View Full Version : How to play/playing the bagpipes!! seriously!!

26th Nov 2001, 00:08
OK..confession time...since I was a wee bairn (well brought up in England so "little child" is more appropriate) I have totally adored the sound of bagpipes. My mother died recently and we had the pipes at her funeral...and...something last Thursday provoked me into buying a beginners practise chanter kit with "how to learn" instructions. My problem is....instead of making the beginning sound (Low G with all fingers in place) it makes a cross between a wail, a raspberry, a fart and a scream.....can anyone help??!!! heheheheh Help would be great, especially as my dog thinks it is (a) great fun to stare at mom for the first five mins and (b) an horrific sound matched only by thunder or fireworks!!

Thank you!!! :D

26th Nov 2001, 00:14
Well, I play the Northumbrian Pipes (not the same thing, I know - the main difference being that they sound nice :rolleyes:

But it sounds like you need a new reed, or it needs adjusting. Northumbrian Pipes work with dry air (bellows) and the reed seldom needs much care. Because you blow into Scottish Pipes, the reed becomes damp and deteriorates, like other reeded instruments (oboe, etc...). I suggest you take the chanter (or better still, the whole thing) to a pipemaker for an overhaul!

tony draper
26th Nov 2001, 00:16
Love the sound of the pipes myself although Draper prefers the Northumbrian variety, much more melodic.
Can't help you really,but I understand it takes many years to get a black belt in bagpipe playing.
Good luck anyway, every body should learn how to play at least one musical instrument in they're life time. :)

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

26th Nov 2001, 01:24
Draper..... musical instruments and bagpipes... oxymoron perhaps?* :)
You don't play the bagpipes, you wrestle them! :)

*only joking Flypuppy :D

tony draper
26th Nov 2001, 01:39
One can't help it Mr R, Draper is half Scottish on his mothers side, one hears the skirl of the pipes, and the red mist decends, one feel like seizing a claymore and laying into the nearest Englishman.
Its a bit like the Jewish thing, ones mother has to be a Scotsman before one qualifies. ;)

26th Nov 2001, 03:01
"Mr R" :rolleyes:

Are you gonna tell him reddo, or shall I ?

26th Nov 2001, 03:07
Spectre, I'm not familiar with Highland pipes, only Uillean and Northumbrian, but I suspect your problem is with keeping a steady pressure. My first teacher told me to practice for two months just keeping a steady note from the drones - for half an hour on end at a time, if necessary...

SanJose, I'm astonished that there is a Northumbrian player in California!

I've never owned my own pipes, only ever played borrowed sets. I'd just placed an order with a local maker for an 11-key set when my company went arsend up, so unfortunately my savings are being used to keep me in food... :(

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

26th Nov 2001, 03:13
Re-reading the original question: Sounds like he only has a practice chanter, so could well be just a reed adjustment required.

Hug: I must confess that my real home is on the A69. I am in California for a couple of years to thaw out :D (and very sorry about Gill). :(

btw: My set only sports 9 keys - made by Ray Sloan. Impresses the yanks no end!

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

26th Nov 2001, 03:14
Hugmonster - thank you .. yes, the first lesson in the booklet (and on the accompanying audio tape) says .. until you get this sound you cannot proceed!!! So here I am, from time to time, grabbing up the practise chanter, sitting or standing, and attempting to get Low G and failing - the dog has kind of given up and is hanging in my hallway! Guess I just have to keep practising!! grrrrrrrrrrr


26th Nov 2001, 03:24
Spectre, Baz may well be right - if this is just a chanter, with no bag attached, take your chanter to someone who can play - get them to check it out, and adjust the reed if necessary.

BTW, never EVER adjust reeds yourself until you've been playing for 74 years, and have taken a 15-year course from a professional in the art of adjusting reeds.

26th Nov 2001, 03:29
Wise advice from HugMonster there! I don't touch my reeds (did try once, with the result of requiring a replacement). Problem with lung-blown pipes is that the reed will need replacing more often, due to the moisture I mentioned above somewhere.

