There is no more distinctive sound than that of the bagpipes. Whether you are a soloist or play with fellow musicians, it is important to consider some key things when looking to buy your next set of bag pipes.
To help make your search a bit easier, we at Windysounds compiled a list of the 8 best bagpipes on the market. Keep reading to get more information.
8 Best Bagpipes Reviews
1. Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe by AC Kilts
- Synthetic bag covered in black velvet, 30 x 12 inches
- Rosewood blowstick and tubes are highly durable
- Brass mounts with a vibrant golden finish helps protect against moisture
- Accessories include a Synthetic Drone Reed Set, Cane Drone Reed Set, 2 Cane Pipe Chanter Reeds, and 1 Patrice Chanter with Reed
- Hard carrying case for protection for travel and storage
- Tutor Book is a great reference guide
The Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe boasts a classic look that pays tribute to the instruments place throughout history. With all this instrument has to offer, it is one of the best Scottish bagpipes found on the market today.
- Ideal weight and balance allows you to play comfortably for longer periods of time
- Top quality professionally sounding instrument
- Consumers are quite happy with the value that this complete package brings
- Price may not fit every player’s budget
- Consumers would prefer more padding inside the carrying case for better protection
2. Great Highland Bagpipe by Colombo Traders
- Attractive design that includes a black velvet air bag cover
- Black cord with practice chanter
- Includes tutor book to help you learn more quickly
- Comes with hard case with a beautiful red velvet lining, providing maximum protection against damage during travel and storage
The Great Highland bagpipes are the most commonly thought of set of bagpipes, and this instrument from Colombo Traders will not disappoint. A full size bagpipe set, this instrument is a great fit for the avid player.
- Produces a great sound quality
- Consumers love the overall design and aesthetic of the instrument
- An instrument that grows with player as he/she achieves higher skill levels
- A newer brand that is not established in the industry
- May not be ideal for beginner players
3. Professional Scottish Highland Bagpipes by McWilliams
- Wood construction provides an attractive look and warm tone
- FNS mounts are high quality construction features
- Black velvet cover for bag
- Includes a hard case for safe and easy transport and storage
A brilliant instrument from a well-known and highly trusted brand, the professional Scottish highland bagpipes is easy to maneuver and learn. Lightweight and comfortable to play for most body types, you will experience minimal fatigue during extended performances or practice sessions.
- Players adore the design of this instrument
- The balance of these bagpipes make for comfortable use
- This is a tunable instrument, a highly coveted feature by serious musicians
- Some players have not 100% satisfied with the quality of the sound that is produced by this set
- These bagpipes may not be ideal for intermediate and professional players
4. Scottish Bagpipe Natural Color by AAR
- Silver mounts with nickle plating are attractive and durable
- High quality synthetic bag
- Tartan variety allows you to tailor the instrument to your specific tastes
- Accessories include 1 Synthetic Drone Reed Set, 1 Cane Drone Reed Set, 1 Cane Pipe Chanter Reed, 1 Practice Chanter with Reed
- Hard carrying case included along with tutor and assembly book
One of Scotland’s great highland bagpipes, this instrument provides a great sound with an attractive appearance. Comprised of a smooth and glossy outside finish, this instrument comes with a variety of tartans to choose from.
- Consumers love the ability to choose their tartan
- Full size pipes that are highly attractive and produce a great sound
- Durable and easy to use
- May not be suitable for players with a smaller stature
5. Junior Bagpipes by Championslegacy
- Miniature size bagpipes that are perfect young children
- Construction is 100% acrylic, allowing the instrument to stand up to everyday wear and tear
- Rosewood pipes mimic those instruments used by professionals
- Purchase includes 2 Reeds offering options for young children to learn from
These junior bagpipes by Championslegacy are a great instrument for children to learn on. Perfectly size for kids, this lightweight and easy to maneuver instrument will help your little one fall in love with this unique legacy of the bagpipes.
