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The Practice Chanter
&
Tutorials
Review & Purchasing Information

Notice: The popularity of the John Cairns Bagpipe Solutions tutorials has now permitted a price reduction: See below

Dunbar Millenium 2000 Practice Chanter
Extra-Long "Millennium 2000" Practice Chanter
By J. Dunbar Ltd., Canada
Machined DelrinTM ~ Length 22 inches

If you haven't read the detailed commentary on the page "What's Needed & Why" you should do so. Here's a brief review, together with further details about the practice chanter and tutorials we offer:

If you simply pick up a Great Highland Bagpipe and try to learn to play it directly you will get nowhere. You must start with a practice chanter, a quiet, low pitched reed instrument that follows the dimensions and finger placements of the bagpipe melody pipe (called the "chanter"). You will continue to need a practice chanter for as long as you are piping. You will also need a "tutor" - a book or series of books of lessons, accompanied (these days) by one or more audio CDs. Together, the practice chanter and the tutor are commonly referred to as a "practice chanter outfit." We offer two ways to assemble an outfit. Each uses the same chanter, but different tutors.

The Practice Chanter

The best all-around practice chanter we've found is the extra-long "Millennium 2000" by the highly regarded Canadian bagpipe-making firm J. Dunbar, Ltd. (pictured above). The Millennium 2000 practice chanter is turned on a lathe (not molded) from a dense structural synthetic, Delrin (also known as polypenco). It is accurate, very, very tough, feels and looks great, and because of its extra length and belled end, as well as its excellent reed, it sounds much better than the average practice chanter. It uses maintenance-free, clean, airtight O-rings at the joint between the two halves instead of messy hemp (which tends to get pretty nasty on a practice chanter). Like Dunbar's bagpipes, its excellent performance and fine craftsmanship is in pleasant contrast to its modest price. It's a lifetime instrument, and it's guaranteed for life. We have provided thousands of these chanters over the past fifteen years, to the great satisfaction of everyone. However, if for some reason you wish a chanter by a different maker, or a different model Dunbar, we can help with that, just contact us.

The J. Dunbar Ltd. Millennium 2000 Practice Chanter with Reed
US $84.00
Shipping via U.S.Priority Mail is $8.00


Spare Reeds & Water Trap

The practice chanter is provided with a very high-quality synthetic reed. These reeds, which are individually tested, will last for an indefinite time - usually until a physical mishap occurs. You can get replacement practice chanter reeds that should work just fine from any bagpipe supply house and even from many large general music stores, on or off line (though some cheaper reeds may be troublesome). So, having a spare reed is not normally really a necessity, though we will be happy to sell you one. On the other hand, if the chanter is going to be used by children, or if you're planning on distant travels or live in a remote place, then having a spare reed is probably a good idea.
A spare reed is $7.00, plus $2.00 for postage (no postage cost if shipped with anything else)


The J. Dunbar Ltd. Millennium 2000 practice chanter accepts a water-trap, also made by Dunbar. This keeps condensation and spit from collecting around the reed, which eventually might have you sounding like a trumpet-player in a fish tank. Whether or not you will benefit from a water trap is hard to predict, but you can always add it later - installation is simple. Further details are on our Water Trap Page.
The water trap is $12.00, plus $2.00 for postage (no postage cost if shipped with anything else)




The Tutors: Two Choices
No. 1 ~ The Classic "Green Book"

This standard, universally recognized classic work is commonly called the "Green Book" (pictured below) and, together with its CD, is published by The College of Piping in Scotland. It has been used as a primary tutor for over 50 years, and most of the world's pipers, great and humble, started on it. It presumes no prior knowledge or musical experience. It consists of 26 lessons. When you have completed it, which can take anywhere from a few months on up to a year or so, you will be ready to start on the bagpipe itself. At some point you will need help, preferably in the form of regular instruction from an instructor, or at the very least occasional sessions with a competent piper.


The College of Piping Tutor I

The College of Piping Tutor I
Glasgow, 72 pages, 10 X 7.5 inches, softcover
Note: We always provide the most current edition, which may not match this photo.

The College of Piping CD

The College of Piping Audio CD
Seumus MacNeill & Thomas Pearston

The Green Book is intended to accompany and supplement lessons by a teacher, but many, many pipers have started in on it alone. How far a student is able to go alone with the Green Book varies, but at the least it will be far enough to get a good feel for what's involved, and to build a solid foundation upon which to continue. The Green Book is familiar to all instructors and to most established pipers, which will be an advantage when you do approach someone for help.

The College of Piping Tutor (The "Green Book) with Accompanying CD
US $30.00
Shipping via U.S.Priority Mail is $6.00



The No. 1 Practice Chanter Outfit

The No. 1 Practice Chanter Outfit consists of the J. Dunbar Millennium 2000 practice chanter and the "Green Book" tutor & CD.
Purchased separately these items and shipping total US $128.00
Special Outfit Price:
$108.00

$9.00 shipping via U.S.Priority Mail


It should be mentioned that there are many other tutors that have been published over the years that are essentially similar to the above College of Piping Green Book. Some are not bad, some are awful, some might even be a bit better. But a problem with all of them is that when you ask a teacher or a piper for help, they likely won't be on the same page, as it were, as you are. At this point the Green Book has become standard. You can't go wrong with it, even if, as is very likely, you will need some help along the way.

