How Much Do Bagpipes Cost?
Bagpipes are a complicated instrument and the quality ones can be considerably expensive, but these facts do not stop many people from purchasing a bagpipe and learning how to play it. Buying a bagpipe is a major decision and can be done through online shops or auctions, a local music shop, or from a reputable importer or piping supply store. Previously owned bagpipes can also be found. Prior to buying a bagpipe, it is vital to be informed about the instrument and its different aspects in order to make the right decision.
How much does it cost?
- Depending on the types or ornamentation, material, and the company selling it, be prepared to pay anywhere from as little as $600 to as much as $7,000 for a bagpipe. A pair of plastic bagpipes will be near the lower end of the price range, costing around $600 to $1,400. On the higher side, a blackwood set could cost upwards of $2,000 to $6,000. Sets made from ivory and sterling silver can be in the same price range.
- Experts state that the average price of a bagpipe should be within the $900 to $2,000 range.
- PipesDojo.com, for instance, offers a handful of brands and types. Here, the prices range anywhere from as little as $800 to as much as $4,200. The McCallum P0 Bagpipes retails for $799, while the Naill DN0P Polypenco Bagpipes retail for $1,049. On the higher side of prices, the Naill DN2E Blackwood Bagpipes retail for $2,200 and the Naill DN5 Blackwood Bagpipes retail for $4,200.
- According to music store Henderson’s in Traverse City, Michigan, Polypenco plastic bagpipes cost about $650-$1,100, depending on the types of ornamentation and engraving. A new, high quality set of blackwood pipes can cost $1,000-$6,000 and up, depending on ornamentation. Fully priced and beaded blackwood pipes can cost about $1,200-$1,600 on average.
What is going to be included?
- Bagpipes are usually created using African blackwood, which has unique qualities that produce an excellent tone for many woodwind instruments. Bagpipes are complex instruments that have numerous parts, with the principal ones being the drones, the pipe chanter, a blowpipe, and the bag. Most bagpipe manufacturers create their bagpipes together in a complete package that usually includes accessories and reeds they created themselves.
- A complete Highland bagpipe kit for beginners usually includes all items they need to learn playing the instrument. Starter kits may consist of full size Highland pipes, reeds and extra full reed sets, hemp spools, hard case, cassette, stoppers, seasoning, and an instruction book.
What are the extra costs?
- A practice chanter can be a practical option for beginners. A bagpipe kit with rosewood chanter kit is also available for aspiring pipers who wish to get started. Some dealers sell these kits at $55 each. Practice chanters can cost $30 to $300, depending on the brand, material and features. Practice chanter mouthpieces, which can cost about $6 to $25, are also necessary for beginners.
- Bagpipes also require accessories like a sporran, which serve as pockets not found in kilts. A sporran half or full dress with belt costs around $150-$170 at some bagpipe dealers.
- When ordering online, shipping prices are often charged separately. Many dealers require buyers to pay all shipping, packing and handling fees.
- Because this type of instrument can be rather hard for beginners, it is advisable that lessons are taken to learn the ropes. The average lesson can start at $30 for 30 minutes. There are also some books or online tutorials that can help you learn the art of bagpipes.
Tips to know:
- Experts advise beginners against using a low-quality practice chanter because it can be detrimental to their learning process. Quality practice chanters these days have recessed or “countersunk” holes that are placed in a manner that is closely similar with the hole spacing found on a bagpipe chanter.
- If buying your first set of bagpipes, consider getting a pipe case to keep the instruments safe and a maintenance kit to care for the bagpipes.
- Many bagpipe manufacturers offer a wide range of options and prices. Many of these often have similar specifications. A difference in cost between each set is mostly the ornamentation on the bagpipe exterior, with the inexpensive ones having basic mounts and the costlier units having engraved silver, gold or sterling mounts.
- Before you spend a lot of money on bagpipes, make sure that you try out the instrument and maybe even take a few lessons to ensure that you are going to like it.
How can I save money?
- Find a store that offers discounts or free shipping for more than one order of bagpipes.
- Ask about purchasing a bagpipe without the other accessories. Some dealers offer discounts to buyers who prefer not to buy the entire set or package.
- If you don’t mind purchasing used, consider checking out places like eBay and Craigslist. Many local music stores will have a large selection to choose from as well.
- Do not be too cheap with your bagpipes. Cheaper models that cost less than $400 tend to have bad tonal quality, they are unstable and can require a lot of air, which in turn, leads to fatigue.