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Thread: Does anyone play the bagpipes?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2001
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    Eagle River, AK, USA
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    155

    Does anyone play the bagpipes?

    I am starting to take lessons. Anyone else play them or have an acquaintance who does? I am a C8 w/no abdominal muscles and some diminished diaphragm strength. It takes a lot of breathing to power the things. I am looking for any ideas on dealing w/that issue and any other chair issues that come w/the instrument (moving while playing, etc.).

    thanks
    JP

  2. #2
    I used to play the clarinet in middle school. Then I started smoking and getting involved in other bad behaviors and lost interest in it. I tried it again after 30 years of smoking and a T-5 SCI and I thought I was gonna pass out. It really got me dizzy!

    Anyway, I don't think bagpipes need as much air pressure as it takes to play a clarinet (??). There's only pressure in the bag when it's being squeezed. But if you have problems filling the bag you could assist yourself with a rechargable air pump or compressor. You could have someone install a tire valve into the bag. The important part is squeezing the bag and fingering the holes on the flute-like part. The down side is most of those compressors are pretty loud. But you could add a few feet of tubing onto the compressor and keep it under your wheelchair. Maybe wrap some sound insulating material around it.

    Can you can squeeze the bag with your arm/shoulder and do all your fingers work okay?

    I love to hear Danny Boy on the pipes!
    Last edited by bob clark; 10-05-2005 at 05:22 PM.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Eagle River, AK, USA
    Posts
    155
    Thanks for the input. My fingers are a bit impaired, but they work well enough to play so far. As to breath needed. You learn on a practice chanter, so no bag and lots of breathing. Once you are using a bag you do push on it to pressure 3 drones and a chanter, so technically the bag is doing the work, but you need to keep breathing in at the same rate the air is going out, so you are not getting ahead, from what I understand it is easier to time your breathing once you are on the actual pipes. I am hoping to build up enough stamina to not need to worry about any adaptions to the pipes.

    JP

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