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

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Old 10-11-2018, 06:30 AM   #1
crossingnoises
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Default Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

I'll take opinions - is it preferable for a practice chanter be tuned to an A, or to the GHB Bb?

My quick thoughts:

Bb = helps with "perfect pitch" to the GHB chanter, finger spacing may be closer

A = can be played along with smallpipes (tuned to A) or other instruments.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:47 PM   #2
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

I play my PC where it tunes, which is usually around Bb. If I want to play along with smallpipes or other instruments, I use my shuttle pipes. Especially because it would be a lot of work to try and tune my PC down to A.
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:54 PM   #3
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crossingnoises View Post
I'll take opinions
I hate the practice chanter. It is no fun to play. This is fun to play:
http://www.patrickmclaurin.com/wordp...nc_aphoill.mp3

The pc is not a performance instrument, but I like one of each to play along with either scenario. Although since I’m never using it to play with others in person, just recordings, so it’s okay if it sounds like crap, I actually just use a long Naill and modulate blowing to match pitch as best I can. This reed can go anywhere from 440-480, though it’s out of perfect tune no matter what.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:05 PM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

I wonder if the piper in the example learned it straightaway and up to tempo on pipes...or used a practice chanter for a few days first.

I like my practice chanters...some more than others ...but they all always sound pretty darn good..or I put in a better sounding reed. No biggie.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:14 PM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
I wonder if the piper in the example learned it straightaway and up to tempo on pipes...or used a practice chanter for a few days first.
If you are referring to the audio of me playing the bagpipes (recorded earlier today), the practice chanter was probably used a little bit to help establish my preferred arrangement about 2 years ago, but the second tune was indeed sight read off my computer screen, 3rd or 4th take, after having rediscovered it after organizing my digital music collection.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:34 PM   #6
el gaitero
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
If you are referring to the audio of me playing the bagpipes (recorded earlier today), the practice chanter was probably used a little bit to help establish my preferred arrangement about 2 years ago, but the second tune was indeed sight read off my computer screen, 3rd or 4th take, after having rediscovered it after organizing my digital music collection.
Well done. Good stuff.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:42 PM   #7
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crossingnoises View Post
I'll take opinions - is it preferable for a practice chanter be tuned to an A, or to the GHB Bb?

My quick thoughts:

Bb = helps with "perfect pitch" to the GHB chanter, finger spacing may be closer

A = can be played along with smallpipes (tuned to A) or other instruments.

If you're in a band, it's best to have it tuned to whatever the band uses.
For me, my PC is a Cushing SSP chanter with a PC top. My GHB chanters are all pitched at or around Bflat, but my Lowland pipes and SSP are in A ( plus an added D chanter for the SSP). Horses for courses, as they say.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:42 PM   #8
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

I’m going to play along: Bb.

Why:

Cause modulated blowing will let you vary the pitch.

PCs are only a tool, not an instrument, for highland pipers, where Bb is most relevant. No other bagpipe is as physcially demanding, everyone else just starts and practices on the actual instrument.

Which leads me to: unless the product is a convertable practice chanter/basic mouthblown smallpipe, there’s no reason to make an A chanter when there are several, relatively inexpensive, A smallpipes already commercially available.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:20 PM   #9
magsevenband
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

I've always felt that one should learn on a goose with a properly set reed...that way you learn blowing technique, intonation, along with fingering, although they can be separated in the very beginning...the traditional way of PC to Pipes is archaic and counter intuitive...particularly in regards to the way students learn on other instruments...some of these PC's and their reeds are ghastly creations with poor workmanship and horrible intonation...no wonder there are so many bands out there that don't have a clue how to tune up their Pipes..10 different practice chanters with all manner of intonation sitting around a table at band practice...how do we expect anyone in that kind of band to know how to set chanters to a specific level with that kind of system?..it's an epidemic on the USA.
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Last edited by magsevenband; 10-11-2018 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:47 AM   #10
Pip01
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Default Re: Practice Chanters - tuned to A or Bb?

A Very Partial...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin


PCs are only a tool, not an instrument




Greetings to All,


Well... and of course... as our piping technology expands...
and we wish to make... and employ... those improvements
all around... it was likely... if not inevitable... that our poor...
old... and sounding-like-a-duck practice chanter :) ... would
eventually become the object of wishes to "resurrect" it... to
some higher... and more respected... musical plane.

And... there is no fault in this... as such is only... and purely
human... to attempt to improve... what ever may be readily
at hand... and is seen as possibly being benefitted by such.

But... as noted above... and as seen by many... our practice
chanter... and sounding how ever "duck-like" it may :) ... is
but the first tool (if we don't count tapping feet :) with which
we begin...

And... I liken it to the mason's trowel... which we use to place
the mortar of our practice... to secure a solid structure... and
though it be seen a lowly tool... it is... fundamental... as it is...

I would hazard that... an attempt to change... or to raise... or
to resurrect it... to a "musical instrument"... would be akin to
trying to make some goat... into... a race horse... :)

Now... and all of that notwithstanding... a bit of diddling... and
mucking about... with reeds and breath... or even the material
from which a pc is made... in order to improve... and make it a
bit less... "duck-like" sounding :) ... most certainly isn't going to
hurt any of us... or it...

But... a "musical instrument"... played by and for... itself... most
probably... and alas... no...

Regards to All,

Pip01



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Last edited by Pip01; 10-12-2018 at 10:50 AM.
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