Thursday, October 4, 2012

My read on REEDS

Who decided that bagpipes should become associated with classy ‘American’ pomp, processionals, and memorable occasions? When I was young, I don’t recall legions of long legged and skirted men parading around their instruments except if I frequented West Hollywood Halloween parties. Now if I lived in Scotland or some other European culture that shuns pants I might understand, but didn’t my family forerunners sprint for the sea long ago to cover-up their bell-bottoms and avoid the blare of these bloody bleating bags o’ pipes?

After all who can listen to an instrument where its fundamental parts consist of a ‘Bag’, ‘Drone’, and a ‘Chanter’? In practice, any ONE of these words swirling around your dome for a short time will give you a headache, but together in concert they will always lead to serious migraines and ultimately formal funerals. Hasn’t America already suffered enough HARMonium at the hands (or slobbery chops) of obnoxious accordion and harmonica ‘windbags’, with their wheezing reeds and congested nasal nuisances?

Amazingly, not all REEDS rub me the wrong way unless they have to do with swamps, Hobbits, or irritatingly inane teenage Vampires. Musically, English horns and clarinets played well can be curiously captivating and who isn’t a fan of good SAX whenever they can get it?  Also remember to make it a double when it comes to my orchestral fave-flavs, the swoon of a bassoon expertly blown, or its baby bro, the oboe - even if played just ‘so so’. 

A few of you critical canines  might now howl in protest when I croon a tune at Karaoke or have the brass to‘bag’ on your beloved pipes n’ reeds without heed. Hey relax, I was hatched into a hill family of pro musicians and played trumpet too, so blowing-off fellow belIowers is just a form of tooting my own horn - right! Anyway I must admit, I’ve never looked very sophisticated while pants-less with my bagpipes showing. So I had better stick with the CLASSY instruments that I know and love - the hobo-band ‘chug jug’, slide whistle, and ubiquitous saliva-soaked jaw-harp!


  1. It is strange how we find the sounds of bag pipes so enjoyable. It is harsh. The oboe or bassoon is so much more interesting. Stan the Man Musial plays harmonica, therefore, harmonica music is OK. I never figured out the jaw harp. Twang.

  2. Don't start your kid on a reed instrument. Cuz no
    reed is permanent, but breakable. Or it frazzles and
    splinters too soon.
    Another moneysaving hint: Nothing frazzles on a Tuba.
    Except the nerves of people, dogs and cats who hear
    it being practiced.
    As for KILTS: I always longed to find out what
    was underneath them. Until I found out.


  3. Bagpipes are Ok for a just a short part. The only way I can carry a tune is to bring my Ipod along.

  4. Drums are always a nice soothing instrument.