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

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Old 04-12-2020, 01:50 PM   #1
William McKenzie
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Default What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

I have gotten to a point where I can't handle practice chanters that aren't in scale. For those who are in the same boat as I am can you recommend an accurate PC?

Is spending a huge amount of money for an ES Session chanter or similar really the only way to get a true scale?

I actually really love my current PC from one of the bigger houses. It's long, stated key of A, excellent feel, great tone, water trap and threaded reed seat. But here are 4 different practice chanter reeds in it with tape on HG and E. Most are somewhere between A and Bb, for three of these I just set the key to whichever one they were closest to:



It's one thing to have squeaky bright vs deep quiet intonation, but it's got to be in scale. If you're playing along with instruments or playing along with sheet music programs it's impossibly distracting and grating to be sharp or flat on each note (for me anyway).
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:37 PM   #2
Madpiper13
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

Iíve got an ES for sale if youíre interested.


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Old 04-17-2020, 07:02 PM   #3
William McKenzie
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

I don't mean offense by this but we'll discuss things like false notes that aren't applicable and have been beaten to death over the years.. yet no one cares about the actual practice instrument we use day in and day out for hours a week which is the cornerstone to our tunes learning?

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Old 04-18-2020, 05:33 AM   #4
ralph
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

My electric chanter is always in tune. Try that. I like my soutar long chanter, very good price from northwest bagpipes
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:00 AM   #5
EquusRacer
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

I've never expected many PCs to be true without some tinkering (e.g., tape); and we have members who are constantly fishing for different reeds.

That said, my 1920s/30s Henderson PC has always been very true, and I've not changed the reed in 30 years. I leave it alone!
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Old 04-18-2020, 04:43 PM   #6
William McKenzie
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

My fellow Oregonians Hope you're both safe and doing well.

I thought about trying an electronic practice chanter again, last time didn't go very well and it was discouraging. Which one do you own Ralph?

Haven't tried any Soutar products but I know Michael (of NWB) enjoys them a lot. I ordered a smallpipe chanter in Bb from him this week and that should be here soon. I'll be curious to see what the finger spread on it is like as I own an A440 smallpipe chanter with a mouthpiece and the spread on B and LA is too long for me after spending more time on the big pipes. The A440 is perfectly in tune though because it's a bonafide instrument so the Bb should be the same and solve this problem.

Equus how did you wind up with a vintage PC like the Henderson?? Is the reed one of the older red Warnocks?

I guess it baffles me that (a) practice chanters are only made to be in a general ballpark and not any scale and (b) that pipers aren't bothered by this or think it's ok. We obsess about everything else it's very strange to me that we'd play things that are so mediocre.
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Old 04-18-2020, 05:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

Soutar long is very comfortable, my go to chanter and I got small hands so comfort is important to me. I have a fagerstrom technopipe for an electronic one. I am thinking of letting it go to fund a different pipe purchase but honestly it has been very valuable learning and refining tunes during my 15 minute breaks while at work haha.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:32 AM   #8
CalumII
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

Quote:
Originally Posted by William McKenzie View Post
I guess it baffles me that (a) practice chanters are only made to be in a general ballpark and not any scale and (b) that pipers aren't bothered by this or think it's ok. We obsess about everything else it's very strange to me that we'd play things that are so mediocre.

Quite agree. One hypothesis, which I think makes some sense, is that pipemakers are copying older designs that were in tune with cane reeds, and not many have adapted since the switch to plastic (I mean, it's only been 40-50 years, no sense rushing things).


Gibson and Warnock chanters seem to be two of the closest makes to me.
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:11 AM   #9
el gaitero
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post

pipemakers are copying older designs that were in tune with cane reeds....
I feel blessed to not have the struggle others claim.

At table practice with one of the bands I instruct I use one of my ~50-60-70+ year old wood chanters. All relatively new players, everyone else of the 20 odd over time plays a new Mccallum pc ,..most with wood bottoms,a few all poly.

We use OTS synthetic Walsh (CAN) and Warnock reeds.. Everyone is in tune with whichever my chanter du jour, being it a Lawrie,Henderson,Hardie,Glen,etc,
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: What are the Practice Chanters with true scale, 2020?

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Originally Posted by William McKenzie View Post
My fellow Oregonians Hope you're both safe and doing well.

Equus how did you wind up with a vintage PC like the Henderson?? Is the reed one of the older red Warnocks?

I guess it baffles me that (a) practice chanters are only made to be in a general ballpark and not any scale and (b) that pipers aren't bothered by this or think it's ok. We obsess about everything else it's very strange to me that we'd play things that are so mediocre.
Hey, Fellow Oregonian! We're well, thanks, and hope you are, too.

I lucked out in getting a PC that belonged to Harry Fenley, who was P/M of Portland Scottish PB and had a virtual museum in his basement. Somehow, his chanter ended up in a music shop after he died (a number of his things were sold by his wife), and a band member found it and asked if I wanted it. Damned straight, I did! (And I was honored to get it, not only for the quality, but because I knew Harry). Yes, it ha a older red reed. Warnock, huh? I take your word on it. Cheers, Michael

Last edited by EquusRacer; 04-19-2020 at 09:09 PM. Reason: Add my name
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