Keep trying though - get them checked first; I doubt it is your fault ;)

tony draper
26th Nov 2001, 03:35
Slightly off topic, my sympathy for living on the A69 Mr B, thats the longest road in England, I worked for six months at points west and south of Carlisle, and driving back every night seven days a week for six months on the 69 I tell you that road was endless.
Where did you dwell, Haltwhistle or Hayden Bridge, Mr Baz. :(

26th Nov 2001, 03:52
Well OK - not exactly on the A69, which led you to those most excellent townships! I dwell in Hexham - I was there a couple of weeks ago, and it snowed just for my benefit :rolleyes:

Mind you, it's been p!ssing down here this weekend (albeit at a much more reasonable temperature) ;)

(And you're right - the bloody road is endless, especially the section west of Hexham!)

[ 25 November 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

26th Nov 2001, 03:54
I remember lying out on the beach at Santa Cruz in November...

26th Nov 2001, 03:59
This is getting frighteningly off-topic (so what's new?) - yes the November weather is pretty good (except for this weekend - high winds and loads of precipitation!)
Calmed down now though: KRHV 252347Z 15005KT 15SM SCT040 BKN140 12/06 A3016

(and I need to learn to spell!)

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

26th Nov 2001, 06:06
Which famous conductor replied when asked by a parent what instrument their child should take up replied "bagipes , it is impossible for most people to tell whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing for years" or words to that effect.
Anyone have to full quote and source ?

henry crun
26th Nov 2001, 06:46
I have a vague feeling that quote is among the many attributed to Sir Thomas Beecham.

26th Nov 2001, 06:56
Here's one of Beecham's: Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands, and all you can do is scratch it!
After much web searching, I can only find three of his which mention bagpipes: The bagpipes sound exactly the same when you have finished as when you started
I got to try the bagpipes. It was like trying to blow an octopus. I find brass bands have a melancholy sound. All right out of doors, of course - fifty miles away. Like bagpipes, they turn what had been a dream into a public nuisance.

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

Evening Star
26th Nov 2001, 12:32
Seeing as Hexham has a mention, does that clever fella' Tickell still do folk evenings at the Tap n' Spill in Hexham? (Rumour has it that his gorgeous daughter would occasionally show up, but never when I was there :(. Anyway, I digress.) It is a while since I have been there, but last time I was there somebody was busy b*gg*ring/playing some Northumbrian Pipes. Cannot make my mind up if they are an instrument of music or torture :confused:.

[Evening Star, the confused looking guy with the flute....]

26th Nov 2001, 13:31
Just to give y'all a heads up - after the advice last night I went to Ebay and bought myself an ex band practise chanter for 20 - I emailed the vendor and explained my situation but have yet to get a reply...on the assumption that an already "beautiful sounding" chanter can be in my hands I will then discover if the raspberry/scream/fart is me and my (lack of) fingering OR the fact that in my haste to get started I damaged teh reed when fitting it in my own chanter!! :D

26th Nov 2001, 15:43
At our wedding my wife and I were piped from the church by my recently installed brother-in-law (quite a spine-tingling experience) so I hesitate to add a contribution first heard from Tony Hancock...

"The definition of a gentleman is a chap who can play the bagpipes but chooses not to..."

26th Nov 2001, 17:33
Psssst, Mr Draper, wanna know something?
I'm not a bloke. :)

tony draper
26th Nov 2001, 18:55
OOPS, Sorry Miss Redsnail, Draper has no excuse as it says,hand maiden in the left margin.
I think I have called Dingducky, Min,and a few others Mr and now,you. sorry :o

26th Nov 2001, 19:05
Re Mr Tickell (Mike?) - He was frequenting the Tap and Spile when last I went in, but that was some time ago. Never saw Catherine in there, but it is rumoured that she does appear - but have seen her in a larger place (Newc City Hall). That babe can make any instrument sound good. :p

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

26th Nov 2001, 20:02
"it makes a cross between a wail, a raspberry, a fart and a scream....."

Sorry? Isn't that the proper sound?

