The Power of Hemp

Throughout the last month, I have found myself sitting on my studio floor on numerous occasions, re-hemping pipes for my students. I hope they were watching. The Great Highland Bagpipe is almost a living, breathing life form! It needs care to work properly. Often, my...

The Maintenance Kit

A good maintenance kit is essential to maintaining a set of bagpipes. Forty years ago when I started playing the pipes, we played it the same way they did for hundreds of years. We played elk-hide or sheepskin bags that were sealed with “seasoning” that usually...

Do you know why there are 5 stock corks in a set?

In my last blog post I told you about my student (the flight attendant) who was having a problem trying to find time to practice her bagpipe. We went back and forth on that for some time, trying to find her a solution. Just to recap: My flight attendant student...

Your Pipes might Just need a Hard Reset!

If you were like most bagpipers during the St. Patrick’s holiday, you spent a lot of time blowing your instrument. In spite of having a moisture control system, your bagpipes are probably water logged at this point. I tried tuning a fellow bagpipers drones over the...

Cracking Bagpipes

A customer calls me and is a little distraught. “”I’ve only had my pipes for 18 months and I found a crack”” he says. Let me just say that any good reputable bagpipe maker is going to use the best blackwood available in the market place...

Let’s Talk About Maintenance!

As if it weren’t hard enough to play the bagpipe, keeping your instrument in top working shape is a job in itself! I play a lot of gigs so, therefore, when someone is paying me to play and play well, I don’t have the luxury of an instrument breakdown. I...