The practice chanter is used as a practice instrument, firstly for learning to finger the different melody notes of bagpipe music, and after the bagpipe is mastered, to practice current and new music.
The traditional practice chanter is a woodwind instrument. It is significantly quieter and better suited for indoors than bagpipes and requires less blowing, making it physically easier to play. It consists of two parts made of either wood or plastic, with a small diameter hole bored lengthwise through the centre. You blow through the mouthpiece, the air passes through a reed located between the two sections into the lower section where holes are bored at right angles to the central bore hole, and the movement of the fingers produces the melody.
In addition to the traditional practice chanter there are also a variety of electronic practice chanters available which are designed to be used with earplugs and require no blowing. They are perfect for the lunch room or public transport as you don’t disturb people around you, so there’s no excuse for not practicing!