Old New Pipes

Old New Pipes

(I saw the recent Discussion posted by ‘premier’ and thought it a catchy title. I neglected permissions and hope citing should suffice.)

I’ve recently acquired a 1/2 set of uilleann pipes in D made by Joe Kennedy. I’ve never played the pipes before, but am familiar with whistle and flute. I’ve been able to run a pressure test for the seals and everything appears to be in order. I’m working on the ‘longnote’ without the drones, and with a little more practice should be able to put the drones and chanter to a tuner. Fingering is a bit bizarre moving from the whistle/flute and will take some getting used to.

Any suggestions, experiences, things that to be wary of or that I may encounter as I begin to learn this instrument on my own?

Re: Old New Pipes

Congratulations! No doubt there will be some good recommendations offered by those with this experience. Me, I can’t, but I’m happy for you… Best of luck with the challenges ahead, and hopefully you’ll also be able to manage taking in some workshops, and anything the NPU puts its mind to is highly recommended… 😉

The benefits of signing up, joining, are well worth it…

http://www.pipers.ie/

Re: Old New Pipes

All the concentration gets used up in fingering, remembering to breathe and trying not to drool or fall off your seat. Independent use of the elbows is easy when standing at the bar, but a little problematic when first trying to operate a set of pipes.

The easiest way to think of it is this:— the bag is what supplies the air, just as your lungs supply air to the whistle. The bellows are there only to supply air to the bag, not to drive the pipes. As the bag begins to run out, slightly decrease he pressure, and make up the difference with the bellows. Imagine the air going though the tube into the bag, not into the chanter, and it will soon become natural.

Never squeeze the bellows and the bag at the same time with equal pressure — one elbow should be going up as the other comes down. Good luck and have fun.

Posted by .

Re: Old New Pipes

For me it was all about getting the bellows elbow to do its job automatically. I used to sit and watch tv with my finger mostly closing the chanter stock, and just keeping the bag full.

One thing gam forgot to mention is that although the pipes leave your mouth free for drinking, I’ve not yet learned to swallow and play at the same time, and have held a mouthful of beer through a whole set of tunes on many occasions. After the set, I swallow, get another mouthful, and hold it through the next set….

Re: Old New Pipes

Yes, good idea from Marc C — take the chanter out and stick your finger in, letting out the same amount of air as would come through the chanter. Practise in silence (apart from the grunting and swearing through the teeth).

Posted by .

Re: Old New Pipes

‘I used to sit and watch tv with my finger mostly closing the chanter stock, and just keeping the bag full. ’

It might be better to concentrate more on bag technique than bellows work. It’s the bag arm that controls the pipes, not the bellows.

Fill the bag, let it go down to maybe 3/4 while keeping the chanter going and then refilling it without interrupting the sound.

Posted .

Re: Old New Pipes

And don’t fill the bag to capacity, stay just shy of filling it to the brim, that way you are control of the pressure.

Posted .

Re: Old New Pipes

True, true, prof. But for me, I had to get pumping the bellows to become automatic before I could begin to think about bag control…. But I’m perhaps the least coordinated person, ever.

Re: Old New Pipes

i am envious ;)

Uilleann Pipes - in the beginning

Learning to play the Uilleann pipes

Just one header with the hopes others can call it up in future searches…

Nice contribution as always Prof, loved it…

Re: Old New Pipes

I guess I’m a student; perhaps should have checked the archive based on the response. Thanks for the comments.

Re: Old New Pipes

Get a teacher?

Re: Old New Pipes

Appears you missed the point, but probably should. I think 3 hours travel is my closest teacher; I’ll probably make contact, mostly go it on my own and maybe try stay in the loop for any goings on.

Re: Old New Pipes

"The pipes are the instrument that most resembles a squid."

Next time someone asks me why I play, I think that will be my answer.

Re: Old New Pipes

I understood the question perfectly; I stand by my suggestion.