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

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Old 10-07-2017, 04:31 PM   #1
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Alternative Drone Tuning

Hey friends,

I tuned my drones to play a minor-third and taped-down my C.

I want to try some other alternative drone tunings, what have you folks tried?

https://youtu.be/TiBurhMcjg0
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:46 AM   #2
Conrad84
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

Hey Baggy,

I got my hands on a drone extension from the French pipemakers Hervieux et Glet. I play that same melody with the extension in=bass, tenor, baritone playing E (with the C taped down).

The same extension gives me a D baritone if I use a bass drone reed (but only one reed out of the many I've tried). How did you get your drones to do what they do?
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:51 PM   #3
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad84 View Post
Hey Baggy,

I got my hands on a drone extension from the French pipemakers Hervieux et Glet. I play that same melody with the extension in=bass, tenor, baritone playing E (with the C taped down).

The same extension gives me a D baritone if I use a bass drone reed (but only one reed out of the many I've tried). How did you get your drones to do what they do?
That sounds awesome- exactly what I want to achieve! Do you mind me asking about how long the extension piece is?

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:52 AM   #4
Pppiper
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

If handy, borrow a bass drone from another set ... remove the mid-piece, which makes it into what looks like a long tenor.

Replace one of your tenors with that "shortened bass" ... and viola ... sounds an 'E' for a nice baritone sound.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:36 PM   #5
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pppiper View Post
If handy, borrow a bass drone from another set ... remove the mid-piece, which makes it into what looks like a long tenor.

Replace one of your tenors with that "shortened bass" ... and viola ... sounds an 'E' for a nice baritone sound.

Cheers,
~Nate
Niiiiice, Nate! That's the plan right there- I'll be doing this, precisely! Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:12 AM   #6
3D Piper
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaggyMcPipes View Post
Hey friends,

I tuned my drones to play a minor-third and taped-down my C.

I want to try some other alternative drone tunings, what have you folks tried?

https://youtu.be/TiBurhMcjg0

That is a great sound!
The tune you play sounds very similar to Charlene Darling singing "There Is A Time"

https://youtu.be/iQtXEb7C30o

-Matthew
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:24 AM   #7
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3D Piper View Post
That is a great sound!
The tune you play sounds very similar to Charlene Darling singing "There Is A Time"

https://youtu.be/iQtXEb7C30o

-Matthew
Love that show- I hadn't seen this episode. Thanks, Matthew!
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:40 AM   #8
Pppiper
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaggyMcPipes View Post
Niiiiice, Nate! That's the plan right there- I'll be doing this, precisely! Thanks!
You bet man ... have fun!

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:45 AM   #9
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

That minor 3rd sounds really cool.

I can't think of any bagpipes which traditionally were tuned that way.

What used to be fairly common in the Renaissance were bagpipes with drones tuned in 5ths or 4ths.

Yes I've done the thing of removing the middle section of a bass drone to make it play a 5th, so the drones are going A E a, or a 4th A D a. To me it gets annoying after a while, which is strange because smallpipe drones in 5th aren't annoying to me.

I've also set up Highland pipes with 2 bass drones and one tenor, which sounds great.

I can't find the video on YouTube now, but there was a guy playing a reproduction northern European Renaissance bagpipe that had two drones, a bass drone and a drone playing a 4th BELOW the bass drone. It was amazing.

An interesting passage in Baines says:

Drone tuning in 5ths is borne out in many pictures from Breughel to Hogarth where the artist has depicted two drones with length ratio of somewhere near 3:2.

Seventeenth-century Flemish and Dutch artists, on the other hand, show drones usually with the ratio closer to 2:1, in other words drones in octaves (as in Scotland).

The puzzling examples are those where the two drones approach equal length. These are predominantly sixteenth-century, as in Virdung. Whether these are casually-drawn drones in fifths, or in fourths, or one is a dummy, on can hardly say. The only positive evidence- Praetorius- puts the drones in 5ths.

Regarding these "puzzling examples" I'll say that the arrangement of the stock(s) can make drones appear to have a different length ratio than the drones themselves actually have. I would guess that these drones are in 4ths but that either their stocks or construction makes them close to the same length.

BTW why tape down the hole when you can use the C natural fingering?
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 10-13-2017 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:40 AM   #10
CalumII
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Default Re: Alternative Drone Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post

The puzzling examples are those where the two drones approach equal length. These are predominantly sixteenth-century, as in Virdung. Whether these are casually-drawn drones in fifths, or in fourths, or one is a dummy, on can hardly say. The only positive evidence- Praetorius- puts the drones in 5ths.

Regarding these "puzzling examples" I'll say that the arrangement of the stock(s) can make drones appear to have a different length ratio than the drones themselves actually have. I would guess that these drones are in 4ths but that either their stocks or construction makes them close to the same length.
The other likelihood is that unison drones had long tuning slides to cope with less than optimal drone reeds, so two drones in tune were unlikely to be spot on the hemp line in true military GHB fashion.
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