• pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “Miss Haswell’s Favorite”

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    In this episode we hit the dance halls of 18th century Perthshire for “Miss Haswell’s Favorite” by Duncan MacIntyre. Variants of the tune are mostly known by the…

    Read More

  • gear_cropped

    The Bagpipe Gear Hack

    Friday, January 29, 2016

    If you’re like me, your pipe case is packed to the gills with stuff. But when do you really need it all? Most tinkering on the bagpipes takes…

    Read More

  • pipehackertape_08

    Pipehacker Pro Tip: Hotel Card Chanter Tape

    Friday, January 8, 2016

    The modern competitive bagpiper can become quite the connoisseur of hotel rooms and beds. International competition and even the local US circuit will have a piper and his…

    Read More

  • pipehacker_12daysofxmas

    Merry Christmas 2015 from Pipehacker!

    Wednesday, December 23, 2015

    Here is an updated Christmas song your band can sing along to at your next practice…

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  • howtoplaybagpipes

    Ultimate Pipehacker Guide: How to Play Bagpipes

    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

    I think I figured it out.

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  • whiskytuneslogo_1200x933

    New Tune Book: Whisky Tunes!

    Friday, October 23, 2015

    I’m please to announce the launch of a new website: Whisky Tunes! Whisky Tunes offers up just what it says on the label: Bagpipe music inspired by Scotland’s…

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  • ArnoldSchwarzenegger

    30 Days and 30 Minutes to Becoming a Stronger Ba...

    Tuesday, July 14, 2015

    What is the one single thing that will improve your performance as a Highland bagpiper? Did you come up with an answer? It’s wrong if it is not…

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “Saint Columba”

    Friday, July 3, 2015

    This episode’s tune is “Saint Columba,” a march/polka named for the ancient Irish Christian saint. Columba, or “Columcille” as he is known, spearheaded an age of high learning…

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Feb
3

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Small Tunes Podcast: “Miss Haswell’s Favorite”

pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

In this episode we hit the dance halls of 18th century Perthshire for “Miss Haswell’s Favorite” by Duncan MacIntyre. Variants of the tune are mostly known by the more modern title “Brisk Bob.” Listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition on the bagpipe.

pipehacker_misshaswellsfavorite

Jan
29

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The Bagpipe Gear Hack

gear_cropped

If you’re like me, your pipe case is packed to the gills with stuff. But when do you really need it all? Most tinkering on the bagpipes takes place in the practice room, at home, by yourself. Over time, a single piper can accumulate quite a collection of piping accouterment. I’ll be honest, I am prepared for lone piping survival after the apocalypse. I carry it all. But how often do I really pull out that spare gear, reed, tool, thing…all of which is weighing down my pipe case? Answer: almost never. I can think of one time over a long time when I dropped my blowstick on a contest day, ruining my flapper valve, and was happy I had: a) an extra flapper; and b) my tools including small needle nose pliers. All went well. New flapper installed and crisis averted. Luck favors the prepared. And that is the point. You never know what you need until you need what you don’t have. Predicting that though is going to be different for every bagpiper. Some will put their mind at ease and carry around a separate toolbox stocked to the brim with tools, extra reeds, and everything else short of a circular saw. Others get by with a small pipe-case sized box of emergency items. Whichever path you choose, listing a bunch of stuff that may or may not belong with you at all times would be tedious. Let’s instead think about the classification of your gear. Your essential items should generally fall into four separate categories:

Projects

pipehackertape_08

Pipehacker Pro Tip: Hotel Card Chanter Tape

Friday, January 8, 2016

The modern competitive bagpiper can become quite the connoisseur of hotel rooms and beds. International competition and even the local US circuit will have a piper and his…

pipehacker_humidifier_display

Pipehacker Project: The Handy Reed Humidifier

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bagpipes, and the accessories that go along with them, have changed little over the last 100 years or more. The way we set up and care for our…

P1020731

Pipehacker Project: The Chanter Cap Reed Dryer

Monday, September 15, 2014

The chanter cap has become as ubiquitous a part of the pipe box as a roll of black tape. But moisture left on the reed after playing can…

pipehacker_reedtech18

Pipehacker Project: The Reed-Hack Survival Pack

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Highland bagpipers need to be versed in all the skills to sound their best. In the true Pipehacker tradition, here is a sporran-sized, exquisitely portable survival kit for reedsmithing and manipulation. Make your own pipe-hacked, miniaturized versions of the tools you need for reed-hacking while practicing or fine tuning before performance time.

pipehacker_bagpipe_gauge_00

Top Pipehacker Project in 2013: The Piper’s Perfect Pressure Gauge

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The bagpiping world seems to be divided up into two groups: 1) The denizens of bagpipe internet forums who are sure manometers, i.e., tubes filled with water, will…

watertrap

Pipehacker Project: The Black Strap Water Trap

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Moisture to the bagpiper is like DDT to the mosquito. A build up of too much moisture in your instrument means certain death of your reeds and nothing…

ZoomH2pipehacker

Pipehacker Project: Recording Your Professional Personal Piping Performances

Friday, June 29, 2012

You’re serious about your bagpiping, right? Of course you are. You take all the necessary steps to treat your instrument with care and acquire all the skills and…

pipehacker_bagpipe_gauge_00

Pipehacker Project: The Piper’s Perfect Pressure Gauge

Friday, February 3, 2012

The bagpiping world seems to be divided up into two groups: 1) The denizens of bagpipe internet forums who are sure manometers, i.e., tubes filled with water, will…

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