Tips • News • Products • And a Tune!
This time of year it's hard to keep people's attention on piping and improvement when the weather is a challenge, the pipes work less well, and the outdoor contests are a long way off. This is true for many types of activity, and one of the things we've done in the past is to try the "30-day Challenge." Play your band instrument and music (or solo tunes) every day for at least 30 minutes. If you can get the band to "buy in," this makes a huge difference in the way the band sounds in January!
We've started the challenge on January 1st, and it's a great way to launch the new year of band work, and gets everyone fired up early in the season. Another thing you can do is organize your practice, so that you have a list of the music to rehearse, and a journal of what you have been working on. Have an issue in a tune when you practice? Make a note in your journal, and then come back to that next time on the practice chanter to work it out.
If you're taking a break over Christmas, one thing you can do is to monitor the moisture levels of your instrument and reeds to make sure they don't dry out. Don't be afraid to change the Tone Protector moisture pack if it's not maintaining 84%. Best thing is to keep a little air going through them.
At Reelpipes.com, we have over 50 years experience, including Grade 1 bands across 5 decades, from the 1970s to 2018. We have products and services that can help you achieve the improvements you want over the winter ahead. Feel free to email or call to discuss your needs.
Each year we put together a list of products that could make suitable gifts for the piper or drummer in your life. From a new of pipes under the tree, to some music flashcards, a new pair of sticks, some music...it's all there.
Jordan Bailie is one of the World's leading tenor drummers, with many band and solo championships to his credit. Jordan's tenor sticks are being played by a number of top corps, including his own "Inveraray and Distict Pipe Band." We have these tenor sticks coming in a few colours. Watch the site for their addition, or get in touch if you'd be interested in a band set.
The Bagpipeskin Hedgehog is an excellent, backpack-style pipe case that features comfort padding, excellent storage, a rain cover, and many extras. It has good space inside, holds the pipes securely while being carried, and delivers premium options at a reasonable price.
The Hedgehog is built with hard-board structure, is excellent for storage and protection with 10mm of high-density and supportive foam.
The case has durable outer materials, featuring strong fabric, mostly used in suitcases. There are two carrying handles, one on the top and one on the side. The length of backpack strap can be adjusted & hidden.
The inside features include a bag pocket in the front panel. Easily access pockets on both sides fit for spare reeds, hemp, tuner and accessories etc. The drone velcro strap fix the pipes during transport. Soft fabric used for inside avoid scratches to the bagpipe and other accessories.
• NEW FEATURES : Small pocket on the strap. You can store you key, cards etc inside the strap pocket. Extra padding in lower area to carry more comfortable. Brush-holder : Hook and holder for your drone brush. You can place you drone brush and take off quickly and tidy.
Free separate pocket, chanter tube and rain cover inside the case. Outer dimensions in inches: 28" x 11" x 8".
Reelpipes.com special introductory price- $129
We have Fred Morrison bellows-blown Scottish smallpipes in A. Get these great pipes with no delay! We also have good stock of MK Low D Whistles, including this beautiful red one!
The MK Pro whistles are tuneable, and we also have a less-expensive but equally great-sounding MK "Kelpie" which is not tuneable, but still sounds amazing.
If you are looking for pipes for Christmas, let us know! The FM smallpipes are brilliant, and they are ready for shipping!
Need Highland pipes? We have several sets in stock, including Strathmore and MacRae.
Want to get a set going? Get in touch!
For years, we've used handmade flashcards to help people learn notes, note values and movements, and over the last year we've developed a custom set of Piper's Flash Cards to serve a s a fun learning tool for individuals and groups. Each set comes with 100 cards,covering all the notes, note values, and movements. Theses are great for learning and preparing for piping exams, and they can be used a few different ways.
We have a great stock of practice chanters: the plain black in child, regular and large sizes, as well as coloured chanters, traditional chanters and some fancy, high-end chanters with machine-engraved mounts and blackwood bottoms. We carry tutor books, drums stick and pads.
