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Old 02-03-2019, 12:20 PM   #12
Forum Regular
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 171
Default Re: Help Improving Band Tuning

Best of luck with this worthy endevour Freeman.

In addition to the above tips, just real quick these are some other things my band does that put out a really good sound (and this is for playing at competitions; other events are less pressure) :

-Matched chanters - the band buys one type of chanter, and everyone is issued one, it belongs to the band. Everyone has the same type of reed, from the same batch if possible, adjusted to their strength. Tape on every hole, every chanter set by the same person. Pipers encouraged to use a solo chanter for any piping outside of band.

-We get tuned at the practice nearest a contest, usually a few days before, so that everyone will be close on the actual day and they can concentrate on making fine adjustments for the conditions.

-Before competition/parade season even begins, we are strongly encouraged to attend practices where we have to show that our instrument is airtight, and our reeds are calibrated. People who need help are helped out - it's not a gotcha game, it's with the understanding that having a comfortable instrument is good for you AND the band!!

-We have a routine of warming up, resting, tuning, playing a bit, re-tuning, doing some attack drills, and then checking each pipers chanter, and so on, and some routines are describe above already. The person/people in charge of tuning have an idea of how long this routine should be, so that we are stable when we hit the circle. They don't over do it or wear us out - the rests between playing are important.

-We march up to the circle playing a tune, usually once thru. This prevents us from going flat in the time it takes to walk from the tuning area to the circle.

It has been interesting to observe all this, and has helped me to understand my instrument and be better in tune when I'm on my own.

Another good tuning app is Bee Flat tuner, which is specifically for pipes. Very user friendly and easy to read.
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