Aug
22

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Small Tunes Podcast: “Jack Ashore”

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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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Mar
28

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

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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.

pipehacker_hesoverthehillsthatilovewell

Projects

DIYsmallpipe3

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…

seasoningfunnel2

Pipehacker Tip: The DIY Pipe Bag Seasoning Funnel

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bagpipe bag seasoning is messy stuff. The wide mouth opening of your modern container of Airtight makes it an easy matter to make a clean pour into your…

reedcapsules7

Pipehacker Project: The Reed Capsule

Friday, March 11, 2011

Even though you now has a portable reed case (as well as minty fresh breath) you still have need to store, transport, or otherwise protect your chanter and…

reedcase10

Pipehacker Project: The Personal Reed Case

Friday, February 4, 2011

An enterprising bagpiper can accumulate a large number of chanter reeds over time. But once you find those choice bits of cane, what do you do with them?…

pipehackerpunch

Pipehacker Tip: Bagpipe Bag Hole Punch

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For those new to the hide bag tie-in, it has always been necessary to measure out and place the spots where your stocks will insert. A quarter-sized hole is then cut into the leather and the stock pushed through. The trick is always to get as round a hole as possible. The more perfectly circular the hole, the less likely it will be to tear when you push your stock through. The only way to do this well is to have an ideally sized “punch” to stamp out that hole.

flapper10

Pipehacker Project: The DIY Blowstick Valve

Friday, November 12, 2010

Are there any pipers left who remember the days of leather blowstick flapper valves? The little circles of old bag leather that dried up and had to be gnawed back to life in order to function? No? Well, once upon a time pipers had to make their own flapper valves to tie on to their blowpipes.

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Pipehacker Project: The Black Art of Black Wax

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back in the day, the gooey black bits of “cobbler’s wax” were oftentimes a melted mess in a piper’s maintenance kit awaiting their next turn at a strand of hemp. What is simply globs of pine resin and pitch (otherwise known by the scientific name “soot”), the stuff was crumbly, sticky, and infuriating at the same time but has always been ideal for sticking that first wrap of hemp on your pipe tenons. But what do you do when your chunk of black wax has crumbled to nothing?

reedcase4

Pipehacker Project: A Case for the Eyeglasses Drone Reed Case

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Over the years, I have acquired many sets of drone reeds. Right now, I’ve got two combination sets going for solo and band playing that comprise three different makes. It has been an ongoing challenge keeping them packed safe and sound while they are not being played or transported in my pipe case.

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