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    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…

    Read More

  • 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…

    Read More

  • 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…

    Read More

  • pipehacker_piobandpancakes2

    Found! Early Copy of Donald MacLeod’s Piobaire...

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Some time before PM Donald MacLeod’s seminal piobaireachd album “Positively Piobaireachd” become known, “wee Donald” tested the piping market with this early release “Piobaireachd & Pancakes,” an album…

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes Podcast: “Cuaich Side”

    Friday, February 6, 2015

    This episode’s tune is “Cuaich Side,” a rather modern sounding reel from the nineteenth century composed by William MacDonald. William MacDonald was a premier piper of the middle…

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes: “The Last Day of the Year”

    Wednesday, December 31, 2014

    The end of another year approaches. It is an old Scottish tradition on Hogmanay, the last day of the year, to build a large fire and cast in…

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  • pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

    Small Tunes: “Christmas Carousing”

    Friday, December 19, 2014

    “Christmas Carousing” is a tune that captures the spirit of the yuletide holidays with no mysterious double meanings in its title. It is what it says on the…

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  • onejudgetoomany_pipehacker

    Pipehacker Gift Guide 2014: Lost Bagpipe Music C...

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    Copies of One Judge Too Many are extremely rare. Those who posses one keep it safe and hidden. Luckily, Morrinen’s sister has released the last previously unknown case…

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Jul
14

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30 Days and 30 Minutes to Becoming a Stronger Bagpiper. Go!

ArnoldSchwarzenegger

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 what is the most important thing that will lead to improvement: Physical Exercise.

A previous series of posts here at Pipehacker.com, “Be a Stronger Piper” deals with this very issue. As I wrote in “Be a Stronger Piper, Literally,” it’s clear that good tonal production on the bagpipe requires no small amount of physical stamina and exertion. Being a stronger bagpiper is not just about stronger fingers and better quality playing, it is about being a stronger bagpiper, literally. The best part? It’s really simple.

Being in good physical condition is one of those easy, obvious things we can all do to improve our quality of life. But it’s not just about feeling good and improving your health, it carries a side benefit of making you a more fit piper as well. Long playing sessions, band practices, and endless competition can take its physical toll. Here we are, 30 days from the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. That is four weeks to put yourself in the shape you need for a grueling day on Glasgow Green—not too late to bring your body up to a level with noticeable improvement. Here is a modified version of “The Piper’s Power Workout” from the above-mentioned post that, if done daily for 30 minutes each day, can put you in the right condition to get you through the remainder of your competition season. Obviously, if you’re not used to doing regular physical activity, some caution is in order. It’s not a contest. Do what you can and don’t force anything. Stick with it and the gains will come more quickly than you think. If you are already in good condition, this is an excellent maintenance workout for the piper on the go. Read More

Jul
3

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Small Tunes Podcast: “Saint Columba”

pipehacker_smalltunes_2014

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 and scholarship throughout ancient Ireland and Scotland. Download the set score and listen to the podcast for more historical background, as well as a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.

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Projects

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…

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…

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