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Striking my bellows properly in order to start my drones

by Ross Kadri
(Bronx, NY)

I have a set of bagpipes and have not played them for a year or so, my drones wont start when I strike my bellows. Any suggestions or tips?

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Sep 14, 2012
Striking my bellows properly ----
by: Bill Robertson

Hello Ross,
Firstly make sure all the stocks are really clean.
Ceck all your drone reeds settings mouth blown carefully in each drone (about the strength of your normal blowing and a bit stronger to make sure of no liklihood of stopping within reason)to test for sound of the reed and its optimum setting for smooth steady unvarying sound especially in the tenor drones.
If a hide bag with moist dresssing or seasoning, check that there is not too much residue of dressing/seasoning that might clog the bottom of the drone stocks. Make sure the drone bores are clear and clean too, and binding of all joints firm enough.
Avoid punching the bag too sharply and too strongly at the start as the sudden strong effort often makes the drones stop immediately - a reasonably firm push is normally enough.
A good tip in avoiding a nasty double-tone in the bass when striking up is to have the upper pin tuning position well up with a good few mm or 1/4 inch or so of the binding showing.
I trust that helps. It would be good to know how you get on with this @
All the best,

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