• Letcher as Bosky Man on Bonfire Night

    Tripping into Parallel Realities Via Bagpipes

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

    And why not? As Andy Lechter, in an article from Vice.com, says about bagpipes: “They’re a trance instrument, playing simple, barbaric, repetitive tunes until everyone is in a…

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  • stage

    Hacking Bagpipe Competitions: Create a Meaningfu...

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    The first round of the Bagadou championships was held in Brest, Brittany a couple of weeks ago. An amazing event. The contest features the top level bagad ensembles…

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  • oldmusic

    5 Steps to Building Your Bagpipe Music Repertoir...

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Developing one’s musicianship as a solo bagpiper or pipe bandsman can be hard work, and it’s easy to fall back on the competitive music that demands so much of our time to polish. But, as musicians, we owe it to ourselves to develop a broader view.

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  • bullseye

    The 3-Step Path to Better Bagpipe Goals: “...

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    The fall and winter months are the perfect time for setting musical goals and developing and building skills to improve your bagpiping. Sometimes though, setting goals can be…

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  • ManBarrelSpyglassW

    5 Tips to Get You Searching Bagpipe Tunes With P...

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    We pipers love the latest and greatest music produced by our favorite soloists and pipe bands, don’t we? We want to play the same exciting stuff we hear….

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  • oldmusic

    Hack Your Learning: 5 Places to Expand Your Musi...

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Those of us who try hard at this Highland bagpipe thing for a decent length of time will realize that it is not enough to simply consider oneself…

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  • 276365372_4ed787ba09_o

    Cracking the Millstone II: Long Live Bagpipe Com...

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Go back and read Part I: Bagpipe Competitions are Dead The merry-go-round goes round and round… The sheer monotony of bagpipe competition here in the US can wear…

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  • 276365372_4ed787ba09_o

    Cracking the Millstone, Part I: Bagpipe Competit...

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    It’s spring approaching summer here in the eastern US. And you know what that means? That means the Highland games and bagpipe competition circuit has begun in earnest….

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Small Tunes Podcast: “He’s O’er the Hills That I Love Well”


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.” This tune has circulated through the British Isles and through every possible musical idiom for the last 300 years plus. Today, I bring you that old melody as it comes by way of the north of Scotland as “He’s O’er the Hills that I Love Well.” Download the set score and listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.





Small Tunes Podcast: “Deirdre’s Lament”


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 melody from Ireland based on the tale “The Lamentation of Deirdre for the Sons of Usneach,” an extremely old story that is part of the “Ulster cycle” of Irish mythology. The melody of this tune is considered by some to be the oldest piece of Irish music in existence. Download the score and listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition on the bagpipe.




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.


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…


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…


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 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 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…


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…


The Salvaged Wood Smallpipe

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fellow bagpipe addict and pipehacker-in-training Johnny L. stopped by for a visit recently and he is the first recipient of the “Pipehacker DIYB award.” OK, I made that…

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