Budget Bagpipes?


I have not ever attempted the pipes, but have always loved the sound(grew up at the Renaissance Faire). These have a synthetic bag, though I have heard that leather bags can be problematic if not played regularly. My main question is, do you think it is possible to make a PLAYABLE set of pipes for so little money? I also see pipes coming from Pakistan for about the same money, leather and synthetic bags. So I am assuming that is where these have been made. Pretty decent price even if they are wall hangers.
I looked at pipes a while ago. In a lot of detail. Basically you get what you pay for, and pipes this cheap are fit for nothing more than cheap ornaments.

There's a lot of info on the web about pipes.

If you're reasnably keen, get a decent practice chanter and work on from there.
take it from me. Please, please please believe me, when I say that all bagpipes made in Sialkot(or thereabouts) in Pakistan are junk. Theyre junk. junk, junk, junk junk JUNK!

Ok go ahead: buy that pakistani highland bagpipe.
first thing you will find is that its impossible to play.
Then you will disassemble the blowpipe to inspect the check valve, which does not shut. You;ll adjust it, massage it, put goo on it, and it still wont be airtight.
Then you'll scope out the blowpipe bore..yep! as you suspected: burrs, splinters, very roughly bored out. So you'll shell out $200 for a hippity dippity hi tech, cost efective blowpipe from Canada with an integral neoprene valve.Problem 1 sorted.

Next you'll season the bag if its hide, only to discover the wonderful sensation of warm waxey, oatmeal-like formaldehyde substance oozing onto your left arm. if your bag is synthetic, then you will soon feel the joy of your own condensated exhalation on your nice new 400$ wool pipe band jacket. Then you''ll discover the hi tech hippity dippity treated hide or zippered airtight space age fabrice the rest of us use, starting at $250, $300 USD. (how much didja pay for that Sialkotty pipe again?)

Ok so now youve got a functional blowpipe and an airtight bag. Onto the chanter :Line2::Space2::Line3::Space3::Line4::Space4::Space5::Line6: :) ok, yeah fingering that ok, check, wht dosent it sound as written??? Why is my octave a flat ninth? :-? Ok lets try that OTHER included chanter reed..hmmm this is not the desired result. You'll contact a teacher, who will fiddel & fuss wioth your Sialkotty reed, finally in desperation give you one of his own. For a price. and conscription into the local pipeband. It ..kinda works.
OK so now youll go for it & turn the drones on! yaaay! oooo..this is tougher that I thought... why does this drone keep shutting off?!?! Why cant I tune these two tenors to a unison....boy that bass droné's hard to blow...omg i need a drink...and why are these nifty rings falling off the top of the drones..theyr not supposed to do that are they? So you will go and get a hi tech hippity dippity set of composite drone reeds (starting price $130) for your Sialkotty pipes, and they drones still wont lock into tune. Hmmm check'n out the bores.... yep! all rough, burrs, wow how DID the get it to curve like that? must be some kinda special bore drill bit...better take a rattail file to that one...

If you care to know, MEM pipes are produced in far from OSHA conditions, with foot treadle lathes turning fresh, soft sandalwood that is never left to season for years and harden becoming resilient like the natural hardwood used for real highland pipes. Even delrin is far more stable than the wood Sialkot uses

Theres a legendary tale among us about a would-be-piper that didnt heed the advice, and went and purchased a set of MEM (middle-eastern-manufacture) pipes. Turned out that one of the tenor drone sections was not completely bored through.
Listen, Pipes are tough enough to pick up. Start with gear that works. Gibson, Dunfion, McCallum, there are DOZENS of entry level pipemakers. Yes, it costs considerably more, but if you want a more than a wall ornament, and are genuinely interested in producing Celtic bagpipe music, then MIM pipes are NOT the way to go.

If you want to play middle eastern, or authentic Pakistani music, then fine. But by the time you get your MIM pipes up and running, it is likely you will have spent the cost of a genuine, quality Highland Bagpipe. IMHO, fwiw.
lol...Point well taken. I guess this falls into the to good to be true category.
:emoji_relaxed: your a good sport!


this news clip is once again circulating on the bagpipe circuit.
in particular check out 0:35 - 0:55 .

here's a few random samples of the wonders of Sialkotti pipes:



Admittedly, it really does express their own particular pipe repertoire quite well. Playing Pakistani tunes on a good-going Scots pipe is, well, less than the desired effect.

If they made, sold & marketed these pipes to their own domestic needs, AS their own indigenous instrument, no one would really notice.

But passing them off cheaply worldwide as "better than the real thing" is an untruth that's simply offensive to most pipers.

Good luck in your bagpipe journey.
Aggh! I see what your saying. Even to my untrained ear, I can here the drones are 1/2 to a full step out of tune compared to a traditional scottish pipe. Yea, sounds more like a battle o' the snake charmers than good pipe music. lol

At least they weren't playing Amazing Grace. lol
Agreed most emphatically! As a long time player of the instrument myself, I can confirm that one should stay WELL away from those Sialkot made, merchant row nightmares. Rather than write an entire diatribe on the subject (which I have done many times in the past elswhere), I'll refer interested parties over to he premier site for things Bagpipes, especially the Great Highland Bagpipe:


A few hours of reading through the archives there will give you an education on the topic.
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