Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes | Which is Better?

Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes

Do you want to know what is the difference between Irish bagpipes vs Scottish bagpipes?

Bagpipes are musical woodwind instruments that consist of a bag, a chanter, an air supply, and at least one drone. These have been used worldwide since the 13th Century AD, especially by the people living in Western Asia, Northern Africa, Caucasus, Europe, Anatolia, and around the Persian Gulf.

Surprisingly, people used them to provide music for dancing in the old year as a tradition. However, now it has declined and is just used as a performance-led tradition since it’s no longer considered suitable for dance.

In this article, we’ll provide you with complete information regarding different types of bagpipes, the difference between Irish and Scottish bagpipes.

Table of Content (Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes)
Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes
What Are Scottish Bagpipes?
→ – Features of Scottish bagpipes
What Are Irish Bagpipes?
→ – Irish Bagpipe Features
Where Do Bagpipes Originate From?
Pros and Cons of Scottish and Irish Bagpipes
Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes (Top 4 Amazon)
Conclusion (Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes)
Frequently Ask Questions

Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes

In this section, we’ll cover Irish vs Scottish bagpipes and who popularized this instrument. You’ll learn about the history of the Great Highland Bagpipe, Irish Uilleann pipes, and Northumbrian small pipes.

What Are Scottish Bagpipes?

AOwJHzp5QPMXpT6yUvPZfErJ477gQsJYgTull2pNN9crVD kIkCZS8q4q0CsyDRs5L7PuFZThO0o1meKuXt82bLjRhE dkxxROoQlq1Va64h7ql90jDkmuIfTPHEqT gvTbyIkgp

Scottish instruments have been an essential part of Scottish culture. The most famous among the Scotland instruments’ names is the bagpipe. They use it as a powerful instrument in marching bands in their parades and essential parades.

If you ever get a chance to visit Scotland, you will hear its musical and lyrical tone everywhere. It has also been symbolized as an iconic instrument because of being used in British military bands.

There are many bagpipe types associated with Scottish culture and tradition. Out of which, the Great Highland Bagpipe is the most famous among them.

Features of Scottish bagpipes

Considering the most common Scottish bagpipe, ‘Great Highland Bagpipe,’ we’ll discuss its main components. TheseScottish pipe instruments have four main parts; the bag, the chanter, the blowpipe, and the drones.

Here’s a description of all these parts.

The Bag:

The bag is the most prominent and protruding part of this great bagpipe in Scotland. It serves as an air-holding chamber. Thus, it’s called the lungs of the bagpipes.

Also, it is made up of animal skins that include cows, sheep, and goats, which give it a beautiful look and a remarkable capacity for storage purposes.

However, nowadays, there are bagpipes Scottish for which manufacturers use synthetic materials like Gore-Tex, a waterproof fabric. By using this, it has increased the chances of attracting fungal spores. Therefore, these Scottish pipe instrument has a zipper to make the cleaning process more manageable.

Moreover, these bags have a piper that controls the compression of airbags. The piper maintains the air pressure, enabling the stored air to pass through the chanter and the drones to produce music.

This whole process requires constant concentration, regulation, and strength.

The Chanter:

Scottish High-land bagpipes have another essential component, the chanter, which is the melody pipe of this Scottish instrument. It is connected to the bag using a reed, and it works like a blowpipe.

These chanters are cylindrical or conical in shape concerning their internal diameter and are usually made up of blackwood. The conical shape helps in creating loud and powerful sounds.

Moreover, the chanter has multiple finger holes, which makes it appear like a flute. It works just like flute only. The chanter ends are open, which allows the air to pass out and produce melodious yet continuous sound with no rest.

Therefore, the professionals have created technical movements to make certain breaks that control accents and articulations. However, this Scottish musical instrument requires the practice of many years.

The Blowpipe:

this Scottish musical instrument has a blowpipe or blow stick which is the most crucial part. This blowpipe helps in maintaining air pressure by preventing air from escaping air by a unique airlock mechanism.

This all is preserved with the player’s constant blowing, which requires his continued lung strength and endurance.

The Drones:

The bagpipes, Scottish or Irish, both have drones. For most of the Scottish pipes, the drones are in a conical shape. Just like a chanter, they also have a reed which helps in producing sound. However, drones do not have finger holes and are not controllable.

Thus, bagpipe like instruments creates a constant humming sound that harmonizes well throughout the play.

These bagpipes Scottishhave three drones, two tenor drones, and a bass drone.

What Are Irish Bagpipes?


The bagpipe Irishis a very traditional and native instrument in Ireland. As you know, bagpipes, Scottish or Irish, are of multiple types.

An essential Irish pipe instrument Uilleann bagpipes, also known as Union pipes. The literal meaning of ‘Uilleann’ is an elbow. Also, this term was used in the 20th Century, before that ‘union pipe’ was famous.

Moreover, they are considered as a national bagpipe of Ireland. One of the reasons is that people played it in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Therefore, it has an important place in the hearts of the people living in these countries.

