A practice chanter is a woodwind musical instrument with a double reed. It is evident from the name that people use it for practicing.
We have compiled the complete guide to bagpipe practice chanters to help you master the melodies on chanters.
Starting with the practice chanter is the perfect way to master the bagpipes.
Top 10 Bagpipe Practice Chanters
A practice chanter should be durable, stylish, and affordable.
It is essential to find a practice chanter that suits you the most.
You can choose from the list of top ten chanters as they have the highest ratings on different forums online.
1. RG Hardie Bagpipe Practice Chanter, Case, and Reed Tube
It is a medium-sized chanter from one of the top companies of Scottland.
It is crucial to confirm the company logo on the chanter.
It is to ensure you are getting the original bagpipe of the RG Hardie.
You will get two reed with this chanter.
You can carry this chanter with ease because of the durable carrying case as it will protect the chanter also.
They give you a tutorial book in the package.
The tutorial book was published in 1953.
It is one of the best books to teach the bagpipes melodies.
There are two advantages to this practice chanter.
You can quickly locate the tone holes due to the recessed finger marking on the chanter holes.
Both reeds in this chanter have the same sound.
If you have to change to the spare reed, there will be no sound change to disturb your practice.
The breathable case helps in drying the chanter.
The manufacturer added an O-ring on the chanter to improve the quality.
2. Dunbar Long Poly Best Practice Chanter Kit
You can look into the details of this product if you are looking for a simple chanter.
It is easier to play this chanter than the bagpipes.
There is no need to worry about the reeds as the company has tested every reed before delivery.
You will get a softcover with the package to carry the chanter.
It also has a practice book to enhance learning.
It is a lightweight musical instrument.
It is easier to carry it because the softcover has a lower weight.
The company provides online classes to people buying this instrument.
The package has a reed, chanter, practice book, and cover.
These things are enough to make you proficient in playing the chanter.
3. Gibson Standard Practice Chanter Kit
It is a perfect chanter for you if you like the sleek design.
Some people do not want fancy items because a complicated design chanter can cause issues during the practice.
This chanter can make the training easy due to the simple design.
You can carry it with ease also because of the soft cover.
This company is responsible for the chanter designs that reduce the problems during learning.
There is no need to protect this chanter from the water because the company is making it from plastic material.
The plastic material is durable and resistant to moisture damage.
The company tests the reed before sending it to you.
The chanter is lightweight because it is made of plastic material.
It is perfect for people who like to travel because it has a softcover.
4. Soutar Standard Poly Practice Chanter
This chanter is suitable for beginners who want to practice melodies.
Experts play with this chanter during live performances due to its excellent sound.
You can practice it easily as it is easy to hold an 18 inches chanter.
You can play the chanter at the same time as you receive it.
The company sends you a reed in the chanter that makes it ready to play.
It has excellent sound and durability due to the poly top and the blackwood body.
There are many advantages of this chanter.
It is ready to play at the time of receiving.
The perfect tone makes it excellent for experts.
You can travel with it as it is lightweight.
5. Dunbar Regular Practice Chanter
The length of this chanter makes it perfect for holding with both hands because it has a length of 18.75 inches.
It has countersunk holes to improve your playing experience as beginners can locate the tone holes quickly due to this feature.
The company has used an O-ring to seal the chanter. It enhances durability.
The size of this chanter is the same as the standard bagpipes chanter.
It will be easy to transition from this chanter to the bagpipes when you are using it.
The most crucial advantage of this instrument is the ease of playing due to the countersunk tone holes.
It is one of the best quality chanters on the market.
This instrument makes it easy to transition to the bagpipes.
6. Rosewood Scottish Bagpipe Wood Practice Chanter With 2 Reeds
This chanter is made of rosewood.
You will love the design because of the elegant white and brown color.
It is a simple instrument that makes it easy for the players to learn.
Advanced players also buy it due to its durability.
Most practice chanters last for a few months because of rough use and low-quality material.
This chanter will last for many years due to its high-quality build.
It is a durable instrument due to the usage of high-quality redwood.
The simple design of this instrument makes it easy to learn.
It is attractive due to its perfect color combination.
7. Frazer Warnock Standard Bagpipe Practice Chanter
One of the finest companies in Ireland makes this chanter.
You can find the logo engravings of Frazer Warnock on the chanter.
You will get the tutorial book from the piping center of Scottland with the package.
The tutorial book has been serving students since 1953.
There is a breathable carrying bag with the chanter that prevents mold formation.
Air circulation will dry when the chanter is in the bag to prevent fungal growth.
There are two reeds in the package.
Company test these reeds before sending them to you.
They need to pass the quality tests of the company.
These reeds will only pass the quality test if the sound of both reeds matches.
