If you don’t play the bagpipe yet, DON’T BUY ONE! That’s right, don’t buy one. You don’t need a set of bagpipes start learning to play the bagpipe. We teach the bagpipe on a “practice chanter”. This is a miniature version of the Chanter (which is what we play the melody on) which is much quieter so that your neighbors don’t call the police on you at the beginning for disturbing the peace.
In order to get started, you need a practice chanter, a method and a teacher. There are self teaching programs out there however most of my students have started by teaching themselves and became frustrated.
Bagpipes are an educated purchase. They are made of a variety of woods. You can buy a cheap bagpipe on Ebay or Amazon. These instruments are primarily made in Pakistan as the Pakistani’s made bagpipes for the British Troops. They were throw away instruments. The best bagpipes are made of African Black wood and are made in Scotland, Canada or the USA. African Black wood is the strongest hardwood for a musical instrument. Blowing hot wet air into a wooden instrument causes the wood to expand and contract making tuning the instrument very difficult. That doesn’t happen with African Black wood.
The best way to buy a bagpipe is to start by taking lessons. I tell my students that they should budget $2000 for a bagpipe in 8 to 12 months. Most of my students don’t spend that much for them, however that budget gives us a lot of choices and options. Most bagpipers are going to buy 1 set of pipes in their lifetime. At this budget, you get a very nice bagpipe that you’ll be proud of owning forever!