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Old 09-14-2018, 03:22 AM   #1
Chris C.
Forum Silver Medal
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 361
Default Dumb Question: Drones vs. Chanter Reed Strength

Recently, after a two month layoff on the pipes due to an eye issue, I restarted playing again. I used a super easy reed.

Playing wise, it sounded OK. I had re-started pipes over a year ago (after a several year lay-off) and was using a super easy read to start with, before graduating to a medium easy. The super easy reed sounds pretty good in my chanter.

But over time this past week or so I noticed that my middle tenor double-toned more than usual. With the usual vagaries of bagpipes, stuff like double toning can happen. It's a given sometimes -- your arm perhaps isn't as steady as it should be from a spate of lack of practice. But this went beyond that.

I.e., when the air pressure drops a bit, the double tone would kick in. I'd 'punch' the pressure back up with my arm and it would be normal for a while, and then it would do it again. I know some of this can be attributed to arm steadiness, but it went a beyond that.

I popped in my medium easy chanter reed and the issue went away.

I am still getting re-used to the medium easy which I had been using for much of the past year. But the center tenor reed issue I was having has disappeared -- it only reappears when my arm steadiness is definitely in play.

So my question is: is drone performance really that connected to what the chanter reed is doing, or chanter reed strength? In a way it makes sense, but you'd think after years of playing these things I would have known it by now.
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