Reviews of ES Session Chanter
I have just ordered an ES SESSION Chanter and I am confident that I will enjoy it as much as I have the original version. It is a real pleasure to be able to play along with other instruments; including, keyboards, guitars and ’A’ small pipes. Our pipe band is developing an expanded concert repertoire largely because of the ease and enjoyment of playing this instrument. As a result, we have more opportunities to perform in public especially during the winter months when, here in Canada, the weather is not conducive to outdoor performances. I am personally looking forward to using the B flat stem for band practice and teaching.
I can confidently say that the ES Session Chanter is the best practice chanter I have ever played. Here’s why:
1. The look of the chanter is unique! I work at a school and my 50+ students all say how “cool” it looks compared to the normal chanters.
2. The sound is very warm, bright and vibrant.
3. It has an added benefit of being able to break it down for easy travel and storage.
4. You can interchange stems so you can play in A and B flat (or more keys if they are made in the future). This is great for live performances if you want to keep playing the same chanter and also great for when your playing with other musicians. Most chanters tune either close to A or B flat so when your playing with another person, you can just pick the stem to suit.
5. You can easily take it apart to dry or blow through when saliva becomes excessive in the stem.
6. The stems are incredibly close to being perfectly in tune straight off the bat.
7. With the extremely long reed seat, you can get it pretty much perfect right up the scale without any tape at all. With the reed seat being so long, you also have the ability to sharpen or flatten the pitch of the chanter to match any chanter that's not in a particular key.
8. It also has a little ring around where you’d put your thumb on the back of the chanter which is great for teaching kids.
9. The new Mk III chanter has also been put under a hard anodisation process making it extremely durable and resistant to oxidation.
Before seeing this chanter, I often wondered why we “practiced” on practice chanters that sounded so horrible and not in any particular key, yet when we come to the bagpipes (especially at the top level) sound is arguably the most concentrated aspect of playing. How can people practice listening for tone in group practice chanter sessions or by themselves if the chanters are all out of tune to begin with? The very idea of “practicing” for a comp out of tune bewilders me and is one of the biggest overlooked, double handed processes in our teaching methods. I remember watching a teacher asking a student of his, “Why can’t you hear that the notes are out of tune?”. Much to his surprise the student simply said, “It’s what I’ve been used to..."
With the ES Session practice chanter, practices and rehearsals could be so much more productive and definitely more pleasant to listen / play in. Of course, no chanter is perfect. It depends on the reeds, how they’re set up and who’s playing them. I had a bunch of reeds to choose from and they were all excellent. I find the reeds that come with the chanter suit the chanter much better than other standard practice chanter reeds.
All in all, if you want to sound in tune, look awesome, and be able to play with any backing track or live musician in the key of A or B flat without any difficulty at all, this is your chanter.
I recently bought an ES session chanter, and received it 24hrs after dispatch, very impressed with the service.
The package had a B flat chanter and an A chanter, excellent for my needs. The standard of finish on the chanter is outstanding, and I would recommend this chanter to anyone.
The tone of the chanter is great, as is the quality. The chanter is easy maintenance and will last forever under normal use.
I am really pleased with the chanter.
After a long time I decided to buy the ES Session Chanter and was told the Mk3 was going to come out shortly. It has been worth the wait! I can say I am very happy with the Mk3 Chanter which has a stunning design and gorgeous material. The anodized space grey makes it look very modern. It is perfectly produced in every detail and the fact that you screw all the pieces together is an extra touch. The two separate stems (A and B flat) allow for maximum flexibility in playing together with other instruments.
Most importantly, the sound is very stable which makes it playable (and ENJOYABLE) not only in practice but also in band formations, without having to worry about shrill sounds or odd effects being produced while playing.
A solid feel and nice weight, guarantee an experience that gives you maximum confidence from the beginning.
On top of all this, there is a direct and immediate contact with the maker of the ES Session Chanter which is a big bonus. The company is very customer-friendly and assists you with any special questions or doubts answering to messages in realtime. Excellent job!
Jan De Meyer, violin and bagpipe player in “An Tarbh Rua” and in “Boira Fusca” folk bands.
I have just taken delivery of the latest mk3 practice chanter and have to say I am very impressed with the quality of this instrument. Very easy to use and very robust as I've already accidentally sat on it resulting in no damage whatsoever. Sounds great and love the way it dismantled so easily and great coming with the extra stem . Really pleased I purchased it and description of product given by Lindsay was more than accurate. Many thanks Lindsay.
"This is a well made product that is very enjoyable to play. It serves pipers well as a practice chanter and as an instrument in its own right. Whether it's a serious practice or a friendly session with other musicians, every piper should have one at their fingertips. It's time to tune in to the sound other musicians enjoy playing along with. Illuminate the room with this aluminium tone stick ! "
Pipe Major Robert Mathieson
My chanter was speedily and safely delivered today. I have been playing GHB and other similar bagpipes on and off now for about 40 years and can confidently say that the ES Session Chanter is one of the best pieces of kit I have ever purchased connected with this discipline.