Bagpipes on Ebay look nice but all that glitters is 99% GENERALLY RUBBISH,I am a scotsman and certain Ebay sellers annoy me passing off Asian made bagpipes as Scottish made bagpipes,there should be a federal law against it if we had federal Laws in Europe,what to watch out for::
1,, Bagpipes that are made from any other wood than African Blackwood are generally cheap replica bagpipes that flooded Scotland during the 1980s, most recognisable with their alluminium mounts and the poorly made tartan covers.
2,,,,Asian bagpipes that are silver mounted are nothing like british hallmarked silver on bagpipes and scrollwork on scottish pipes are pristine not nasty looking thistles etc machine made,
3,,,,In 1980s bagpipes from Asia were for hanging on the wall and not to play but many unscrupulous people bought hoping to sell for hundreds of pounds to beginners and tourists,then they started to put a scottish named chanter on them.
4,,,,Just because a set of bagpipes have a chanter of a wellknown maker doesnt mean the bagpipes are same maker.
5,,,, Most pipers have a favourite chanter and it maybe a Henderson or a Lawrie each chanter depends on the piper.
6,,,There is only one bagpipe maker I have heard from Asia makes a good set of bagpipes is Hakim Din the pipes are OK but their chanters are rough,,, you have to get a good scottish made chanter,sadly in 1980s lots of bagpipes came to Britain from Sialkot in Pakistan and the whole town produces bagpipes,and rough looking highland accessories,
7,Its the same with Practise chanters buy yourself a good Scottish made chanter to teach yourself but its better to learn with another piper or even join a band they are always seeking beginners,and the best Tutors for Bagpipes and tunes are printed by The Scots Guards.I find that a long Practise chanter with countersunk holes is good to use,but the short one is just as good and if you cant afford a Good blackwood chanter buy a polypenco one from a bagpipe making store, dont be fooled by Chinese plastic and Asian chanters in shesam wood and crocus wood,they will look nice on window ledge but thats all.
8,,,,Bagpipe Goose is a handy instrument to teach you how to use the pipe bag, again avoid any on Ebay all you are paying for really is the hide bag as the chanter is useless and the blowstick is plastic and cheap wood painted black,,if you are serious about the bagpipes, my advice to you is buy a set of pipes and then use the stoppers ,remove the 3 drones , and block off the 3 drones with corks or stoppers you can buy, then you just have a goose made out the bagpipes you will be eventually using,,and at least you know its genuine.
9,,,,,Many of the quality bagpipe makers in Scotland also sell secondhand sets made by other scottish companies,,Kintail of Glasgow is a grand maker to contact,this is an old company and you will find them very helpful,
10, I think as far as quality is concerned the best of the best in Bagpipes is McDougalls of Perth, then McDougalls of Aberfeldy,Peter Hendersons,RG Hardie, Hugh Lawrie,Kintail,Robertsons,Glen,Gillanders, Grainger,Sinclair,Hutcheson,
11,Modern Bagpipe makers I have noticed although not heard them people have told me ok, is Mcphersons he makes his in his yard he even has a video online to show you him making,McCallum,Kilberry,Tweedie,
Lots of modern makers just buy the blanks and then work on them,I remember 4 years ago buying in the Adtrader a dozen blank chanters with no holes in them all made of polypenco,a hard plastic black in colour.
History In the 18th century many bagpipe makers were just making bagpipes in quiet periods they were actually furniture makers, and when the furniture sales were slow many furniture makers started to make bagpipes from old table legs and chair legs,there was a fine maker on the shores of Loch Lomond, the name escapes me at the moment but Im sure if you investigated all furniture makers during the 18th century you may find names of many makers,if you plan to vist Scotland there is nice Bagpipes to be seen at museums of fine Highland regiments, anyone ever Ski-ing at Aviemore check out the small museum of The Glenbucket Highlanders and see their bagpipes,
So take care and remember all that shines is generally black paint ..and avoid all bagpipes with grey alloy mounts,or anything plastic,
If any pipers has any makers names they know of contact me and I will check them out and list here.