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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 03-19-2020, 06:31 PM   #41
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

I maintain two sets, one set up for 466/concert Bb and the other set up for modern band pitch (480-484 depending on weather).

I don't know that one is more a favourite. I like both sounds.

There is an effect of the drones: my old Starcks want to play in 466, they're happiest there, and at that pitch they have a special tone I've not heard with any other drones, dark, complex, sophisticated, and not loud.

So it's a richer-sounding instrument overall, no question, but only part of that is the chanter pitch.

I use a poly McCallum Bb chanter that plays exactly at Concert Bb with ordinary Megarity reeds intended for high-pitch band chanters.

I bring both sets to gigs and sometimes it's a last-minute decision which set I'll play. As I do a quick tuneup perhaps one set will feel a tad better than the other.

I've previously mentioned a curious thing I noticed about the public reaction to Concert Bb versus 480. One St Patrick's Day I had an all-day gig where I drove between various locations of the same restaurant-bar chain. I used the 480 band pipes that day. There were several times when people asked me to play outside or indicated that I was too loud or unpleasant-sounding.

For next year's St Patrick's Day I did the same gig, travelling between the same locations, but this time I used the 466 set. No-one ever complained or asked me to play outside. Obviously the 466 pipes were perceived as being more pleasing.

Even more curious is the thing told me by a guy who many years ago made his living busking. He played uilleann pipes and smallpipes, and owned sets of both in multiple keys. He told me that pipes in the key of C got swallowed up by crowd noise due to background conversation being pitched in C. He said to be heard you had to play higher than C.
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Old 03-20-2020, 05:33 AM   #42
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

Might as well say the unvarnished truth...it's the G1 bands and their PM's that are driving this ghastly high pitch...I haven't cared to buy a World's CD or listen to anything by these bands in many years...I keep my listening time to the Regimental recordings where they still hold fast on chanter pitch and I largely prefer the way they do things in general anyway... they're the complete package.
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Old 03-20-2020, 06:43 AM   #43
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by WBpiper View Post
One of the two chanters has a pumpkin orange Bakelite/Catalin sole, the other one real ivory!


P.S. The chanters also smell like old guitar strings
You bet.
check inside to see if there are indeed old guitar strings.I'm told they're often used for rushes
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:58 AM   #44
el gaitero
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

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check inside to see if there are indeed old guitar strings.I'm told they're often used for rushes

Does a guitar string smell anything like a flux capacitor face meter needle?
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:24 AM   #45
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

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Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
check inside to see if there are indeed old guitar strings. I'm told they're often used for rushes
Yes Paddy Keenan for many years played a vintage chanter, an original Rowsome I think, with a guitar Low E string shoved up in it.

I was told that it was necessary because the style of reed he had been taught to make, and he was very good at making, was a style designed for chanters with slightly narrower bores. So only with the guitar-string rush would the chanter play in tune.

I've heard that the inside of his chanter was all chewed up from 40-odd years of having that wound guitar string pushed in and pulled out hundreds of times, and that eventually he ended up getting a new chanter.
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:56 AM   #46
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

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Does a guitar string smell anything like a flux capacitor face meter needle?
I'll let you know when I get back from 2075.
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:51 PM   #47
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

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Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
Yes Paddy Keenan for many years played a vintage chanter, an original Rowsome I think, with a guitar Low E string shoved up in it.

I was told that it was necessary because the style of reed he had been taught to make, and he was very good at making, was a style designed for chanters with slightly narrower bores. So only with the guitar-string rush would the chanter play in tune.

I've heard that the inside of his chanter was all chewed up from 40-odd years of having that wound guitar string pushed in and pulled out hundreds of times, and that eventually he ended up getting a new chanter.
He plays that Boxwood Koehler & Quinn chanter now I think right? Still uses that Williams set though.
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:30 PM   #48
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

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Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
check inside to see if there are indeed old guitar strings.I'm told they're often used for rushes
Didnít see anything when I looked with a small LED flashlight.


Though perhaps there may have been some in there at some point, and the smell somehow lingered? Or do all old instruments have the same metallic smell? Hmmmm
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:59 AM   #49
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Favourite chanter pitch

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He plays that Boxwood Koehler & Quinn chanter now I think right? Still uses that Williams set though.
For me the Dave Williams set is still his "new" set!

Because well I remember his old Catalin-mounted Crowley set, that he played with the Rowsome chanter, in his Bothy Band days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgXwIIHAmaw

That's the thing: when I started getting into the uilleann pipes, in the 1970s, all the pipers I was hearing (Liam O Flynn, Paddy Keenan, Paddy Moloney) played original Rowsome chanters, and to me that was "the sound of the uilleann pipes".

In 1978 I got a David Quinn chanter, a very nice fully keyed Rowsome copy, and I've been playing it ever since.

So many in the uilleann pipe world have moved on to flat-pitch chanters and narrow-bore D chanters and copies of Crowley chanters and such, but to me that Rowsome Concert Pitch D sound is still "the sound".
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