How to Install Bagpipe Reeds


Learn how to install bagpipe reeds in this free video series that will show you everything you need to know about playing the bagpipe.

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Video Transcript

NEIL HUBBARD: So, a bagpipe has four separate reeds in it. You've got the chanter reed, which is essentially like an oboe reed; it's a double-cane reed and it fits in to the top of the chanter here. By itself, it makes that lovely noise, and the chanter it makes this much louder noise. Are you ready for this? Did my face gets all red? Probably. The drone reeds used to be made out of cane and this is what they look like. They have a spilt tongue here and by itself it sounds like a duck. These days, drone reeds are not made out of cane. Most commonly, they are made up of plastic or composite materials. What this does is it allows the manmade manufactured product to be exactly the same, so you've got precisely matching drone reeds. They also are much easier to keep in tune and they are not subject to problems from moisture. The pieces of the pipe are fitted together with joints that are wrapped with a waxed string called "hemp" and that way it sort of keeps a tight joint there. The bag itself these days they have a zipper on them some of them which allows me to open it up and gives me easier access to a moisture control system in here which contain a box full of moisture absorbing material and a tube that catches moisture. So that's the basic construction of the bagpipe and the separate pieces of it.


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