Well, I'm on a roll already. Whoo Hoo!!!!
Anyway, after 14 years of on and off again study of the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipes... known as "bagpipes" to most. I've decided to fulfill a long-time dream (which just so happens to also involve bagpipes) of playing the Irish Uilleann Pipes (pronounced Illen Pipes, for you non-Gaelic speakers). Yes, there are "other" bagpipes out there, not just the ones we see in parades and at funerals.. (These are what I play by the way). Yes, these pipes come all the way from Ireland. Yes, I know. Not that far away from Scotland, but a world of difference in how they are played, setup and of course, how they sound.
If you've ever seen movies like Braveheart, Titanic, The Devil's Own, then you've heard Uilleann Pipes. The pipes typically have a much quieter sound, more suited for indoor play, and I feel a more haunting sound. They are played with a bellows, as apposed to blowing into them like the Scottish Highland pipes, and have a 2 octave range, compared to the 1 octave range of the Highland pipes.
Anyway, that's enough of the technical specs. I just got started with a practice set, which is just a bag, bellows, and chanter. It will be some time before I'm jamming with the lads at local session (I'm not even sure if there is one anymore... but whatever), but so far, I am enjoying the early learning process. I will admit right off the bat. I have to constantly remind myself that my 14 years of experience in Scottish piping doesn't apply 100% to the Irish pipes. I tend to get a little ahead of myself sometimes.. and have to bring it back to reality. This is an entirely new animal.
Well, as soon as I don't sound completely awful. I'll start making some videos to post here. This way you too can track my progress in this new chapter of my life. Till then...