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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:12 pm
by cybergreen
I think that Khan Krum (or ceann cromtha, or Mr. Humphries..) is near Baltimore. Look him up. you could possibly chill the chanter a bit to try to get the wood to contract a bit.

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:58 pm
by PiobROCK
Just an update... I want to thank everyone here on this board that came to my aid :) ... I did however end up emailing Vignoles (very nice guy) and he reccomended I grip it at the base and "rock" the reed back and forth while pulling upward. I actually needed to go a step further and grip the base of the reed with a peice of paper towl (the oil on my fingers didn't allow for enough friction.) Well about a half hour later... and believe me I'm no slouch... and a finger blister or two later I got the damn thing out, lol. Just posting this incase any other newbies run into this same problem.

So just some other newbie questions for anyone that has the time...

1. The set didn't come with a popping strap... how neccesary is this? I've been able to play some reasonably clean D's without it... but I do get a nasty barking sound every once in awhile. I realize this may be due to my skill level more than anything.

2. How "air tight" should the chanter and "chanter-top" be? Sorry for my lack of proper terminology :(. I know on my Highland Pipes I like VERY air-tight connections... currently on my UIlleann's the chanter and "chanter-top" seem a bit loose to me... it slides on real easy and I can actually wiggle the top part once it's connected. Is this too loose? And if so, would using some of my regular yellow hemp to reinforce it be advisable?

Thanks all. :)

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:35 pm
by fancypiper
I prefer linen thread rather than the yellow hemp.

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:57 pm
by the plod
you do't have to have a popping strap - it's a preference. Joints should be fairly tight both to fit and air.

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:28 am
by fancypiper
You could visit the automotive parts store and pick up a chamois leather or cloth. It makes a nice, soft popping strap that seals well.

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:49 am
by awilde569
fancypiper wrote:You could visit the automotive parts store and pick up a chamois leather or cloth. It makes a nice, soft popping strap that seals well.
Not to mention it doubles as a sweat cloth during those intensive practice sessions! :lol:

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:05 am
by fancypiper
Another plus is that it is great for polishing brass.

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 10:06 am
by melagodo
Hi there. Just got my half set and was so excited to have it home.
Infortunatly my enthusiasm has passed away, now my feeling is basically sadness. Can't play a D for more that 3 sec, continuos squak and so on, death grip..all right, I've been playing 3 times alone (without any suggestions from my tearcher...)
There's a feeling in me which tells me I won't ever be good enough to play uilleann pipes.

I'm sure that erverybody has experienced these feelings...btw, i've been a whistle (especially low whistle, with I'm not bad at all) player since 3 months, and felt in love with uilleann pipes from the very first time I've listened to one live.

I'm sure that these feelings will go away as soon as I start taking lessons (4 days to the first one). But just wanted to know if you've been through these feelings...of course I'm still exited to finally put my hands on UPs, but on the other way, at the moment, it looks impossibile to me to manage such an instrument.

Thanks for your support, guys ;)

melagodo

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:05 am
by awilde569
Guessing you mean the bottom d where you lift the chanter off the leg (assuming closed fingering)? If that's the case you may have run into a few problems, just a few ideas here:

- if your fingers don't completely cover the other holes when you lift the chanter it can cause it to squeal sometimes (had this problem on more than once occasion before lol)
- If your reed bridle is too closed then the pressure required may extremely low, so it's easy to overblow it past soft/hard bottom d
- If your reed sides have leaks in them the notes can squeal
- Just applying too much pressure on the bag when sounding the lowest notes can make them jump octaves/go sharp/ect, it's not all just one even pressure for every note
- If your reed bridle is loose it can make gurgles and odd sounds on your lower notes in particular
- If your reed is loose in the chanter itself that can do some squirrely stuff

Could be a lot of different things, don't get too discouraged just yet. A bagpipe is a very different critter from your whistle, going from controlling the pressure from your lungs to using a bag under your arm supplied with air from a set of bellows is no small change. Also different fingering schemes for notes too, and there's more than one finger style, so could be another potential problem that your encountering.

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:05 am
by PJ
Yes, we all go through this. The instrument sounds great when played by Liam O'Flynn, Paddy Moloney, Mick O'Brien, etc. but the first time I tried to play, it sounded woeful.

Practice regularly - every day, if you can. Progress will be slow for the first couple of months, but you will improve.

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:13 am
by melagodo
PJ wrote:Yes, we all go through this. The instrument sounds great when played by Liam O'Flynn, Paddy Moloney, Mick O'Brien, etc. but the first time I tried to play, it sounded woeful.

Practice regularly - every day, if you can. Progress will be slow for the first couple of months, but you will improve.
Yeah, I know it's something that you can't just put it on and start playing something (like a whistle for ex.). But that's one of the things i love about UPs ;)
But I just feel terribly worried that I NEVER be able to play it. That's my actual feeling, and i'll let you know about my progresses ;)

Your newbe piper,

melagodo

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:07 pm
by PJ
melagodo wrote:But I just feel terribly worried that I NEVER be able to play it. That's my actual feeling ...
Get used to that feeling because it'll probably never go away, but it may change a little. Instead of thinking "I'll never be able to play the pipes", it becomes "I'll never be able to play as good as X".

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:45 am
by outofthebox
With this instrument it really is about baby steps all the way. Things that seem impossible right at the beginning become gradually easier every time you sit down and play. My advice would be don't try to look ahead - live in the moment and you will relax and enjoy the learning process more. Don't focus on the things you can't do, but on the things you can. As musical instruments go, this one is never going to be easy - but on the other hand it's the only instrument I play that gives me a natural high 8)

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:48 am
by melagodo
outofthebox wrote:With this instrument it really is about baby steps all the way. Things that seem impossible right at the beginning become gradually easier every time you sit down and play. My advice would be don't try to look ahead - live in the moment and you will relax and enjoy the learning process more. Don't focus on the things you can't do, but on the things you can. As musical instruments go, this one is never going to be easy - but on the other hand it's the only instrument I play that gives me a natural high 8)
Thanks for the suggestion ;)
I think I just feel kind of strange to play an instrument and not being able to produce any decent sound that would not make my cat to commit suicide. But I've never give up, I just love pipes so much that I'll find a way to live without my cat :P
First lesson in 3 days, really looking forward..in the meanwhile, I gave my pipes a name ;)

cheers,

Melagodo

Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 10:00 am
by awilde569
Catnip-o-plenty, 'nuff said :wink: