David Daye's Bagpipe Page
2011 September 24 -- Youtube Instructional &
2010 November 23 -- New Highland
Bass Drone Project Ready
My old email at osu.edu is closed. To email
me click here or go to my daye1.com
I've taken the new bass design as far as I can. I
won't say that this beats the very best historic instruments, but it's
definitely a step up from several commonly available makes I've owned.
It has plenty of bass power, less noise and an appealing harmonic voice.
The bore is more complex than historic Highland bores which I feel
gives a maker more to work with in developing tone.
Click here for the New
Highland Bass Drone Page.
Since I won't be making Highland pipes for sale, I'll
be posting the design data and a very easy home-build brass tube, plumbing
pipe and tape construction method here during the week ahead. I'm sure
the large Highland player, maker and experimental community can get even
more out of these ideas if there's more to be had.
a sound sample of a prototype made outdoors at about 17 meters away,
slowly moving and turning. It's early 80's concert B-Flat pitch, with Naill
tenors and a War-Mac chanter. The design will scale to any pitch from folk
tuning at 440 to the current contest 480's or whatever. A somewhat clearer
sounding, large slow-loading version of the file in the less
compressed .WAV format is here.
There's no processing of the sound except to reverse the
published high frequency response boost of the microphones, and converting
to the MP3 or .WAV formats.
2009 April 02 Resurrection
Over the coming days and weeks I will be repairing links and updating
these pages after 11 years' neglect. At the time Ohio State University
took the site offline, it was still ranking around 24 in Google among 2/3
million bagpipe sites of all categories combined, 9-10 years after my last
edits. It'll never again return to a high ranking, but I get quite a few
requests for it regularly so I'm restoring it to a site under my control
and will keep it available for some time to come. Thank you all for your
Click Here for David Daye's
uilleann pipe making and performance site at daye1.com.
Newest Revision November 2010 marked with ***
Under the Uilleann Pipes Home Building Page
Copyright 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2009 David C. Daye
Feel free to copy any and all portions for individual desktop use and/or
your individual study of piping. You may not republish all or portions
of this collection in any form, or distribute it in any form, without permission.
You must obtain permission for each item you wish to use even if I have
already permitted any use in the past. You may establish electronic pointers
or links to this page.
For info, problem reports, etc. email CLICK
Table of Contents
Top of Bagpipe Page
Youtube Video Collection
Introductory Playing Videos for Brand New Uilleann Pipers
Maintenance and Technical Instructional Videos for Uilleann and Other
"Yep, they're me!"
The Scottish Highland Bagpipes and the Irish Uilleann
Pipes. Photos copyright 1992 Beth Ann Daye
Top of Bagpipe Page
Top of Bagpipe Page
Sound files of David playing Highland and uilleann
All the sound files are in Windows .WAV format, 16-bit mono sound. Several
are sampled at 11 KHz, somewhat muffling the top end or treble a bit. 3
are sampled at 22 KHz because I'm trying to illustrate tone. This makes
them potentially large (sorry) so I kept the durations rather short (a
Diagnostic sound samples, Highland &
MIDI tunes and exercises
for uilleann pipes by Robert Thorpe
Modified Highland pipes - key of A-440
- Jig o' Slurs 215 KB -- Live (chanter in background)
in pub 3/17/90 with Innisheer band.
- Scotland the Brave 384 KB -- Good studio
recording with Jeff McDonald guitar & marching drum.
- Top of Bagpipe Page
Standard Highland pipes - key of B-flat
- Farewell to the Creeks 359 KB -- Good studio
recording backing John Sherman's guitar & bouzouki.
- Top of Bagpipe Page
Short studio samples of 2 fine Uilleann pipe chanters
- Silent Night 286 KB -- 1986 Alain Froment
chanter, 1st octave with J. David Hawkins guitar.
