uilleann bagpipes

The blog of an uilleann pipemaker.

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Learn to Play Uilleann Bagpipes

  • 1
  • You have to love the sound to be willing to put in the practice.

  • 2
  • If there is a Comalthas branch near you you might be able to get lessons there. NPU in Ireland also teach.

  • 3
  • If you are in Ireland there may be loaner sets of Uilleann pipes available from NPU or other organisations.

  • 4
  • Get yourself a practice set of uilleann pipes such as KMBagpipes practice set, beware of buying other people’s problems, if possible get a decent uilleann player to check them out first.

  • 5
  • The reed will make a huge difference to the sound of the instrument. Often a reed will be closed up and not vibrating properly (at least that was my experience in buying reeds and chanters when I was learning), if this is the case move or loosen the bridle to get some airspace back in the reed. It may or may not help depending on how bad the problem is. Don’t mess with a good reed unless you know what you are doing.

  • 6
  • Get yourself a tutor book such as An Introduction to Uilleann Piping It may help avoid forming bad habits at the start of your progression.

  • 7
  • Get to meet other uilleann pipers at Tionóls, festivals or piping clubs. There are piping classes at many of these events worldwide and they can be a great vacation holiday too.


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