Also, Irish bagpipe music is much suitable for people who enjoy soft and sweet music indoor.

Due to the difference between Irish and Scottish culture, both prefer different music and have different types of bagpipes.

Irish Bagpipe Features

These bagpipe Irelandinstruments have Unique features and components which differ from the Scottish Highland bagpipes. They both differ in appearance from the melodic sound both of them produce.

Here’s a short description of each essential part of an Irish bagpipe.

The Bellows:

The TheUilleann bagpipes have a unique component, ‘the bellows,’ instead of blowpipes present in the Scottish pipe. They are located under the dominant hand and are controlled using the elbows; therefore, they are called elbow pipes.

The Chanter:

The next crucial part of the Ireland bagpipes is the chanter which is quite different from the Scottish pipe. They have cylindrical bore and- TheIrish pipers use double reed, and they are meant to rest on the thighs of the players.

Therefore, they have to sit and play it to produce a melodic sound, unlike marching and playing like Scottish bagpipe player name-pipers.

The main difference between Scottish and Irish pipes that the Scottish can only play a single octave, plus a note. At the same time, the Irish can play a more versatile tune than this.

They can play two octaves, including all the accidentals, and have a broader scale. As a result, this more exclusive chanter requires vital fingering techniques to produce tuneful sound.

The Drones:

TheseIrish pipe instruments have drones similar to that of Scottish pipe. However, they can be switched on and off with a switch that produces a melodic tune with multiple rests, a unique feature.

The traditional Irish pipes have three drones that are similar to the Scottish one. The drones include a tenor, a bass drone, and a baritone.

The Regulators:

The Uilleann bagpipes have a unique feature that is similar to the chanters. This includes the regulators, which are usually three in number in each set.

These regulators have sprung keys that manage them and produce rhythmic, musical, and harmonizing tunes.

Irish bagpipes have more advanced features that make them more expensive than Scottish bagpipes.

The answer to how much do bagpipe weights is that they weigh almost 5.5lbs and measures 40 x 20 inches.

Now you understand the difference between Irish bagpipes vs Scottish bagpipes

Where Do Bagpipes Originate From? (Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes)

Irish bagpipes were developed in the 1700s. At the same time, Scottish bagpipes were invented between the 1500s and 1800s. Hence the answer to are bagpipes Irish or Scottish is clear now.

Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes have both pros and cons. We have discussed both of them below.

Pros and Cons of Scottish and Irish Bagpipes

In this section, we’re going to show you Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes pros and cons.

Pros of Scottish Bagpipes

  • The bagpipe Scottish is considered a perfect instrument for people who want to enjoy parades and loud melodious tunes.
  • They’re pretty simple to use with easy to find.
  • They’re inexpensive and will not burden your pocket.
  • People usually prefer it as it’s pretty simple to learn. Once you get your hands on it, it becomes very delightful to use.

Cons of Scottish Bagpipes

  • they have minimal scales, and they can only play one octave.
  • For playing with a band pipe, every piper should play it the same as the others.
  • They have a booming sound; therefore, it requires a separate space for practicing
  • They require many practice sessions and immense lung strength and endurance.

Pros of Irish Bagpipes

  • They require lesser lung endurance and physical strength.
  • They can play multiple scales and two octaves, giving a more melodic tune.
  • They have an essential component regulator, which helps in creating more unique themes.
  • Although it has numerous scales and octaves, it’s much easier to handle and use with the exclusive chanter finger technique.
  • They’re much suitable for people who enjoy soft and sweet music indoor.

Cons of Irish Bagpipes

  • They’re high maintenance and pretty more sensitive than the Scottish pipe.
  • They’re also quite expensive.
  • They are not readily available and are pretty rare. Also, the learning process is complex, and it’s tough to find a mentor for it.
  • The tuning, fingering, and air control techniques are pretty tough, and they require a lot of practice to be a perfect player.

We hope that the uilleann pipes vs. Scottish bagpipes are clear and will help you buy the best suitable one for you.

Now you clearly understand the difference between Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes pros and cons. Let’s see which is best to buy.

Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes (Top 4 Amazon)

1) Irish Uilleann Bagpipe Upgrade Drone Set Left Hand

9ESCyt L5B90oZxdE5qwCIfaMOD9nzOWK6JUSST 5eurYwIXooyeQCJ4w080 uOuQqherqkW gVeVP1lchMtwC

It’s a great Irish bagpipe with a tutor book available. Its size is 40 x 20 with a synthetic bag of 30 x 30 size. It is available with a Tartan cover with a matching ultra-black smooth finish outside and a glossy silver-nickel finish inside.

This bagpipe-like instrument also provides free accessories like one synthetic drone reed set, one cane drone reed set, two cane pipe chanter reed, 1 Patrice chanter reed, and much more.