- Roll on River Big 747 KB -- 1993 Kirk Lynch
chanter, 2nd octave played as saxophone with J. David Hawkins guitar.
- Top of Bagpipe Page
Uilleann pipe & Irish miscellaney
- The Banshee 384 KB -- Live in pub 3/17/90
with Innisheer band, wife Bethy drumming.
- Whiskey in the Jar 452 KB -- Played as a
saxophone backing local rock band The Bellows.
- Rab's Wedding 87 KB -- Studio recording of
home-made D whistle, "Infra-Whistle" cheap to make but "super"
sound, with guitarist John Sherman.
- Top of Bagpipe Page
Other sound files: SETI (Sounds of Extra
- Cairn Terriers: Murdo & Geordie Doggie
- Top of Bagpipe Page
Assorted Pipe and Reed Modifications
- ALL all types of bagpipes
- GHB Great Highland or Scottish bagpipes
- SP Scottish or analogous bellows-blown smallpipes
- UP Irish uilleann pipes
Common or Plausible Ideas
- ALL Air-tight Pipe Bags 5KB -- Brief notes
on substances for sealing Highland and uilleann pipe bags, by Craig Hazelbaker.
- ALL Artificial Drone Reed 59 KB -- Diagram
for making artificial drone reeds, metal body, soft plastic tongues, mellow
- Photo of base (drone end) of reed shown
in diagram showing inner and outer tubes (12 KB)
- Photo of side view of tongue (25 KB) --
.020" thick styrene tongue. MM ruler shown, 0 is at base of reed
- Photo of face view of tongue (16 KB) --
note outer body end was sealed with 5-minute thick epoxy
- ALL Artificial Drone Reed Alternate (84
KB) -- photo of moisture-resistant, more natural tone. Cane body, plastic
- ALL Artificial Reed Basics 10 KB -- General
notes on making double- and single reeds for drones and various single-octave
- ALL Pipe Bag Building 15 KB --
New text document, showing different shapes and seam constructions, diagrams
- ALL Chanter Modify 37 KB -- tips for (partly)
filling chanter holes, preserving finish.
- All Chanter Reed Dull Tone 25 KB -- One common
cause of dull tone, may occur early in manufacture; remedy.
- ALL Desk Lathe 71 KB --Electric drill clamped
on desk, with end of work inserted into clamped wood block, for making
tapered mandrels etc. Suggested by Benedict Koehler.
- ALL Double Reed Marking 43 KB -- Marking
reed blades with data on cane type, dimensions, dates, staple data for
- ALL Drone Reed Maker 32KB -- Photo of lever
device for making cut in drone reed tubes.
- ALL Drone Reed Maker 2 19KB -- Closeup of
drone tube cutter.
- ALL Drone Reed Strength 21 KB -- prevent
drone reeds from stopping by heat-setting the tongues into position.
- ALL Grading Reed Cane 6 KB -- Simple method
to measure and describe cane hardness. Drawings and photos.
- ALL Lap Lathe 99 KB -- Electric drill with
work spun against leather patch on leg for making tapered mandrels etc.
- ALL Measuring and Copying Chanters
15 KB -- Text and diagrams for measuring and making castings.
- ALL No-Stop Artificial Drone Reed 4 KB
-- Making an artificial reed which does not stop due to humidity or over-playing.
- ALL Welt Leaks 22 KB -- tie chanter stock
to bag & prevent leaks.
- GHB Bag Fitting 30 KB -- easy tests, changes
to make pipe bag fit better.
- NEW 11/2010 --
Drone -- A new even older bore design, blending features of a 1910
Henderson with an 1850 uilleann pipe bass.***
- GHB Bass Drone Fat Reed 37 KB -- making
fatter bass drone reed for some older pipes but maintaining modern pitch.
- GHB Bass Drone Roar 25 KB -- reversible cures
to make drone stop roaring, sound rich & strong.
- GHB Practice Chanter Easing 17 KB -- Making
practice chanter easier to blow.
