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

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Old 08-12-2017, 04:23 PM   #1
Tom Frasher
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Default Miss firing notes on the chanter

Hello piping brethren,I'm playing my set of Dunbars I just acquired a couple weeks ago with kinnaird reeds,I got to say I'm loving these things, however , I'm miss firing notes on the chanter while trying to play Scotland the brave for my wonderful neighbors, it is over 95 outside here in Texas, inside the house,I can play a tune just fine but right outside the house, no go, these pipes are all poly of course,anything I need to adjust my playing to hot weather? BTW, I have no canisters or dryers whatsoever in the bag,just a hide l&m bag,cheers,Tom
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:26 PM   #2
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Re: Miss firing notes on the chanter

That's hot, man... Is it just like, a squalling chanter reed, or are your drones also having trouble?
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:50 PM   #3
Tom Frasher
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Originally Posted by BaggyMcPipes View Post
That's hot, man... Is it just like, a squalling chanter reed, or are your drones also having trouble?
no, just the Chanter, the reeds and chanter reeds are ok, just sounding the chanter on every note is the issue .
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:31 PM   #4
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Re: Miss firing notes on the chanter

Oh, I see. I'd guess it's to do with the heat- wet or dry, the warmer air may be making your chanter reed open-up, making it harder.

The two things I'd do first, to try to fix it, would be to try to make the reed easier, either by playing it a lot, (maybe indoors,) or by shaving it down. Then, when heading outside to play, I'd make a conscious effort to squeeze the bag a little extra hard while outside.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:23 PM   #5
el gaitero
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Default Re: Miss firing notes on the chanter

The reason a note is missed is due to the blades not vibrating as they should...ie ...they stop vibrating. The only cause for this is lack of or sudden drop in adequate air pressure.

Given your heat...and maybe dryness,..you might give the blades a light lick while playing ....keeping them a little more 'loose' and free blowing. Of course...keep the air pressure up and steady.
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:49 AM   #6
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Miss firing notes on the chanter

Am I to guess that you're fairly new to piping?

New players/students can create all sorts of strange sounds, can have all sorts of malfunctions. These are pretty much impossible to diagnose and fix from verbal descriptions.

Oftentimes if somebody posts a video of them playing, experienced pipers can figure out what the issue is. Sometimes even a video doesn't help much, because there might be several different ways of creating the same problem on a chanter.

Best for an in-person get-together with a teacher/experienced player, who will play your pipes and try to re-create the problem. Only by re-creating the issue can it be known for sure how the newbie is creating it.

Even then... there have been times where the student's chanter is performing perfectly, and no matter what I do I can't make the chanter do the same thing the student is.

I've played pipes in temps of over 100 degrees many times. I've been at Games where it's over 100 and there are 20 or 30 bands competing. All those pipers can keep their pipes working, so there's no inherent reason your chanter should stop functioning at 95 degrees. There's more to the story.

One thing, pipes function very differently in a humid 95 degrees than they do in an extremely dry (less than 10% humidity) 95 degrees.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 08-13-2017 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:53 AM   #7
Leong
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Default Re: Miss firing notes on the chanter

95F - that is scorching! I'm in the tropics but the Met Office says our temp is 84F (29C). I don't have a problem with the chanter reed misfiring, but our humidity here is about 80% so that might account for it. My old instructor always lick her reed at the flag off (how she herself was first taught). I don't do this but my reed is probably softer. You did not say if all your reeds gave the same symptoms.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:27 PM   #8
Tom Frasher
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
Am I to guess that you're fairly new to piping?

New players/students can create all sorts of strange sounds, can have all sorts of malfunctions. These are pretty much impossible to diagnose and fix from verbal descriptions.

Oftentimes if somebody posts a video of them playing, experienced pipers can figure out what the issue is. Sometimes even a video doesn't help much, because there might be several different ways of creating the same problem on a chanter.

Best for an in-person get-together with a teacher/experienced player, who will play your pipes and try to re-create the problem. Only by re-creating the issue can it be known for sure how the newbie is creating it.

Even then... there have been times where the student's chanter is performing perfectly, and no matter what I do I can't make the chanter do the same thing the student is.

I've played pipes in temps of over 100 degrees many times. I've been at Games where it's over 100 and there are 20 or 30 bands competing. All those pipers can keep their pipes working, so there's no inherent reason your chanter should stop functioning at 95 degrees. There's more to the story.

One thing, pipes function very differently in a humid 95 degrees than they do in an extremely dry (less than 10% humidity) 95 degrees.
I'm from Houston so it's very humid here.Am I "new" to it?yes and no.I used to pipe back in 2002,laid off the pipes due to an accident I had for several years so I guess it's all new again to me sorta speak.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:48 PM   #9
Tom Frasher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leong View Post
95F - that is scorching! I'm in the tropics but the Met Office says our temp is 84F (29C). I don't have a problem with the chanter reed misfiring, but our humidity here is about 80% so that might account for it. My old instructor always lick her reed at the flag off (how she herself was first taught). I don't do this but my reed is probably softer. You did not say if all your reeds gave the same symptoms.
the reed is a Soutar easy reed.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:58 PM   #10
Texas Gael
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Default Re: Miss firing notes on the chanter

Yes, the temps are well over 100 degrees here in Central Texas every day, and predicted for the foreseeable future. This makes for sweaty fingers and combined with our poly band chanter false notes due to fingers slipping. We played a concert just off the square in Georgetown Texas a couple of weeks ago and even though I had water to keep hydrated, I still got a mild case of heat stroke.

Cheers -

Wes
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