Unpack and carefully insert your chanter reed, replacing the reed cap gently and slowly. Your reed is the heart of the instrument. Strap on your bellows and adjust the bellows tube until you find a good fit. If you need to shorten the tube for any reason, make sure to do it in small increments until you find the right size for you. Depending on which style of connector I've used, you may want to use the brass slide to shorten the length before you start cutting hose.
Due to the organic nature of cane, when shipping reeds to and from different climates, there is always the possibility or even liklihood that your reed will balk at the sudden and unexpected change in humidity/temperture. Unless you know what you're doing, I wouldn't recommend adjusting your chanter reed. In fact, even if you do know what you're doing, I can't reccomend it! Give it some time to aclimatize and try again later. Your cane drone reeds may just occasionally need the tongue gently "flicked" a couple of times to encourage movement.
Be careful when using bladed tools, and don't make drastic changes to your pipes. ALL adjustments are to be made soberly and incrementally. A good rule to follow with reeds is that if you can see the difference, you've gone too far.
Please practice good posture when playing, or you will get sore, or at length injured, and it may prevent you from playing. Keep your hips rotated forward, your shoulders back, and don't slouch. Grip your chanter gently but firmly using a pipers grip. If it hurts, you're probably doing it wrong - that said, it may take you some time to develop the muscle power and memory to operate them smoothly and efficiently.
There is a new product from a startup company in New Brunswick that forces good posture in a seated position, and I will be providing a link to it as soon as it is on the market.
In the meantime, if you need to get fixed up, you may need professional help. I go Heidi MacLeod RMT (www.macleodtherapeutics.com) on PEI, or the Sound Chiropractic Centre (http://soundchiropractic.ca/), in the Halifax area. (For reference only, I take no responsibility for medical advice, or any injuries or sustained as a result!)
Uilleann pipes are my first love, I just don't make them (yet!). That said, I love to see them come through the door, and I've been making hay on getting them playable recently.
Highland piper converts
You're not in Kansas anymore.
I don't pretend to know a lot about pipe bands, but I do know there has been a good deal of ink spilled explaining the differences in approach. You can research the difference between Cape Breton music and Scottish music, or Cape Breton music and pipe bands for example, to get started. Nobody cares if you play that difficult triplet, but they will care if you drop the beat. Play like nobody's watching, forget some of the ornamentation (if you want to) and above all, give it a good rhythm. If you like, play like you're trying to give your pipe major a heart attack.
In short, you may want to loosen up that style, and play to make people want to dance. That's what the tunes are for after all! That said, you can also just play the way you're used to, but my advice is to do some research and immerse yourself in the traditional world.