We have quite a few new products in stock, and while 2020 has been very hard on the piping and pipe band community overall, there have been some positive developments with people having extra time to complete projects.
There have also been many online initiatives, including music schools, workshops, recitals and competitions. The latest was the Glenfiddich Piping Championship, featuring 10 of the very best pipers. The ultimate winner was Stuart Liddell, who won playing a set of his Duncan MacRae Bagpipes (always in stock). Stuart won with a 2nd prize in each of the events, with Jack Lee winning the piobaireachd and Willie McCallum the MSR, all playing McCallum products. Of course, all the pipers were great on the day, and R.G. Hardie products were well to the fore with Callum Beaumont and Connor Sinclair both playing sets of Peter Henderson Heritage pipes with an Infinity chanter, and Bruce Gandy sounding so good on his namesake Gandy pipe chanter from McCallum. These top-level instruments are all available at Reelpipes.com, and with face-to-face band practice off for a few months yet, it’s a great time to get your solo sound going.
Interest remains high in the Fred Morrison line of pipes, including reelpipes, smallpipes and uilleann pipes. If you’ve ever wanted to get into the uilleann pipes, now is an excellent time, because sets are readily available. Delivery is measured in weeks rather than years for these, and the quality and service are exceptional.
We’re coming up to the holidays, and now is the time to start organizing gifts for your favourite piper or drummer. We have excellent products in a variety of price ranges, from equipment such as practice chanters and drum sticks, to things such as music books, learning materials and more! Buying for the collector? We have a whole section of “Scottish interest” books and collectibles, from old LPs to post card sets, Britain’s soldiers to Bannockburn tea trays! Not sure what would be right? Send us a note or give a call and we’ll do our best to help.
We also have information on upcoming classes/events, so be sure to check that out!
I Piped, That She Might Dance by Iain MacDonald, with a foreword by Hugh Cheape, is an historical novel based on the life of Angus MacKay (1813-1859), first Piper to the Sovereign, appointed by Queen Victoria. Mackay, who is one of the most significant figures in the history of Scottish music, died after a long battle with physical and mental illness, though he left behind collections of pipe music still played today. This account of his life traces his long journey, from humble origins on the isle of Raasay to the height of fame in Her Majesty's service and beyond. His story is one that has long deserved to be told, and Iain MacDonald has obliged in style.
Pre-order here: https://www.blackwaterpress.com/books
Eat, Sleep, PIPE, Repeat. Kyle is a well-known composer and performer with FMM and also the Red Hot Chili Pipers, and his tunes are played by a number of top bands.
This great new collection features tunes and arrangements perfect for the band medley, the solo ceilidh set, or your next competition.
Performance: Delivering Your Own Awesome,
An easy-to-read, non-statistical guide to "Delivering Your Own Awesome" in music, sport and other competitive aspects of life, this book provides an understanding of what performance actually is by outlining four key steps: practice, rehearsal, performance and, finally, moving forward.
The William Gunn Collection – hard cover
Donald MacLeod Collection – hard bound
The Scots Guards Collection, Volume 1
Alex Duthart – Book 1
First published in 1987, this book is 42 pages of description, exercises, rudiments, and almost another 50 pages of drum scores. The legendary Alex Duthart is thought by many to be the greatest pipe band snare drummer of all time, and was instrumental in bringing pipe band snare drumming forward in terms of technique and musicality.
We have MANY books in stock, including favourites such as Terry Tully, Bill Livingstone, Michael Grey, Neil Dickie, Iain MacCrimmon and more!
Check the website for the complete picture!
Alex Duthart – Book 2
First published in 1988, this book is 42 pages of of drum scores, and includes a biography and dicography of Alex. The legendary Alex Duthart is thought by many to be the greatest pipe band snare drummer of all time, and was instrumental in bringing pipe band snare drumming forward in terms of technique and musicality.
