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

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Old 02-28-2010, 04:53 PM   #1
CeltInBirks
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Default Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"? Does it get a little easier to blow after it's been played a while?
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
Sgt Daniel I Fulton
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

to answer your question in a word yes!

search the forum on things to do to break it in. but some things you might wanna try before you get into carving the reed to much and stuff like that is

take the drones out of the stocks put in your rubber stoppers and just play the chanter reed for a while. Do this a few minutes a day on the new reed till it starts breaking in. I usually have 2 reeds going at a time a new one and one that is broke in just so i have a spare.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

Here are a few more unorthodox ways of breaking in new reeds:
http://bagpipejourney.com/articles/m...-breakin.shtml

Most blow in a reed by simply playing it in the pipes for short periods until it reaches a good state—usually on the order of weeks, depending on how often and long it's played. Many pipers first scrape/sand the reed until it's slightly harder than is desired knowing that it will ease with time.

Andrew
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:32 PM   #4
Bruce Neill
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

A reed does need break in time so search it out, and Andrew has loades of great advise and guidance you can't go wrong.

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Old 03-01-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
kyp crawford
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

From my experience it takes about 6-10 hours of combined playing time on a reed to break in. Awhile back I replaced a dead reed with a Shepard medium and as time progressed I did minor adjustments, sanding, shaving, squeeze this, pinch that, etc. I would play between 15 minutes to half an hour almost on a daily basis. Right now the reed is just about there. The fine adjustments and tuning are very minimal now. I am very close in reaching my "comfort zone" concerning pressure and sound.
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

Absolutely. Different reeds have different playing in times. A ridge cut reed for example will blow in very quickly. There are short cuts, but just playing gives best results and longest reed life.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMT View Post
Absolutely. Different reeds have different playing in times. A ridge cut reed for example will blow in very quickly. There are short cuts, but just playing gives best results and longest reed life.

Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:41 PM   #8
jackhawkpiper97
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

Yes
A reed needs to break in and you do that by playing it
All it has to do is settle in the very unique environment in your chanter, your chanter stock, your bag, your moisture level etc.

After playing for a week at about 15-30 min a day then it should have broken in and if it is still uncomfortable then I would sand it
That is how I have done it and that is how i was taught to do it

Also yes a reed gets easier as you play it for longer
This happens when the pores of the reed are filled with moisture and dont allow air into themselves

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Last edited by jackhawkpiper97; 03-06-2010 at 03:43 PM. Reason: needed to add more info
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:42 PM   #9
Piperchase
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

I know it's an old thread...

After a break in then the chanter should be heard with the drones?

Right now my drones are all I hear and nothing from the chanter .
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:42 AM   #10
Nathaniel
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Default Re: Does a new chanter reed need to "break in"?

If you break in a reed, i think it only gets a little easier. So i bet it is best to get a reed fairly close to your comfort level of strength.
After it breaks in, hopefully it is more consistent and you will know what it does after 10 minutes of playing.
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