Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

I am heading to Ireland in the fall and will be over there for 4 months and I want to learn the Uilleann pipes. I was hoping to find a cheap seller of a simple practice set I could start learning the chanter and get a formal teacher when I get over there.

I was hoping for something around $500US. It doesn’t have to be perfect, jut something to get going on!

Also any teacher recomendations near Maynooth would be greatly appriciated!

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

Firstly beware Ebay and similar sites as well as some shops where the MIME (Made in Middle East) instruments are found at budget prices. They rarely work or can be got to work satisfactory and will cause nothing but frustration. Your budget will need to be upped a bit if you really want a decent set that plays well.
Ideally go for a maker in your region and as close as possible and collect in person so you can see it working.
If this is not practical then for those on a tight budget there is Mike Hulme in Liverpool UK - glenmichaelhulme@tesco.net or Martin Gallen (Banba Designs) http://banbadesign.co.uk/ who can probably assist.
Recent rulings by CITES means international travelling with pipes may require a permit for rosewoods e.g. African Blackwood so look for a set made with a timber that does not come under their listings. Theoretically the amount of timber in a practice set would be light enough to be OK (under 10Kg) but you will find there are jobsworths in customs who are "just doing their duty"

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

The two US makers who are often mentioned in the same sentence as "budget sets" are David Daye’s "penny chanter" sets and Pat Sky. I have seen neither personally but people who talk good sense like them.

If you check the Uilleann Obsession web page, there are classified ads on there and there are usually a number of practice sets going - the biggest thing as a beginner is just getting control of the bag and bellows and the more time you have to spend on that before taking four months of lessons the better, so a second hand set that is available Right Now has much to recommend it.

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Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

Worthington Lewallen said: "I was hoping for something around $500US. It doesn’t have to be perfect, jut something to get going on!"

Uilleann pipes are difficult enough to learn with a good instrument; the handicap of trying to play a mediocre or poor instrument will only to lead to frustration. Uilleann pipes are not like (for example) a guitar, where a reasonably-playing example that you can learn on is to be had for a few hundred dollars. Do yourself a favor and save up a little longer, increase your budget, and buy the best practice (or other) set that you can find. Meanwhile, your teacher may have one that you can borrow or rent. NPU in Dublin has a loaner program, and teachers for beginners. Maynooth is not far from Dublin.

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

I have a Rosewood practice set, with a D chanter that I’ve just not got the time for, I’m a fiddler as well and I can’t find the time to learn the thing. Send me a message if you’re interested. I’d be willing to sell them fairly cheap if you cover shipping from Canada. The set was looked over, and reeds were made by a local piper in my city.

If you want a new set, I spent several weeks searching through all the makers I could find online, and I think the best person to speak with is Boris Favre, who is a Canadian maker located in Vancouver, British Columbia. He charges about $1200 CAD last I checked, although I believe we had spoke about a Boxwood set, so perhaps it’s possible to get a set near $1000 CAD which I think is fairly resonable.

($1000 CAD = $742 USD)

http://www.borisfavre.com/uilleann.htm

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

If you’ll be spending a few months in Ireland, I’ve heard NPU has a sceme to lend practice sets to interested parties. Not sure what the availability/waiting time/cost of this program is, but it might be worth looking into.

Edit: Och! I saw that this was already mentioned.

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

A pipemaker friend of mine in Glasgow has been making budget practice sets. I really like his pipes, and I recall him saying that he’s shipped them to North America.

https://www.kmbagpipes.com/hotstuff.html

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

I have a beautiful B chanter in plum and box from Ken. Highly recommended. Cheers

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

One thing to keep in mind: you want to be close to someone who can reed the chanter (or tweak it extensively) … if the reed doesn’t work, nothing does. Ideally, driving distance.

Many makers/reeders will not work with chanters from active makers, for a few reasons.

Re: Looking for a set of practice pipes to order!

Bruce Childress (Maine, US) often has practice sets on hand for sale. They generally go for a somewhat higher price than the $500 mentioned but it might be worthwhile checking…. http://www.bcpipes.com/Practice.html

Best wishes.

Steve