- GHB Practice Chanter Problems 30 KB --
Text about practice chanters not working well.
- GHB Things Growing Inside Bagpipes 2 KB --
Fungus, bacteria, and things that go "yuk" in the night.
- UP Bridle Options 19 KB -- different bridle
positions per different blade designs.
- UP Bridle Photo 40 KB -- closeup of one
type of sliding bridle. Grips both edges & faces, easy to adjust.
- UP Chanter Bottom 11 KB -- a wrap-around
bottom ferrule for making bell hole smaller at extreme bottom, for better
tuned hard & soft bottom D. Made by Dave Williams.
- UP Chanter Reed Maker 140 KB -- kitchen cutting
board with cane-measuring holes, trough & backstop for gouging, width
& length measurement marks, slots for forming sheet metal staples.
Photo shows markings to translate "float test"
waterline mark to sink-percentage.
- UP-SP Drone Move 22 KB -- re-mounting small
drones for better microphone pickup position.
- UP Octave Fixes 25 KB -- discussion and
diagrams of common causes for difficulty getting into or maintaining the
2nd octave; suggestions for remedies and avoiding problems in future.
- UP Learning for Highland Pipers 10 KB --
Thoughts & experiences about making a big musical change.
- UP Chanter Reed Elevation 30 KB
-- Rescuing newly tied reed blades whose lip opening is becoming too small.
- UP Rush Holder 45 KB -- photo of thin tube
strapped to drone to hold wire "rushes" used for tuning chanter
- UP Scrape 1 30 KB -- chanter reed scrape
diagram and explanation, based on bassoon reedmaking.
- UP Scrape 2 35 KB -- method for creating
bassoon-based scrape shown above.
- UP Scrape 3 33 KB -- common variations on
the long-style scrape shown above.
- UP Staple 1 37 KB -- non-destructive staple
tricks to flatten (parts of) 2nd octave.
- UP Staple 2 35 KB -- flairing brass tube
to simulate rolled staple, sharpen 2nd octave.
- Back to Top of Bagpipe Page
Ravings from the Lunatic Fringe
Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here
- ALL Stability in Natural Reeds 5 KB --
Text discussing manufacture and coatings to increase the humidity resistance
- GHB A-440 Bagpipe 3 KB -- Notes on setting
up bagpipe to play at concert A-440. (See "Stories" for Orkney
- GHB Chanter Major Adjust 37 KB -- tips for
non-destructive but major chanter flattening.
- GHB Chanter Reed Flat 29 KB -- tips for major
flattening of chanter reed.
- GHB Drone Major Flat 29 KB -- tips for major
flattening of drone reed.
- GHB Extremely Easy Reed Setup 6 KB -- Text
on setting up extremely easy GHB chanter reed.
- GHB Extremely Easy Reed 30 KB -- tips for
making chanter reed extremely easy to blow, as for 1st-timers, elderly
etc. Text file below.
- GHB Extremely Easy Reed 27KB -- photo showing
scraped reed with thin wire bridle just at top of binding.
- GHB TUNE "The Pipe-Major's Nightmare"
62 KB -- Sheet music for 2-part march, by David Daye (See "Stories"
below for tale by same name.)
- GHB TUNE "A Useless Deception"
24 KB -- Sheet music for 4-part stomp or hornpipe by David Daye 2000
- GHB Strong Reed, Flat F 15 KB -- Text &
diagrams, blowing-in, tuning.
- UP Bass Drone Shorten 75 KB -- a wrap-around
endpiece for fitting into sessions & other cramped locations better.
In place on drone at left; normal endpiece shown above at right with round
resonator, at its normal length.
- UP Chanter Reed Reverse Taper --
60 KB Blades narrower at top than at middle. Easier hard D, better tuned
E's, when trying to use softer cane in recipes meant for harder cane. Tested
on wide bore concert D chanter by David Quinn.
