When I started playing the pipes in the 1960s, access to experienced pipe makers and maintenance experts was very limited. So I had to maintain my pipes.

Through this process, I learnt a great deal about maintenance and how, as a player, I ensured my pipes were in peek playing condition; even in the most demanding of situations. I can recall many times, when getting ready to play in a concert only to find a lose pad, or an unstable drone reed. Thankfully, I knew what to do and went on stage as if nothing had happened. Now I pride myself on the fact that I can pick up my pipes and know they will be in good playing condition; the drones stable and the chanter in tune. On a day-to-day basis they need minimal maintenance. An interesting fact I often tell people is that I look after my pipes so well that the chanter is always in tune, the drones stable and I’ve played the same chanter reed for over 30 years.

To help pipers maintain their pipes, I will be delivering an interactive on-line course during which I will cover the basics of pipe maintenance. I will use the on-line platform ZOOM, which I have found reliable and extremely effective.


Oiling, replacing a pad, keeping your pipes airtight, replacing a clack valve, stablising a drone reed, making a drone read louder or quieter, setting and balancing the chanter reed, eliminating false notes on the chanter, replacing the bindings, emergency repairs, replacing the cork under a tuning bead.


There will be 3 sessions 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (UK time) on SUNDAY the 5th, 12th and 19th January 2020 - that’s 6 hours in total. The course is limited to 5 pipers, thereby, ensuing everybody gets time to ask questions.


During the session I understand you will not be able to remember everything that is said and demonstrated, Therefore, each session will be recorded and you will have access to the recording. If you cannot attend or miss a session you will still get access to the recordings.


The cost is only £40 for ALL three sessions - which is very good value. So book early to ensure your place.


To enrol please contact me via my contact page.


In the interim, you may also find my Handbook for the Northumbrian Small Pipes a useful reference source.