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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 10-10-2018, 09:57 AM   #1
Tom Frasher
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Default Right or wrong way to break in a chanter reed

"Dunk it in water,sand it,scrape the cane with a knife,blow on it til you get a hernia or something ruptures in your back"I have a Megarity easy-medium reed I'm messing with;I like the volume on it a lot,a lot louder than the Soutar easy reed I use,need some input fellas,thanks!
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:01 PM   #2
burp birl
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Default Re: Right or wrong way to break in a chanter reed

Loaded question! Different cuts of reeds require different manipulation methods and even then there are a few different ways to achieve the goal. I think you have to talk with your instructor/pipe major/good piper (who is also a friend) about what techniques they like.


Chris Apps also has a pretty good article about reed manipulation that you can check out on his site. You can also find a direct link to it on the "Elusive High A" thread that is going on.....Chris posted it (first page, last thread).



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Old 10-10-2018, 03:26 PM   #3
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Right or wrong way to break in a chanter reed

I think itís imperative to ask your reed maker, especially if youíre looking to shave off cane. I think there is so much contradicting advice about where to shave because it depends on the reed!
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:31 PM   #4
bob864
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Default Re: Right or wrong way to break in a chanter reed

I think the best advice I've read on these forums is to find reeds you can play from the start.

If I have one I can't play I get a craft knife and shave it. If it's a straight reed I try to shave it uniform down both sides. If it's shoulder cut, then I shave it uniform on the flat part between the lips and the shoulder.

If I ruin it, then it's no big loss, because I couldn't play it anyway, but hopefully I learned something.
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:37 PM   #5
Josh Whitson
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Default Re: Right or wrong way to break in a chanter reed

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
I think the best advice I've read on these forums is to find reeds you can play from the start.
This. I don't scrape, squeeze, or do anything else to a new reed. I will use a bridle occasionally, that's it. It either works or it doesn't. If it's slightly too hard I play it knowing it will ease up a bit. Same in my band - we don't bother wasting our time on reeds that don't work from the beginning.

I've found G1 reeds to be very consistent, so that helps because I'm pretty confident that what I order is going to work well for me anyway. If you can, get to a games where they are selling reeds or have a local supplier you can also go to in person and test the reeds for yourself (or see if the seller will test the reeds for you in your chanter if they don't want you touching them).
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