- Players love the look and quality of these child-size bagpipes
- A great way to introduce kids to the instrument
- Ideal for younger children to learn on
- An instruction manual is not included with purchase of these bagpipes
- Some children may take longer to learn how to produce a sound
6. Scottish Bagpipe in Rosewood or Black Finish by AAR
- Available in Rosewood or Black finish with silver mounts
- Various tartan choices allow you to pick a look that suits your specific pesonality
- Smooth and glossy outside finish is sure to catch anyone’s eye
- Standard sized synthetic bag is comfortable and allows for easy maintenance
Another favorite bagpipe instrument, this AAR Scottish bagpipe is available in Rosewood or black finish. A gorgeous set that is ideal for a newcomer to playing the bagpipes. This all-in-one set provides everything you need to learn the unique features of bagpipe playing.
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- These bagpipes boast a classic look and design that is visually appealing to most buyers
- Consumers appreciate that you can choose your perfect style and color tartan
- Everything you need to learn the instrument is included, making it an ideal buy for the beginner player
- May not produce the best sound for intermediate or professional players
- This instrument may lack overall quality and durability
7. Kids Bagpipe by iLuv
- Minature size for young children
- Includes reed and black watch tartan
- Helps children learn proper air flow and control to produce sound
A miniature set of bagpipes, this instrument from iLuv is a great way for children to learn the bagpipes. It is designed to produce sound in an easy and fun way. Considered to be “bagpipes for dummies”, this set is constructed to teach your child the the proper way to blow air into the instrument.
Additionally, your child will learn the right finger placement as well as how to hold the instrument to produce a sound and play correctly.
- Authentic looking with fun, vibrant colors
- A great starter instrument for kids
- Teaches basic bagpipe skill set for young learners
- Sound produced is not the same sound from regular size bagpipes
- May be more ideal for decoration that playing after learning the basics of the instrument
8. Great Highland Bagpipe by AJW
- An attractive Rosewood bagpipe painted in black with ivory-like featured components
- Craftmanship boast high quality and durability
- Synthetic bag is airtight with Royal Stewart tartan cover and cord
- Include practice chanter, spare reeds and instruction booklet
This instrument from AJW is a great set of beginner bagpipes. Full size pipes that include an instruction booklet, these Great Highland pipes are an ideal way to become familiar with the techniques involved with playing this instrument.
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- All in one set, ideal for newcomers to the instrument
- Solid construction is highly durable
- Tutor manual include is one of the best guides for beginners
- Carrying case included is soft and may not offer the best protection of the instrument
- Some musicians find these to be somewhat bulky
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BEST BAGPIPES
Size and Dimensions
Bagpipes are an extremely personal instrument, meaning your personal stature and body type has a large impact on the type of bagpipes that match your specific stature. When shopping, take into account the overall height and length of the instrument.
Additionally, you should examine the diameter of the bag on the bagpipes. Your chest measurements and arm length will greatly affect your comfort while playing. Consequently, the size of the bag may hinder your ability to produce quality sounds.
Too large a bag may be difficult to maneuver. While too small of a bag will require more air flow, resulting in breathlessness.
Finally, you should consider the length of the blowstick when purchasing your instrument.
The blowstick should be comfortable to play while complimenting your personal blowing technique.
It is necessary to sure that the blowstick is in proportion to your height. If too long or short, the blowstick can prove difficult to play and may even result in injury after prolonged playing.
If you are a beginner, you will want to choose a set of bagpipes that is tailored for first time play.
These instruments take a lot of air flow and control to play properly, so it is important that you select the appropriate size and quality when just starting out. In addiiton, it is highly recommended that you purchase your first set from a retailer that is known for the instrument and from a quality brand.
More experienced bagpipe players are typically more familiar with the specific nuances of the instrument.
Therefore, purchasing bagpipes from a discount retailer or more unfamiliar brand would be more appropriate.
