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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 07-03-2019, 02:23 PM   #1
Michael Ufford
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Default E note flat on Border Chanter

I've just started on a set of Border Pipes, transitioning from Smallpipes, without ever having played the GHPs. I'm working on the accuracy of finger positions and the more sensitive bag pressure for tuning. Got the low A / high A in tune and most of the other notes. But the E note remains very tricky. I can coax the E up to pitch eventually (it seems with about 1/3 of a bagful of air). Is it normal to have difficulty with just ONE note like this? Thanks for any advice you may have. Mike.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:39 PM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

Is it a plastic reeded border pipe chanter reed? That would explain a lot.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:00 PM   #3
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

Hi Patrick. No, it's cane. But it might need replacing. The gap between the blades is only about half as wide as on my smallpipe reed. Getting new chanter reeds next week. BTW the F note is also flat without a lot of tweaking.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:50 AM   #4
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

I meant to say the F# note.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:21 AM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

How close are the As to the 440 reference?
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:41 AM   #6
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

Thanks for the help. The As are up at 450. Tried to hemp the reed to pull it out a bit, but not having much luck. I think I'll wait for the new reeds. Getting them from reed maker John Eliott here in Ontario. He has told me he'll adjust the reeds to my chanter.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:03 AM   #7
CalumII
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

You're saying the F# is collapsing to an F natural? This is usually due to the reed being too closed. A very gentle squeeze of the bridle from the sides, while looking at the mouth of the reed, ought to help. Make barely visible changes.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:12 PM   #8
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

If you're at 450 it sounds as if the reed is too closed, and so if it has a metal/wire bridle you could squeeze the edges of the bridle to open the tips of the reed a very small amount. With luck it would fix the A's pitch and the flat E. What brand chanter is it? Might I assume Piper's Choice as John Elliott (of Sound Supreme) makes their chanter reeds?
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:32 AM   #9
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: E note flat on Border Chanter

Thanks again Patrick and Callum for your good questions and suggestions. Yes, the reed does look very closed to my uneducated eye. But I'm going to leave that to John Eliott of Sound Supreme when I see him later this week. The pipes are Garvie's and i think that a Scottish reed maker is associated with Nigel.
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