Uilleann pipe practice sets

Uilleann pipe practice sets

Hi I will soon be looking to buy a set of uilleann pipes looking for good pipemakes who are still taking orders or any advice on buying used

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Uilleann obsession site has a good selection normally.
I would recomend a practice set by a well known and respected maker. But expect to pay 4 times more at least!!

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

An additional consideration would be proximity to a good reed maker or two until you get your ´feet under you´.

Posted by .

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Would be helpful to know if you’re after just something budget that works to get you going or something that you’ll keep and expand on.

There are lot better cheaper options these days than when I started.

Kenny McNicholl in Paisley Scotland makes a printed chanter that’s class. If you can buy or rig up a cheap bag and bellows you can start plugging away now and by the time it comes to upgrade your set you’ll have a wider experience hopefully listening to and playing a variety of makers work.

Donnacha Dwyer was advertising some basic practice sets recently as well

A good few makers now have a sort of budget set on the go.

Another option is to go the whole hog right away get a top materials chanter that you intend to keep and play and upgrade to a half and the regulators later.
This is a harder choice.
Who do you have access to and more importantly whose pipes do you love the sound of.

Some makers to consider whose chanters I’ve heard being played by top class players in person
Andy May
Hendrik Morgenbrot
But the list could just go on and on

Posted by .

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Cheap bellows …, being the power behind the reed are a risky proposition , just as is a leaky bag . A pipe is only as good as its weakest link.
Been there done that 🙂
I second Kens chanters as being well worth every penny although mine is wooden .
Is there no pipers club near you ?
Second the ‘buy local ‘ if possible .
If i were starting again id get the best chanter money could buy bag and bellows . Just save save save for a couple more years.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Do you live in Co. Louth? Have you seen this?:
http://pipers.ie/pipe-up-music-generation-and-npu/
http://pipers.ie/classes-in-louth/

The three makers I referred to earlier in this thread, Eoin O Rhiabhaigh, Andreas Rogge, and David Lim make very good instruments and it’s possible to expand a practice set from them into a half, 3/4 quarter or a full set, or get a good price for a practice set from them if you should decide that you wish to sell.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

I have one of Kenny’s 3D chanters (in addition to my ‘real’ one), and if you’re on a budget but want to get started, it’s a good option. It plays really well.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

It’s cool to hear that there are 3D printed chanters that work well! Yet another industry that 3D printing has turned on its ear.

Good point about buying a top-quality chanter. I bought a David Quinn chanter with all the bells and whistles (fancy mounts, 5 keys) in 1977 and I’ve played that chanter ever since.

Another good point is to buy local. I’ve long told people "buy the reed, not the chanter" meaning find a good local reliable reedmaker and buy the chanter his reeds are designed to work in. The best chanter in the world is useless if you don’t have a suitable reed for it.

About the Rogge synthetic chanters I will say that I had two students simultaneously, one with the Rogge and one with a David Daye "penny chanter" and the Daye outplayed the Rogge. Of course it could have been the reeds, but over the years every Daye chanter I’ve tried has played well. (Good hard and soft Bottom D, no sinking Back D, the whole gamut in tune, good 2nd octave, good crossfingered C natural, etc.)

Very curious to try a 3D printed chanter some day!

BTW in the 1980s Eugene Lambe was selling blackwood practice sets with good bags and bellows for 150 Punts.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

If you’re ever in Glasgow, Richard, you can try mine. I got it because Kenny lives in Glasgow; I thought it was cool; it was (relatively) cheap; and it’s nice to have a reliable back-up chanter, although my Haneman chanter has been rather stable and well-behaved recently with a reed Kenny gave me for the 3D one. Go figure.

For the OP — it’s really a matter of what you can afford or are prepared to wait for. A high quality practice set from a top maker will set you back four figures. It might take six months to a year or even longer to get it. The good news is that if you don’t have that much spare cash in change under the sofa cushions, you can still get a playable set of pipes.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Am only 1/4 Irish and don’t know what the uillean pipe is.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

I’m less Irish than that.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

The four figure practice set will have a resell value that makes it worth while while a cheaper set though it might function well wont be as likely to maintain value.
Best thing to do imo is join a club and they may well have loaner sets to start you off. Once you can play youll have a better idea of what your after .
UP making is a fine art of compromise and balance Between the aspects of tone, tuning and playability .

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

True, but if you can’t afford the four figure practice set, it’s resale value is neither here nor there.

According to his profile page, the OP is vaguely around Dundalk. In theory, he has access to NPU, which is a great place to start and might have loaner sets.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Thats why i suggest saving for a couple more years 🙂
There are some instruments , uilleann pipes and hurdy gurdy in particular that are complex instruments and as a result cost a lot.
The HG seems to start at 2 grand , below that you are basically not going to get an instrument that functions well . Pipers think ourselves lucky!!
I m not a HG player but i was curious.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Fair enough, but that’s a couple years that you could be practicing. If you can’t afford the Koehler-Quinn chanter now but you’re keen to learn to play, then I would recommend something like Kenny’s 3D chanter, a perfectly playable instrument which sounds good, and yeah, in the meantime, save up for the Koehler-Quinn chanter. By the time you get it, you might be able to play a few tunes. And you still have a plastic chanter that looks pretty cool.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Thanks for reply’s
I don’t mind waiting or paying a reasonable price for a quality instrument
If heard of some makers Martin Preshaw,donnacha keegan,Kenny mc nicholl
Favourite piper would be Finbar Furey
Would prefer a pipe maker close to me for reed making or upgrades

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Bill Haneman is pretty close to you. He’s in Skerries. No clue what his wait list is like these days but it took me like a year to get a fully keyed chanter back in 2008 or thereabouts. He makes lovely pipes. My drones and regs are Gordon Galloway, but that’s just because I couldn’t be bothered with getting on a ferry or a plane to upgrade the set. I probably would have used Bill for that as well if I lived in Ireland.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Bill Haneman?

