In addition to being a private violin teacher and having a degree in music from USC, Alecia started writing music-related articles and product reviews six years ago and has enjoyed this experience greatly. She likes to learn new instruments and write new compositions in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners can enjoy really good music.
Last updated: October 06, 2023
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If you are a lover of music and you like challenges, then put getting a set of the best bagpipes on your bucket list! Admittedly, bagpipes are not the easiest instruments to play because it requires a lot of energy. However, once mastered, the rich tones of the bagpipes are hard to forget. The Scottish people fell in love with bagpipes and then made the world fall in love with the music. From then, bagpipes have gained popularity immersing the music into other cultures. Even to a non-musical person, the sound of some awesome bagpipes can inspire them to start playing.
Since the culture is spreading and more people are getting interested, it is important for people to understand the world of bagpipes. This includes understanding the various features available and the price ranges you can expect to find. There would be a difference between bagpipes intended for novices and those intended for seasoned players. One also needs to take note of the materials used and the dimensions of the bagpipes. In addition, the weight of the bagpipes may affect the comfort level of the piper, among other factors that will be expounded later on.
In a matter of days, we have poured our resources looking for information that would help both beginners and professionals. We have looked at various brands and their product so as to select only the best. Go through the comparison table and detailed reviews to see possible products. The buying guide will help you select the best bagpipes you can find in the market with all the necessary features.
The AC Kilts Scottish Great Highland Bagpipes are a sight to behold especially if you gravitate to antique-looking bagpipes. The set weighs 5.6lbs which is light enough for a piper to use comfortably. The bag is made from synthetic materials which mean less work for you as no breaking-in or seasoning is required. The synthetic bag is covered by black velvet with a matching gold fringe and cord colors.
In typical bagpipe fashion, the blowstick and tubes are made from Rosewood which is affordable. The blowstick and tubes in this set of bagpipes have gold-plated mounts that have been engraved. The glossy smooth finish is hard to ignore and protects the wood from moisture damage. These small details contribute greatly to the beauty of the bagpipes presented.
Additionally, the bagpipes come with a synthetic drone-reed set, 2 cane chanter reeds, and a cane drone reed set. The quality of these features is assured to provide optimal performance. Even when you look at the extra accessories you can tell that no detail was spared. The bagpipes come with their own carry case, a chanter with a free reed for practice, an assembly manual, joint hemp, and tutor book. With this set, it will be very easy to expand your skill as everything you need is provided.
In the case that you are a novice, then you need to look at the AJW Bagpipes Starter Kit. The 5.5lbs bagpipes measure approximately 40 x 20 inches which are adequately sized for a beginner to handle. The use of natural fibers when making bagpipes is dwindling, synthetic fibers are the new money-makers. The AJW Bagpipes Starter Kit is no different. It possesses a 30 X 12inches synthetic bag covered in a Mackenzie tartan material. This black material is also reflected on the Chord creating synchronicity with the silver nickel mounts.
The tubes and blowstick are made from basswood. The basswood has been given a smooth glossy finish to elevate its appearance and protect the wood.
To suite the beginner, they ensured that all the accessories needed to facilitate easy playing are provided. Aside from the standard synthetic drone reed set, the two cane pipe chanter reeds, the cane drone reed set, and practice chanter, other accessories were provided. You will find an assembly book, a tutor book, a durable carrying case, and, some joint hemp. Instead of spending extra money on all the extra accessories, the AJW brand took care of it for you.
What are its best features?
Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Comes with a carry case.
Provides all accessories needed to facilitate easy interactions.
Extra features: available in 5 colors, comes with synthetic drone reed set, cane drone reed set, 2 cane pipe chanter reeds, practice chanter with a reed, padded carrying case, bagpipe joint hemp, bagpipe tutor book, and assembly book
The AAR Scottish Full Size Bagpipes come in 5 colors that you can choose from. Full of Scottish pride, these bagpipes measure an estimated 40 x 20 inches and are not too heavy. Intended for beginners, the bagpipes come with all the accessories you may need to learn and maintain your instrument. Created out of rosewood the blowsticks and tubes are given silver mounts with a ferrule ring cap. You can choose to have the plain rosewood or select lustrous black finish depending on your tastes.
Instead of the bulky natural fibers, this model relies on a synthetic bag measuring 30 X 12 inches to provide continuous airflow to the pipes. The synthetic bag is then covered by a royal Stewart tartan colored fiber. Whichever color you select, the bag and its cord are designed to match.
