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The website is due for some updates – in the meantime please visit our facebook page for more recent posts of photos and videos of a range of Ian’s smallpipes and uilleann pipes.


Ian Kinnear Scottish Smallpipes

Scottish smallpipes are a bellows-blown bagpipe with a softer and more mellow sound than the better known Highland Bagpipe. They can be supplied in a range of keys to suit different types of music and instrumental line-ups, and provide the perfect accompaniment to fiddle, guitar, whistle, flute, banjo, mandolin etc. The volume is ideal for group work with other traditional acoustic instruments. They are well-suited to playing together in small harmony groups.

The finger technique is the same as that for the Highland Bagpipe, so for the existing Highland Pipers the transition to smallpipes is not too difficult. Once the bellows technique has been mastered the smallpipes will open up a whole new world of musical possibilities for those used to the strictures of the Highland Bagpipe World.

Since starting making pipes in 1993 Ian has established himself as a maker of first class musical instruments. All his smallpipes are of the highest quality in terms of workmanship and sound.

Great care has been taken in the research and design of the pipes to ensure accuracy of sound. Ian makes all his own reeds. The finest of materials combined with scrupulous attention to detail provides a superbly finished instrument.

Ian has pioneered the use of larger bellows and bags for smallpipes as well as developing his reeds and chanter to provide a much stronger, steadier and louder sound whilst maintaining clarity and crispness of tone.

All stages of manufacture are carried out by Ian at his workshop in Edzell. With the exception of bags and covers all components are made by Ian.

All the African Blackwood used by Ian is bought from Tanzania. It is kept for 2 years to ensure stability and during the making it is treated with linseed oil. Reeds are made from arundo-donax cane. There really is no alternative for rich vibrant sounding drones. Ian travels to Cogolin in the South of France once a year to select all his cane.

Ian’s smallpipes are available in the keys of A, Bb, C or D. A and D are most common and most useful for playing with other traditional instruments. The smallpipes can be supplied as standard 3 drone sets or, because A and D harmonise and there are 2 drones common to both sets, they can be supplied as a combined A/D set with 4 drones and two interchangeable chanters. All chanters are supplied with split stock for reed protection.

Owning a set of Scottish Smallpipes made by Ian Kinnear is a unique experience. You will be guaranteed individual attention offering a prompt and reliable after-sale service.

This website takes you through all the information you will need to know when purchasing a set of smallpipes and offers you the opportunity to make an informed choice about which set is the right one for you.

Please feel free to get in touch for further information and to discuss your specific requirements.

Full Set & Bellows
Hand Engraved Silver
Wacky Plain