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Sunday, January 5, 2020

How to of the Day

How to of the Day

How to Play Bagpipes

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 08:00 AM PST

Playing the bagpipes properly requires the right stance, a strong set of lungs, and a good understanding of the relationship between pressure and sound. To start playing the bagpipes, you'll need to learn what each piece does, how it works, and where you're supposed to position it. To get better at the bagpipes, practice playing notes on a practice chanter and work on your breath control by performing 2-minute drills. With enough persistence and practice, you'll be performing beautiful music in no time!


[Edit]Understanding and Holding Your Bagpipes

  1. Hold the bagpipes with the bass drone over your nondominant shoulder. Loop your left arm underneath the bagpipes and lift it with both hands underneath. Tilt the bass drone, which is the longest pipe on the top of the bag, behind you. Rest it in the pocket where your shoulder blade meets your neck. Keep the bagpipes pinched between your left arm and left side, using the gravity from the tip of your bass drone and your hips to keep the bagpipes still.[1]
    Play Bagpipes Step 1.jpg
    • You should keep your shoulders as straight as possible when you play the bagpipes.
    • There is no volume control on bagpipes. Keep this in mind before you purchase a set if you live in an apartment or have roommates.[2]
  2. Inflate the bagpipes by blowing into the blowstick. The blow-stick is the thin, plastic piece with an opening at the top. It sits next to the bass drone. Blow firmly into the blowstick to fill the bag with air and inflate it. When you blow into the bag, it will naturally stay inflated for 5-25 seconds as air begins to escape out of the drones. You need to repeatedly blow into the blowstick to keep the bag consistently inflated.[3]
    Play Bagpipes Step 2.jpg
    • There is a valve inside the blowstick that allows air to travel into the bag without letting the air come back out. If you feel air coming out of the blowstick after you blow, you may need a new blowstick.
  3. Keep the bag inflated to emit sound from the drones. The 3 big pipes that stick out the top of the bagpipes are the drones. There are 2 tenor drones and 1 bass drone. The drones function sort of like pedals on a piano by providing a continuous note that carries as you play. Each drone will naturally produce a humming noise when you play the bagpipes, as air travels through them and out of the top of the drones.[4]
    Play Bagpipes Step 3.jpg
    • When you hold a set of bagpipes, the bass drone is the large one that rests over your nondominant shoulder. The 2 other pipes are tenor drones. Both tenor drones are tuned to be 1 octave higher than the bass drone.
    • There are small plastic pieces wrapped around the middle of each drone. These are called tuning slides, and are used to adjust the note coming out of a reed. To raise the pitch on a drone's note, slide it up. To lower the note, slide it down.
  4. Hold the chanter with both hands to begin playing. The remaining stick that hangs off of the bagpipes on the opposite side is called the chanter. It is used to play specific notes on the bagpipes as you inflate it. Hold the chanter with your right hand on the bottom half of the chanter and your left hand on top.[5]
    Play Bagpipes Step 4.jpg
    • Even if you are left-handed, you should still place your right hand on the bottom half. It's hard to learn the bagpipes with your hands reversed.
    • There are 4 reeds inside the bag. As you play the bagpipes, air blows through the bag, causing the reeds to vibrate and make sound. The drones cause 3 of the reeds to play a continuous note while the chanter controls the fourth reed.