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Oops cross post.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Ancestry.com says I’m 35% Irish. That’s how I know what an uilleann pipe is.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

I had a penny chanter and it never played an in tune scale. I would have had to been a reed maker to complete all the fixes David suggested. A total waste of time & money on my part. Get the best set you can from a local maker

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Uillean Pipes = Elbow Pipes

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Darth Piper your Daye experience is interesting and I have some questions if you don’t mind:

1) Did you receive the chanter directly from David?

2) If so, specifically how did the chanter play before you did any adjustments?

3) What climate were you playing the chanter in?

4) What is your level of uilleann piping experience?

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

That’s strange, my second question appeared up until the moment I posted!

2) How did the chanter play prior to you making adjustments?

(And after I posted this, it re-appeared! Strange.)

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

I’m curious too as I think all the Pennychanters that have shown up at the SCUPC meetings over the years have been pretty nice players.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

get one of the lower priced quality practice sets (McNicholl, Dave Daye, Rogge Poly…etc. ). Play this set and safe up for or better one. I think you would regret it, if you would start saving up for a better set now, without getting a cheaper one first. That could mean you have wait starting the pipes another couple of years (including saving the money and the waiting time….).
You probably would regret it, waiting another couple of years!

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Its all in the chanter, the voice the reed together . The bellow and bag want to work effectively and effortlessly . My point is 1200 for a ‘practice set’ is not excessive because thats a misnomer thats the instrument itself.
The drones and regs are the backing band.Listen to all the pipe recordings with a good sound system….
So its kind of up to you what sound you want to get….
Do youwant to be loud and brash or more subtle. You want to play in sessions big or small?
Andreas Rogge narrow bore.?
Cillian O’Briann , Micky Dunne , Jim Wynham, bill Hanniman

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

For what it’s worth I am firmly in the camp with the posters here who are advocating get playing and not hanging around for the perfect set from the best of makers. 2/3 years is a lot of potential practice time that you will never get back. Look around for the best you can afford that you can get your hands on in the immediate future. Don’t sweat the locality, the name, the bore or even the configuration. Just get a D chanter that plays and get on with it. Play, play now and learn, there’s a massive amount of that to do, when you’re in the groove that’s when you’ll have the chance to start considering the upgrades.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Since Darth Piper hasn’t addressed my questions, I will explain why I asked them.

I have had a large number of beginners come by with various makes of chanters over the last 40 years.

Over the last 15 years or so I’ve had quite a few people bring David Daye chanters. Every one has worked well. By "worked well" I mean playing both octaves in tune, a 2nd octave that’s easy to obtain, a low octave that’s not too soft, good in-tune Hard and Soft Bottom D’s, a Back D that doesn’t sink, good crossfingered C natural, in short all the things we want our chanters to do.

As best I can recall all of these chanters were obtained directly from David and all of the reeds had been left untouched.

I do take into account that I live in a climate not too dissimilar to that in which Daye makes his reeds.

I ask about Darth Piper’s uilleann experience for various reasons. For one, when beginners play their chanters for me interesting sounds can be heard, and only by playing their chanter myself can I figure out whether the thing is caused by the chanter or the player.

Secondly, many beginners will assume that an issue is the fault of the reed and start adjusting it even though, in fact, the reed was fine.

I’ve mainly encountered this problem with uilleann newbies who have decades of experience with the Highland pipes. Their uilleann chanter won’t play to suit them, so they muck with the reed, ruining it. Their first problem is that they expect an uilleann chanter to work like a Highland chanter (it’s not supposed to) and their second problem is that they expect Highland reed adjustments to work on uilleann reeds (they don’t).

One guy was saying no matter how hard he pressed the bag, Back D was still flat. I told him that more pressure made that note flatter (while on the Highland chanter more pressure makes the thumb-note sharper).

It’s true that a reed can get out of adjustment without touching it! I had one beginner who had a chanter with various tuning problems. When I looked at the reed I saw that the sides of the cane were parallel and the bridle could be slid up and down. Thinking "what if the bridle has slipped down?" I tried moving the bridle upward, bit by bit, and I found a location where the entire chanter came into perfect tune.

All of these things go into my asking about Darth Piper’s uilleann-specific experience.

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

I have a practice set made by Benson and Cornelius of New York. I purchased in 2009 and haven’t worked with them much. You can see photo examples on their website. Let me know if you are interested.
Thanks

Re: Uilleann pipe practice sets

Look no further!
Contact my friend who makes the best pipes around!
Brianbigleymusic.com
I have a practice set and I LOVE them!