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------Est. 1980 Piping Perfection------

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April 2021


Dear Piping Enthusiast,


What's going on in the piping world? Well maybe not a lot in Scotland on the surface, but hopefully a lot behind closed doors as everyone gets ready for the "Great Escape" but hey - our friends in Oz and NZ are way ahead and things I believe are more or less back to normal. The States are making fast progress too so that's brilliant. Begg Bagpipes have continued throughout but without the face to face relationships I really enjoy. It has given us time to think about the newsletter and so in this edition, you have more of yours truly on video. I introduce the first of a three part series focussing on the dark arts of fitting and tying in a bagpipe bag and I hope you enjoy them. It's tricky in three short clips to present the complete story and the techniques emanating from years of experience, but I hope they will be of some use and interest. Please do let me know how you go about this important procedure yourself since there are many variations on the theme.

Our limited edition of New Zealand skins are selling well and flying out all over the world and I think we have about 7 standard sizes left. As I said, once they are gone, that's it. We are of course constantly selling the top end models 365 days a year. On the bag front, another recent highlight was to hear again from our friends and regular customers in the Raleigh Pipe Band and the City of Chicago Pipe Band in the USA  - thanks guys.


Yours aye,

James C. Begg

Piping Perfection


Stuart Samson has a new digital book - the Parkgrove Collection

It's a model of how to produce an online book and really enjoyable. It is well set out and easy to navigate. You actually get a real feel for the composer's life and how much he loves piping. There are sound files to let you get a grip on how the tunes should sound. This is a great feature but I didn't actually need it - the tunes seem to flow naturally and easily, so within two tries of the first bar, I was away with each tune. This is a reflection of how good the music is and I would thoroughly recommend this book to you.

The Dark and Mystical Art of Bag Tying


This is the first part of a three part series - created, narrated, demonstrated and recorded first time (wow!) by James C. Begg all on his ownio - in his recording studio (i.e. workshop) in Kirkintilloch, the Canal Capital of Scotland and often referred to in some quarters as the Venice of the North.

If you dare, click on the photo of this sinister looking person to enter his dark world.........


Special Offer - Classic Books

I am a member of that august body, The Glasgow Highland Club and a friend of mine from the Club unfortunately passed away. His wife has gathered some of his piping books together and has asked me if I could possibly sell them for her. They all need to be considered in the "used" category but that is doing them a disservice. The quality overall is really good and these classic books are a must for inclusion in any discerning piper's collection. Rather than selling them one at a time, I am wondering if a job lot is the way to go. I estimate the retail price to be some £250 and I think they should go to a good home at a reasonable price - as a guide, I think something over £100 (plus p&p at cost) would be fair and reasonable.  Items in the offer are:

The Scots Guards vol 1- 1965 and vol 11 1981

The Queens Own Highlanders    1960/61

The Glendaruel collection    Pm W  Norris

P/m W Ross Bk 2 and 4

The Cowal Collection

P/m Donald MacLeod Bk 4 and 6

John Macfadyen Collection Bk 2 1973

The Edcath Collection Bk 1 and 2

Captain J Peterson BK 1 and 2

Piobaireachd society Bk 7 1938


If you are interested, please drop an email to me on by April 15th and we can take it from there.

 Field Report - Jim Butler, Artist and Piper


We were pleased to receive an email and video from an old friend Jim Butler. In addition to being a retired principal teacher of art, Jim completed seven successful years as a piping teacher in North Ayrshire Schools and helped so many young people as they embarked on their musical journey. He is highly respected in the piping world and has had some very notable students who have gone on to achieve great things.  He is originally from Kilmarnock and played in the Kilmarnock Pipe Band and many other bands, and was the pipe sergeant of Piper's Whisky Pipe Band for 20 years in Grade 2.  Jim is also a Burns enthusiast and past president and director of Irvine Burns Club and Eglinton Burns Club.

Shortly after last year's newsletter featuring Duncan Brown's art and small pipes, Jim wrote to James/Jimmy/Jim Begg as follows:


"Hi Jimmy... always an interesting read is your newsletter and the latest even more so. I was interested in the critique of the small pipes by Duncan Brown for two reasons:-- I also closed off the baritone on my small pipes until I hit on the technique of tuning to E--- quelle difference!!!  as they say!!!  And I also am an artist! I should have had a solo exhibition at Irvine's Harbour Arts Centre in the summer and this did not happen as the Centre was being used to distribute food to needy families in the area. So the show went "virtual" which I was a bit wary of but at the end I had sold 12 paintings so my doubts were groundless. I called the show "The Piper's Paintings" for obvious reasons!  Still busy with the pipes although no longer in the Band scene and although weddings have taken a back seat this year I've been kept going with funerals and birthday celebrations. I will send you the video of the exhibition...the final piece is a portrait of Alistair McCulloch the Scots fiddler who last winter toured USA with the fiddle which belonged to Burns' dancing teacher and Alistair finishes the show with a Burns tune. Hope you enjoy it and feel free to share it if you wish. I hope you and yours are well and that you have a good a festive season as possible in these odd times. And all good wishes for 2021!!  Regards Jim Butler"


Click to Watch "Exhibition | The Piper’s Paintings by Jim Butler" on YouTube.

Thanks Jim for your report and we wish you all the best with your art and music.






If you would like to report on any aspect of the Piping World from wherever you live, or if you would like to comment on any articles or issues, we'd be pleased to hear from you. Email to




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