Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Beginners, Intermediate, +
Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Beginners, Intermediate, + Discuss issues, tackle problems, share experiences, ask questions, and look for specific help...

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-07-2020, 01:35 PM   #1
HighlanderMcC
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 2
Default Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

This is my first post here, but I've been reading posts (new and old) for some time now. Because I know it's very important, I'll start by saying that I DO have an instructor and we meet weekly via Skype. 😁

I got my pipes (McCallum AP4s with MG drone reeds) about a month ago and my instructor started me with just blowing one tenor drone to build up strength and work on keeping the blowing/squeezing steady. After getting that down pretty well, he told me to uncork the other tenor, and even the bass drone at times, to work on getting them tuned to each other and it all goes very well with the bass drone and one tenor drone. The other tenor drone reed has been a big problem. It was fine at first and then 2 weeks later it just decided it was done. It started double toning really bad and I finally got the bridle adjusted (with help) so that it was working just as well as the other tenor reed. Today (3 days after getting it working again) it's double toning almost as bad as it was before adjusting it. I haven't adjusted it since we got it going earlier this week and the other two are still playing as well as always! Is it common to have to keep adjusting a drone reed, or is there something off with this particular one? (I hear the bass drone is the one that causes the most trouble, but mine has been great so far). Is there a way to adjust it so it stays where it should be? Perhaps when I moved the bridle it twisted or rolled just enough to slowly slide back. Probably a bit of stretch with that one, but that reed is making me crazy! 😄

Kailey
HighlanderMcC is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 08-07-2020, 02:31 PM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lubbock, TX
Posts: 5,896
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

Assuming you're using synthetic drone reeds, because of the variability in how they are made and intended to work, it would help to know what brand of reed it is.

It is not normal to have to adjust it regularly, but it is easy enough to knock the bridle of some reeds on the stock while inserting the drone and accidentally push the bridle back. However, this probably isn't the issue as most pipers rarely take their drones out of the stocks once the drone reeds are set.

It could also be a problem with the pipe itself. Cracks in the wood make all sorts of weird things happen. Just a random, tiny opening can make all the difference in the world. However, I'm inclined to look at the reed. The tongue might be broken? Pull the bridle all the way back and see if the tongue is still just one, continuous piece; or if the bridle is "holding" the two pieces together which could explain this reed's behavior.
Patrick McLaurin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 02:40 PM   #3
el gaitero
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estados Unidos
Posts: 6,932
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlanderMcC View Post

This is my first post here, but I've been reading posts (new and old) for some time now. Because I know it's very important, I'll start by saying that I DO have an instructor and we meet weekly via Skype. ��

I got my pipes (McCallum AP4s with MG drone reeds) about a month ago a

Kailey
Are they MG White Mamba reeds?...or MG black body carbon fiber reeds? Either way they are great reeds....it sounds like it just needs a tich more bridle adjustment.

You probably know the bridles need to be ‘perfectly’ concentric around the reed body. Both the front and rear edges. Use a thumb nail to nudge the edges along as needed...keeping the bridle width parallel..no wasp waisting.
FWIW I strive to align the front and rear edges of the hold down band also..at the rear of the tongue.
Then,..create the same concentric/parallel and equal space on both tenor reeds ..usually about a fat 1/8” space between the rear of the bridle and the front of the hold down. Your own pipes might require minutely different.

Of course..if you blow up and the reeds immediately shut off..they might be set over-efficiently...just make the tongue 1-2 fly hairs longer .... but first consider are you actually overblowing so much as to shut the reed...or can you blow lighter and have the reeds continue to sound....if yes you’ll know you have them set nicely efficient ( for easy playing) ...just manage your blowing.

Confirm both tenor reeds are set air snug and equal depth in their reeds seats.

Good luck...
el gaitero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 03:38 PM   #4
HighlanderMcC
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 2
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

The reeds are MG reeds and the pipes are poly. The tongue isn't broken and I did try it in both tenor drones just in case there was something that was causing it to misbehave in the drone I started it in. It sounded the same in both drones. I also don't often remove the drones because I'm afraid of knocking them on the stocks. From the time it worked well to the time it stopped working well, I hadn't removed the drones. Perhaps that's part of the issue. I don't have the stamina at this time for them to really collect moisture, though.

Quote:
Are they MG White Mamba reeds?...or MG black body carbon fiber reeds?
Well now. That is a fascinating question! It didn't say what kind they are. After a look on the MG Reeds website, they're the MkII reeds. The bass looks like the White Mambas, and both tenors are brown with a clear tongue. They are great reeds. While no-one has specifically said the bridle needs to be even around the body before now, I assumed this to be the case and have tried to keep it that way. It's definitely possible that I didn't get it just so. Lol Quirkiest instrument I ever played (said lovingly, because I'm totally hooked)! The reeds are snug in the seat. I'll keep working with it to see if I can keep it adjusted. I just have no idea what changed it.

Just out of curiosity, what does it do if the bridle isn't even all the way around the reed body? Will it slowly slip as it's played, or does it just cause uneven (or too much/too little) pressure on the tongue? Or something else maybe...
HighlanderMcC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 04:01 PM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lubbock, TX
Posts: 5,896
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

My experience with MG reeds is very limited; limited to their first generation, or perhaps it was their second. My primary issue at the time was that the bridles would split on the inner surface where it contacted the tongue or reed body edges. A split bridle will not hold the tongue tight and could explain what you are observing.
Patrick McLaurin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 06:07 PM   #6
el gaitero
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estados Unidos
Posts: 6,932
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlanderMcC View Post
The reeds are MG reeds and the pipes are poly. The tongue isn't broken and I did try it in both tenor drones just in case there was something that was causing it to misbehave in the drone I started it in. It sounded the same in both drones. I also don't often remove the drones because I'm afraid of knocking them on the stocks. From the time it worked well to the time it stopped working well, I hadn't removed the drones. Perhaps that's part of the issue. I don't have the stamina at this time for them to really collect moisture, though.



Well now. That is a fascinating question! It didn't say what kind they are. After a look on the MG Reeds website, they're the MkII reeds. The bass looks like the White Mambas, and both tenors are brown with a clear tongue. They are great reeds. While no-one has specifically said the bridle needs to be even around the body before now, I assumed this to be the case and have tried to keep it that way. It's definitely possible that I didn't get it just so. Lol Quirkiest instrument I ever played (said lovingly, because I'm totally hooked)! The reeds are snug in the seat. I'll keep working with it to see if I can keep it adjusted. I just have no idea what changed it.

Just out of curiosity, what does it do if the bridle isn't even all the way around the reed body? Will it slowly slip as it's played, or does it just cause uneven (or too much/too little) pressure on the tongue? Or something else maybe...
I play full MG White Mamba reeds in my Mccallum poly pipes...and they are super solid; in my 3 years experience using them they remain very well locked in under any/all conditions.
Maybe you could go back to your retailer and ask for a swap to a full Mamba set.

Keeping the bridles concentric is an ‘ism’ applied to drone reeds since days of tied bridles on cane. I think with modern day wide bridles IMO this dictum applies maybe more so. I believe an irregular leading or trailing edge can impact the ‘set’ of a syn tongue on the bed. Just sayin’...; removing that irregularity from the equation in drone reed set up can make life easier.
el gaitero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 01:08 AM   #7
Chris C.
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 393
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

Not an expert on synthetic reeds, but if they were brand new, it stands to reason that they might have a little break-in time. I know I did with my Wygents and SM90's. Plastic bends.... etc.

Good luck.
Chris C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 09:19 AM   #8
Tom MacKenzie
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 1,472
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlanderMcC View Post
It started double toning really bad and I finally got the bridle adjusted (with help) so that it was working just as well as the other tenor reed. Today (3 days after getting it working again) it's double toning almost as bad as it was before adjusting it. I haven't adjusted it since we got it going earlier this week and the other two are still playing as well as always!
Are you using a moisture control system? Moisture collecting on the tongue or leaking down the drone bore can cause drone reed instability.

Some other ideas;

1/ The drone is burbling, i.e. the drone never settles down to a steady tone.
This is because
the tongue is too weak
what you have to do is
move the bridle towards the reed body
the effect will be to
strengthen the tongue
lower the pitch
2/ The drone changes tones the harder/lighter you blow, i.e. high (e.g. A=480) but steady on a hard blow, then an abrupt switch to a lower tone (e.g. A=474) on letting off of blowing, and by adjusting the blowing you can make the drone switch at will.

This is because
the reed is too easy
what you have to do is
move the bridle toward the reed body
the effect will be to
strengthen the tongue
lower the pitch
3/ The drone is fairly steady at a low tone, but squeals with the slightest variation in blowing.
This is because
the tongue is a little bit too heavy
what you have to do is
move the bridle away from the reed body
the effect will be to
weaken the reed
raise the pitch of the reed
4/ The drone is squealing, but when popped assumes a steady low tone.
This is because
the tongue is a little bit too heavy for the amount of air it is initially receiving
what you have to do is
weaken the tongue by moving the bridle away from the drone reed body
the effect will be to
shorten the tongue
raise the pitch
tomm
__________________
tom.mackenzie@sympatico.ca
Tom MacKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 09:24 AM   #9
EquusRacer
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 3,971
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

This may seem a silly question: Do you take your reeds out after playing, then put them back in the next time you're to play? (I don't; but some do). If so, that may be an issue in inconsistency.

If you do leave them in, have you adjusted how they're seated? (Or at least the problem one). Seating deeper or less deep. I'm assuming, as you stated, that your pressure is steady, even with all three going. From the sounds of it, your most excellent instructor is monitoring that. All the best.
EquusRacer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2020, 10:26 AM   #10
el gaitero
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estados Unidos
Posts: 6,932
Default Re: Frequent Double Toning - Tenor Drone Reed

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post

Are they MG White Mamba reeds?...or MG black body carbon fiber reeds? Either way they are great reeds....it sounds like it just needs a tich more bridle
Confirm both tenor reeds are set air snug and equal depth in their reeds seats.

Good luck...
I just remembered I had a student with new McC acetyl pipes 2 weeks ago...with the Mamba reeds.
1 tenor was a little persnickety...until I took a crisp US$ bill and ran it across under the tongue a few times with slight thumb pressure on the tongue.
The reed then acted well ...along with another finite bridle adjustment.
I’ve wondered if whatever blade is cutting the whatever tongue material mightn’t sometimes leave a wee micro ridge along the cut edge...creating some of the persnickety issues we sometimes encounter.
The dollar bill tongue swipe was also a useful remedy in cane reed days.
el gaitero is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:16 AM.