View Full Version : Chanter Cap
06-09-2008, 08:00 AM
Should the chanter cap that you put over the reed after you are playing have a hole in the top or not? Mine is completely enclosed with no hole but i was told to make a hole in the top. I thought the purpose was to keep all of the moisture in. If you put a small hole in the top, say with a drill, then the reed will dry out as if it was outside in the open- right?
The problem is that after playing, your reed is too moist. It needs to dry out some to inhibit the growth of mold. If it dries out too much, then it takes time to rehydrate it the next time you play, resulting in a drift in pitch.
That's the theory behind the Piper's Pal reed cover. It pulls moisture out of your reed if it's too wet, but prevents it from drying out excessively from one playing session to the next.
06-09-2008, 08:35 AM
I see you play in NY. What is your primary prupose of the cap? To get it out of your stock and protect it, to get it out to dry it out, or to disassemble your stand and safetly put it away?
In NY, I find I have to dry my reed out between playing as i am a wet blower, and now that we are getting the humidity to begin our "wet" season, I really need to get it to dry some. I try to play every day, so my reed is pretty stable, and getting too dry not a problem ( winter is a different story,right), but i do want to let some of that excess that may have collected on/in the reed to leave.
My cap is homemade of PVC, with four small holes on the sides and one ont the top. Without them I personally found that the reed did not dry out enough and quickly soaked the next time I played.
Oh, and assuming that you store your pipes away after use, even with holes in the cap, it will dry much more slowly than openly exposed outside a case.
...but again, what is your primary reason for the cap? your answer may vary if you lived in Arizona perhaps....
06-09-2008, 11:56 AM
Bugz and Davey
Mine is a homemade PVC too
Primarily I keep two chanters going with both in the PVC when not in use
My main reason for using it is to protect the reed after playing and since I don't play all that long at any one time(20 to 30 minutes max -three times a week), except for parades,etc, I want to keep a little moisture on it. I'm not that much of a wet blower. If I left it in the bag it might soak up too much moisture from the bag. You know what I might do is to try it both ways and see how the reeds react to each.
06-09-2008, 03:41 PM
I'd say drill a 1/16" hole in the top and see if that does it. If not, add another. If you are not having any problems with your reeds and your level of playing, no real need to fix it. If it ain't broke...
I have a wood cap with a big hole for my chanter and I only use it to protect the reed when the chanter is out of the stock. I do let my reed dry out (I wet it every time I play) and I keep the chanter out of the bag because of the time I left it in the stock and had two days of misery trying to remove the chanter from the stock! By the time my fingers are warmed up, the reed seems to be stabilized. It works for me.
Pipers managed to play beautiful music for a long time before we had moisture control systems and dessicant gels for our reeds. I'm not saying those don't have a valid and useful place, only that the pipes are complicated enough without having to stress about every little bit of equipment. With a PVC cap, it is cheap enough to try it both ways and see if it matters to you. Ultimately, every piper sets his pipes up differently from every other piper. Maintenance setup is included in this generalization.
06-09-2008, 04:01 PM
And after drilling if the reed gets too dry, start taping up some of the holes!
I do let my reed dry out (I wet it every time I play)...
I have found that since I started using a Piper's Pal a couple of years ago, my reeds hold up a lot longer than they did previously. I think the repeated wetting/drying cycles are hard on the wood fibers, and they eventually weaken until the reed starts to fail. Maintaining a more even moisture level reduces the stress on the reed.