DIY Bagpipes

A good set of bagpipes for sale can cost thousands of dollars, and take forever to be made. Unless they’re maintained daily, they begin to sound more like the screams of the damned than a musical instrument.

We have the solution. These DIY bagpipes cost less than $20 (cheaper than a practice chanter!) and can be built in a single afternoon. The best part? Despite being made entirely out of duct tape and PVC, they sound surprisingly good!

The secret to their sound may surprise you – it’s all caused by a piece of plastic bag, vibrated by the inrush of air! By varying the length of the pipe the air travels down (i.e. the drones), we can change the rate at which the membrane vibrates and thus affect the tuning. There is also a chanter in the front that allows a melody to be played by the same principle. So instead of throwing that “non-reusable” plastic bag away, why not put it to use?

To help you make your own set of DIY bagpipes, we’ve gone ahead and made a full-fledged Instructables with detailed steps on acquiring parts, putting everything together, and preventing those strangled cat sounds. If that’s too big a commitment for the moment, you can even start by building just the practice chanter. We’ll be adding more instructions and tutorials as we improve our own set of pipes, so stay “tuned”!

Enjoy! And make sure to share your own DIY bagpipes in the comments!