As customers, we always look forward to getting free accessories. This full set of bagpipes comes with accessories of good quality. The accessories provided include a synthetic drone reed set, two-cane pipe chanter, assembly book, tutor book, cane drone reed set, practice chanter with a reed, joint hemp and finally a carrying case. The carrying case is not the most attractive but it is better than nothing. Besides the bagpipes are affordable therefore you get what you pay for.
If you were looking for quality bagpipes for a reasonable price then look no further than the AJW Bagpipes Set. Created for beginner, as well as seasoned players to use, the bagpipes are designed to withstand a bit of use. Weighing in at 5.5lbs and measuring 40 x 20 inches, a piper can play to his heart’s content without any strain.
Looking at the bagpipes, the tubes together with the blowsticks are made out of seasoned rosewood. Rosewood is a popular choice with manufacturers because of its affordability. The tubes and blowsticks have been given a black beaded glossy finish and silver mounts to add to the bagpipes character.
As mentioned before the use of synthetic fibers has taken over as synthetic fibers offer durability and low maintenance. The bagpipes possess a synthetic bag that is covered with a black watch tartan cover. The traditional cover color matches the cord provided and is strong to withstand wear and tear.
The AJW brand is never stingy with their accessories. They tend to provide many of the accessories needed like synthetic & clone drone reed sets, two practice reeds, a plastic chanter, Mantinuns Hemp, a tutor book, assembly book and finally the all-important carry case. With all these tools by your side, you can enjoy bagpipe music like never before.
Why are we impressed?
Sound quality is impressive for the price.
Comes with all the needed learning and assembly accessories.
If you’re a new piper, you want a new set of bagpipes for a clean and fresh start. Investing in bagpipes can be daunting because many people are unfamiliar with this enigmatic instrument. It’s natural to think that you need to buy a starter instrument and then work up to a professional-grade alternative later. But, this is not true, you can buy a good set of bagpipes that will last for many years as a beginner up to playing at a much higher level.
The TNYC Highland Bagpipe is a full-sized instrument with a 30” by 12” synthetic bag with a Royal Steward tartan cover. This matches the silver colored nickel mounts and the cord color has a black finish. TNYC have included a number of useful accessories, such as: a synthetic drone reed set, a cane pipe chanter reed, a cane drone reed set, a practice chanter with reed, a joint hemp, a tutor book, a padded carrying case and an assembly book. Although you can certainly upgrade to a fancier set of pipes later down the line you have everything you need included in this highland bagpipe set. This is a well-built instrument that should help you to learn and play at a competitive level of many years to come.
Why are we impressed?
Full size instrument at a great price point
Complete kit to get started
What negatives must you be aware of?
The plastic components feel a little cheap
Things to Consider
Buying bagpipes can be a simple process if you know what to look for. By reading the guide below, you can discover some of the features to look out for. If you are a novice, you’ve come to the right place! The information provided below will help you find the best bagpipes for beginners.
Benefits of having a set of bagpipes
Bagpipes have been around for centuries and there are many reasons as to why people enjoy them so much. Here are a just a few:
Promotes cultural art
Since bagpipes are a national instrument for countries like Scotland and Ireland, people all over the world are able to identify with their culture. People all over the world are fascinated by bagpipes so why not spread the culture around so that all can participate.
Whether you are in a marching band or you play at home with your friends, it gives you the opportunity to socialize. There are various clubs that you can join your fellow bagpipe players and have a good time.
Playing bagpipes is not the easiest thing in the world especially at the beginning where your lungs are unaccustomed. Over time with practice, you strengthen your lungs, allowing you to play for longer periods of time.
Bagpipes produce sensational music that has been used in genres like rock n’ roll among others. If you are a lover of music, then bagpipes can become an experience like no other.
Strengthen core muscles
Playing bagpipes not only trains your lungs, but also utilizes the core muscles of your back and stomach. This, in turn, provides exercise that will strengthen your muscles for the better.
Features to consider when choosing bagpipes
There are some features that may work well for one piper but fail to satisfy another piper. This is because there are different factors to consider such as the height of the player or the weight of the bagpipes. There are more factors to consider like;
Are you a novice or do you have experience playing bagpipes? Pipers who are just beginning should avoid spending money on professional bagpipes. This is because professional bagpipes are not designed to teach the beginner how to play.
