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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 05-15-2019, 09:54 PM   #1
bagpipes360
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Default Drone Stability/Consistency

Does anybody have any advice on drone strike-in consistency? By that, I mean a perfect strike each and every time, to the point where roaring drones arenít even a thought. Automatic. For me, Iíd say once in twenty-five times Iíll hit a poor strike, which is a too big of risk to take out in the circle. Does a sheepskin help with that? Does a cane drone reed have more variability/chances of improper strike than a synthetic?
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:46 AM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

Things that make a difference in order of importance: drone > reed > stock attachments > bag material.


The first thing to do is find someone with a good collection of drone reeds and spend an hour or two playing with them. That's the most likely and easiest fix.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:21 AM   #3
el gaitero
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
Things that make a difference in order of importance: drone > reed > stock attachments > bag material.


The first thing to do is find someone with a good collection of drone reeds and spend an hour or two playing with them. That's the most likely and easiest fix.
...the bore of the offending stock....not less than 20mm...and each stock consistent. We mustn’t mention the piper...a given at the top of the chart.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:46 AM   #4
bob864
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

I've found Kinnaird reeds to be exceptionally reliable.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:23 AM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

What Calum said, you need to find reeds that work with your pipes. Ideally you could optimize strike-in and tone. It is possible to find reeds that strike in EVERY time.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:15 AM   #6
3D Piper
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

Quote:
Ideally you could optimize strike-in
Certainly a consistent, working (could I dare say 'correct'?) strike-in technique should be in Calums flowchart..?

-Matthew
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:38 AM   #7
Pppiper
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

Kinnairds are probably the ones I've used that were the most reliable, with a few additional things to keep in mind.

This being said, I pretty much only do solo at the moment, so I haven't worried about this sort of thing in quite some time. My strike-ins, at present, are rather similar to a pitcher on the mound ... ie, I take my sweet time.

Ok, those additional things:
  • Bass needs to be tuning rather low on the bottom pin. I set my top pin high on the pin, with a bit of hemp showing (like the tenors) ... and the bottom pin, there's only about two finger-widths showing. As long as I do this, my bass never double tones.
  • My first set of Kinnaird tenors were fool proof for a good year or so. Then, one day, and out of nowhere, they were a nightmare to strike in. Double-toning every time. ...
  • This trouble may have been any one of a few things (I don't know, because I just went ahead and bought a 2nd set) ... some folks have told me that the tongues can sometimes wear out, and that they can be replaced.
  • Also, I have found that those reeds do not take kindly to any dirt or grime making it's way underneath. I had a set that would squeal easily (as in, just before striking in, inflating the bag, the slight passing on air would make an awful squealing sound) ...
  • ... I was able to remedy this by pulling the tongues off, and washing them with rubbing alcohol. The tongues slide right out once the bridle is moved out of the way. If you're not comfortable doing this, understandable ... reach out to Kinnaird themselves.

Hope some of this helps.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:31 PM   #8
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Piper View Post
Certainly a consistent, working (could I dare say 'correct'?) strike-in technique should be in Calums flowchart..?

-Matthew
Some reeds donít even need you to hit the bag, and Iíd dare say the epitome of strike-in compatible reeds are those you donít have to hit the bag for them to come in. If they are also best, or good enough, tonally is another question.

Strike-in technique...well, it should be reliable enough that thereís no technique needed.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:45 PM   #9
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

I'm finding going back over basics is helping me to ensure there are less variables and it's me that's needing the technique adjustment. Taking time to double check all is airtight, reeds are matched to each other as best as possible, etc. Sounds like you've done this.

What reeds and which set of pipes/bag are these?
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:59 AM   #10
bob864
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Default Re: Drone Stability/Consistency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
Kinnairds are probably the ones I've used that were the most reliable,

[*]This trouble may have been any one of a few things (I don't know, because I just went ahead and bought a 2nd set) ... some folks have told me that the tongues can sometimes wear out, and that they can be replaced.
In an email, Mr. Kinnaird told me that the tongues should never wear out.

I have found though that the o-rings need to be replaced. When they stretch out the tone gets kind of mushy.
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