Pipe Bag Sizing and Stock Placement

The correct bagpipe bag size is crucial, sizing has been a major factor for comfort, control, quality of playing but a little thought through notion is stock placement. Reading through PM John MacLellan’s “Pipers’ Handbook” he discusses the placement of the drones in one particular spot on the bag (folding the bag in half, ensuring the welt of the bag at the center stock end is placed to the welt at the top rear of the bag; mark the centre stock at the fold, bass stock is 3″ down and 1″ forward, and the second tenor is placed 3 inches from the center stock but only 1/2″ back) but is this one size fits all mentality going to work. I’m 5’10” with 35″ arm length which makes a medium sized Begg sheep hide perfect but I’m betting pulling the stocks a little back on the bag is going to make a major difference in comfort and control. I currently play a Gannaway hide bag that feels as if my left thumb wants to go through the chanter. The bag always seems to be in a perfect position down my arm a bit, not being firmly placed under my armpit. The bag I used before was a Ross hybrid large which had the grommets which I’ll now shy away from since that doesn’t allow any different placement of the stocks. I’ll be getting a Begg bag or equivalent and look forward to seeing how the pipes feel. As always, the bagpipes are a source of experimentation in order to get the perfect fit. Every piper has a different physique so it’s understandable that there is going to be a need for aspects of the pipes to be adjusted so that one can get an instrument that fits well for the long haul. Also, for an extensive review of all the major bag manufacturers, Andrew Lenz’s page is an amazing source for this: http://www.bagpipejourney.com/articles/bag-measurements.shtml