But perhaps getting any outside help is going to be hard for you because of your location, schedule or other circumstances. Or maybe you just like doing things yourself. Read on -

The Tutors, Continued:
No. 2 ~ The "Bagpipe Solutions" Series by John Cairns



There is now another option that alters the picture radically : Master piper and teacher John Cairns of Canada has created a superb multi-volume tutorial called "Bagpipe Solutions" that can carry a student all the way to becoming a competent piper, without the necessity of outside instruction. This is the only such system that exists. For a detailed look, see our page "What's Needed & Why."

Update: January, 2012: We have been providing these tutorials in significant numbers to students all over the world for nearly ten years. The results have been remarkable! The popularity of the series has now resulted in lower production costs, which means lower prices, by about 15%.

Bagpipe Solutions by John Cairns

John Cairns' "Bagpipe Solutions"
Volumes 1, 2 & 3, with audio CDs
306 pages, 200+ photos, drawings, diagrams & music

(Note: CDs are now in sleeves on the inside back covers rather than in useless, heavy , fragile jewel cases.)

The first three volumes of Bagpipe Solutions, each with an accompanying audio CD, cover the same ground - that is, the practice chanter - as the Green Book/CD, but in much greater detail and, most significantly, in a way so well organized and presented that it minimizes or even eliminates the need for outside instruction.

Most students should be able to move through the first volume of Cairns, titled "Preliminary Level," quite rapidly. This volume and the next two, "Beginner Level" and "Advanced Beginner Level" together carry the student through the practice-chanter-only phase of his or her piping education. We feel that it will be beneficial for the beginner to have all three volumes on hand from the start, and so we consider them to be a set and offer them together at a reduced price. This also saves on shipping costs.

Volumes 1, 2 & 3 (the practice chanter volumes) of the John Cairns "Bagpipe Solutions" tutorial series, each with its own audio CD
The Set, US $95.00
Shipping via U.S.Priority Mail is $12.00
(This is a savings of $13.00 over individual purchases & shipping)

Individual Volumes:
$35.00 each volume (book and CD)

Shipping via U.S.Priority Mail, $6.00 for a single volume




The No. 2 Practice Chanter Outfit

The No. 2 Practice Chanter Outfit consists of the J. Dunbar Millennium 2000 practice chanter and Volumes 1, 2 & 3 of the John Cairns "Bagpipe Solutions" tutorial series, each with its audio CD.
Purchased separately these items and shipping total US $224.00
Special Outfit Price:
$179.00

$12.00 shipping via U.S.Priority Mail


Once these first three volumes are completed the fledgling piper will be ready to approach the mysteries of the bagpipe itself, and thus be ready to begin on Volume 4, 5, and 6. On completing Volume 6, the student will be playing the Great Highland Bagpipe.


Bagpipe Solutions by John Cairns

John Cairns' "Bagpipe Solutions"
Volumes 4, 5 & 6, with audio CDs
432 pages, 200+ photos, drawing, diagrams and music


Volumes 4, 5 & 6 (the bagpipe volumes) of the John Cairns "Bagpipe Solutions" tutorial series, each with its own audio CD
The Set, US $95.00
Shipping via U.S.Priority Mail is $12.00
(This again is a savings of $13.00 over individual purchases & shipping)


Individual Volumes:
$35.00 each (Book and CD)

Shipping via U.S.Priority Mail, $6.00 for a single volume.


Volumes 4, 5, and 6, the second part of John Cairns' brilliant series, carry the student who has mastered the practice chanter on to the bagpipe. Again, these books and CDs are designed to teach in a way that is otherwise only available by face-to-face instruction. They provide the only path we know of for just about anyone, regardless of geographic location, scheduling demands or financial considertions to become a competent piper on their own.

For a Limited Time:
Purchase all six volumes for US $190.00 and get FREE SHIPPING (domestic US & APO)!

(International customers, please contact us for shipping costs.)



Announcement: John Cairns Volume 7 Published!
Volume 7 is here at last! Of particular interest to pipers involved, or planning to be involved, with a pipe band, this tutorial focuses on all aspects of that activity. Everything from Highland dress to band music is covered with the same meticulous care that defines the other volumes in the Bagpipe Solutions series. We predict that this work will become an indespensible standard resource for band members. Pricing is the same as the other individual Cairns volumes (see above).


About Costs:
The Bagpipe Solutions tutorials are not inexpensive (although if you're buying college textbooks you might disagree with that!) . Realize that these tutorials represent a massive amount of work, not to mention a lifetime's experience, and are sold in a limited, highly specialized market. (Nobody is getting rich on anything having to do with bagpipes, believe me - or just ask my wife.) Conventionally, unless you are participating in free or low-cost group instruction, you'll sooner or later likely be paying a teacher. Rates vary, but thirty or forty dollars per hour is not unusual for private lessons. The College of Piping Green Book & CD requires a lower initial outlay than the Cairns series, but for most people subsequent payments to a teacher will more than make up the difference. Even for the piper following the traditional path with the Green Book and a teacher, having the Cairns tutorials will reduce the amount of time he or she will need to spend with an instructor, most likely by enough to pay for them and then some.


To help you decide which of the two tutorials is best for you - the College of Piping Green Book or John Cairns' Bagpipe Solutions, we've listed some considerations under the heading "Decisions" near the bottom of our "What's Needed & Why" page. (We keep asking you to read that page ... it's lengthy but it will save you a lot of time, trouble & probably money.)

Whether or not you purchase anything we hope that you have found the information presented here useful and we wish you the best of success if you indeed take up the Great Highland Bagpipe. If you have any questions, please don't be shy. Even though we know absolutely everything (having marched out of the womb playing the pipes) and you know less than a stump, we won't burst into laughter until you're off the phone. Seriously, as you can perhaps tell from what you've read, we very much enjoy getting people started in piping and helping established pipers with their needs. That's what we're about. Always feel free to contact us and remember, there are no dumb questions. Thanks for your interest!




Stock Status:
The items on this page are in stock.

Ordering and Payment:


SHOPPING CART BUTTONS, below, can be used to purchase any of the items on this page. The on-line shopping cart system is administered by PayPal and is highly secure. The merchant (that would be us) never sees your card numbers. You do not need to have an account with PayPal to use it. There are no fees or such added at your end.

You can also order (or just ask questions) by calling us at

(707) 937-1626

between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. U.S. Pacific Coast Time (GMT minus 7 - 8 hours), 7 days.

We welcome calls, which help both you and us be sure that you are getting what you expect and need!


You can also choose to pay by numerous other methods, for example by mailing a check, using PayPal, and so on. For details, including shipping policies, warranties, privacy, return policy, etc., please contact us and/or see the General Ordering Information Page.

International customers: Contact us first! We routinely ship all over the world. But if you are ordering from outside the U.S. (other than from an overseas US military address), you must contact us for shipping options and costs before orderimg.

IMPORTANT: Please pay attention to the shipping cost options! If you are ordering multiple items, we do not want you to pay additional shipping for each item. You should only pay shipping for the item with the highest shipping cost. To allow you to do this, each item has two "Add To Cart" buttons, one with shipping cost added and one without. If you are purchasing only one item, select the button WITH shipping. If you are purchasing multiple items, use the WITH shipping button only on the item with the highest shipping cost, and use the WITHOUT shipping buttons for the rest. For example, if you are purchasing a No. 2 Practice Chanter Outfit and two spare reeds and a water trap, you would add the outfit to the cart using the button WITH shipping and add the other items using the buttons WITHOUT shipping. When you look at your shopping cart, you should see one, and only one, item in the list that has "plus shipping" after the item name. This little dance may be a bit awkward, but the idea is to keep you from overpaying for shipping.

NOTE: You may not see the following format on other product's pages; we are switching to this one page at a time.

Click the above button to view your shopping cart.



NO. 1 PRACTICE CHANTER OUTFIT (Dunbar M-2000 practice chanter, reed, Green Book with CD)
WITH Shipping: $108.00 + $9.00 = $117.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $108.00


NO.2 PRACTICE CHANTER OUTFIT (Dunbar M-2000 practice chanter, reed, Cairns Bagpipe Soultions tutorial series Vols. 1, 2 & 3)
WITH Shipping: $179.00 + $12.00 = $191.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $179.00


PRACTICE CHANTER, J. Dunbar Ltd. "Millenium 2000," with synthetic reed
WITH Shipping: $84.00 + $8.00 = $92.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $84.00


SPARE REED, practice chanter, synthetic
WITH Shipping: $7.00 + $2.00 = $9.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $7.00


WATER TRAP, for Dunbar M-2000 practice chanter
WITH Shipping: $12.00 + $2.00 = $14.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $12.00


"GREEN BOOK" (College of Piping tutor, Book One, with CD)
WITH Shipping: $30.00 + $6.00 = $36.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $30.00


VOLUMES 1, 2 & 3, John Cairns' Bagpipe Soultions tutorial series, the practice chanter volumes set (books & CDs)
WITH Shipping: $95.00 + $12.00 = $107.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $95.00


VOLUMES 4, 5 & 6, John Cairns' Bagpipe Soultions tutorial series, the bagpipe volumes set (books & CDs)
WITH Shipping: $95.00 + $12.00 = $107.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $95.00


SINGLE VOLUME (Vols. 1- 7 w. CD, Cairns Bagpipe Soultions series, contact us to specify which one
WITH Shipping: $35.00 + $6.00 = $41.00
WITHOUT Shipping: $35.00


Click the above button to view your shopping cart.





Further On-Site Information:

Introduction to the Practice Chanter: What's Needed & Why

Practice Chanter Maintenance: Some Tips And Comments For The Beginner

Catalog Index Page

Universe of Bagpipes Main Page

Email The Universe of Bagpipes: bagpipes@hotpipes.com


Copyright 2000 - 2014, Oliver Seeler, Universe of Bagpipes