Archive for the ‘Northumbrian Pipes’ Category

New Tunes Casting of the Hand & Rothley Road

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Here’s two new jigs in D that fit well on the pipes

The Casting of the Hand has been on the bench for a while but was finished in May. Originally cast as a votive offering in the 2nd or 3rd century, and later cast into a ditch; my wife was fortunate to be working on an an archaeological dig at Vindolanda when a small bronze hand was uncovered in 2018.

Rothley Crag is near Cambo in Northumberland and the second tune came to me whilst driving between the two (en route to Rothbury Festival)

How many keys do I need on my pipes?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Here’s the second of the decision charts for new pipers – one of the most frequent questions I am asked is ‘what keys should I get?’ There is no perfect configuration – everything is a compromise – and the most common one is ‘standard 7’:


Note that this chart only applies for F & G pipes – on a D set the chanter stick is much longer and different restrictions apply.

Choosing your NSP Pitch: F, G or D?

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

For anyone new to Northumbrian piping, and expecially for a lone piper, it can be difficult to work out which sort of instrument to get. Whether commissioning a new set or looking for a used instrument – here’s a basic guide to choosing your Northumbrian smallpipes pitch:

As you can see – the default answer is ‘F’. At some point I’ll add another chart for choosing keys – that question comes up even more frequently – and the answer is ‘7’

Sold: Shaw 9k NSP, Boxwood – concert G

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

This set is now sold.


Here’s a concert pitch set of Northumbrian Smallpipes made by Dave Shaw. Chanter & drones are Boxwood & Brass. It has a 9 keyed chanter with the standard 7 + F naturals; the middle B and e holes are angled to ease the finger spacing. Four drones each with tuning beads, hand rolled ferrules and Dave’s piston drone ends (not chained stoppers). Fully reeded, full playing condition – bellows & case included.

Price: £1050 + delivery

Location: West Northumberland – and occasionally elsewhere

Contact me to buy or for more details.