The 2018 Glenfiddich Championship featured an historic father/son combo of renowned Gold Medallist Bruce Gandy and his son, Alex Gandy. Alex won the Silver Star for Former Winners MSR at Inverness this year, and thus earned a berth in piping's most prestigious event, alongside Bruce, who has appeared in the event many times.
Both Alex and Bruce are playing the Gandy chanter, which is a McCallum solo chanter made to their specifications, and it's been a very successful year for them and other top pipers choosing to play the chanter. We often have them in stock, both in the poly and Blackwood versions.
Designed by professional piper Jori Chisholm, this is the world’s first digital chanter cap with two-way humidity control technology.
Stabilize your tone and tuning. Protect your reed from changing weather conditions. Get a consistently great sound every time you play. Anywhere in the world. Save money and hassle with reeds that last 3 to 4 times longer. Play more. Tune less.
The Tone Protector has been an instant winner in this environment, and I’ve found my solo pipes to almost not need tuning. They stay stable for long periods of time, and—best of all—they come out of the case pretty much ready to play...
This product was used by many of the top players and bands in Scotland this past summer. The response has been amazing, and the product is living up to its hype.
We have a large stock of bags in various sizes by James Begg (sheepskin, cowhide), Bannatyne (most sizes in stock) and Canmore, i hybrid hide/synth which is a great bag, and the one used by Fred Morrison.
• Bellows Pipes Bag - this special bag was designed by Reelpipes.com and made by James Begg for smallpipes and reelpipes. (sizes available: small, regular)
Drumsticks by Steven McWhirter, Jim Kilpatrick (KP2) and Stephen Creighton!
The legendary Alex Duthart's Collection (2 books) has not always been easy to get, but we're making it as easy as possible! These are books that every serious Highland snare drummer needs to own, study and play.
We also have starter kits for snare drummers, with an excellent pair of drum sticks and a practice pad.
• G1 Platinum - This reed is favoured by many bands in all grades for the quality and consistency they deliver, and they go well in a variety of chanters.
• Chesney - The majority of Grade 1 prizewinning bands play Chesney reeds [Inveraray, Field Marshal, SLOT...] and they do so because they really are good. In our experience, they may be a little harder to manage in dry/high climates, but deliver a broad rich sound when managed well.
• Melvin - Adrian Melvin turned his years of top Grade 1 experience into making chanter and drone reeds, and his reeds are being played by ScottishPower Pipe Band, who have had a superb season. A recent re-tooling/design has made the reeds easier to blow, with the same great sound.
• Troy and MacLellan - JWT Reedmakers and Colin MacLellan both make excellent reeds suitable for solo and band, and you'll find that many of the world's top soloists are playing one or the other.. Need a great piobaireach high G? Look no further.
• DRONE REEDS - Ezeedrone, Selbie, Henderson and Canning drone reeds ready to go!
This is by no means a "new" tune, but we're thinking it will be new to many of you. Many years ago, I purchased a very old book of Scots music at a used bookseller in Glasgow. The Songs of Scotland, Volume I (1877) has a fantastic selection of music collected in the 19th century. This tune I arranged for piping students, and it makes a great slow or fast strathspey, and is easy to launch as a reel also, In short, it's a tunme that has some dot/cut challenge, and lots of possibilities for performing.
Reelpipes.com [Iain MacDonald] spent a weekend in Alberta working with the Grande Prairie Pipe Band, and it was great to see what a unique and great group they have there. Many of the concepts presented in recent newsletters were reinforced with the band as we worked on their competition and performance tunes for Scotland 2019.
The Saskatchewan Highland Gathering and Celtic Festival for 2019 is getting organized, and we're looking forward to seeing a strong contest in all grades. The Mid-Winter Celtic Festival is coming up in February, and details are going to be announced shortly. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at both these events. Interested in a session for your band? Get in touch.