Practice Chanters

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Many pipers play their practice chanters more than they play their pipes. This is not necessarily a good thing, but it is a fact.

Yet all too often pipers accept a level of tuning and tonal quality with their practice chanters that they would never tolerate with their pipes.

I am a stickler for practice chanters that are in tune and tuneful. With this in mind, I have settled on practice chanters made by MacCallum Bagpipes of Kilmarnock, Scotland, is the the leading bagpipe maker in the world today.

McCallum Practice Chanters

The McCallum PC7/FN (short) and PC9/FN (long) blackwood practice chanters fully mounted with engraved nickel.

The ‘long’ chanter has the same spacing as a pipe chanter. The traditional, regular length is shorter, and now more suited to people with small hands.

McCallum Bagpipes is the leading pipemaker in the world today and their chanters and bagpipes are extremely popular. All McCallum practice chanters come in either “long” or “regular,” long being equivalent to the spacing on a pipe chanter, regular being the traditional, slightly smaller spacing. McCallum polypenco practice chanters are resonant and nicely in tune. Each comes with a Frazer Warnock reed.

Some players like their chanters in blackwood. I’ve selected the engraved nickel chanters made in African blackwood by McCallum Bagpipes to fill this niche. They are top-drawer in terms of functionality and style.

These chanters come in long or regular, and in two engraving patterns: Thistle and Celtic.  The blackwood chanters are incredibly rich and a pleasure to play. You can feel the vibration on your fingers as you play.

Because of the propensity for blackwood chanter tops to crack, McCallum makes all of their chanters with a polypenco top.

You can buy these chanters from the shopping cart below.

  • $90.00
    McCallum Long Polypenco Practice Chanter

    This resonant, rich, and nicely in-tune polypenco practice chanter impresses me so much I offer it with all my tutor book packages. This is the “long” model, which uses the same hole spacing as the pipe chanter. Each comes with a Frazer Warnock reed.

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  • $70.00
    McCallum Regular Polypenco Practice Chanter

    A rich, resonant and resilient “regular” length practice chanter, this is a traditional practice chanter design: a slightly shorter chanter with short finger spacing, the way all practice chanters were made prior to the 1970s. Some people like to buy these for younger children and then graduate up to the longer version once they grow.  Some people like them because they are a little more comfortable to play while resting the end on a table.  Each McCallum practice chanter comes with a Frazer Warnock reed.

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  • $229.00
    McCallum PC7 – ‘Regular’ Length African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Celtic engraved ferrule, imitation ivory sole

    McCallum makes African blackwood practice chanters that are lovely both to look at and to play. This PC7 is ‘regular’ length (shorter than the pipe chanter hole spacing). The ferrule is nickel with a Celtic pattern, and the sole is imitation ivory. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $229.00
    McCallum PC7 – ‘Regular’ Length African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Thistle engraved ferrule, imitation ivory sole

    McCallum makes African blackwood practice chanters that are lovely both to look at and to play. This PC7 is ‘regular’ length (shorter than the pipe chanter hole spacing). The ferrule is nickel with a Thistle pattern, and the sole is imitation ivory. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $259.00
    McCallum PC9 – ‘Long’ African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Celtic engraved ferrule, imitation ivory sole

    This McCallum PC9 is ‘long’ spacing — the same as the pipe chanter. The ferrule is nickel with a Celtic pattern, and the sole is imitation ivory. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $259.00
    McCallum PC9 – ‘Long’ African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Thistle engraved ferrule, imitation ivory sole

    This McCallum PC9 is ‘long’ spacing — the same as the pipe chanter. The ferrule is nickel with a Thistle pattern, and the sole is imitation ivory. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $285.00
    McCallum PC7/FN – ‘Regular’ Length Deluxe African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Celtic Pattern

    McCallum makes African blackwood practice chanters that are lovely both to look at and to play. This PC7/FN is ‘regular’ length (shorter than the pipe chanter hole spacing) with a Celtic engraving pattern, which you can view closely by clicking on the image at left. The ferrule, bowl, sole and bottom of the mouthpiece are all engraved nickel. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $285.00
    McCallum PC7/FN – ‘Regular’ Length Deluxe African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Thistle Pattern

    McCallum makes African blackwood practice chanters that are lovely both to look at and to play. This PC7/FN is ‘regular’ length (shorter than the pipe chanter hole spacing) with a Thistle engraving pattern, which you can view closely by clicking on the image at left. The ferrule, bowl, sole and bottom of the mouthpiece are all engraved nickel. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $320.00
    McCallum PC9/FN – ‘Long’ Deluxe African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Celtic Pattern

    McCallum makes African blackwood practice chanters that are lovely both to look at and to play. This PC9/FN is ‘long’ (same hole spacing as the pipe chanter) with a Celtic engraving pattern, which you can view closely by clicking on the image at left. The ferrule, bowl, sole and bottom of the mouthpiece are all engraved nickel. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $320.00
    McCallum PC9/FN – ‘Long’ Deluxe African Blackwood Practice Chanter, Thistle Pattern

    McCallum makes African blackwood practice chanters that are lovely both to look at and to play. This PC9/FN is a ‘long’ (same hole spacing as the pipe chanter) with a Thistle engraving pattern, which you can view closely by clicking on the image at left. The ferrule, bowl, sole and bottom of the mouthpiece are all engraved nickel. The practice chanter top is plastic to prevent cracking due to moisture.

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  • $213.50
    Complete Tutor Package with Poly Chanter

    Start with everything you need in this complete tutor starter package:  The National Piping Centre’s “Green Book” and Highland Bagpipe Tutor Book, and Rhythmic Fingerwork, along with a McCallum long polypenco practice chanter with a Frazer Warnock reed. (Regular price CAD $228.50)

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  • $147.50
    National Piping Centre Highland Bagpipe Tutor Book with Polypenco Practice Chanter

    You can get your piping career started pretty inexpensively with this combo beginner pack that includes the National Piping Centre Highland Bagpipe Tutor and a McCallum long polypenco practice chanter with a Frazer Warnock reed. (Regular price CAD $153)

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  • $121.50
    National Piping Centre “Green Book” Tutor with Polypenco Practice Chanter

    You can get your piping career started even less expensively with this combo beginner pack of the “Green Book” and a McCallum long polypenco practice chanter with a Frazer Warnock reed (Regular price CAD $126.50).

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  • $180.50
    National Piping Centre “Green Book,” and “Highland Bagpipe Tutor” with Polypenco Practice Chanter

    Add a McCallum long polypenco practice chanter with a Frazer Warnock reed to these two classic tutors and save some cash. (Regular price CAD $187.50)

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