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Old 03-24-2020, 08:19 PM   #1
WBpiper
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Default Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

After some playing I seem to have a really hard time keeping the drones locked in tune. I am just not sure if it has to do with moisture or if I need to improve my blowing technique.

It mostly seems to happen after a fair bit of playing/practicing. I wiped the tongues of the reeds off to see if it would have made any difference, but it didn’t really lol.

I’m just asking as I am not 100% sure if the drones really are stable in the beginning, or just my imagination, or maybe the chanter reed getting too soft/easy for the drones to work properly, from the moisture easing it up.


(Also on the subject of the chanter, the reed will start to go haywire too, some notes will flatten and it will be a bit unstable but that’ll be a a subject of another time.)



P.S: the reeds are Kinnaird Evolution easy strength.
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Last edited by WBpiper; 03-24-2020 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:37 PM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

You answered it when you said your chanter reed gets wonky. If there’s nothing to lock your drones against, your blowing will subconsciously try to compensate and then it’s not just one thing, it’s the whole kit and caboddle.

You need a chanter reed that settles and stays before you can really address the rest. Whether that’s a different reed (brand) or more moisture control, or both, will be something to figure out.

Last edited by Patrick McLaurin; 03-24-2020 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:18 PM   #3
WBpiper
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

I do have moisture control unit handy, only reason I haven’t been using it was because I find it a bit restrictive.


I’ll bear it and try it tomorrow, then I could see if that’ll make a difference maybe? Hmmm, I’ll try that.


EDIT: I should have clarified, my chanter will be happy and settle at a certain pitch, but it’s the individual notes that will change, and it becomes more sensitive to pressure as time goes on. Probably from the moisture?


Maybe I really did answer my own question, one of those moments when you suddenly figure something out after saying it out loud, or in this case, writing it down. D’oh!

Input of any kind is still appreciated though! There may be things that I’m missing.
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Last edited by WBpiper; 03-24-2020 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:06 PM   #4
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

Do you have a manometer you practice with?
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:18 AM   #5
Pip01
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?





WBpiper,,

A sudden thought... from an oblique perspective... if I may...

Perhaps... just perhaps... it is neither insufficient blowing... nor
is it... excessive moisture upon your reeds.

May I direct attention... to your arm?? :)

Your profile indicates... that you have been in this... our Great
Waltz-About...for some 8-ish years... or so. (Grand!! Ain't It!! :)

Our bag arm... when we first start out... is foremost in our
minds (along with everything else!! :)... but later on... after
we have gained some fledgling confidence (much warranted...
or no :)... and our lips do not spasm... and our breath... then
no longer is going... out the sides of our mouths... our fingers
are the more sure on the chanter...and our lungs(??)... coming
along rather nicely...thank you... then... salient thoughts about
our bag arm... begin... their receding... (And... how not?! :)

Having been through a bit o' this myself... may I suggest... your
having a closer look (or listen :)... to what your arm-pressure... is
continuously...producing... all on its own...

Your culprit... may well... lie there... as it does with many...

Just some thoughts...

Regards.. and Good Luck!!... getting it sorted...

Pip01








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Last edited by Pip01; 03-25-2020 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:55 AM   #6
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WBpiper View Post
EDIT: I should have clarified, my chanter will be happy and settle at a certain pitch, but itís the individual notes that will change, and it becomes more sensitive to pressure as time goes on. Probably from the moisture?
I donít use moisture control because itís restrictive but I also live in a semi-arid desert so I can get away with it.

If any note is changing your chanter isnít settled. 1 note can booger it all up. I rejected a potential band chanter because with a good reed, the pitch of D could be blown flat or sharp over a large range.

Some reeds donít do well with (extra) moisture and could have this problem. Especially easier reeds or, frankly, some reed brands just are no good for this reason alone.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:27 AM   #7
magsevenband
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

You may have a crack/leak in one of the drones.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:22 AM   #8
el gaitero
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magsevenband View Post
You may have a crack/leak in one of the drones.
Yes....a leaky metal drone cap could do it...under the cap the shoulder Ďdiscí surrounding the drone Bush might have had its adhesive fail.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:43 AM   #9
CalumII
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

While indeed bits of his drones could be falling off, addressing the most likely issues first are probably the place to start, and that's moisture control and blowing, because without those nothing else is fixable.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:45 AM   #10
el gaitero
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Default Re: Drone instability, poor blowing or moisture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
While indeed bits of his drones could be falling off, addressing the most likely issues first are probably the place to start, and that's moisture control and blowing, because without those nothing else is fixable.

....yes...its usually the most obvious..and last...thing we look at.
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