Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-24-2018, 08:26 AM   #1
NoisyPiper
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bloomington, IN USA
Posts: 47
Default How to deal with Flat Cs

Just what the title says, how do folks deal with Flat Cs?

Right now I'm attempting to set up new reeds in a couple of chanters of mine which I have been neglecting. I can get the chanters pretty well in line, but the Cs are pretty regularly flat. I have two chanters I'm trying to tune - a Gandy McCallum 2018, and a Inveran Donaldson Master, both ABW - and both of them have pancake-flat Cs. I'm going to be starting day two of addressing the issue, because I spent a good hour yesterday attempting to sort it out, and I had absolutely zero success.

I've tried the following reeds, at least 4 of each: Troy JT2, Megarity, Abbott, Shepherd, Shepherd Ridge Cut, G1, Sound Supreme. Reeds have been sitting for quite some time unplayed without any way of controlling ambient moisture, so they're all likely quite dry.

Yesterday while I was doing reed work, I'd soak the ones I was attempting in water for about 20 seconds, then try it again. This fixed the problem somewhat, bringing the C up slightly, but not enough to bring it into line. It also resulted in very sharp high Gs.

Last night I put all of the reeds in a Tupperware box with cut up potatoes and a a damp paper towel, laid the reeds on top of the potatoes, and placed the paper towel over them. I left them like that for a good hour, then moved them into a paper towel lined jar with a small square of damp paper towel up near the lid, and have left them overnight like that. This afternoon I'll probably have another crack at them.

For context I've always had some difficulty with flat Cs - I think in the end it comes down to an insufficiency in my skills in tuning chanters, rather than dry reeds or specific chanters. I've played on a 90s Naill chanter, the Donaldson Master, the Gandy-McCallum, and standard McCallums, all ABW, and regardless of the reeds I use, my Cs trend flat if I'm the one tuning them. It's extremely frustrating. As a result, I am wondering what techniques of reed manipulation folks here use to address similar issues.
NoisyPiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 08-24-2018, 08:35 AM   #2
Potsdam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 71
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

In my experience, flat Cs are an indication that too much moisture is hitting the reed.
F moves at the same rate so if you're having flat Fs and Cs double check your moisture system and take efforts to remove more moisture from the chanter reed.

Flat Cs also can occur in newer reeds that are not quite blown in. I've gad a few lovely reeds that started out with some flatness especially in the C but blew in quite nicely after about a week of playing. Lightly pressing the lips of the reed together (just enough pressure to make your finger change colour) can being it up in the short term and help things along.

Finally, you can throw a dot of tape on the Low A which will make the other notes sharper in comparison.

(A shave on the sound box will also lighten the middle of the reed making the C, D, and E easier to blow thus raising the pitch).

Cheers
Ross

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
Potsdam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 11:49 AM   #3
piper_hm
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 726
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potsdam View Post
In my experience, flat Cs are an indication that too much moisture is hitting the reed.
F moves at the same rate so if you're having flat Fs and Cs double check your moisture system and take efforts to remove more moisture from the chanter reed.
Yep, C and F are usually the first notes to go wonky if the reed gets too wet. I'm wondering why you're wetting them at all?
piper_hm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 12:35 PM   #4
jackhawkpiper97
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 906
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

Because it's with different chanters and reeds, I would check the stocks and bag side of the pipes too. Too much moisture, and maybe a weird moisture set up are some things to look out for. The other thing I wonder, does this happen with your set up in someone else's hands?
Jack
__________________
Serving Jello with a ladle since... forever
jackhawkpiper97 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 03:09 PM   #5
NoisyPiper
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bloomington, IN USA
Posts: 47
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper_hm View Post
Yep, C and F are usually the first notes to go wonky if the reed gets too wet. I'm wondering why you're wetting them at all?
Quick reply to this - I tried all of these before wetting any reeds - I only started wetting them after about 45-50 minutes of effort, and a phone call to a P/M who runs tuning set up at his band, he suggested wetting them if they had sat dry too long.

Interestingly, tried all the same reeds again today after trying to get some moisture back into them, and the Fs are actually trending sharp, and the Cs are pretty close to pitch with everyone else. Much greater success today than yesterday.
NoisyPiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 03:11 PM   #6
NoisyPiper
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bloomington, IN USA
Posts: 47
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackhawkpiper97 View Post
Because it's with different chanters and reeds, I would check the stocks and bag side of the pipes too. Too much moisture, and maybe a weird moisture set up are some things to look out for. The other thing I wonder, does this happen with your set up in someone else's hands?
Jack
Too much moisture is a possibility - I'll take a look. I just got back from Scotland for Worlds, but I hadn't played them for 4 days in between, and it's been pretty dry where I live, so I'm not sure. Still, good thing to check.

I think that last question would be interesting to test, will have to wait til I see some of my bandmates again. Not many folks around to quickly hand the pipes off to someone to check them.
NoisyPiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 05:08 PM   #7
Keith Jeffers
Forum Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 159
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

Are you mouth blowing the chanters when you are checking the tuning? I have found that the more you mouth blow a reed the crazer it gets do to the above stated moisture content. It ended up going back to near normal the next day, so that tells us it was a moisture issue. Some chanters are also very susceptible to just the slightest amount moisture going to a reed and opening the lips up and the F, D, and C, will get crazy flat. It was most likely do to a combination of things including the density of the air humidity and temperature.

I have designed chanters and I understand the headache involved.

If all else fails, I can put you into direct contact with some reed makers.
Keith Jeffers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2018, 12:10 PM   #8
Nathaniel
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southwest, USA
Posts: 607
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

A bridal might help. A dental rubber band wrapped tight above the wrapping. Maybe...
Nathaniel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2018, 07:38 AM   #9
Pppiper
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 1,027
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

It's a pain, and happens to me on occasion. If it happens consistently enough, I'm fine with very lightly and gradually carving the hole.

The other thing I'll do (not everyone agrees with this, but to each their own), particularly with newer reeds is tape the Low A a bit. In comparison, that makes everything else sharper in comparison. Thus (hopefully) your C will then be in tune, but the other notes around it will likely need some more tape.

Ideally, I like keeping tape off of both A's ... but situations are not always ideal.

Cheers,
~Nate
Pppiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2018, 04:42 PM   #10
Chris Apps
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,169
Default Re: How to deal with Flat Cs

Just undercut the hole.
__________________
www.appsreeds.com
Chris Apps is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:41 AM.