Best Bagpipes

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 22, 2018
Bagpipe may be one of the most difficult instruments to learn but there isn't a feeling more satisfying than taking up a tough challenge and seeing it through. So, if you feel up to the task, we have reviewed a number of great bagpipes for you to choose from. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Blowstick and tubes
Bag
Size and weight
Accessories
Warranty
 
PROS

The bag is made of Rexine, which is a soft artificial material that features airtight properties. It also feels quite similar to high-quality suede despite the much more considerate price. The bagpipe itself also features a contoured gooseneck that does a pretty good job of improving the airflow. 

CONS

Doesn't include a case for storing additional accessories.

OUR VERDICT

Though you'd normally associate bagpipes with Scotland, Mid-East offers a touch of Middle Eastern approach to design in combination with a rich sound that stems from nickel parts as well as a complementary set of stoppers.

detailed parameters
Type

Professional

Blowstick and tubes

Black rosewood, nickel ferrules & sole

Bag

Synthetic bag with black velvet cover

Size and weight

~40" x 20"

6.9 pounds

Accessories

2 sets of reeds, a set of stoppers, hemp

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The synthetic bag features a pattern (a tartan, to be a bit more precise) very intentionally reminiscent of the Black Watch, one of the most renowned Scottish infantry battalions. The tubes and the blowstick have a very authentic look despite the highly polished exterior. 

CONS

The manufacturers did a bit of a sloppy job stitching the tubes. 

OUR VERDICT

If you do not just care about playing the instrument but would also like to have the sort of bagpipe that shows an appreciation for Scottish culture, you could certainly give the McWilliams Professional Bagpipe a try.

detailed parameters
Type

Professional

Blowstick and tubes

Wood, FNS Mounts

Bag

Synthetic bag with Black Watch tartan

Size and weight

~40" x 20"

6 pounds

Accessories

Hardbox

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Both the blowstick and the tubes are made of rosewood, with a nice glossy black finish that adds a posh touch to an otherwise orthodox model. As for the details, everything from projecting mounts and a sole to the ferrule and a ring cap is made of silver, a solution that both sharpens the sound and improves the look of this model.

CONS

The instructions may seem a bit difficult to follow. 

OUR VERDICT

AAR Scottish Bagpipe is one of the most flexible options on the market and will prove to be a good fit for those beginners who would like to learn how to play this instrument as well as for seasoned veterans who could really find some use for all of the additional accessories.

detailed parameters
Type

Professional

Blowstick and tubes

Rosewood, Silver Plain Mounts

Bag

Synthetic bag

Size and weight

~40" x 20"

7 pounds

Accessories

Synthetic drone reed set, Cane drone reed set, Cane pipe chanter reed, practice chanter with reed, Padded carrying case, Bagpipe joint hemp, Bagpipe tutor book, Bagpipe assembly book

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The chanter comes with a reed that produces a deep sound, not dissimilar to the professional models. The instruction sheet is included in the package, so your kid should be able to figure the basics out. The bag is comprised of 100% cotton plaid cloth that gives the model that authentic Scottish look.

CONS

The air duct is longer than the rest of the tubes. 

OUR VERDICT

Grover W600 is easily one of the best bagpipes for children if you take into account the affordable price, the authentic Scottish look, and the sort of sound that has no business coming out of such an inexpensive model.

detailed parameters
Type

Beginners

Blowstick and tubes

Rosewood

Bag

Cotton plaid cloth

Size and weight

30.0" x 16.0"

Accessories

Instruction sheet

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The lack of drone reeds is crucial for beginners. The jet black bag presents a different look that is uncharacteristic for a Scottish bagpipe, making a model favorably stand out. The silver fringe and silver mounts further improve the visual aspect and should be able to last you a lifetime.

CONS

The material makes the bag rather high-maintenance. 