Where bagpipes are concerned, the materials used can be natural or synthetic. Natural materials are made from animal skin and are quite durable but require seasoning. Synthetic materials are inexpensive and provide quality sound. The only downside to them is that they need moisture control features as the synthetic fibers by themselves cannot regulate moisture.
There are various brands that make bagpipes and their dimensions differ. To find the one that suits you, you will have to consider the length and height of the instrument to correlate with the length of your arms. One also has to consider the diameter of the bag which is affected by factors such as the blowing technique and the chest size – those with weaker lungs and a smaller chest size will find a smaller bag size easier to start on. The idea is to for the bagpipes to fit under your arm without any discomfort as you play.
Always refer to the brand’s size chart so that you can purchase one that suits your body. If you are unsure, you can always contact a professional for possible recommendations.
Getting bagpipes with a long blowstick may end up being more detrimental to you than you think. Long blowsticks tend to hit the roof of the mouth causing discomfort. Also, long blowsticks may cause the bag to start slipping down the underarm causing you to play in an awkward position.
Short blowsticks are no walk in the park either, as you may have to lower your head further to play the bagpipes. This may strain your neck making you uncomfortable.
To remedy this, it is recommended to choose blowsticks that are proportional to the height of the piper.
This will enable them to play comfortably and keep the bag in the right position.
Also, consider the materials used to make the blowstick, as some materials are more durable than others. Rosewood is one of the materials commonly used, as well as Blackwood or oak.
Additional accessories are not always offered but there are brands such as the AAR Scottish Full Size Bagpipes that go the extra mile. By providing a carrying case, the bagpipes can be stored and transported with ease. These carrying cases are usually padded so as to protect the pipes from potential impact damage.
Other accessories that may be found include things like extra reeds, practice chanters and tutorial books. If you happen to be a beginner, it is helpful to seek bagpipe brands that offer tutorial books on how to play bagpipes. It makes it easier for you to practice often and increase your skill.
Depending on the materials used, bagpipes can be heavy or light. Bagpipes made of natural materials tend to weigh more compared to their synthetic counterparts. When selecting bagpipes, select a weight that you can handle.
Unless you have Herculean strength, don’t select bagpipes that are too heavy. Otherwise, you might end up with sore muscles and exhaustion once you are done playing. On the other hand, don’t select ones that are too light as it may affect the stability of the notes being played.
Select a weight that you can handle even after a long day of playing.
How much are you actually willing to spend on bagpipes? That is a crucial question that will determine the bagpipes you will be able to access. As stated before, beginners should invest in lower cost bagpipes before graduating to the big leagues. Professional instruments of the highest quality will be more expensive and thus require extra thought before purchase – the best pro-level bagpipes often cost upwards of $1000. If you’re playing bagpipes over a long period of time, it is better to save up for a quality set that will last you for many, many years to come.
There are miniature bagpipes that are designed to be handled by children. These bagpipes work just like the full- sized ones but they are scaled down to fit the child’s body size. The same rules that adults use to select bagpipes should be used to select for children. The only thing that will vary is the size. Another great option for older children are student bagpipes, as these are simple to use and can often be found in a smaller size than regular bagpipes.
Beginner bagpipes come with instructional materials to teach the novice how to play and may not be full-sized bagpipes. The quality of the bagpipes is not as high as the professional ones. Pro-level bagpipes need to be of the best quality to withstand constant use.
Natural fiber bagpipes need to be seasoned regularly for longer life while synthetic bagpipes need to be cleaned regularly to reduce fungi build up. Fungi can cause serious respiratory diseases so be sure to clean the chanter before every performance.
If your bagpipes are not in use, store in a clean carry case to protect the instrument from dirt and dust.
For seasoned players who know their way around bagpipes, we recommend the AC Kilts Scottish Great Highland Bagpipes, which has the highest rating. The reason for this is that the bagpipes are made of durable material that will be able to withstand wear and tear of constant playing.
The AJW Bagpipes Starter Kit made second place on our list. This set looks marvelous and comes with tutorial books for beginners to learn how to play. The price of the set is fair for a novice who is vested in growing their skill with a high quality set of bagpipes.
Lastly, comes AAR Scottish Full Size Bagpipes. They are also beginner-level bagpipes that offer a variety of colors to choose from and come with good-quality accessories
These may not be the crème de la crème of the market but their dependability is unquestioned.
There you have it! That rounds up our guide to the best bagpipes – we hope you enjoy your new set!