We've been supplying the best instruments and accessories for 15 years now, and heading into 2020 we're excited about the possibilities. It's never been easier to get set up with great instruments, and there's never been a more widespread interest in the science and art of good sound for bands and soloists.
We all have access to great recordings, teaching resources and instant, world-wide contact with the best players in the world, which is a far cry from 40 years ago, when there was little contact overseas, few recordings available, and no livestreaming and YouTube to give us hours of exposure and learning from the best.
Still, there's nothing like the face-to-face of good instruction, where a person can offer in-the-room advice on sound, phrasing, technique and the finer points of performance. We highly recommend SOUND ADVICE 2020, June 28-July 3, featuring Callum Beaumont, Reid Maxwell, Ruaridh MacDonald and more to be announced. Fantastic setting and accommodations, small classes and person instruction, and a chance to really get to grips with your instrument.
We're proud to offer some great products this issue, including an exceptional range of in-stock bagpipes. This Christmas, we set up and delivered a set of Peter Henderson bagpipes to a new piper, and we were extremely impressed by the quality of sound produced on these pipes. The Duncan MacRae bagpipes launced some new models and their very own antique-design practice chanter late in the year, and we have some excellent versions in stock. Other bagpipes include McCallum models, Strathmore AB1, R.G. Hardie, and we have an good used set of R.G.Lawries for sale, with all proceeds going to student scholarships at Sound Advice.
We've never met a good piper who wasn't particular about the practice chanter they played. You'll read lots of theories on piping websites about the value of full-size versus regular chanters, and at the end of the day there's value in any approach that helps you enjoy your time practicing.
A good-sounding practice chanter also helps you to focus on blowing quality sound, and this awareness and focus will translate to your pipes. We brought in some fantastic new products recently: chanters from Duncan MacRae and also R.G. Hardie. The MacRae chanter is blackwood with a poly top, and features lovely and unique design elements, along with a comfortable fingerboard and a great sound. The R.G. Hardie chanters we have include selections from the "Twist-Trap" line that feature a built-in watertrap, and also full blackwood chanters that have an added poly liner o the top to prevent cracking.
Callum Beaumont has been having an excellent year in the solos, winning his 4th Clasp at the Northern Meeting, the P-M Alasdair Gillies Challenge, and many other prizes. He has been playing the new R.G. Hardie "Infinity" solo chanter, and it's been sounding great. Connor Sinclair won the Northern Meeting Gold Medal, also playing one of the new chanters. We have these in stock and have played one, and they are just superb. Comfortable feel, lovely sound, rock-solid on all notes, and a piobaireachd High G that goes on for days. Available in wood or plastic.
The Gandy version of the McCallum chanter has also been excelllent. We've supplied quite a few of these to solo pipers, and they find them very comfortable, great spacing and solid sound. Of course both Bruce Gandy and Alex Gandy have been playing them with great success. Alex was recently 2nd in both Gold Medal events and also in the Hornpipe/Jig at Inverness.
And there are more! We've also supplied the McCallum Ceól chanter in poly and blackwood, the G1 Blackwood chanter and the Peter Henderson Blackwood solo chanter to solo pipers in the region, and they are all reporting success.
REED PROTECTOR REED CASE
The Tone Protector™ Reed Case offers unparalleled protection for your most important and valuable pipe chanter reeds. Storing your reeds at a constant and precisely-chosen humidity level is the single easiest and powerful thing you can do to instantly improve your bagpipe sound. That’s exactly what the Tone Protector does.
Speed up the break-in process with new reeds by placing them into the Tone Protector™ Reed Case prior to playing.
Extend the life of your reeds by storing them in at a constant and precisely-chosen humidity level. •Ensure that all of your reeds are ready to be played.
Achieve a more consistent sound from day to day, more stable pitch, greater precision of tuning, clearer sound, more efficient pipes that are easier to play.
The Tone Protector is a complete reed storage and maintenance system that keeps your reeds at constant humidity level to ensure consistent, optimal reed performance. For best results, store all of your reeds in the Tone Protector™ Reed Case and use the Tone Protector Reed Protector on your chanter at all time.
• G1 Platinum - This reed is favoured by many bands in all grades for the quality and consistency they deliver, and they go well in a variety of chanters. Played by the SFU Pipe Band, among many others.
• Chesney - The majority of Grade 1 prizewinning bands play Chesney reeds [Inveraray, Field Marshal, SLOT...] and they do so because they really are good. In our experience, they may be a little harder to manage in dry/high climates, but deliver a broad rich sound when managed well.
• Melvin - Adrian Melvin turned his years of top Grade 1 experience into making chanter and drone reeds, and his reeds are being played by ScottishPower Pipe Band. We've supplied these reeds at lower strengths to bands in the prairie region, and they are stable and easy to manage.
• Troy, MacLellan and Sound Supreme - JWT Reedmakers and Colin MacLellan both make excellent reeds suitable for solo and band, and you'll find that many of the world's top soloists are playing one or the other. Need a great piobaireachd high G? Look no further. We have also recently added reeds by Ontario reedmaker John Elliot, renowned for his mastery of sound.
• DRONE REEDS - Ezeedrone, Selbie, Henderson and Canning drone reeds ready to go! We have both models of Canning, the Blue and the Original, and you can ask for either the carbon bass or the inverted bass. Both are excellent. We also have CANE BASS REEDS by Chesney and G1.
We have a large stock of bags in various sizes by James Begg (sheepskin, cowhide), Bannatyne (most sizes in stock) and Canmore, including the newer Canmore hybrid hide/synth which is a great bag, and the one used by Fred Morrison.
We now carry drumsticks by Steven McWhirter, Jim Kilpatrick (KP2),Stephen Creighton, Tyler Fry and Jordan Bailie!
The legendary Alex Duthart's Collection (2 books) has not always been easy to get, but we're making it as easy as possible! These are books that every serious Highland snare drummer needs to own, study and play.
This week is the 28th annual Mid-Winter Ceilidh, featuring Cape Breton stars Wendy MacIsaac and Mac Morin, and Reelpipes.com is playing a lead role organizing and also sponsoring. Not too far down the road is the Winnipeg Scottish Festival, and we're always proud to support that. We should be there with a table too, so be sure to come check it out!
Further down the road, The Saskatchewan Highland Gathering and Celtic Festivalis a major undertaking for the season. We highly recommend this to all bands. It's a great weekend in the lush surroundings of Victoria Park, and we have a very special guest coming in 2020 to add to the excitement!
We mentioned SOUND ADVICE 2020 above, but it bears a repeat. This is a great opportunity for pipers and drummers to learnb from World-renown instructors, in small classes, and at the excellent University of Regina campus.
Do you have news you'd like to pass along? Want to ask about products or services? Just like talking about bands and bagpipes? : )