- UP Blade Fill 19 KB -- coating blade interiors
for tone, octave ease, retard humidity response.
- UP Blade Grain 31 KB -- reducing humidity
damage to 2nd octave ability.
- UP Make a "Squinnter" Chanter
15 KB -- very inexpensive, easy-to-make uilleann pipe chanter, using wood
planks rather than lathe-turning, by the Australian pipemaker Craig Fischer.
- UP Make a Penny-Chanter 20 KB
-- very inexpensive, easy-to-make uilleann pipe chanter, also info on other
home-buildable components of uilleann pipes
- UP-SP Plastic Reed 30 KB -- a few ideas
for plastic SP or UP-regulator reeds.
- UP-SP Plastic Chanter Reed 10 KB -- A successful
first attempt at 2-octave plastic double reed using novel preparation.
- UP Scrape 8 KB -- One method, with diagrams
and explanations, for making long-style chanter reed scrape and break-in
for easy 2nd octave.
- Top Go back to top of Bagpipe Page
Miscellaneous Intriguing Ideas
- ALL Grow Your Own Reeds 3 KB -- Sources,
photos, and tips for buying, growing, harvesting reed cane. New root photo
- ALL Cane Density Measuring Jig 10 KB --
Diagram of jig to read sink-percentage of any length tube or strip after
it is dunked & waterline is marked.
- ALL Carrying Case 33 KB -- Photo of electric
guitar "gig bag" (soft case) holds full UP or GHB very inexpensive
($15-$50 US) compared to bagpipe cases ($100 or more). (Not for sale here.)
- ALL Pressure Meter 30 KB -- sketch of how
to make water-filled tube to measure operating pressure and/or steadiness.
- ALL Celtic Music Chords 2 KB -- Introduction
to basic accompaniment.
- GHB Wedding Tips 2 KB -- Notes on playing
- ALL Drone Reed Squeal 3 KB -- Causes &
cures of drone squealing.
- GHB Pipe Band Recruiting 7 KB -- Ideas for
planning a band recruitment & training program
- GHB Pipe Band Leadership Problems 5 KB
-- Thoughts on a common sorry state of affairs.
- UP Liam Og O'Flynn's Reed 9 KB
-- Discussion by Pat Sky & measurement diagram by David Quinn
- UP Uilleann Pipe Comparison for Scottish
- UP Microphones 3 KB -- Mic-ing uilleann pipes,
ideas from REC.AUDIO.PRO
- UP Chanter Measurements 10 KB --
David Quinn 1984 "Liam O'Flynn (Leo Rowesome)" pattern of chanter
- UP Chanter Measurementst 10 KB
-- C# old flat chanter owned by Kevin Rowsome, possible Harrington
- UP Chanter Measurements 12 KB --
Taylor chanter in Ireland, bore shape diagram showing deliberate irregularities
- UP Chanter True 12 KB -- Taylor
chanter, bore shape diagram shown to accurate 1:1 scale. Notice that the
bore at this scale appears to be almost completely straight conical
- Make Your Own Whistle 2 KB -- updated:
cheap, balanced Irish whistle, great-sounding "Infra Whistle"
- Whistle photo 40 KB -- whistle under construction
with steps in telescoped tubing and some holes & tuning tape showing.
- X-Ray Photo Top 146 KB -- Upper bore of David
Quinn unnumbered late 1980's chanter.
- X-Ray Photo Bottom 122 KB -- Lower bore of
David Quinn unnumbered late 1980's chanter.
Instructional Help for Highland & Uilleann Pipes
A separate web page with extensive notes on the pitfalls of self instruction
in the demanding traditional Highland bagpipe style. Discusses tools for
assessing progress, ideas for practicing and improving technique, links
to some of the illustrations listed below. Not a tutor, rather a guide
to be used with any of the fine tutors available on the market.
