As well as playing the Highland Bagpipes, I also play a several other types of pipes. I regularly get asked about them, so I thought I would explain a little about the different instruments…
These are the iconic pipes of Scotland, universally recognised throughout the world, and the most common for of bagpipes. These are probably what most people imagine when they think of bagpipes. I currently play a set of Niall bagpipes.
These pipes are similar in sound to the Highland pipes, but are a quieter and more suited to an indoor setting. They are bellows blown, much like the Uilleann pipes, and are fully chromatic, making them a lot more versatile than the Highland pipes. Although these types of pipes were common in the 19th Century, the virtually died out during the 20th, and have only recently started gaining popularity again.
These are my favourite types of pipes, and set type I generally play the most. They are my instrument of choice whenever I am playing with Òr ceilidh Band or other musicians.
I play Hamish Moore border pipes, and occasionally Garvie border pipes. Both are great makers, and should be your first port of call if you are interested in starting to play Border pipes.
Scottish smallpipes are a sweet sounding type of pipes that are excellent for playing in small rooms or whenever a more mellow tone is required. They are bellows blown, just like the border pipes, but are a lot quieter and have a very different sound.
Again, I play Hamish Moore smallpipes.
I also play a variety of different whistles and am currently learning to play the Irish flute as well. I play a variety of different whistles, including Susato whistles, Abel whistles and Deerness whistles