Adquirir una gaita

 

When it comes to buy a gaita, there are different variables we have to take in consideration.

The musician has to keep in mind, in the first place, the key. Basically it will depend on who we want to play with. If we are going to play with other Galician bagpipers, our recommendation is C since this key is used for the majority of them. C is also very suitable for solo or duet, and is also a popular key for diatonic accordions. For accompanying singing, probably Bb or A is the best choice, due to its sweetness and the range. D is very brilliant. It is a good choice for playing in multi-instrumental folk ensembles.

A second important variable is wood. It is important to ask “what timbre would I like for my gaita?” This is a valid question, at least, in theory but when we can make distinctions in this field is not when we are going to buy our first gaita but when we are experienced bagpipers. If an inexperienced bagpiper is placed back to the gaita that is playing, he/she will have serious difficulties to notice any difference (even in those cases in which woods with very different densities are compared). That is why the questions that should be asked might be “What kind of wood do I like?” and “Can I afford it?”. Despite everything it is advisable that those who intend to buy a gaita to provide of advice on this matter. That is why we have included, in this website, a section with information about diverse characteristic of some woods widely used for building gaitas.

In general lines, the harder and heavy the wood, the brighter and incisive the tone, and the best response in dry / hot weather; the softer and lighter the wood, the sweeter the tone, and problems can appear in dry weather

Continuing with the list of important factors when buying a gaita we should not forget the importance of the builder. Important differences can be found not only in the finishing but also in tuning, brightness, volume of sound, hardness to play, versatility when it comes to use different kinds of reeds (that means the compatibility between chanter and reed), formality regarding delivery periods, guarantee,...

If money is not a problem when deciding a particular builder, we could advise some of them who enjoy a good reputation. The quality of their products regarding tuning, finishing, materials, etc is beyond doubt. However problems can arise as far as delivery periods is concerned and, what is worse, they might not provide with solutions if some problem appear.

Finally, having reviewed factors related to tuning, general quality, availability, sound and builder dependability, we think that one of the most recommended options is resort to gaitas made by Jesús Represas since no gaita offers so good quality at such as an affordable prize.  In addition, he offers great concern about the products he makes. As a consequence he responds positively to any anomaly that occurs in the gaitas he makes.