2) Brian Boru, Irish War Bagpipe, Rosewood With 5 Key Chanter

7uVCiTe1 Qgq3u4fF5R7KTrn209O9mp3jr0PxKP4C8xX70Zgke0Fxm7jfRWkxkkXIJjIsTutl8opPxAapVgSgVKk4h6GDlIw3h1z9hB1pKY1YWan 39 DnY3nUiuI5DIarYkH1sw

This bagpipe is unique with 5 Extended Key Chanter, Imitation mounts, Synthetic bag, Black Bag cover with Silver Fringe & Black Cord. Also, it provides 1 Set of Synthetic Drone Reeds, 2 Pcs Pipe Chanter Reeds, and a Carrying Case to help you carry it with ease.

Also, it provides an outstanding practice chanter that can be utilized if you’re not much familiar with it to help you practice in the best way possible.

3) Irish Uilleann Bagpipe Practice Set 3 Key Chanter Booklet

qLh iGqlGeu w569 xcrn6VEmHcbAWKhzBMt63p1lyh1FNyiWXDTrZDUlg0BbnTwanVqazRi2scwp6hdRTBmV36cyGAdbPL bcM

These Uillean bagpipes provide a Practice Set made of African Blackwood. It can help you play two octaves from Low to high D. The chanter has three nickel keys which provide additional C, G#, and F notes.

Its main component includes a synthetic airbag, Black velvet bag Cover, Soft carrying case

2 Pcs Cane reed and 2 Pcs Synthetic Reeds.

Moreover, it also provides Practice Chanter Rose Wood to help you practice playing in the best way possible.

4) Uilleann Bagpipe Practice Set (Starter) With 3 Keys Chanter (African Blackwood) Uilleann Pipes

QlzdBrhqOLW5fW9H24cKsrS0KCMR2fTuPGTdKs48cTihiDRBsd79G8Yd1zPvUg04QQ WcMTgyY5pS6Y7FzQi3ZI r NwoXMuENtRSAsdkhFNi 7s9JikX6 cNJL9OdFWT8HE3K2

ThisIrish instrument, like bagpipes, has a highly hand-crafted quality with value Priced and satisfaction guaranteed with 30 days return policy.

This set has 3 Keyed Chanter Nickle Keys in the Key of “D” Drone Cup Installed. You can upgrade this set to a half set or complete set. The Blackwood Uilleann Chanter is designed to be played with the Practice Set, Half set & complete set.

ThisUillean bagpipe is a 2019 Model, newly made on Wilbert Garvin Plans. It’s made of African Blackwood, and the chanter plays two octaves from Low to high D. The chanter also has three nickel keys that provide additional C, G#, and F notes.

It also provides a 1 Piece Top Class Cane Chanter Reed and an excellent booklet Davy Learn to Play Uilleann Bagpipe.

It also provides free accessories like Uilleann Practice Chanter with 2 Reeds, a Soft carrying case, and a Black Bag cover with silver fringe.

The above bagpipes types are the most popular with unique features in the world. We guarantee that they will satisfy the basic need of bagpipes you’re looking for.

You have now understood the difference between Irish bagpipes vs Scottish bagpipes. Let’s check out next, what people also ask.

Frequently Ask Questions

Q: Do Irish People Have Bagpipes?

A: Irish people have a great attachment to bagpipes as it’s a part of their tradition. Uilleann pipes are the most famous bagpipes in Ireland. The Irish primarily play the Uilleann pipes, and they like it with a much softer and melodic sound.

Q: What Are BagpipesCalled in Ireland?

A: Uilleann bagpipes are bagpipes Irish and the most popular bagpipes used by the Irish people. It is much suitable for people who enjoy soft and sweet music indoor.

Q: Do Irish Play the Bagpipes?

A:The answer todo they play bagpipes in Ireland? Yes, Irish people play a type of bagpipe known as the Uilleann pipes. They enjoy the rich sound of the Uilleann pipes so much that they are considered the national bagpipe of Ireland.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Bagpipes and Uilleann Pipes?


The Irish and Scottish bagpipes are pretty different from each other. Irish bagpipes typically have two drones – tenor and bass – while the Scottish bagpipes have an extra drone. Also, the Scottish bagpipes are blown by the mouth while Irish bagpipes inflate the bellows.

Q: Which came first, Irish or Scottish bagpipes?

A: The Irish bagpipes were developed in the 1700s. At the same time, Scottish bagpipes were invented between the 1500s and 1800s.

Conclusion: Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes

That’s all! we hope you will now understand the difference between Irish bagpipes vs Scottish bagpipes.

Irish Great Highland bagpipes and the Scottish Uilleann bagpipes. We have also summarizedIrish vs. Scottish bagpipe swith their advantages and disadvantages.

You can also check out 10 Best Headless Guitars and 9 Best Passive Speakers for Home Theaters.

Are you enjoying reading Irish Bagpipes vs Scottish Bagpipes? What are you waiting for? Share this blog post with your friends and family.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *