Pipe Bags and Moisture
On the Highland Bagpipe the pipe bag acts as a reservoir for air which allows a steady pressure to be maintained at all times on the chanter and drone reeds. This allows the piper to take a breath without the flow of air to the reeds stopping. Whatever type of bag you have must be airtight otherwise the rate of blowing to keep the bag inflated becomes uncomfortable. If you have a traditional skin bag make sure it is well seasoned and bags made from man-made materials should be checked for any leakage.
The air which we blow out to keep the bag inflated is saturated with water vapour. This vapour can condense on the reeds which can make them become unsteady and/or stop. This is a consideration when deciding whether to play cane or synthetic drone reeds as cane reeds are more susceptible to moisture with synthetic less so.
Pipe Chanter reeds do require a certain amount of moisture but when saturated they will lose pitch and tone.
It is therefore important that as much as possible of the moisture blown into the pipe bag is absorbed before it reaches the reeds. Bagpipe Specialists range of moisture control systems will overcome this problem and allow you extended playing time.