After a number of years developing the instrument, and then refining the reeds, tuning and mechanics, Fred Morrison and McCallum Bagpipes have practice, half and full sets of uilleann pipes, and we at Reelpipes.com are proud to be able to offer these pipes to our customers. Fred's pipes are based on his Dave Williams set.
I have had a full set for a year now, and the pipes have been brilliant. I first started uilleann pipes in 1983, and although I have played off and on for years, I was fully energized when I started working on the half set of Fred's pipes. They worked and stayed in tune 100% out of the box, and apart from working to maintain moisture in the dry Saskatchewan winter, there have been no issues.
The pipes are comfortable, easy-to-blow and beautiful to look at. A year ago I got regulators attached, and while this is still a personal learning curve for me, the mechanical function and tuning has been great, and the pipes are a daily joy.
Full details are available on the website. There are sets readily available...no 3-5 year wait, and pricing is extremely competitive in the uilleann pipes market. The pipes are also scaleable: you can easily start with a practice set and later add more components. Get in touch to discuss.
We have an excellent new product from MK—the Low F Kerry Whistle. This is a little higher than the Low D, and also significantly easier to play, with a very comfortable spread and the same, rich MK sound. The Kerry is the less-expensive model that has no tuning slide. It's a great, studio-quality instrument at an excellent price.
We also have the MK Kerry and Pro [tunable] models of the Low D whistle, and some stock of Chieftain whistles. Check out the website for details. We order them regularly, and the colours vary, but if you have a particular colour you’re interested in, we can get it for you.
Timing is tight for ordering a set of pipes for Christmas, but we do have a number of excellent bagpipes in stock that we can supply almost immediately! We’re happy to set them up completely “ready to play”‑‑just let us know what you have in mind!
Our in-stock bagpipes, include Peter Henderson, Duncan MacRae, McCallum, Strathmore AB1, and R.G. Hardie. We have a good used set of R.G. Lawrie bagpipes for sale, with those proceeds going to student scholarships at Sound Advice.
Callum Beaumont has been playing the new R.G. Hardie "Infinity" solo chanter, and Connor Sinclair has recently been added to the Hardie product development team. Connor is also playing this chanter with significant solo successes last season.
The Gandy version of the McCallum chanter continues to impress with very comfortable spacing and solid sound. Bruce Gandy and Alex Gandy have been playing them with great success.
And there are more! We've also supplied the McCallum Ceól chanter in poly and blackwood, the G1 Blackwood chanter and the Peter Henderson Blackwood solo chanter to pipers in the region, and customers are all reporting success. We also have some excellent R.G. Hardie MKII chanters, and the Willie McCallum MC2 solo chanter.
• Donald MacLeod's Complete Collection of Piobarieachd  - launched at PipingLive! last summer, this book brings together all Donald MacLeod's known tunes for the first time, in a handy A4 format.
• Capt. John A. MacLellan Collection - you will have heard some great recordings online of "The Edinburgh Piobaireachd" and other tunes from this 20th century master of piping. The collection comes with two CDs featuring top players performing the tunes on pipes.
• Joseph MacDonald "A Complete Theory.." - first published in 1803, this recent re-publication by the Piobaireachd Society includes a lot of great historical and contextual material about the music and the players.
• Donald MacDonald Collection, Volume 1 - published in 1828 by the great Skye-born bagpipe maker and collector, this Piobaireachd Society reprint has the tunes beautifully reproduced in clear notation, along with extensive historical and notes for playing. This is a great book for exploring the style favoured by this 19th-century great.
• General Principles of Piobaireachd: A Guide to Interpretation - the book includes background and information about the understanding and performing of piobaireachd, including accents, phrasing, tune structures, pacing, embellishments, and much more. As well, Andrew Wright gives concrete examples of how these concepts apply to some of the best-known tunes.
• The Piper's Meeting - this collection contains 45 piobaireachds from the famous Campbell Canntaireachd (1796), which was has been a major source of tunes since it was compiled. Many of the tunes have been inaccessible to modern pipers because the manuscript has not been widely available, and pipers are not as conversant with canntaireachd as they are with staff notation.
