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Uilleann pipes

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:15 am
by miceal23
I'm playing 5 years this month and still don't feel like I've got the hang of maintaining consistent air flow. A question: When playing, is it best to aim to keep the bag 100% inflated? Or is there an optimum level of inflation somewhere below that? Also on a scale of 1- 10 how much pressure should I expect to be applying? I feel like I'm starting all over again with my new half set.

Re: Uilleann pipes

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:30 am
by outofthebox8
Better, I think, to try to keep the bag inflation consistently fairly high. This helps to keep the pressure fairly even, particularly to the drones. Also worth checking that all joints are as airtight as possible. Small air leaks at joints or reed seats can make a big difference to bag pressure. Ideally with a half-set the drone reeds should all be balanced down to run at a little less pressure than the chanter, so that although they are taking quite a lot of airflow, the bag arm doesn't have to work hard to keep them going as they are hopefully running nicely below normal chanter pressure.

Also don't be afraid to work the bellows as necessary. I have seen recommendations that bellows should only ever be operated at full sweep, but I don't think that is a good plan. Better, I think, to work the bellows as and when required, rather than let the bag sag too low before the next stroke. Just my thoughts.

Re: Uilleann pipes

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:29 am
by RenaissanceGuy
I have less experience than you, but I would say not 100%. When the bag gets *too* full, then I end up getting more accidental squeaks and squeals out of the chanter.