The Art of Sweetened Tuning — Great Highland Bagpipes

Peterson tuners feature unique Sweetener™ presets not found in any other brand of tuner. This comes from an almost 70-year legacy reaching back to the dawn of popular music as we know it today. Decades of research and the experience of musicians the world over has led to the creation of the “Sweetener”, a system of preset tuning offsets designed for specific instruments, only available on Peterson tuners, and used worldwide wherever precise and professional results are expected.

Peterson StroboPlus HD

Peterson StroboPlus HD


Peterson StroboClip

To tune Great Highland Bagpipes, the unique Píobaireachd scale is used, which differs from both Equal temperament and Just Intonation in terms of how  the individual notes are tempered. Both this scale and the correct concert pitch are vital for successful performance and competition because the volume and sustained notes of the instrument are unforgiving to the ear if tuned any other way (e.g. with a non-adjusted tuner). Current Peterson StroboClip® and StroboPlus® tuners feature the GHB Sweetener, which takes all the guesswork out of tuning the Highland Bagpipes. Covering both drones and chanter, the tuners have an adjustable concert pitch range, which has plenty of headroom.

A common pitch for Highland Bagpipes is A=476 Hz, but this can significantly increase depending on air humidity, temperature, and competition conditions.

Great Highland Bagpipes

For Scottish Bagpipes, use the GHB Sweetener™ preset.

The default global pitch reference is A=440 Hz. To match the local pitch reference/conditions, adjust the concert pitch accordingly.




Current Peterson tuners featuring the GHB Sweetener setting described above include:

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©2013 John Norris for Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. All rights reserved.