• The Kilberry Book of Ceol Mor - the Kilberry book contains 114 tunes, arranged by Archibald Campbell of Kilberry. This is an excellent starting point for many players. You will need a pencil and an experienced tutor to get the most out of this book.
• Sidelights to the Kilberry Book of Ceol Mor -they were first published by the Piobaireachd Society in 1984 and 1986 respectively, together with scores and notes relating to an additional ten tunes taken from the manuscript book and 'companion volume' compiled by Archibald Campbell in 1916, referred to in James Campbell's Editor's Preface.
• Piobaireachd Fingerwork - Jim McGillivray breaks the difficult technique of piobaireachd into bite-size morsels that are understandable and that come together into complete movements. There are 118 exercises and five complete piobaireachds to help you put the exercises into practice. All are recorded in mp3 files that are easily downloaded from a web location specified in the book.
• The History and Structure of Ceol Mor - First published in 1982, this handy reference offers histories of many tunes, as well as notes on phrase structure and note patterns that help make many tunes easier to memorize and understand.
There are some excellent practice chanters available at the moment from all the top makers, and we have a nice selection of Duncan MacRae, McCallum, and R.G. Hardie Twist-Trap chanters in stock. Need a basic plastic stick to get going? We have those too!
For the drummers, we have sticks by Steven McWhirter, Jim Kilpatrick (KP2), Stephen Creighton, Tyler Fry and Jordan Bailie! We also carry the Cameron drum pad in stock.
The Tone Protector™ Reed Case offers unparalleled protection for your most important and valuable pipe chanter reeds. Storing your reeds at a constant and precisely-chosen humidity level is the easiest and most powerful thing you can do to instantly improve your bagpipe sound. That’s exactly what the Tone Protector does.
We also have replacement Boveda moisture packs for your reed case and your Tone Protector!
We've always had an interest in vintage and collectible items related to piping and pipe bands. We have old LPs, vintage instruments, books and other Scottish items that you'll find interesting for your basement pub, piping room, or as a gift for a friend or family member. These are typically "one off" items that we find, and once they are gone...
• Scottish and clan prints
• Britain's soldiers figures
• vintage practice chanter, biscuit tins and tea towels
• Scottish books and LPs
Face-to-face events are off for the foreseeable future, but lots of organizations are offering events online. Here are a few.
SPBA Online Learning – November 21, 1-3 p.m.
The Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association is presenting online learning that is available to all who would like to register. The first session is for people teaching beginner pipers and drummers, and will be presented by James MacHattie and Chris Coleman of the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts.
The Clubhouse Sessions – Bruce Gandy – December 5
Join Bruce Gandy for one of his amazing piobaireachd workshops! Register in advance and he sends out music, tune notes and then in the session really pulls the tunes apart for a complete learning experience. Bruce is one of the modern masters of piobaireachd and teaching, and these are really excellent sessions.
Ten Piobaireachd – January, 2021
Join Conservatory Bagpipe instructor Iain MacDonald of Reelpipes.com in his new class, Ten Piobaireachd. This class will feature a new piobaireachd each week for 10 weeks. These are some of the smaller, more accessible tunes in the piobaireachd repertoire, but each presenting its own musical challenge. This class is ideal for newer and intermediate piobaireachd players. Visit the website for tunes and class details. https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/uregina/Activity_Search/6566
Piping Hot Summer Drummer Winter Weekend – February 26-28, 2021.
Join Jack Lee, J. Reid Maxwell, Stuart Liddell, Steven McWhirter, Callum Beaumont, Marielle Lespérance and the world-class instructional staff for an amazing weekend of inspired online instruction and performance in music and dance!
World Online Piping & Drumming Championships – these happen 3 or 4 times each year, and draw entries from across the globe. Watch for announcements on Facebook!
Do you have news you'd like to pass along? Want to ask about products or services? Just like talking about bands and bagpipes? : )