[Edit]Playing Specific Notes

  1. Put your fingers over the corresponding notes from top to bottom. There are 8 holes used to produce 9 notes on a bagpipe. The holes represent the notes high-A, high-G, F, E, D, C, B, and low-A, and are arranged with the highest note at the top of the chanter (high-A) and all subsequent notes going down towards the tip of the chanter. Place your hands with your left hand covering the top 4 notes and your right hand covering the bottom 4.[6]
    Play Bagpipes Step 5.jpg
    • The ninth note that doesn't have a hole is low-G. This is played by blowing while covering all of the holes at the same time.
    • The 2 fingers that aren't used are the right thumb, which wraps around the chanter to hold it steady, and the left pinky, which hangs off of the chanter for balance. Your left thumb covers high-A on the backside of the chanter.
    • Keep your fingers at a 90-degree angle on top of the holes to fully cover each opening.
  2. Lift a finger off a note while blowing to play it. To play a specific note, lift the corresponding finger off of the note that it's covering. For example, your right index finger covers the D hole. Keep all other holes covered while blowing and raise your right index off of the chanter to play a D note. When you raise a finger to play a note, lift it approximately off of the chanter.[7]
    Play Bagpipes Step 6.jpg
    • Don't use the tips of your fingers to cover the holes. Instead, use the thicker pads on fingers that are closer to your palm. This will ensure that each hole is covered completely.
  3. Adjust the pitch of a note by controlling your breath. If you blow harder while playing a note, you'll raise the note's pitch. If you blow softer while playing a note, you'll lower a note's pitch. Pitch can also be modified by the amount of pressure that you place on the bag with your arm. Pressing will raise the pitch while releasing the bag will lower it. Put pressure on the side of the bag while you're blowing lightly to compensate for the change in pressure while you catch your breath.[8]
    Play Bagpipes Step 7.jpg
    • Mastering the relationship between pressure from your arm and input from the blowstick is essential to maintaining the continuous sound in the drones.
  4. Raise multiple fingers to play chords and unnatural notes. While the bagpipes only have 9 natural notes, their sounds can be manipulated to play chords and unnatural notes by lifting multiple fingers at the same time. Usually, lifting multiple fingers produces a variety on a single note since there's still only 1 reed in the chanter. To produce chords, sheet music will often require you to place a single high-A or low-G in the middle of a continuous sound to make it seem like a chord is being played (these are called grace notes).[9]
    Play Bagpipes Step 8.jpg
    • For example, lifting your left thumb, left index, left ring finger and right pinky at the same time plays an A sharp, but if you play a grace note in between, it may sound like multiple notes are being played.
    • If you're just starting out, don't worry about learning how to manipulate the chanter to play chords or unnatural notes. Start out with the basics and then build from there.

[Edit]Practicing and Getting Better

  1. Get a practice chanter to commit notes to memory. Practice chanters are smaller versions of a bagpipe chanter. They are designed to produce sound on their own so that you can practice playing the notes on a bagpipe. Learning on a practice chanter will let you see your fingers on the chanter while blowing, which will make it easier to memorize the movements required to play certain notes.[10]
    Play Bagpipes Step 9.jpg
    • There are electronic practice chanters that can digitally shut off certain notes or pitches to make practicing easier.
    • To get used to the notes and the sounds that they make, start practicing by playing the notes in order from high-A to low-A.
  2. Memorize some simple tunes to practice playing. Songs are typically played on bagpipes from memory, since playing the instrument requires using both hands at the same time while they're underneath the bag. This makes it near-impossible to play the bagpipes while looking at the finger board, reading music, and blowing at the same time. Practice memorizing a song on a practice chanter before trying to play a song.[11]
    Play Bagpipes Step 11.jpg
    • "Amazing Grace" is a famous bagpipe song, and a good starting point once you've mastered the notes. It is a good song to learn early on because it's immediately recognizable and doesn't require any complicated or quick hand movements.
  3. Perform the 2-minute trick to practice breath control. Hold the bag by the bass drone where it meets the bag. With no pressure being placed on the bag by your arm, inflate the bag with the blowstick so that the drones make noise. Try to blow and keep the bag inflated so that it plays the same continuous pitch for 2 minutes. This exercise will help you practice breath control while getting used to the rate at which the bag naturally deflates.[12]
    Play Bagpipes Step 10.jpg
    • If this is too difficult for you, put corks inside of the tenor drones and chanter so that you're only blowing a bass note.


How to Bleach Hair Without Damaging It

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Bleaching your hair creates a bold look, but it also causes damage. Fortunately, you might be able to protect and restore your strands to minimize damage, whether you're bleaching blonde hair or darker hair. The bleaching process isn't too difficult, but go slowly to minimize the chances of making a mistake. The best way to bleach your hair is to prep it with a conditioning treatment before applying the bleach. Additionally, care for your hair after you bleach it to help restore the moisture.


