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Old 02-19-2020, 08:29 PM   #1
DCYMPiper
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Default Pipe chanter reed question

I'm just getting back into piping after a 9 year break, so I thought I'd start with some easy reeds. Well, they sound fine when I'm testing the reed just in the chanter, but when when I play it in the pipes E and F almost have a shrill sound. I can't remember what that means. My guess is that I'm overblowing the reed. Maybe it's too easy? I tried easing off a little, but still "the shrill". Lol. Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:47 PM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Pipe chanter reed question

They could be sharp. Tape the top of the hole or pull the reed out.

If it’s a gurgle then the reed is too far out and needs to be pushed further in; though that’s usually only E.

I’m afraid “shrill” isn’t the most informative description, at least as related to my experiences with something being similarly funky about those two notes in particular at the same time.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:08 PM   #3
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Pipe chanter reed question

Pretty much what Patrick said. "Shrill" could mean a number of things. As you experienced, blowing on the chanter isn't the same as in the pipes, where you're possibly going to overblow the reed if it's at all weak.

It does sound, however, like those notes may be sharp; which means taping the holes (on top) will flatten them. But you should be able to hear any sharpness or flatness when you do your scale. When you go from high to low hand, do you get any squealing? That would be a good indication of a weak reed. In any event, see if the taping helps.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:23 AM   #4
SquintingPatrick
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Default Re: Pipe chanter reed question

When mouth-blowing a reed, it is possible to vary the blowing pressure for each individual note. We end up doing that because we want to make the right sounds. I do that.

When the reed is in the bag, it's one steady pressure for all the notes. They all have to match. Over or under blowing will sharpen or flatten all notes, with the higher notes affected more than the lower ones.

F is tricky to tune, but E is the dominant fifth, and is easier to figure out. For "ball park" have you tried using the Braw Tuner? It's an app you can get on the phone. It gives you a visual of where the notes are relative to A.
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Old 02-20-2020, 05:46 AM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: Pipe chanter reed question

If under your ‘comfortable’ blowing pressure the reed gurgles on low G...it’s too easy for you...you’re overblowing it. Thus the top notes are likely to be shrieking...and/or squealing on low hand.

Try reeds of 25-26-27” strength ..ask your supplier to check them with a manometer. Shepherd standard reeds should do well for you.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:02 AM   #6
DCYMPiper
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Default Re: Pipe chanter reed question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquintingPatrick View Post
When mouth-blowing a reed, it is possible to vary the blowing pressure for each individual note. We end up doing that because we want to make the right sounds. I do that.

When the reed is in the bag, it's one steady pressure for all the notes. They all have to match. Over or under blowing will sharpen or flatten all notes, with the higher notes affected more than the lower ones.

F is tricky to tune, but E is the dominant fifth, and is easier to figure out. For "ball park" have you tried using the Braw Tuner? It's an app you can get on the phone. It gives you a visual of where the notes are relative to A.
I've actually just installed the tuner on my phone. I was going to try that. I really appreciate your input as well as everyone else! Thanks a lot.
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