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LEARN TO PLAY THE BAGPIPES

News Flash!
 
We are now happy to announce that you can receive professional music lessons by using all the tools of cyberspace.
 
Dr. Raphael Pazo has successfully set up "on-line classes" for those who live too far from an accredited Bagpipe instructor, with the convenice of paying for your personal, customized lessons over the internet.  Methods of payment are: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Paypal ( no Paypal account is required).  For more information about beginning this exciting way of learning as a beginner, honing your skills as an experience piper, or to prepare for Bagpiping Competition, please contact Dr. Raphael Pazo.  You can receive an evalution of your skills and develop a training regiment based on your skill level, your knowledge of music and you time.    Now you can learn from the convenience of your home, without having to travel to meet an instructor miles away.
Currently, there are students enrolled in this new and exciting way of learning the rudiments and intricacies of the Great Highland Bagpipe.  Our students are located in North America, (U.S. and Canada), several countries in South American, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
 
Lessons are available to student of all levels, from beginners to Grade 1 Competion Bagpipers.  Applicants are now being aceepted for individual or group lessons.  Please contact Dr. Pazo by visiting our "Contact Us'" page on this website.
 
 
 
 
 
 

I'd like to learn how to play the bagpipes - what do I need to get started?

This narrow, mouth-blown instrument resembles a recorder and is made of wood or plastic.  Practice Chanters have two main parts.  The top section has a mouthpiece where air is blown into the instrument.  The bottom portion has a bored hole where a double-bladed plastic reed fits and has nine holes used to finger the notes.  The two sections fit together using either hemp or rubber o-rings to create an air-tight seal.  Some practice chanters also have a "sole" on the bottom, which is a round piece of imitation ivory.  The sole is for looks only, and has no practical purpose. Practice chanters are used by beginners to learn techniques for fingering and blowing.  Because pipers need to know their tunes by heart, practice chanters are also used when learning any new tune.  Pipe band members practice together using practice chanters, both for practicing old tunes and for learning the tempo and notes to new music.  Whether just beginning or an old pro, the practice chanter is essential in the musical progression on the bagpipes.

Practice chanters are available in two lengths - regular and long. 

For older kids and adults, a long practice chanter is generally recommended, because the finger hole spacing is more similar to that of on the pipe chanter on the bagpipes.  This is helpful because when the student does get on the bagpipes, the fingers will already be used to the wider hole spacing.  Regular length practice chanters may be more comfortable for kids with smaller hands, and are less expensive.  We often suggest practice chanters that are countersunk or counter bored for improved “note hole” feel.

Standard Size Bagpipe Practice Chanter
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PRACTICE CHANTER KIT

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The most popular beginning tutor book is the College of Piping vol. 1 (known in piping circles as "The Green Book" for its green cover). 

New Editions of the include an interactive CD with audio and video of each lesson.  It is also a good idea to have an extra reed or two.  Because the reeds are plastic, they last quite a long time, but it's good to have a back up.  Practice chanter reeds cost $5-$8 a piece.

House of Bagpipes in San Francisco, CA " offers a number of "Starter Kits", which include everything you need to get started.  They include a practice chanter, 2-3 reeds, and the College of Piping vol. 1 on the kit.  They also save you money as compared to all the items included being purchased separately.  Click on the image on the left to see all of our starter kits.

BUYERS BEWARE:  There are many instruments being sold around the world and the United States bearing labels and stickers printed with the words "Made in Scotland".  There are sub-standard counterfeit copies that should not even be called "musical instruments".  They come in various styles and sizes.  They are only suitable as wall-hanging pieces, and on cold days, the are formidable a kindling; the larger sets burning much longer and provinding more heat.
 
STAY AWAY from E-Bay and other merchants that hide behind website and unreachable e-business fronts.
 
Below you can see two samples of such types of pipes, which should be avoided, as they are fake.
 
Purchase only from a reputable authorized dealer that offer warranties and stand behind the products they sell.

Short or Child Size Bagpipe Practice Chanter
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College of Piping "Green Book"

BEWARE OF IMITATIONS CLAIM TO BE MADE IN SCOTLAND:   HERE ARE

A FEW SAMPLES OF COPIES MAKE
IN PAKISTAN AND INDIA.

DO NOT BUY ANYTHING LOOKING LIKE THESE!

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COCUSWOOD PAKISTANI SET

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ROSEWOOD PAKISTANI SET

To learn more about bagpipes styles, click here:

Glossary of Bagpipe Parts - Click here to learn more


Music of Elegance and Distinction

by Dr. Raphael Pazo 

californiabagpiper.com


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