Quality brands and makers
As with any instrument, the quality level of construction will have a heavy impact on your overall sound.
Thus, it is imperative that you consider the best bagpipe brands when purchasing your instrument. Below is a small of list of what we at Windysounds consider to be the best bagpipe makers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BAGPIPES
What type of bagpipes should I buy?
The most well-known bagpipes are the Great Highlands bagpipes and are what most people picture when they think about the instrument.
However, there are several different kinds of bagpipes available; including Border, Great Irish Warpipes and Uilleann bagpipes. Each has a unique sound and construction; which should be taken into consideration.
When deciding on the best fit for you personally, consider each types unique feature and how they fit with your personal stature and playing style. In addition, consider how each type fits with your local band’s sound.
What is the best way to store and care for my bagpipes?
The best and easiest way to keep up your bagpipes is to play them regularly; as this prevents drying of the joints. Much of the instrument is contructed of wood and fabric, and consequently can be damaged by moisture and chipped easily.
Storage of your bag ppes should be in a cool, dry area in a hard or other moisture-proof type case.
Some players have also found that wrapping their pipes in standard household towels when placing them inside the case can help to protect the instrument against damages and keep them free from moisture.
Be sure to check your bag regularly for leaks and to swab out the chanter after every practice and performance.
Why does my ocarina have airy high notes?
An airy high not on an ocarina can be happening for a variety of reasons. First, and most commonly, there is dirt in the windway. Second, you could not be blowing hard enough to get the full tone out of the instrument.
Ocarinas can have an airy sound naturally, and as you become more familiar with the instrument, you should be able to determine how to fix an airy note.
How long does it take to learn to play the pipes?
As with learning any instrument, the length of time it takes to hit a performance level is predicated upon the practice habits and dedication that you are will to devote to the instrument. Typically, most students will be ready for performance between 6 and 12 months.
Although the vast array of pipes and complex design of the bagpipes can be intimidating, they are not very difficult to learn. All you need is dedication and good practice habits to become a bagpipe performer.
What materials should I look for in my bagpipes?
Delrin bagpipes are a common material used in bagpipes due to their durability. Bagpipes constructed with this material are typically very well-made and will product a great sound.
Wooden bagpipes are also acceptable instruments as their are highly efficient and produce a warm tone.
In addition, you should consider the bagpipe bag material. This material should be quite sturdy and offer manageable control during play. Although cheaper and requiring less maintenance, most serious players shy away from synthetic bag materials.
Natural materials are typically more durable However, a synthetic bag may be acceptable for bagpipes if it is a thick or hybrid material.
Finally, the material used to build the blowstick is another vital part to consider with bagpipes. These components are typically made from Rosewood or a wood/FNS mounts combination.
The aesthetics of the instrument will vary depending upon what material the blowstick is made of. Durability of the blowstick can also be affected by its construction, making it a vital consideration during your instrument review.
MAKING YOUR DECISION
Bagpipes are a fun and interesting way to bring a bit of music, culture and history into your world.
It is a unique and special instrument, but one that can come with intimidating features to consider when looking to purchase a set. We at Windysounds believe the perfect set of bagpipes is easy to find if you know what key features to look for during your shop around.
We highly recommend the McWilliams Professional Scottish Highland Bagpipe. It is the best choice for bagpipers of any skill level and is one of the best bagpipes around. This well-designed instrument contains all the right features.
It is deal for any adult player from a novice to a professional and is sure to produce a high quality sound to add to any performance.
For a child looking for an introduction to the instrument, we recommend purchasing the Junior Bagpipes by Championslegacy.
The ideal size for a young child, these bagpipes will teach your child the basic techniques and skills of the instrument in a fun and adorable way. Before long, your child will be performing for you and your loved ones at every holiday.
If you are interested in learning more about bagpipes, or any other wind instrument, please each out to us at https://windysounds.com/. Wishing you best of luck with your bagpipes and as always, Happy playing!