M. Mouse - ex. Drum Major in RAF Apprentice Wing pipe band, and loved every minute!

27th Nov 2001, 04:36
Dear Broken,

The practice chanter is a fairly nasty bit of kit to get used to the first time you try to play it. You will make all sorts of nasty horrible noises until something approaching a vaugley musical noise appears. The reed problem is fairly straightforward, but it does become a very personal thing, some people like the reed "strong" (difficult to blow) or "weak" (I guess you work it out). Buying another chanter was maybe a little rash. Just getting a selection of reeds would be better,plastic ones being the better choice as they dont go weak. The best book to buy is the Green book from The College of Piping http://www.stewarthighland.com/tutor_books.htm . This is the book I taught myself to play the chanter and the pipes with. I am nothing more than an informed idiot when it comes to piping, but I enjoy it. I would recommend that if you have the time and the determination then a week at the somewhere like the Piping Center in Glasgow http://www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/index.html will get you going and give you a very good basis for learning the pipes.
Dont go rushing straight onto the Great Highland Bagpipe until you have mastered the basics on the practice chanter though.

E-mail me ([email protected]) if you want any more info or help,or if you will be at the GatBash you can hear me make a fool of myself with my bagpipes.

27th Nov 2001, 04:49

Thank you so much for such a helpful post!! I will be checking out the two links you included once I have sent this ... the vendor of the Ebay chanter (a pipe band called 1066 something based in Hastings, Sussex) is going to include a couple of extra reeds with the chanter so I have NO excuse! Something is definitely NOT right with the chanter/reed setup I now have as the note I achieve (the raspberry / fart / scream) doesn't vary when I change fingering...I am a persistent kind of soul so I will win through but rest assured I will keep your details to hand.

I am not attending the GatBash - as someone who can't get a C1 Med so not even a Wannabe I didn't think it appropriate to be there :) If I had known there would be pipes there I would have signed up irrespective of my status!!

Thanks again :D

27th Nov 2001, 18:21
Ah! Blacksheep has a black belt (fifth dan) in Haggis Wrestling and about 10,000 hours on type, so I can offer some advice here. Flypuppy is giving good council; get a personal tutor - almost anyone will do to start with - I've never met a piper who would turn away a beginner.

The most likely reason for the screech is that, although you think you have all the holes covered, you are not closing the top (or High A) hole properly with your thumb. You can check if this is the case by sealing off the High A with sellotape and trying again. Also, be sure to use the second pad on your fingers to close the holes and not your finger tips.

To eliminate a faulty reed as the cause, block off all the holes except the lower (or Low G) hole with sellotape and blow the chanter. If you still get the screeching noise then its the reed at fault and you need to send off for a new one.

My money's on the dodgy thumb though - its a common problem with beginners.

M.Mouse - so you were a Drum Major Brat eh? Do you still march about twirling your knob in public? :D

Through difficulties to the cinema

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: Blacksheep ]

tony draper
27th Nov 2001, 19:52
Something fishy going on here, much talk of Bagpipes and other things Scottish on this and other forums.
Are the Clans about to be raised,?are the hairy ones about to pour forth across the border,and lay seige to Drapers town as was their wont in times past.
Something is in the wind, something is afoot.
Keep a carefull eye on ones cattle, sheep and corn stores. :eek:

28th Nov 2001, 11:33
My father plays the bagpipes. They scared the crap out of me as a kid when I heard them the first time!

But I now quite enjoy the sound (and sight) of a mass pipes and drums band. Seeing all those people marching and playing and swinging their furry little drumsticks (whatever they're called -I know nothing about it myself!), it just stirrs the soul.

I think it may have something to do with the idea of the Clan, each having its different Tartan etc. and how that pattern of reds and blues and greens meant more than the life of an individual (or at least that's what I'm led to believe). Just once in my life, I would like to see the Edinburgh (sp?) Millitary Tattoo live.

Perhaps I should get out more....