Miscellaneous Diagrams and Instructional Notes
- Bag 17 KB -- 1st attempt at holding and blowing
- Hold 27 KB -- GHB or UP chart, extra tips
on finger & hand posture, for beginners.
- Move 30 KB -- GHB or UP chart, how to move
fingers for melody & grace notes, for beginners.
- GHB Birl 2 KB -- Notes on making the tap-&-curl
- Confidence 7 KB -- GHB document, tips for
student & teacher on instilling confidence in the student.
- Exercises 2 KB -- GHB text file, some tortuous
melody and grace note exercises, all levels of skill.
- Musicians 2 KB -- GHB text file, fingering
issues for people with previous music expertise.
- Tuning for Intermediate Pipers -- ALL --
principles and methods for getting and staying in tune longer
- Uilleann Pipe Fingering Chart --
30 KB graphic showing the common closed scale fingering.
- Uilleann Pipe Reedmaking Video 3 KB -- UP
document reviewing a chanter reedmaking video.
- Uilleann Pipe Instructional Video 1 KB --
UP document reviewing a fine instructional video, with e-mail link to source.
- Top of Bagpipe Page
Stories -- Tall Tales from Piping's Frontier
If it didn't happen exactly as I've told it, then it should
Links to other Bagpipe- and Celtic-related services
- ABC Music Page
Tunes written in easy short-hand.
Donax Facts from the Double-Reed web site
- Augusta Center,
W. VA., home of Irish Week and other folk music workshops.
- Bagpipe Association
of Germany Page
- Bagpipe Music
Writer Tunes (David Williams' page) tune files for Bagpipe Music Writer
- GHB Bagpipe
Supply Comparison Page
- The Bagpipe Web
- The Bagpipe News Group:
- A "usenet" discussion group for all bagpipes: REC.MUSIC.MAKERS.BAGPIPE
- Balmoral School of Highland
Piping - Great summer school for serious bagpipe instruction.
- Ceilidh Trail Celtic Music School,
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
- Central Ohio Celt Page
- Ceolas Celtic
Music Archive & Links
- Chicago Tionol Uilleann Pipe
Workshop and Gathering, September 1998
Langan Uilleann Workshop (Tionol) January 1999
- College of Piping [ GHB Highland
bagpipes ] in Glasgow, Scotland
(USA) traditional Irish music society events & activities.
- Comhaltas (Mayo, Ireland)
traditional Irish music society events & activities.
- Daughters of Erin Page
- Dennis Havelena's
instrument and pipe building pages
Festival '96 Home Page.
Festival '96 Unofficial Home Page.
UNIVERSITY COLLECTION OF HISTORIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
- Gaelic Home
Bagpipe Chanter Reed Making by Gordon Spiers -- Text files etc.
- International Double Reed Society
- Irish Pipe Band Association
- Irish Pipers' Club (US
Northwest) Home Page
Bagpipes by Casey Burns
- Northumbrian Smallpipes
- Building a
Northumbrian Smallpipe Page by Mike Nelson
- Na Piobairi Uilleann
Home Page The uilleann pipers' club in Dublin, Ireland
- Ohio Scottish
Games and School
- Pat D'Arcy's Uilleann
- San Francisco Uilleann
- Seth Gallagher's Uilleann
Pipe Reedmaking Page
Bagpipes (what next--the Finns?)
- Uilleann Penny-Chanter
Pipe Fact List.
- Uilleann Pipe Description
by Todd Denman
- The Uilleann Pipe Mailing List Moved to Ireland February 2001:
- A discussion group for uilleann piping, much like the main Bagpipe
- Send e-mail to LISTSERV@listserv.heanet.ie
- No subject line. (Ok to put something there.)
- Message simply: subscribe uilleann Firstname Lastname
- To subscribe now, review these instructions and Click
- West Coast Uilleann
Gathering (Tionol) February 1999
Clancy Summer School (in Ireland) of Irish Piping and Music
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