[Edit]Prepping Your Hair

  1. Use a deep conditioning mask daily in the week before bleaching. Since bleaching your hair depletes it of moisture, add extra moisture to your hair in the days prior to bleaching it. Purchase a deep conditioning mask and follow the directions to apply it to your hair. Coat your entire head of hair with the treatment, then let it sit for the recommended period of time. Rinse the treatment out with cool water.[1]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 1.jpg
    • Repeat the treatment every day for a full week before you bleach your hair.
    • The cool water will close your hair shaft and make your hair look shiny.
    • As an example, you might leave the treatment on for 30 minutes.
  2. Test the bleach 48 hours in advance to check for a reaction. Mix up a small amount of bleach about 48 hours before you plan to bleach your hair. Mix 1 part bleach powder and 2 parts developer/peroxide. Apply a dab of the bleach on your skin and coat a strand of your hair. Let the bleach sit for 30 minutes, then rinse it off and check your results.[2]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 2.jpg
    • See if the shade of your strand is your desired shade. This will give you an idea of what your hair will look like after you bleach it. If necessary, you can adjust the processing time to get a lighter or darker shade.
    • Make sure that your skin isn't irritated from the bleach. If it is, you might decide that bleaching isn't right for you or you may shorten your processing time.
  3. Wash your hair 24 hours before bleaching it so natural oils build up. Your natural oils will protect your scalp from bleach damage. To allow your skin time for your natural oils to develop, shampoo your hair 24 hours before you plan to bleach it. After you shampoo, use a conditioner to moisturize your hair.[3]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 3.jpg
    • It's okay to wash your hair 48 hours before you bleach it if you prefer.

[Edit]Minimizing Bleach Damage

  1. Get your hair professionally bleached for best results. Professional salons have better bleaching formulas than the ones you find over-the-counter, so a professional bleaching typically causes less damage. Additionally, trained hair stylists know the best way to apply the bleach to minimize damage. Make an appointment with a hair stylist to have your hair professionally bleached to help prevent damage.[4]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 4.jpg
    • Ask you stylist how light they think you can go in 1 appointment. They can advise you on the best way to get the results you want.
  2. Look for bleach with nourishing ingredients if you're doing it yourself. Use bleach that's formulated for use on your hair. Additionally, choose a higher-quality bleach that includes additives that can improve your hair quality and preserve the health of your hair. Read the label on your hair bleach to find 1 that says it helps prevent damage.[5]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 5.jpg
    • For instance, Brazilian Bond Builder and Olaplex can both be mixed into bleach to help minimize damage to your hair.
  3. Use a 10- or 20-volume developer to minimize damage. Low volume developers produce weaker bleach, so they cause less damage to your hair. It will likely take you longer to achieve your desired results with a 10- or 20-volume developer, but it'll help you minimize the damage. Choose a bleaching kit that has a low volume developer or purchase your bleach powder and volume developer separately so you can choose a low volume developer.[6]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 6.jpg
    • You can find a 10- or 20-volume developer at a beauty supply store or online.
  4. Lighten your hair slowly if you have dark hair. Removing the pigment from dark hair requires a longer process, which causes more damage. You might be able to minimize the damage by bleaching your hair multiple times over a period of time until you reach your desired shade. Give your hair at least 10 days to recover in between bleaching sessions. During this time, use your deep conditioner every day to help repair your hair.[7]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 7.jpg
    • For instance, you might bleach your hair 3 times over a 6-week period, giving your hair 2 weeks to recover in between bleachings.
  5. Shorten your processing time to 30 minutes or less if your hair is dyed. You can bleach dyed hair, but it will likely cause more damage to your hair. Additionally, your hair likely won't lighten as much as natural hair would. Leave the bleach on your hair for no more than 30 minutes at a time if you've previously dyed your hair.[8]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 8.jpg
    • It's best to see a professional stylist if you have dyed hair.
    • Your hair may look patchy after you bleach it if your hair was previously dyed. If this happens, see your stylist for advice on how to cover it without further damaging your hair.