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: Captainowie ]

29th Nov 2001, 09:11

There are no such things as ordinary everyday Bagpipes. The Great Highland Bagpipes are King of all Instruments, stirring the soul and girding the loins for action, as they do!

Be careful when ye talk of them...

Through difficulties to the band hut

29th Nov 2001, 16:07
Hoi oi, would you like a drummer for the next time your playing at the Gatbash?

Ex G1 but been idle for a year now, an impromtu session might be a good laugh...

Cheers, Laurie

tony draper
29th Nov 2001, 18:40
Make sure you know what a chanter looks like Miss Min, before you accept lessons from any of these depraved highlanders, one could find one self learning fingering and breathing techniques on something else. ;)

29th Nov 2001, 19:09
Fair brings a tear to my eye. I think I'll go and get that Haggis out the freezer and have a wee dram. ;) ;)

Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Just Do It :) :)

29th Nov 2001, 19:14
Talking about the pipes. There was a bloke out here with a band this year who could play the blues on the pipes. He would use his chanter like an air guitar and play a combination of Scottish traditional and hard rock absoulutely brilliant, his name, Jimmi Shandrix :D :D :D

Am no kiddin here's his website
Bananas (http://www.boxobananas.com/)

tony draper
29th Nov 2001, 20:05
Roger That Mr S loved Shandrix doin Purple Heather. ;)

29th Nov 2001, 21:13
Thought it about time I issued an update on progress ... with my original cheapie chanter (with thumbhole covered by tape as recommended above) I have finally obtained a pure sound!! hehehehe unfortunately as soon as I move one finger to get anything other than Low G, or try without tape covering left thumb hole, I revert to "noise" hehehe My new, secondhand, band practise chanter is due to arrive tomorrow, and the guy from the company selling it (via Ebay) is also including additional reeds BUT the chanter will arrive complete, intact and ..t'will be down to me!

As well as learning in memory of my Scots mom (dad died when I was a wee lass!) I also rashly asked my honey, an ex US Navy SEAL (currently doing something somewhere cos he got recalled dammit!) what was his favourite bagpipe tune and didn't tell him why so.....when we finally meet up again (when the US no longer has need of his services grrrrrrrrrrrr)I know he will be wondering what I was up to so I AM UNDER TIME PRESSURE HERE although at the moment it looks like I have a couple of months!!!


P.S. My dog has now learned how to sigh deeply as I pick up the chanter and begin to make a few sounds instead of looking horrified as he did at first!! hehehehe

gravity victim
30th Nov 2001, 00:12
Bagpipe Joke 1:

A squaddie in a Scottish regiment is our doing hand grenade chucking practice on the range. Unfortunately he fumbles one, drops it with the pin out, and catches a nasty packet of shrapnel in the groin area.
After much plastic surgery he reports back for duty and is checked out by the Regimental M.O.
" Well, laddie, they seem to have done a fine job, you've not lost any of your bits and pieces".
" Aye, sir, but when I take a leak it's like a bluidy watering can,sprays in all directions"
"Ah, well, we can help there, cut along and see the Pipe Major"
"But surely, he's no a medical man, sir?"

"No, true, but he's going to help you with your fingering."

Tristar Freak
30th Nov 2001, 05:11
Hello Brockenspectre,

I can thouroughly recommend booking a block of lesson with the college of piping in Glasgow. If you have a week to spare then you will learn a huge amount in that one week. They are very good and have some of the most respected names in piping on their staff.

I hope that Flypuppy fellow has been practicing for the Gatbash cos he aint very good. Not bad for an amateur I suppose. :p :eek:

Travelling Toolbox
30th Nov 2001, 06:00
A mate of mine use to be a brilliant "Catophone" player. To play:

1. Catch any passing cat (preferrably stray)
2. While tucking cat's head firmly under left arm pit, hold fore legs in right hand and hind legs securely in left hand.
3. While biting down hard on tail which is swishing past your nose, work right and left hands vigoroulsy in a scissoring motion.

Produces a sound not unlike your much loved pipes I am sure :D :D :D :D

[ 30 November 2001: Message edited by: Travelling Toolbox ]

30th Nov 2001, 06:53
Alas Brockenspectre,

If you get a smooth tone with High A taped up its definitely the "Beginner's Thumb" problem. Keep trying. As to the other squeaks and screeches that occur when you try to move your fingers. Resist the urge to use your fingertips. It is important to keep the fingers straight, with the middle pads of the fingers covering the holes. If you have only two months, you'd better hope that your SEAL's favorite tune isn't something like "The Scots Guards Salute to Pipe Major William Ross" or anything complicated with the taorluachs and all. Better settle for "Maries Wedding" or "Nut Brown Maiden" and leave out throwing and striking the D to start with :)

I don't know where you're located but there's bound to be a piper somewhere near you who could teach you "Maries Wedding" in two months. I'd teach you myself if you're anywhere near the island of Borneo.

On second thoughts, maybe your SEAL friend wouldn't be too happy about you spending a lot of time in private with a hairy highland bagpiper teaching you how to blow an instrument properly. I can hear it now. "Learning to play the bagpipes was it? REALLY! @%#!**%!" :D

Through difficulties to the cinema

30th Nov 2001, 08:04
All you ever wanted to know about haggis-wrestling and a whole lot more that you didn't. :D


P.S. Don't try any of this stuff at home without qualified adult supervision...

Through difficulties to the cinema

Tristar Freak
1st Dec 2001, 06:21
Just to save all the sassanachs trying to think up bad bagpipes jokes here is a list of them:

Q. How do you get two bagpipes to play in perfect unison?
A. Shoot one.
Q. What's the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?
A. No one cries when you chop up a bagpipe.
Q. What's the difference between a bagpipe and a trampoline?
A. You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.
Q. How can you tell a bagpiper with perfect pitch?
A. He can throw a set into the middle of a pond and not hit any of the ducks.
Q. How is playing a bagpipe like throwing a javelin blindfolded?
A. You don't have to be very good to get people's attention.
Q. What's the difference between a lawn mower and a bagpipe?
A. You can tune the lawn mower. Also, the owner's neighbors are upset if you borrow the lawn mower and don't return it.
Q. If you were lost in the woods, who would you trust for directions: an in-tune bagpipe player, an out-of-tune bagpipe player, or Santa Claus?
A. The out-of-tune bagpipe player. The other two indicate you have been
Q. How do you make a chain saw sound like a bagpipe?
A. Add vibrato.
Q. What's the definition of a gentleman?
A. Someone who knows how to play the bagpipe and doesn't.
Q. What's the difference between a dead snake in the road and dead bagpiper in the road?
A. Skid marks in front of the snake.
Q. What's the difference between a dead bagpiper in the road and a dead country singer in the road?
A. The country singer may have been on the way to a recording session.
Q. What's the range of a bagpipe?
A. Twenty yards if you have a good arm.
Q. Why are bagpipers fingers like lightning?
A. They rarely strike the same spot twice.
Q. How can you tell if a bagpipe is out of tune?
A. Someone is blowing into it.
If you took all the bagpipers in the world and laid them end to end--it would be a good idea.
Q. What do you call ten bagpipes at the bottom of the ocean?
A. A good start.
Q. Why do bagpipers walk when they play?
A. To get away from the sound.
Q. What's one thing you never hear people say?
A. That's the Porsche of bagpipes.
Q. What's the definition of "optimism"
A. A bagpiper with a beeper.
Did you hear the one about the bagpiper who parked his car with the windows open, forgetting that he had left his bagpipes in the back seat?
He rushed back as soon as he realized it... , but it was too late -- someone had already put another set of bagpipes in the car!

and I didnt find any of them funny.

2nd Dec 2001, 00:37
I am delighted to announce that the arrival of the ex-band practise chanter means that for the first time I have produced a clear sound! OK, moving the fingers is slow going but each sound produced sounds right!!! I am sooooooooooo relieved! I couldn't believe that the chanter would be THAT difficult. On closer inspection, I notice a slit in the bottom of the mouthpiece of the original one so I think I might send that back to vendor. OK I am still a long way away from "stringing" notes together, but you can't imagine how happy I am to realise that it won't be as tough as I originally believed to get some basic notes right!! heheheeh I am NOT saying it is going to be easy to play any tunes (and I note the suggestion and others to get a week at piping school) but ...at least I now think I have found the bottom of the uphill!!

