How to Make Bagpipes Out of a Garbage Bag and Recorders




Introduction: How to Make Bagpipes Out of a Garbage Bag and Recorders

This instructable is how to make a simple bagpipe like instrument out of basic household materials. Granted, it does not sound all too much like a bagpipe, but it works similarly and is fun to mess around with.

Step 1: Basic Construction of Bagpipes

At the most basic level, bagpipes have 4 parts:

A bag to hold the air
A blowpipe to blow air into the bag
A chanter to play a melody
And a drone which plays a constant note

Step 2: Materials

1 Garbage Bag or large plastic bag
2 Recorders (or 2 PVC Recorders:
2 Pens (You can also use a decent sized straw or a piece of hose)

Step 3: Make the Blowpipe

To make the blowpipe out of pens, just take the pens apart and tape them together.

Step 4: Trim the Bag

We wont be needing an entire garbage bag, so trim it down some, maybe 3/4 the size of a regular garbage bag.

Step 5: Attach Blowpipe to Bag

Tape the blowpipe to one side of the open bag. I like to put the blowpipe in a good inch or two into the bag to make sure no air escapes.

Go ahead and tape up 1/4 of the open part of the bag too.

Step 6: Attach the Drone

Take one recorder, which will act as the drone, and tape it near 1/4 of the bag length down from the blowpipe. Make sure you do not cover up the whistle part of the recorder and that the mouthpiece is in the bag.

Go ahead and close up the rest of the open part of the bag, making it airtight.

Step 7: Attach the Chanter

Cut a hole in the corner of the bag that is on the same side as the blowpipe.

Attach the other recorder to the hole and this will act as the chanter.

Step 8: Modify the Drone

Tape up some holes on the drone to make it sound like how you want it to. This is the part that plays a constant note, so try to make it a note that doesn't make you want to find earplugs. Covering up all the holes works the best I think.

Step 9: Have Fun

Go ahead and play with your new bagpipes. Look for videos on the internet to learn how to play, the main difference is you play the chanter like a recorder. Check for any leaks and fix them with tape.

The bagpipe in the video looks a bit different because I made it larger than the one I did in the instructable, I find it works better if it's a little on the big side. Also you will notice I have no idea how to play a recorder, but someone with some musical talent should be able to get some nice melodies out of this.



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68 Discussions

Like a pair of cats screwing...........LOL!

Try taking it busking and see what reaction you get! LOL!

How much do "good" (not homemade) bagpipes cost? I found some in the hundred dollar range but I'm not sure if they are "good".

2 replies

there is a very good man called Paul Beekhuizen who makes french and german bagpipes, not the highland ones. Might be worth checking out, all handmade quality stuff.

Use a permanent marker to add the plaid to the garbage bag surface to make it extra authentic.


1 year ago

Wow this is amazing!! Id love to try making this one!! Thanks!!

This is so resourceful! Nice work.

I made it! and I improved! instead of recorders I used bagpipe practice chanters and added two more chanters for the drones. I also extended the bass drone with black PVC pipe. the bag was a lawn trash bags. to maintain shape I bought a bagpipe cover. and real drone cords

I am currently in the process of making mine, but how do I make the reed?

2 replies

recorders dont use reeds, they are essentially "long" whistles

it works, but it will make you deaf. its gawdawful.

it turned out to be unplayable garbage.

maybe if you use $100 alto recorders, you may have something that wont permanently make you deaf, but it will still make your ears bleed.

Hey, Hey, hold it! Bagpipes are far from annoying, bagpipes have an amazing sound. I love bagpipes.

and if the garbage bag does not match your kilt, it is really easy to make a plaid cover.