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

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Old 12-04-2019, 11:09 AM   #1
super8mm
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Default Small Pipe Chanter Reed

I have a set of bellows blown FM small pipes with a cane chanter reed and was having a very hard time trying to get it to play.

I saw a clip where it was mentioned that on GHB pipes with cane reeds you can mouth blow the reed a bit to add moisture to soften it up. So I pulled the chanter and mouth blew the chanter for about 5 minutes and put it back and it was so much nicer to play.

Now the puzzling part am I going to have to do this every time I want to play these so it will add some moisture or will it take care of itself over time?
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:31 AM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Small Pipe Chanter Reed

Sounds like the reed has opened making it harder to play and your moisture is weakening it enough to make it playable. I would not continue with what youíre currently doing. They should play with little effort and no daily manipulation.

Nate Bantonís videos on reed manipulation are very useful:

http://bantonwoodson.com/maintenance
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:33 AM   #3
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Small Pipe Chanter Reed

I will also be in Bedford, TX this Saturday for my sonís gymnastics competition. I may have some time to kill in the early afternoon should you like to get together. My contact info is on my homepage.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:35 PM   #4
super8mm
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Default Re: Small Pipe Chanter Reed

Thanks
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:17 AM   #5
Doug Walton
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Default Re: Small Pipe Chanter Reed

Quote:
Originally Posted by super8mm View Post
I have a set of bellows blown FM small pipes with a cane chanter reed and was having a very hard time trying to get it to play.

I saw a clip where it was mentioned that on GHB pipes with cane reeds you can mouth blow the reed a bit to add moisture to soften it up. So I pulled the chanter and mouth blew the chanter for about 5 minutes and put it back and it was so much nicer to play.

Now the puzzling part am I going to have to do this every time I want to play these so it will add some moisture or will it take care of itself over time?
Everything I've ever read says to never mouth blow an SSP chanter reed, unless you want to screw it up. Some ambient humidity is another thing - I think SSP reeds tend to be more stable and consistent when they're kept somewhere around "normal" humidity - maybe 30-60%, but not sure about that.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:23 AM   #6
Kevin
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Default Re: Small Pipe Chanter Reed

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Originally Posted by Doug Walton View Post
Everything I've ever read says to never mouth blow an SSP chanter reed, unless you want to screw it up. Some ambient humidity is another thing - I think SSP reeds tend to be more stable and consistent when they're kept somewhere around "normal" humidity - maybe 30-60%, but not sure about that.
That has been my experience. If you need to test it by mouth, its better to suck air through the reed by the staple. If it has dried and opened up, you can add some humidity by playing in the bathroom with the shower running for a few minutes. If none of that helps, a wee tweak of the bridle, to close it down a hair, should work.

Good luck sorting it out.
Kevin
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:52 PM   #7
super8mm
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Default Re: Small Pipe Chanter Reed

Thanks guys, I did work on the bridle a small bit and it made a big difference

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