Thank you all for all your help(the jokes are great for future reference!!).


2nd Dec 2001, 00:44
Great news! ... Keep at it - it gets even trickier when you connect a bag and drones to it, but you are well on the way to really p!ssing your neighbours off :D

Charlie Foxtrot India
2nd Dec 2001, 18:18
Your poor wee doggie is probably suffering from disappointment that there is no strangled cat to play with despite the noise.

BTW, why do bagpipe players on TV wear such funny clothes? Are they to conceal other bits of the instrument? Is it so that no-one will recognise them?
They walk funny too. Not surprising in those funny shoes.

Once you've mastered the bagpipes, try the didgeridoo. Blowing non-stop raspberries whilst breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth simultaneously. Fun! You don't need to invest in an expensive wooden one with dots and squiggles on it, a vacuum cleaner hose will do.

tony draper
2nd Dec 2001, 18:39
Keep it up, every one knows that pipers stand only behind engineer's at the front of the queue at St Peters ticket booth. ;)

3rd Dec 2001, 07:08
Er, Geordie old chap. As both engineer and piper, standing behind or in front of meself will be a tad difficult methinks.

Through difficulties to the cinema

4th Dec 2001, 10:04
Heya Brocken,
Just a note to say great choice of instrument. I am also learning to play the pipes but here in australia... (min take note) I have joined a pipe band here and they provide tutoring for an hour before the full band starts rehearsing and is really help full. Good luck with your endeavours

Min!!! babe email me at [email protected] I need to tell you when I am coming to Adelaide and organise when we are going to meet and have some good ol pprune fun!!!! and anyone else in the adelaide area dureing next week December 11 thru to the 14th

Cheers FB

4th Dec 2001, 16:06
I am struck here with an image of a dour Scots engineer standing in the queue for St. Peter's attention muttering something about "those sodding PPRuNers putting him right in front of a sodding haggis wrestler maltreating an octopus...."

23rd Jan 2006, 03:17

There are no such things as ordinary everyday Bagpipes. The Great Highland Bagpipes are King of all Instruments, stirring the soul and girding the loins for action, as they do!

Be careful when ye talk of them...

Through difficulties to the band hut
Hi, my name is Karen, this is my first time on here so I don't know much about this site yet. I am from Mississippi and I am trying to learn to play the bagpipes, I have learned to play the chanter but when I put my bagpipes together nothing happens. I don't know what to do!!! The bagpipes didn't come with very good instructions on how to put them together, but it did help in telling me what the notes were and the right fingerings and everything. PLEASE HELP!!!!!:ugh:

23rd Jan 2006, 04:10
Was at a party in BAH a couple of months ago with The Lady. In walk 4 Arabic guys - 3 of them with sort of drums, and the fourth with . . . .

The remains of a sheep's carcass with "chanter" and drones hanging out of where the extremities probably once were :\

Made a sound a bit like very off-tune Scottish pipes (the oriental scale!) but I could definitely see the resemblance. Not sure which extremity of the sheep he was blowing into though :oh: )

Our (Bahraini) host informed me that the pipes were invented in the Middle-East, and "exported" to Scotland by MUslim missionaries around the 7th Century :ooh:

(off to eBay to see if I can pick up a set to go with my kilt etc at the next "event" I get invited to - not that many these days:uhoh: )

B Fraser
23rd Jan 2006, 07:29
The definition of a true gentleman is someone who knows how to play the pipes.......... but doesn't :}

Krystal n chips
23rd Jan 2006, 08:02
They're an acquired taste:hmm: ! Having spent part of my life strolling to work--possibly behind M.Mouse--you either love em, or loathe em.

