Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums

Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums (
-   Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + (
-   -   Smallpipe reed question (

Swepiper 01-07-2019 04:32 AM

Smallpipe reed question
I just aquired a second hand MacCallum plastic smallpipe chanter and I'd like to put it to use by sticking it on my practice goose and maybe do some quick and dirty session playing in smaller settings. The thing didn't come with a reed however. What would be the easiest (and cheapest) way to reed the chanter?

I'm assuming a proper cane smallpipe chanter reed will be too temperamental to use in a mouth blown goose, am I correct? What would be a good synthetic alternative?

I do have an Abbott PC-reed which to my ear gives a good enough tone, but its way to low in pitch, around 211 Hz for low A, and I really want to get to concert pitch 220 Hz. I can't sink the reed any further as the staple is too long. Would it be possible to modify this into a functioning reed by shortening the staple, or is there any other modification that would work better, e.g. shortening the reed blades?

Much obliged for any help. Cheers!

DapperDan 01-07-2019 05:42 AM

Re: Smallpipe reed question
I don't have experience with this particular instrument, but it's a common one, so it should be easy to find a reed. If you check an online vendor like Henderson Imports, they list compatability for some of the smallpipe reeds they stock.
Or, you could just email McCallum. They're very friendly and would definitely tell you what reeds they think work best and may be willing to send you a reed directly.

Good luck

zarb 01-07-2019 10:31 AM

Re: Smallpipe reed question
You could always shorten any of the plastic widebody pc reeds and drive the pitch up a bit. It takes a pair of scissors and the willingness to risk $15. Often a little judicious sanding of the top third will solve any playability issues that shortening the reed by a 32" at a time.

Swepiper 01-07-2019 02:09 PM

Re: Smallpipe reed question
Thanks for the tips. I'll get to work on a PC-reed since I have a couple to spare.

David D. 01-07-2019 09:48 PM

Re: Smallpipe reed question
Michael Macharg who owns the Wee Piper makes plastic reeds for smallpipes.

You might also have luck contacting Seth Hamon.

Steve Bliven 01-08-2019 06:22 AM

Re: Smallpipe reed question

Originally Posted by David D. (Post 1334005)
Michael Macharg who owns the Wee Piper makes plastic reeds for smallpipes.

And if'n you're inclined to try it yourself using Michael's methodology, here's an article from some years back about how he goes about it (scroll down to page 43) Or went about it way back then....

Best wishes.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:43 PM.