Knowledgebase: Bagpipe Instruction
Pipes Suitable for Smaller Frames
Posted by Jeanne McManus on 08 February 2008 05:20 PM
There are many types of bagpipes (and chanters) available for you to choose from. If you are interested in learning the great highland bagpipes (GHB), the pipes that most people are familiar with, you have several options. 

There are two things to consider that may help you handle a full set of pipes, the first being weight and bag size. My second set of pipes were much heavier then my first set. There are also several pipe makers using plastic in their sets of bagpipes which should lighten the overall weight. Choosing the correct bag size is very important. You can purchase a small bag for your pipes which may help you physically handle the pipes.

Music is music, and you can produce music from a practice chanter. There are beautiful wooden chanters that have great tone and are a joy to play. Electronic pipes can provide multiple keys and replicate different types of bagpipes sounds. Electronic pipes can also interface with computers via a MIDI port (Deger Chanter and Apple's Garageband). Finally some other choices are small pipes, the Highland Hornpipe, and kitchen pipes, which again all use the same fingering as the GHB. 

There are other several other types of smaller sized bagpipes available but are quite different from the GHB in terms of fingering and tone. Some examples are the Irish Uilleann Pipes, Northumbrian pipes, and Spanish Galician bagpipes. 

With any instrument that you wish to learn you will (should) need an instructor, so this should be a major factor in your decision. If you decide to play the GHB, then there are plenty of variations of instruments that you play with any skills learned.

Good Luck and Stay Tuned !
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