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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 02-27-2019, 05:27 AM   #11
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: Trouble making chanter reeds - advice?

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Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
No worries. I'm a retired Music teacher
Music teachers don't retire, they just get out of tune....


Best wishes.


Steve
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:02 PM   #12
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Trouble making chanter reeds - advice?

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Originally Posted by Steve Bliven View Post
Music teachers don't retire, they just get out of tune....


Best wishes.


Steve
I'll have a word with your parents, young man!! (oops, sorry)
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:44 PM   #13
TwitchyFingers
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Default Re: Trouble making chanter reeds - advice?

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No. For most smallpipe reeds I've made, especially synthetic, I aim for a clear tone somewhere between the 3rd or 4th above the scale tonic.
For example, if I'm making a reed for a chanter in A, I'm going to look for the reed to blow/crow at a fairly clear note between F# or D and not have the reed make a scratchy sound like a GHB reed.
I've been doing some new experiments with practice chanter reeds and smallpipe A reeds and feel I have to clarify my admittedly late night and more than slightly confusing initial post.
Let's throw out notes above the tonic and go from a tuning meter. We also have to give consideration to the diameter staple.
For a 5/32" brass staple, to get a chanter pitch a little north of Bflat, and closer to A 478, the chanter reed mouthblown crow is around 20 cents sharp of F# on the meter.
The exact same reed blades tied onto a 3/16" staple will give a mouthblown reed crow of very sharp G# to 20 cents flat of A.
Even though the 5/32" and 3/16" produce a different crow note, they play in the PC at A478 with very little difference across the scale.
For my new smallpipe reed, the mouthblown crow is about 10-15 cents above G.
All meter readings are taken with it set to A440.
Now, the other other fun part. The blade widths have been between 10-12mm. Sorry to switch between English and metric measurements, but I'm weird that way.
Aiming for the same crow tone with varying blade widths will give the same tonic for the scale, but will change the nature of the rest of the scale. Narrowing the blades tends to give a flatter top hand in my experience, which is counter intuitive to GHB and Border pipe reeds where narrowing the top of the blades sharpens the top hand...but that's another thread entirely.
I hope this clarifies issues a bit.
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