• 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…

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “The Red Coat”

    Friday, September 5, 2014

    “The Red Coat” is tune that evokes the image of pressing red-coated English infantryman—something that has been forever burned into the American cultural consciousness. The “strathspey” is also something forever burned into the musical consciousness of all pipers. Download the score and listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “Jack Ashore”

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    In this episode we travel to Victorian England and get a taste of life on the docks of London with “Jack Ashore,” a tune composed by Harry B. Murray in 1909. The term “Jack ashore” was a common reference to a sailor or sailors, or a Jack Tar, who had come into port with the carousing and antics one would expect after being at sea for many months. Download the score and listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “He’s O’e...

    Friday, March 28, 2014

    We open this episode with an old joke that slags bagpipers but is connected to the very old melody “Over the Hills and Far Away.” Listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “Deirdre’s Lament”

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    St. Patrick’s Day is but a few days away, so why not bring out a little something from the emerald isle. This episode’s tune is a very old…

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  • 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.

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “The Favorite Dram”

    Friday, February 21, 2014

    This episode’s tune is a slip jig that honors the long-lived tradition of heavy drinking. “The Favorite Dram” is a simply named tune that falls in among many with references to whiskey in the title. Listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.

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  • MetroCup2014_logo

    The 2014 Metro Cup—Drinking It All In

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    There really is nowhere you can go outside of the major competition platforms in Scotland other than Newark, New Jersey in February to hear nearly 12 hours of nonstop bagpiping of the highest caliber. The Metro Cup is one of those events that seems to get better and better with each passing year. The 2014 event was no exception.

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Sep
15

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Pipehacker Project: The Chanter Cap Reed Dryer

P1020731

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 have adverse effects while the reed is resting within that cap. Black spots of mold and general decay will shorten the life of any reed. Luckily, the modern piper has also got a slew of compounds to help deal with moisture issues. Moisture absorbing crystals or gel, combined with a trusty chanter cap, can certainly be an effective way to keep your main reed in good playing order between sessions. But why use a commercially produced gizmo? Dig out those spare pipe parts—and that spare “kitty litter” and craft an easy solution to keep your best reed in good condition. Read More

Sep
5

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Small Tunes Podcast: “The Red Coat”

pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

“The Red Coat” is tune that evokes the image of pressing red-coated English infantryman—something that inspired a good number of Jacobite rallying lyrics in the rebellions of the early 1700s. It has been forever burned into the American cultural consciousness as well. The “strathspey” is also something forever burned into the musical consciousness of all pipers. Download the score and listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.

pipehacker_theredcoat

Projects

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…

pipehacker_waxedhemp9

Pipehacker Project: Waxing Hemp-ish

Friday, November 4, 2011

Having well hemped joints on your bagpipe is a critical part of a well set-up and efficient instrument. The hemp used should use a good amount of black…

practicechanterreedrebuild

Pipehacker Project: Rebuild and Resurrect a Practice Chanter Reed

Friday, June 24, 2011

Never chuck a good reed. Wait. Did I say that already once before? Well, it’s true, and if you’ve been at this bagpipes thing for any length of…

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