Choosing the right set of bagpipes requires careful consideration to acquire an instrument to best suit your needs. This guide will help you through the process of ordering your set of R.G. Hardie & Co. bagpipes. We pride ourselves on our strong sense of history, quality materials and experienced craftmanship. R. G. Hardie & Co. bagpipes can be found on the shoulders of generations of the world’s top champion pipers. Before purchasing Highland Bagpipes, you should establish what stage or level you are currently at. If you are already playing bagpipes and you are looking for an upgrade or second set, please download our buyer's guide to begin your bagpipe experience with us.
The Practice Chanter
A beginner piper will first learn finger positioning, embellishments and simple tunes on a practice chanter before they progress to bagpipes. Practice chanters come in different sizes, starting with the junior which is suitable for children up to the age of 10 years old. The choice of chanter size also depends on the size of your fingers; therefore, children may progress to a standard or long chanter before 10 years old.
Our standard and long chanters will suit all ages and abilities. The difference between these is that the long chanter holes are spaced to match those of a pipe chanter whereas a standard chanter has a slightly smaller spread. Like bagpipes, the cost of a practice chanter is determined by the materials and accoutrements it is made from. All our chanters have a consistent quality of sound.
We strongly recommend learning using a reputable tutor book with an experienced instructor. We provide starter packs that include an R.G. Hardie practice chanter and a tutor book from the National Piping Centre. There are many accomplished bagpipe tutors spread throughout the world and with modern technology it is easier than ever to progress onto bagpipes through distance learning.
Twist-Trap Practice Pipes
The Highland Bagpipes are a majestic instrument synonymous with Scotland but played the world over. They are a physically demanding instrument requiring regular practice to keep the bag full and maintain a constant sound. We introduced Twist-Trap Practice Pipes to bridge the gap between the practice chanter and full highland bagpipes. They include a practice chanter that can be removed from the set and used for learning before progressing to playing the full set.
The pressure required to maintain the sound is much less compared to bagpipes, which helps to develop blowing technique. The set has a bass and tenor drone which sit across the front of your body, making drone tuning easier and more intuitive. To find out more, please visit our YouTube channel where we have produced a series of videos for you to enjoy.
Once you have accomplished playing tunes on a practice chanter or Twist-Trap Practice Pipes, you are now ready to research your first set of bagpipes. We hope you find this guide helpful in finding out what we have to offer, as well as practical information on customising the set to suit your requirements.