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

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Old 07-22-2019, 02:23 AM   #1
Piping Potential
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Default Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

Hi all, hopefully someone can help me. My tenor drones stay in tune with the chanter and with each other pretty well (Selbie). However my bass drone always seems to need to be tuned (kinniard original). I had them set to all shut off at the same pressure. I've now moved the bridle to open up the bass and that doesn't seem to be helping. Not sure what else to try. Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:41 AM   #2
Chris C.
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

The first thing I'd check is the hemping on the bass drone.

After that, I'll let the others here who are acquainted with your brands of drones give better advice. But a leaky joint on a drone can affect tuning.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:00 AM   #3
DamhCabrachPiping
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

Yeah I agree with Chris.

Sounds like a leak.

Check your reed seat, hemping, and grommets if you have them...

How old are the reeds?


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Old 07-22-2019, 06:53 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

‘Original’ Kinnaird reed...might the tongue be either the ‘easy’ or ‘hard(er)’...whichever not just right for you. Easy to change the tongue.
As others have noted....ensure it’s seated airtight..?....if you haven’t yet,a wash with warm water won’t hurt.
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:00 AM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

There are lots of reasons. Make sure every joint is tight (but still tunable). Escaping air can cause problems as can just a slipping tuning joint.

Now’s the time to check for cracks too. Don’t forget to look around the reed seat, where inserting reeds can put pressure on the wood.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

Does the Selbie bass reed that came with the set of reeds stay in tune?

When you mix reedmakers between tenor and bass, it's critical to get everything adjusted right. If your bass reed is set to play optimally at a different pressure than the tenors, you'll never get the instrument to be stable. I'd start by adjusting ALL three reeds to take (as closely as you can) the same amount of air. Assuming you've done that, the instability might reflect an incompatibility between your chosen reed types, your instrument, and your optimal blowing pressure. Everyone is different.

If there is ANY setup in which the bass IS stable, it suggests that the drone is OK. I'd start by trying to find ANY stable configuration and then go from there.
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Old 07-23-2019, 05:56 PM   #7
magsevenband
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

A leak...check for a split in the wood.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:38 PM   #8
Piping Potential
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

I removed some tiny burrs where the nose cone goes in and underneath the blade. I also added some hemp on the joints just to make sure they were air tight and made sure the reed was seated tight. Upon playing, same problem. I can barely get through 1 or 2 parts of a march before I need to tune the bass again.


Soooo, I found the Selbie bass and tried it. Much better. And just for fun, I tried a cane bass. Solid as a rock. Incidentally I tried Henderson Harmonic (which is similar to Kinniaird). That one was all over the place in tuning.



There's something I'm not understanding about these synthetic bass reeds. Perhaps it's not knowing how to adjust the bridle properly, who knows. Until I figure out what it is I'll stick to cane.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:18 AM   #9
el gaitero
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

Is the bass stock a proper i.d. ? 20-21 mm. ...smaller can cause unsteadiness.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:33 AM   #10
Texas Gael
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Default Re: Bass drone goes out of tune quickly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piping Potential View Post
I removed some tiny burrs where the nose cone goes in and underneath the blade. I also added some hemp on the joints just to make sure they were air tight and made sure the reed was seated tight. Upon playing, same problem. I can barely get through 1 or 2 parts of a march before I need to tune the bass again.


Soooo, I found the Selbie bass and tried it. Much better. And just for fun, I tried a cane bass. Solid as a rock. Incidentally I tried Henderson Harmonic (which is similar to Kinniaird). That one was all over the place in tuning.



There's something I'm not understanding about these synthetic bass reeds. Perhaps it's not knowing how to adjust the bridle properly, who knows. Until I figure out what it is I'll stick to cane.
I play Selbies in my band bagpipe, ABW Dunbar, outstanding tone. You cannot go wrong playing the full set of Selbies.

Cheers -

Wes
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