I love em !!:ok: --unlike the other :mad: called a Brass Band---soul destroying at the best of times, and even more so on a cold wet morning--uuuuughhhh !

Comment from my father re his time on the Club Med away days in Egypt and the Western Desert--things you really do NOT want to see coming towards you-- a battalion of rather p££ed off and p$$ed up Jocks with fixed bayonets and the pipes playing--I would second that.

Vankem Spankfaart
23rd Jan 2006, 08:21
May I point out that the bagpipes are not classed as a musical instrument. They are officially a "weapon of war".

I quote:
"The bagpipe is listed in the British army manual as a "weapon of war". It was said that the enemy could hear the bagpipes approaching for several days before the army actually arrived for battle."

Ms Spankfaart is learning the pipes and is now quite accomplished on the practice chanter. If going for the next step I have a choice either go for
a) the 450+ for a set of pipes made in GB or
b) sets selling for 112 on ebay (and this bloke has sold a lot of them)

Can anyone give me some advice?


23rd Jan 2006, 09:40
My father was involved in the little fracas between BA and KLM, over a half century ago, employed by one of the "Scottish Regional" outfits.

Story is that, when the KLM guys heard the "skirl of the pipes", it was shighte scaring and the aircrew and cabin crew that were anticipated to appear through the mists soon after were known as the "Ladies from Hell" by the KL guys.

Lon More
23rd Jan 2006, 09:54
My father was involved in the little fracas between BA and KLM,
I think you meant DLH

Maybe Brockenspectre and T'n'Ts youngest should get together the Jet Blast Pipe Band.

Krystal Couldn't agree more with your comment about Brass Bands. I have a number of Cd's of Pipe Music ruined by their inclusion

23rd Jan 2006, 10:12
Bah Humbug, the only proper pipes is the Uileann Pipes.*
We Micks occasionall use the other kind, but refer to them as "War Pipes"..prolly because protracted playing of same is guaranteed to cause a bloody conflict with one's neighbours.
We were offered lessons in playing the uileann pipes at school in the 70's, but the things were so uncool then no-one dared.
It's easier to run away from an uileann piper too; the bugger has to sit down.

tony draper
23rd Jan 2006, 10:32
Hmmm,Muslim Missionaries in Scotland? wonder if they roasted or boiled em.

23rd Jan 2006, 11:03
Karen, aka lilhotmsdukesofpop, revives this wonderful thread and you all ignore the poor girl's plea for help so I will try.

I am from Mississippi

Are you trying to tell us something?

I am trying to learn to play the bagpipes,

Life is rarely kind.

I have learned to play the chanter

And you still want to continue?

but when I put my bagpipes together nothing happens.

I am told that you have to blow into them, they don't play themselves.

23rd Jan 2006, 12:17
A warning for those who haven't already had a blow-out - your cheeks will stretch until they balloon outwards like those Beano pictures of bagpipe players. Some would call it a hernia of the face.

tony draper
23rd Jan 2006, 12:24
Has no one thunk of installing a small electric air compressor in bagpipes yet,or possibly even a wee amplifier?, hmmm could be a opening in the market here chaps.
Hmmm,on second thoughts the amplifier could make you a hunted man.

23rd Jan 2006, 13:27
Electric bagpipes, eh?
Perhaps you could get them to sound like something else (anything other than bagpipes).
Actually, I LIKE hearing bagpipes - at a distance. It's a rousing sound when a pipe-band passes by.
Wonder what tune the original poster (brockenspectre) performed for her man.
Mulligan's Tyre? A Maze in Greys?

24th Jan 2006, 02:13
Nice to see this old thread back in print. One often wondered if Ms. brokenspectre eventually managed to extract a tune from her GHB. And did Karen the Mississippi maiden ever get her kit together in the proper order for a darned good blowing session?

Last year I turned up at the 105th entry's 40th anniversary re-union down in wildest Buckinghamshire, (where so many fine pipers learned their trade). I was asked if I had brought my pipes. When I said that I hadn't, there were many grateful sighs of relief.

I've turned into a proper gentleman it seems. ;)