Bagpipes for you

What is it?

The bagpipes are Egyptian instruments designed around 1000 BC and later brought to Scotland. 

Here’s how it looks and sounds

Not to be confused with

You may hear about it with other names. Pronounced /ˈbaɡpʌɪp/, from the English meaning literally “bags with pipes” and called gaita in Spanish, cornamuse in French and gaita de fole in Portuguese. A person that plays it’s called a piper or bagpiper.

Category

The instrument is from the Wind family meaning the sound comes by blowing air in a mouthpiece into a tube(resonator). 

Variants

The types of bagpipes are determined by their origin: :

  • Bulgarian kaba.
  • England northumbrian smallpipes.
  • Estonian torupill.
  • German hummelchen.
  • Greek Tsampouna.
  • Hungarian duda.
  • Indian Sruti upanga.
  • Irish uilleann.
  • North Italy baghèt.
  • Macedonian gaida.
  • Polish pipers.
  • Portuguese galician.
  • Romanian Cimpoi.
  • Scottish great highland.
  • Serbian piper.
  • South Italy zampogna.
  • Swedish säckpipa.
  • Turkish tulum.

Besides their origin, their also different for the material they are made and the parts they have like the number of pipes, but to simplify the most common is the scotish great highland bagpipe.

In terms of materials, the options are usually animal skin (goats, sheep) or leather & synthetic fabric, with the pipes being wood, metal & plastic. It doesn’t affect the sound (our article here) but it does in price and durability.

Before you buy 

Getting bagpipes for sale? as a gift? If you do, here’s all you need to know.

The price of the instrument is around $35 – $2,000 USD, the cheapest I found was a mini bagpipe for kids and the most expensive was blackwood used bagpipe.
In the middle, we have something like a Dunfion blackwood bagpipe for $840 USD.

For brands McCallum, Gibson, Dunfion, and MacLellan are a good start, just make sure they have a guarantee and shipping to your country, good reviews, there are also other options

The size goes around 13 x 6 x 4 In (33 x 15 x 10 Cm) – 21 x 6 x 6 In (53 x 15 x 15 Cm) and has a weight from 1.75 Lbs (0.8 Kgs) to 5.5 Lbs (2.5 Kgs).

Now that you know, you can check on Ebay here.

Accessories

There are a lot of accessories for example:

  • Mouthpiece protector: made of rubber, so you can blow without damaging the mouthpiece.
  • Bag & Case: Bag for transportation and case for safety and transportation. If you don’t get one with your instrument check the sizes section to get a perfect one.
  • Cleaning kit: a complete one should have brushes (short and extremely long), oil, microfiber, and germicide                          

How to learn the bagpipes   

We recommend learning to read sheet music, play notes and learn the tricks playing songs.
For learning to read sheets we try a lot of resources to help you choose.

To learn to play all notes you need a finger chart (also known as position chart) and you can search for music sheets in places like music notes & Pinterest

The tips & tricks are all the details that combined make a big difference.

They way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions and techniques.

Here are some book and courses:

Remember, the bagpipes are easy to learn and relatively fast too (around 1 year),, we hope this helps, we’ll keep working on this article.

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