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Help! My Ganaway Bag Isn't Airtight!

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Have you found that your Gannaway bag does not stay completely airtight?  Should there be some flexibility with hide bags?  What are the major fail points for pipe bags?

Andrew and Carl explain how airtight a bag should be and how to check for it.  Hint: It’s a non-negotiable for pipers!

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Video Transcription:

Andrew:
"I'm having a hard time with my pipes lately, mainly getting past the first question. I have a Gannaway bag and even after seasoning, I still have a hard time. I have a Bannatyne Synthetic bag, bare bones. I could put that on, but it's so light, then I'll need to think about moisture. Am I being too fussy?"

Carl:
Maybe there's more issues. Yeah, great.  You're not being too fussy, first of all. Your bag should be a hundred percent airtight all of the time, always. You should be able to wear it to space, is what we like to say, right? There's a problem. There's a problem with this bag. It's probably, Jen, with the tie-in. If you've seasoned it properly, which I would assume you have, it's probably something wrong with the tie-in or your flapper valve.

Andrew:
Or cracks.

Carl:
Or cracks in the stocks. There's got to be something else here, because there's no reason a well-made Gannaway should be leaking. It's possible also that it's leaking somewhere on the seam of the Gannaway. There could be an inherent issue. Rule out everything else first. There's no reason properly seasoned and tied-on Bannatyne bag should be leaking. Not Bannatyne, sorry, Gannaway.

Andrew:
Right.

Carl:
Seasoning should block any holes, so check your seams. When it's inflated, push all on those seams. See if there's anywhere where, when you push on it, it makes a little bit of sound. As you cork it up, also pull on those two outside tenor, the tenor and base stock, pull them into the position that they would normally be in. Sometimes they're airtight when they're sticking out like one, two, three, but as soon as you put the drones in with the cords, that narrows that. It puts different stress on it. Sometimes it could be leaking there.

Andrew:
Jen, do you use grommets? Jen, are you on the grommets? No? Okay, yeah.

Carl:
That's good.

Andrew:
That's good.

Carl:
Yeah, check your seams. I mean, it's been tied-in for years. Great. I mean, check them. They could be years old, then have a problem.

Andrew:
If your bag is old, it might need to be re-primed as well.

Carl:
Yeah. Have you re-primed it, Jen? Good point. You're supposed to do that every year. Primer is what seals up a Gannaway, not the seasoning.

Andrew:
You're thinking it's probably due. Okay.

Carl:
Oh, then do it. Do that.

Andrew:
What you need to do is grab some paper towels and moisten them and wipe the inside of the bag clean. Get rid of all whatever seasoning is in there and on there. Then, I would leave it out to dry for 24 hours in a nice, dry environment and then do the primer. Do the primer real good and do the kneel test on the primer to make sure the primer gets in every little nook and cranny of that bag. Then, you got to let it rest again. Then, don't season it yet. Then, blow it up and you should find that it's as tight as a football. Don't season it until you know it's already tight. I feel like-

Carl:
Right. You can re-prime it after that, too. Save whatever you pour out until you've done that kneel and dry test and check it the next day.

Andrew:
Yeah. That's really good. Yes. Good?

Carl:
Yeah, good question.

Andrew:
What John is really asking here is, "Do you have problems with the bag slipping?" All right, that's a really common problem. Now, the length of the blow pipe will absolutely play a factor. When we develop great bagpipe posture, this is bag slippage, all right? This is how to avoid it, number one, get all four non-negotiables of bagpipe posture. What are the four non-negotiables of bagpipe posture? We're going to be talking about this more, because we built it into the transitioning course.

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tags:
Carl Donley Carl Donley is professional piper who hails originally from Chicago. He has been playing for over 20 years and has taken numerous prizes in solos throughout his rise to the professional grade. Carl got his pipe band start with the Ft. Lauderdale Highlanders in south Florida, and also played in the Grade 2 Chicago Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band during high school, before joining The Oran Mor Pipe Band in 2008. In addition to playing in Oran Mor, Carl was the Pipe Major of The Iona College Pipe Band during his four years at Iona College. He is now the Chief Operating Officer at the Piper's Dojo.

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