[Edit]Mixing Your Bleach at Home

  1. Cover your shoulders with an old towel to protect from the bleach. You might drip bleach while you're applying it to your hair. To protect your skin and clothing, drape an old towel over your shoulders before you bleach your hair.[9]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 9.jpg
    • Choose a towel that you don't mind damaging. If bleach gets on the towel, it will cause discoloration.
    • If you have a hairdresser's cape, use it to protect your skin and clothing. You can find an inexpensive hairdresser's cape at a beauty supply store or online.
  2. Put on gloves to protect your hands. Bleach can irritate your skin and may cause chemical burns, so protect your hands using gloves. Use plastic gloves that you can throw away once you're done.[10]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 10.jpg
    • Put on your gloves before you handle the bleach ingredients.
  3. Add 1 part blue or purple bleach powder to a plastic mixing bowl. Follow the directions on your bleach powder or bleaching kit to measure out the powder. Then, put the powder into a plastic mixing bowl.[11]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 11.jpg
    • Blue or purple powder reduces the risk of brassiness after you bleach your hair.
    • You can find bleaching powder and a plastic mixing bowl at your local beauty supply store or online.
    • Always use a plastic bowl when handling bleach because bleach can react with metal.
  4. Add 2 parts liquid developer/peroxide to the bowl. Follow the directions on the packaging to measure out your developer/peroxide. Then, pour the developer/peroxide into the mixing bowl with the bleach powder. You may notice some bubbling as the ingredients combine.[12]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 12.jpg
    • If you're bleaching blond hair, use a 10-volume developer.
    • Use a 20-volume developer for light brown hair.
    • If you have dark brown hair or black hair, you may need a 30- or 40-volume developer. However, it's best to stick to a 20-volume developer if you want to minimize damage.
  5. Stir the ingredients using a plastic brush applicator. Dip the bristled end of a plastic brush applicator into the bleach ingredients. Use the brush to stir the developer/peroxide into the bleach powder. Continue stirring until the bleach is consistent and free of lumps.[13]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 13.jpg
    • You can find a plastic brush applicator at a local beauty supply store or online. Don't use a metal utensil, as it may react with the bleach.

[Edit]Applying Bleach to Your Own Hair

  1. Bleach your entire head of hair if you want a consistent color. Divide your hair in half vertically, then in half horizontally to create 4 sections. Secure the top sections with plastic clips. Start applying bleach to one of the bottom sections, working from the ends up to the roots. Repeat the process on the other bottom section, then do the same for the top sections. Make sure all of your hair is evenly coated with bleach from root to tip.[14]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 14.jpg
    • If you have very thick hair, you might create 6 sections to make it easier to apply the bleach evenly.
    • If you feel like a section is too big, it's okay to divide it into smaller sections so that it's easier to apply the bleach evenly. You don't want to miss a spot.
    • Do your best not to get the bleach on your scalp. The bleach may burn or irritate your scalp if it gets on your skin.
  2. Use a highlighting cap to do highlights. Place a highlighting cap over your hair, then pull your hair through the holes in it. Pull the hair through all of the holes or just some of them, depending on how many highlights you want. Use your applicator brush to cover all of the exposed hair with bleach. Make sure you coat just the strands, not the cap itself.[15]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 15.jpg
    • If you apply bleach onto the cap, it may seep through the holes and onto the rest of your hair. This might create splotches on your hair.
  3. Bleach different sized pieces of hair for a balayage effect. Clip up the top part of your hair and start with the bottom section. Pick up a thin piece of hair from the bottom section. Bring it over your shoulder and use your fingers or an applicator brush to paint bleach on the section. Move to the other side of your head, pick up another wispy piece, and paint the piece with bleach. Alternate back and forth highlighting pieces of hair.[16]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 16.jpg
    • Cover the bleached hair with foil to keep them separate, then let down the top part of your hair. Apply the bleach to wispy sections of the top portion to complete your highlights, then cover the bleached hair with foil.
    • Balayage creates more natural-looking highlights than a highlighting cap or the foil method. It's okay for your bleached pieces to be different sizes.
  4. Cover your hair in plastic wrap or a shower cap. Covering your head will keep in the heat, which helps the bleach process. Use plastic wrap from your kitchen or a regular shower cap. Put it over your head to seal in the natural heat from your head.[17]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 17.jpg
    • It's okay to bleach your hair without covering it in plastic. However, your hair will process better if you cover your hair.
  5. Check your hair color every 5-10 minutes to see if you like it. After the bleach has been on your hair for 5-10 minutes, wipe off a small amount of bleach to check the color. If it's not your desired shade, allow the bleach to sit for another 5-10 minutes. Continue to check your hair until you're happy with the shade or it's been 40 minutes.[18]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 18.jpg
    • Keep in mind that the bleach will cause less damage if it's on your hair for a shorter amount of time.
  6. Let the bleach set for up to 40 minutes. Bleach starts working immediately, but it may take time to reach your desired shade. Allow the bleach to process for up to 40 minutes, then rinse it off.[19]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 19.jpg
    • Don't allow the bleach to sit on your hair for longer than 40 minutes, even if your hair isn't as light as you'd like. Doing so will cause damage and breakage to your hair.
    • If you're unhappy with the color of your hair, you can bleach it again in about 10 days. Alternatively, talk to your stylist about getting your hair professionally bleached.
  7. Wash your hair with shampoo to remove the bleach. Rinse out the bleach using cool water. Then, use your fingers to apply a quarter-size amount of your regular shampoo to your hair. Massage the shampoo into your hair and scalp to help remove the bleach. Then, rinse your hair clean under a stream of warm water.[20]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 20.jpg
    • Make sure you remove all of the bleach from your hair. If necessary, shampoo your hair again to get out all of the bleach.
  8. Use a deep conditioner to help restore lost moisture. After you shampoo your hair, coat your strands with a deep conditioner. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for at least 3 minutes to give it time to work. Then, rinse out the conditioner with cool water.[21]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 21.jpg
    • The cool water will close your hair shaft so your hair looks shiny.
  9. Let your hair air dry to avoid additional damage. Since bleach is a chemical, it can damage your hair. After you bleach it, it's best to avoid heat styling to prevent further damage. This may help you minimize the damage to your hair. Allow your hair to air dry after you wash out the bleach.[22]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 22.jpg
    • If you like, apply smoothing cream to your hair to help minimize frizz.