It has many advantages as the large size of the chanter makes it easy for beginners to learn to play.
It came from one of the best companies in Ireland; hence the quality is superior.
You will receive it with all the fitting.
You can play it from the moment you receive it.
8. Barefoot Bagpiper Bagpipe Practice Chanter
The length of this chanter is 18 inches.
It is the most suitable length for most players.
A famous company from the Scottland make these chanters.
They get the reeds from the Frazer company because of their high quality.
The chanter has a mechanism to dry the reeds when you stop playing the chanter.
The chanter case is also breathable.
It is excellent because it will prevent fungal growth.
You can keep the chanter in the case without delay.
There are some nickel mounts on the chanter to improve the stability.
The company uses hardwood to make bagpipes that increase its durability.
You will have fun while learning from this instrument because of its excellent design.
It has high durability. It is hard to get a chanter with this quality in this price range.
9. Roosebeck Bagpipe Practice Chanter In Black
It is one of the lightweight chanters made of cedarwood as it weighs only five ounces.
This chanter makes it easy for beginners to learn melodies because of its simple design.
The chanter looks elegant due to its black color.
You will not notice any problems with stability after many practice sessions.
It has two holes together to ease the beginner playing the melodies.
It is made of solid material.
High-quality material usage helps it produce excellent sound. It is easy to play and learn.
10. Bagpipe Practice Chanter Kit (Soutar Child) With Book, Chanter Case, Spare Reed, Reed Case
If you are looking for a perfect chanter for the kids, it is hard to ignore it.
You can guide the kids to learn using the sunken holes.
Kids find it hard to locate the holes because of the chanter length.
You can get a more suitable reed for the kids as they like sweet sounds.
Kids can play it with less blowing force.
The rubber O-ring will not let the air escape.
It has high-quality material because one of the top Scottish companies makes this chanter.
The size of this chanter is perfect for children of all ages.
You will get a reed in the package to start playing at the earliest.
The instrument has a high quality.
Bagpipe Practice Chanters Design and Construction
It is easy to understand the chanter design.
Although the principles are easy to understand, making a chanter requires advanced skills.
You need to take a pipe made of wood or other strong material.
You have to do a bore at the center.
The core has to be small in diameter and consistent in size.
You also need to place reeds at the perfect location in the chanter.
The practice chanters have double reed to make bagpipe-like sounds.
When you channel air through the inlet, the air will pass from the reeds to make a sound.
The lower part of the chanter is responsible for making melodies.
Companies make holes in the lower part of the chanter.
These holes are perpendicular to the central hole of the chanter.
Players can play melodies by closing some of the chanter holes.
It is possible to make different notes with the chanter when you close some holes and keep others open.
You can get the chanters in different lengths.
Small chanters are suitable for children.
Eighteen inches chanters are the most famous.
Companies also make long practice chanters to match the bagpipe chanters.
It is easy to transition between the practice chanters and bagpipe chanters when using the same length.
Some practice chanters have unique features.
The companies make the sunken holes.
It is easy to locate these holes.
When a person is a beginner, he cannot locate the holes.
It becomes hard to learn to play melodies because of that.
Sunken holes make it easy to learn the bagpipes.
At the start, companies were making the practice chanters from the locally available wood.
They moved to better substitutes later as African blackwood came to the market.
Blackwood is an excellent material for practice chanters due to its durability.
There was a shortage of blackwood in 1960.
Companies made chanters from polyoxymethylene plastic.
It is also famous because of its durability and water resistance.
Related Article: Everything You Should Know about Uilleann Pipes
Parts of the Bagpipe Chanter
You need to join two pieces of the practice chanter to play it.
The top part has a mouthpiece to channel the air.
You will find the reed in the lower part.
It is available in the pipe with the holes.
The mouthpiece is made of plastic or nylon material.
When you channel the air in the mouthpiece, it will go to the reeds.
The reeds are made of cane or plastic material over the metallic sheet.
It is responsible for sound production.
You can insert the reed in the bottom part.
There is a ring-like decorative structure on the upper part. It is known as the ferrule.
People make it from metal, plastic, or ivory to enhance the chanter’s beauty.
You need to place the reeds on the upper portion of the lower part.
It is better to cover the sides with tape or hemp to prevent air leakage.
The latest chanter designs do not have a sole.
It is a ring to prevent wood damage in the lower portion of the chanter.
The holes on the bottom sections are perpendicular to the central bore.
You can close and open some of them at specific intervals to produce sweet melodies.
The end of the chanter pipe is open.
It is not open in all types of pipes as the regulator pipes of the Irish bagpipes do not have holes at the bottom.
These pipes have an incomplete bore to prevent air from leaking.
Related Article: How Do Bagpipes Work?
What Is the Bagpipe Chanter Used For?
