Author Options:

Does anybody play bagpipes? Answered

If anyone plays the Great Highland Bagpipes, i was wondering if you could possibly measure your drone reeds and post the measurements, because I've been searching and searching and cannot figure out the lengths or diameters of the bass and tenor drone reeds. So, Bass Reed length Tenor Reed Length And the length of the tongues on each of those as well. If anybody could do that i would be really thankful! Thanks! Luc


che stevini

9 years ago

I use synthetic MG reeds in my Great Highland Bagpipes. <br /> They look like these. The 3 on the left-hand side of the picture.<br /> http://www.mgreeds.com/Synthetic.html<br /> <br /> This page has all the different parts:<br /> http://www.mgreeds.com/MGreedsBooklet.pdf<br /> <br /> Bass Reed Dimensions:<br /> Overall tip to tip: 5 13/16 inches<br /> Diameter: 1/2 in.<br /> Tongue groove length: 2 3/4 in.<br /> (Tongue groove is recessed in about 1/16 in. into the overall diameter)<br /> Tongue: 2 1/2 in.<br /> The reed tongue itself is just a little less than 1/16 in thick and 1/4 in wide.<br /> Metal pitch adjusters are 1 in. long (that is how much sticks out anyway), but not sure how long they are overall.<br /> Reed seating (the end you stick into the base of your drone stocks): 5/8 in.<br /> <br /> <br /> Tenor Reed Dimensions:<br /> Overall: 4 in.<br /> Tongue groove length: 1 1/4 in.<br /> Tongue groove recessed: 1/32 in.<br /> Tongue:1 1/16 in.<br /> 3/16 in. wide and about 1/32 in. thick<br /> Pitch adjuster: I have it set to 3/4 inch sticking out. I'm not sure how long they are overall.<br /> <br /> <br />


9 years ago

I don't know that much about the G.H.P. reeds - i've wondered this myself - but as a drone instrument fanatic ( hurdy-gurdy player) i have an interest in bagpipes, generally. I wonder if the ideal reed proportions can be found as some kind of ratio to the bore of the pipes, the length and the intended tuning.
If so, i have been unable to find it out, nor am i enough of a math-head to calculate it myself (heavy sigh.).
however, for general bagpipe interest... check out the following - the first link is a maker of pipes in Germany, who kindly includes detailed plans for some of the pipes he builds:
... and the plans (one example):
... Another useful bagpipes site (you probably already know this one, but just in case, i'll err on the side of caution):
Check out the Hungarian ("duda") and Bulgarian ("gaida" and "kaba gaida") pipes for another, and also very intense side of piping, both above, and on you-tube, etc.
Cheers, Z