Advisor Gaita Gallega

The Gaita Gallega is a traditional bagpipe from the northwest of Spain. Gaitas are characterized by their fairly simple fingering, reliability and the common keys in which they are made.

Gaitas today are mostly offered in the key of C with 2 octave C bordoons, more rarely with one or with three bordoons. The large drone is placed on the left shoulder of the musician. The small drone has its place in front of the chest. This traditional arrangement has no functional meaning – some say it would make it easier to tune the small drone.

Fig.: Gaita Gallega by Seivane (2 drones, boxwood, Seinox rings)

Meanwhile, we also offer the Gaita in the key of Bb, which has become very popular in Galicia. These Gaitas sound very round and sonorous and are easy to grip and intonate. It is best to compare the different timbres during a visit.

Basically, the chanter of the Gaita has a powerful, assertive sound simply because of its high pitch. It is played with a reed reed reed, which wants to be treated with a certain care by the musician. Today, single reeds made of reeds are still used in the drones. Recently, the bag is already made of microfiber material (eg, GoreTex (R)). A fabric cover and especially the color-matched fringes give the Gaita a great look. A Gaita wants to be played – the moisture that gets into the instrument while playing is also quite beneficial for the function of the reeds.

The Gaita can usually be played with a simple, open fingering and alternatively with a semi-closed fingering similar to the French bagpipes. In order to play the quite existing semitones, the extended fingerings are necessary, which sometimes have to be modified to get the right intonation result. Good instruments with good reeds can usually be overblown by 1 to 2 notes.

Fig. Gaita bordun from violet wood

Since 2 years we also offer courses for the Gaita Gallega in Germany. Dates can be found here.

Newly published is an English translation of the most important textbook ‘Os segredos da Gaita’ by Xosé Louis Foxo, which until now was unfortunately only available in Galician. Under the title‘The Secrets of the Galician Bagpipe‘ the textbook is always available from us. (see under ‘Textbooks’). The original edition with its very extensive collection of sheet music on several hundred pages is also available directly from us.

For private use only.
Reproduction and distribution only with the express permission of the author.