OUR VERDICT

AAR Scottish Goose Bagpipe is a product that we would recommend only for beginners that are just getting started and need to pick up some basic skills before moving on to a more professional model.

detailed parameters
Type

Beginners

Blowstick and tubes

Wood, Silver Mounts

Bag

Black velvet with silver fringe

Size and weight

N/A

Accessories

2 goose bagpipe chanter reeds

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

Mid-East BBGDB

Middle Eastern Approach

As the name of the company behind this product suggests, the instrument in question doesn't come from Scotland but from the Middle East of all places. To be a bit more precise, from a Pakistani company that was established over 40 years ago and has been producing all kinds of musical instruments ever since. With that out of the way, what you're getting is a quality bagpipe that was handcrafted to satisfy the demands of bagpipe connoisseurs.

Starting with the bag, the latter is made of Rexine, which is a soft artificial material that features airtight properties. It also feels quite similar to high-quality suede despite the much more considerate price. The bagpipe itself also features a contoured gooseneck that does a pretty good job of improving the airflow. The black velvet cover gives the bag a more sophisticated look that resembles the earlier versions of bagpipes.

Since ferrules tend to be under stress more than any part of the bagpipe, the manufacturers made sure to utilize nickel in constructing those as well as the sole. In addition to the bagpipe, you will receive two sets of reeds, a single set of stoppers, and a roll of hemp that will help get things seated properly.

All in all, what we have here is certainly not one of the best bagpipes that you could find as those tend to cost over a thousand bucks. But as far as affordable models go, this one should be able to satisfy the needs of experienced players on a budget.

Review of Mid-East BBGDB Roosebeck Full Size Sheesham Black Finish Bagpipe

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

McWilliams Professional Bagpipe

The Black Watch

A Scottish verb suggests that twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion. Well, gathering up that group of highlanders will be up to you, but, as for the bagpipe, we would recommend looking into the professional model from McWilliams. Of course, describing the sound that bagpipes make have always been a particularly difficult task, so it will be up to you to figure out whether it will prove to be up your alley. But we could certainly talk about the design of this model. As you would imagine, the "highland" part in the name of this product isn't just for show as the synthetic bag features a pattern (a tartan, to be a bit more precise) very intentionally reminiscent of the Black Watch, one of the most renowned Scottish infantry battalions. Just like the majority of synthetic bags, it is completely airtight, so it will be up to you to fill it with air through the blowstick and squeeze it out with your hands.

As for the blowstick and the tubes, we weren't able to inquire what sort of timber they're made of but, at the very least, they have a very authentic look despite the highly polished exterior. Aside from a pretty good take on highland bagpipes, you will also receive a hard box with a combination lock, so you won't have to worry about your instrument's safety. And that's about all there is to it. If you do not just care about playing the instrument but would also like to have the sort of bagpipe that shows an appreciation for Scottish culture, you could certainly give the McWilliams Professional Bagpipe a try.

Review of McWilliams Professional Bagpipe Highland with Hardbox

 

AAR Scottish Bagpipe

NOT a Flannel Shirt

As we have mentioned earlier, bagpipe is easily one of the hardest instruments to learn. But if you manage to do that and reach such a level of proficiency with a bagpipe at which you could proudly state that you can actually play this musical instrument, there are very few feelings out there as satisfying as this one. Of course, in order to reach that level, you will need years of training and AAR Scottish Bagpipe Rosewood Royal Stewart Tartan is as good of a place to start as any.

First things first, as you could infer from the name of this model, the bag sports a Royal Stewart tartan. To the uninformed, it might seem identical to a flannel shirt. But those that know a thing or two about tartans in general or British history, in particular, know that this pattern is mostly associated with the royal House of Stewart, not to mention being the personal tartan of Queen Elizabeth II. Moving on from the bag, both the blowstick and the tubes are made of rosewood, with a nice glossy black finish that adds a posh touch to an otherwise orthodox model. As for the details, everything from projecting mounts and a sole to the ferrule and a ring cap is made of silver, a solution that both sharpens the sound and improves the look of this model. Finally, we would be remiss not to mention what is it exactly that makes this model one of the better Scottish bagpipes not just for the pros but also for inexperienced players. Simply put, it is the number of additional details and accessories that you will receive with the package, including 4 different sets of reeds, a padded carrying case, a joint hemp, a tutor book, and an assembly book.

