too quiet, but these can be heard well with a fiddle and guitar and I have used them in this combination for on-stage performance with great results. (Mad4Mud's husband, the guy who played uilleann pipes on "An Everlasting Piece").


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,Yum Yum
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:16 AM

I could be wrong (seldom, he says with a cough) but as far as I can remember Philip told me it was Colin Ross who gave him pointers when starting.I haven't seen his pipes but his bags are good (he boasts, with a cough)


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:53 AM

Colin Ross is the god father of the small pipe revival but others have now carried the flame well beyond his original work Gawd Bless im. John


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,Yum Yum
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 07:01 PM

Yes! what can I say? no matter who perfects something, someone will always find a method of perfecting 'even more'. (If that makes sense) nothing ever STOPS. Look at the Uilleann pipes! from the early stages to what we have now, it's taken the passions of pipers to bring it to what it is today. The amazing thing is in ten years time it will have progressed further than what it is today. I was handed a blue-print of the Brian boru pipes (possibly spelt wrong) a few months ago, which brings them up to 'TWO octaves'. (this one I feel will work) but I was given one about fifteen years ago quite similar to the one today. The difference is it has taken one person to boil all the ideas together over the past while to come up with one that works. HE did not come up with the idea all on his own(it evolved) WOW, I am getting in TOO deep here! What I am trying to say is YES! Colin Ross has made the smallpipes what they are today but others have picked up on what he has done and carried them further. As you said smallpiper, Gawd bless 'im!. I wish every type of pipes could find a person like Colin Ross! OH, by the way I dont play the smallpipes, it's the uilleann pipes that rings my bell.


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Barry T
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 08:38 PM

Here's a question for you smallpipers who play with fiddlers, guitarists and the like: How do you start your tunes?

I just purchased a set of Gibson Fireside Pipes (basically mouth blown smallpipes), and I'll be playing them in a ceilidh band. I love the volume and tone, but I'll admit I'm having fun adjusting my large hands to the hole spacing on the 'D' chanter. I've also taken note that, unlike the great highland bagpipes, everything starts sounding on strike-in... all the drones and the chanter, too.

It seems to me that the standard introductory count won't work for tune starts (while I huff and puff my way to a steady tone). How do you folks handle it? A few introductory measures by the fiddler?


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Mad4Mud
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 10:14 PM

Hey Barry T, what I do to start us off is just bring in the chanter and drones together (as you said, you have to do it this way), then count off the tune, like: hnnnrrrrone, two, three! What is different than Highland piping is that you strike in the pipes with the chanter playing low A, not E (for a set in A), and the rather quiet and muted low A just blends with the drones (the chanter's low A is the same pitch as the tenor drone anyway), so the effect is that of drones only playing at the start. It works for us, anyway.

M4M's husband


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST,Yum Yum
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 07:05 AM

Barry T, I haven't seen any myself but I have heard reports of a step bored 'D'chanter, were the finger plate holes are similar to that of an 'A' chanter. Maybe someone else out there can shed some light on this.


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 12:39 PM

What do people think of Fred Morrison smallpipes? Does anybody own a set? I've just ordered a set from Reelpipes.com, I hope they are as good as Kinnear, Walsh or Garvie smallpipes!


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Subject: RE: Scottish Smallpipes
From: Cuilionn
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 03:50 PM

Another good source for pipes Across the Western Ocean: New York pipemaker Nate Banton. He's an up-and-coming pipemaker with some very sweet-sounding instruments. His website is www.elbowmusic.com


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