It is evident from the name that people use the practice chanters to learn the bagpipes with less effort.
If they use the full bagpipe instrument to learn, they have to focus on the breathing techniques, drone air pressure, and chanter notes delivery.
It is impossible to learn melodies at the start without the practice chanters.
Most people think that practice is the only reason to use these chanters.
Some experts also use these chanters when they want to travel and perform.
It is easy to carry the chanter only as it is lightweight.
You can attach the practice chanter to the bagpipes also.
Some famous companies provide this facility.
Chanters are responsible for the melody production in the bagpipes.
Related Article: How Much Do Bagpipes Cost?
Frequently Asked Questions about Bagpipe Practice Chanters
People can have many questions after learning about the practice chanters for the first time.
Some advanced players get confused about these chanters as many companies are making these chanters in different designs.
We will provide the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the practice chanters.
How Do You Play a Practice Chanter?
You can use the same fingering method that you use for the bagpipes to play the practice chanter.
The process starts when you channel air into the mouthpiece from your mouth.
When the air reaches reeds, it will produce a sound.
You can control the sounds by closing and opening different holes on the chanter at perfect intervals.
You can produce the same melodies by using the same fingering method on the bagpipes and chanters.
Related Article: How to Make Bagpipes Out of a Rubber Glove?
How Do You Tune a Practice Chanter?
You can tune the practice chanter by adjusting the reeds.
Unlike tuning the pianos or guitars, it is unlike tuning the pianos or guitars as there is no range of sounds to synchronize.
You only need to tune the practice chanters when it is not producing sound accurately.
It is crucial to check the air pressure at the start.
You might be channeling more or less air to the mouthpiece.
You can get a tuner and check the chanter’s pitch by increasing and decreasing air pressure from your mouth.
If nothing works, you need to adjust the location of the reed.
The reed can be in the wrong position.
Related Article: Why Are Bagpipes Played at Police Funerals?
How Do You Pick a Chanter?
You should pick the chanter from the most reputable companies if you do not have the experience to check the chanter quality.
Gibson, Walsh, and Frazer are some of the famous companies.
These companies produce chanters of high quality.
You can select the chanter size and hole distance after choosing the company as a perfect sized chanter will help you learn quickly.
It is crucial to check the quality of the material and the price when picking the chanter.
When you pay a high price to get the chanter from a famous company, there are fewer chances that you get a low-quality instrument.
Related Article: Where Did Bagpipes Originate?
What Are Bagpipe Chanters Made Of?
Most bagpipe chanters are made of African blackwood and polyoxymethylene plastic.
Scottish people changed the chanters material from the local wood to the blackwood from Africa.
During the shortage of Blackwood, polyoxymethylene was the material for the chanter production.
If you want a low-priced chanter, you can buy the plastic ones.
To get the authentic sound and perfection, you need to spend more and get a chanter made of blackwood.
How to Clean a Practice Chanter?
You have to separate the upper part, lower part, and reed to clean the chanter.
You can blow into them or use a brush to clean them.
Most chanters get damaged due to moisture and dust accumulation.
Your aim should be to remove these from the chanter.
You can also put some oil on the brush while cleaning.
It will help the chanter bore stay in shape.
It is crucial only to assemble back the parts when they are dry.
How to Hold a Practice Chanter?
You can hold the chanter with both hands so that the four fingers of each hand are ready to cover one of the eight holes of the chanter.
Some suggest that it is better to place a wider part of your finger on the holes instead of the fingertips.
The lower part of your hand should hold the chanter from the ower side to give support.
It is the same as holding any other woodwind instrument.
Related Article: How to Play Bagpipes?
How to Set Up a Practice Chanter?
You can take the reed and place it on the reed seat on the lower part of the chanter.
You can attach the chanter’s upper part to it.
It is essential to avoid hitting the reed with the outer areas because it can damage the reed.
You may have to seal the reed on the seat using hemp or tape.
If you do not get a stable sound, you need to adjust the reed position and ensure that it is perfectly sealed.
How to Assemble a Bagpipe Practice Chanter?
You can use the simple setup method to make the chanter and the tuner finalize the sound.
You can start by placing the chanter on the seat and sealing it.
You will attach the upper part to it to complete the setup.
You can take the tuner and set High A and Low A on it.
Play these notes on the chanter and check the sound.
If the sound is different, you need to adjust the reed and try again.
You may have to repeat the process many times before a perfect matching sound.
How Much Does a Bagpipe Chanter Cost?
You should expect to pay between 25 to 150 dollars for the bagpipe chanter.
When you buy a practice chanter made of plastic from a new company, you may pay nearly 25 dollars.
The bagpipe chanters made of blackwood are expensive as you may have to pay more than 150 dollars to get one.
You may have to spend more to get it from a famous company.