All things considered, AAR Scottish Bagpipe is easily one of the most flexible options on the market and will prove to be a good fit for those beginners who would like to learn how to play this instrument as well as for seasoned veterans who could really find some use for all of the additional accessories.

Review of AAR Scottish Bagpipe Rosewood Royal Stewart Tartan

 

Grover W600

Strap In Young Lad

Grover W600 is easily the best gift you could get for a young lad who is fascinated with bagpipes and would like to learn how to play this undoubtedly fascinating instrument. Though it is made for children, what we have here is an authentic bagpipe that plays just like the real thing, meaning that your kid will have to figure out on his own that the sound comes from squeezing the bag and not actually from blowing the blowstick, which might seem counterintuitive at first, especially compared to the majority of wind instruments out there. The chanter comes with the reed that produces a deep sound, not dissimilar to the professional models. Though the chanter has a hemp cord, the drones are actually ornamental, which isn't really that huge of a drawback given that children don't really need those anyway. Plus, the instruction sheet is included in the package, so your kid should be able to figure some of the basics out on his own.

In terms of design, the blowstick and the tubes are made of wood that sports a nice finish, while the bag is comprised of 100% cotton plaid cloth that gives the model that authentic Scottish look. In conclusion, Grover W600 is easily one of the best bagpipes for children if you take into account the affordable price, the authentic Scottish look, and the sort of sound that has no business coming out of such an inexpensive model.

Review of Grover W600 Child Size Bagpipes with Instruction Sheet

 

AAR Scottish Goose Bagpipe

Learn the Proper Way

There are plenty of different models out there for children and a decent number of those designed for experienced pipers. But what about adults who would love to learn the bagpipe but don't know where to start? Well, to those people, we would suggest looking into the AAR Scottish Goose Bagpipe. Of course, we have already reviewed another model from the AAR company earlier but that one is better suited for people honing their skills, while the model in question is a bagpipe for absolute beginners.

The biggest difference between the two is the lack of drone reeds, the parts of a bagpipe that are responsible for the humming sound emanating from the pipes. Instead of that, you will only have access to a couple of goose chanter reeds, the parts that produce the sound for the chanter notes. If you don't know much about bagpipes, it might sound limited but ask any experienced piper and he will tell you that playing strictly with chanters for the first year is the most proper way of learning the instrument.

Other than that, the jet black bag presents a different look that is uncharacteristic for a Scottish bagpipe, making a model favorably stand out. The silver fringe and silver mounts further improve the visual aspect and should be able to last you a lifetime. Again, AAR Scottish Goose Bagpipe is a product that we would recommend only for beginners that are just getting started and need to pick up some basic skills before moving on to a more professional model.

Review of AAR Scottish Goose Bagpipe with Black Velvet Bag and Silver Mounts

 

What Is a Bagpipe?

Thomas Beecham once famously said that a true gentleman is the sort of person who can play the bagpipes, but doesn't do that. Well, Mr. Beecham, we beg to differ. Sure, the sound the musical instrument in question produces isn't quite as sophisticated as the sound that certain other instruments make. But even among such a specific category as woodwind instruments, bagpipe is by far the most complicated instrument and the kind of tune it can deliver is incomparable to any other instrument. Of course, truth be told, it is also one of the most difficult instruments to learn, but you can't put a price on having such a unique skill at your disposal. As this is a complex instrument, there are a lot of parts to it, but the most important and fundamental ones are a blowstick, a number of drone reeds, a chanter, a chanter reed, and, of course, a bag. Despite the popular opinion, the sound actually comes from squeezing the bag and not from blowing the blowstick, though it is all of the latter that define the way this musical instrument sounds.

Having said that, if you do not care for such a difficult musical instrument, you could always get yourself a tambourine or a harmonica instead.

Other reviews
Comments
0 Comments

Your comment was successfully sent

Error! Please try again later

Publish Date: 2018-05-28 11:37:33