[Edit]Caring for Bleached Hair

  1. Use a deep conditioning mask daily for the week after bleaching. Bleaching your hair removes the moisture, so it's important to use a deep conditioner to repair it. For best results, use a deep conditioning mask every day during the week after you bleach your hair. Coat your entire head of hair with a deep conditioning mask, then let it sit for the amount of time recommended on your product. Rinse the mask out with cool water.[23]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 23.jpg
    • Always rinse out conditioner with cool water because it closes your hair shaft, which gives you shinier hair.
    • For instance, you might leave the mask on for 30 minutes.
  2. Do a weekly bond-repairing treatment to help restore your hair. Bond-repairing treatments are designed to repair your hair and leave it shiny. Look for a product that's labeled for bond-repairing. Apply a large dollop of the product to your hair, then comb the formula through your strands. Let the treatment set on your hair for at least 30 minutes. Then, shampoo your hair to remove the treatment and hopefully reveal softer, shinier hair.[24]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 24.jpg
    • It's best to leave the treatment on for several hours so it has more time to work. For instance, you might leave it on overnight. Just cover your hair with a sleeping cap.
    • Bond-repairing treatments are available over-the-counter and through a salon. While you'll get better results at a salon, home treatments may help you achieve healthier hair.
  3. Wash your hair with purple shampoo once a week to remove brassiness. It's normal for blonde hair to get brassy or orange, but purple shampoo can neutralize the discoloration. Pick a purple shampoo that's formulated for your shade of blonde. Use your purple shampoo once a week in place of your regular shampoo.[25]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 25.jpg
    • Ask your stylist for a recommendation.
    • You can purchase purple shampoo at a salon or online.
  4. Bleach your roots every 4-6 weeks to keep your color consistent. It's best to bleach your roots before they get too long so that you don't get a noticeable shade difference. If you wait too long, you might need to bleach your entire head of hair to get a consistent blonde. Touch up your hair every 4 weeks if it grows quickly or every 6 weeks if your hair grows slowly.[26]
    Bleach Hair Without Damaging It Step 26.jpg
    • Try not to let your roots get more than about long.


  • There's no way to bleach your hair without causing any damage. However, you may be able to minimize the damage.[27]


  • Bleach can irritate your skin. If your scalp it itching or burning, wash out the bleach immediately to minimize the damage.[28]