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Old 07-22-2020, 04:14 AM   #1
Big Tone
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Join Date: Apr 2019
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Default Piobaireachd High G

I have an RJM chanter. I've been trying some Shepherd reeds in it. Strength medium hard.
The Piobaireachd high G will sound really really flat unless you blow through the reed. Any easing of pressure at all will cause it to happen. Light music high G unaffected by slight changes in pressure. The reed is only in two weeks, blown every day. There's still a crow in the high A which clears if you blow a bit harder.

So, I think I'm blowing slightly below the pressure where the reeds need to be at. I got a box of 5 and I can repeat the effect across all the reeds and in a couple of different chanter makes. I previously bought mediums and they did the same thing straight out of the box. The problem then was I immediately attacked them with sandpaper to clear the crow and ease them a bit and after I blew them for a while they ended up a little easy. Nothing major but the high A could be blown a little sharp easily and I thought with a few months blowing that would only get worse.

So I really just to see if my line of thinking here is correct. What's a usual time to blow in a Shepherd reed? I'd rather blow away at it for a period of time and then take a bit off it if necessary.
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:08 AM   #2
piper_hm
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Default Re: Piobaireachd High G

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Tone View Post
I have an RJM chanter. I've been trying some Shepherd reeds in it. Strength medium hard.
The Piobaireachd high G will sound really really flat unless you blow through the reed. Any easing of pressure at all will cause it to happen. Light music high G unaffected by slight changes in pressure. The reed is only in two weeks, blown every day. There's still a crow in the high A which clears if you blow a bit harder.

So, I think I'm blowing slightly below the pressure where the reeds need to be at. I got a box of 5 and I can repeat the effect across all the reeds and in a couple of different chanter makes. I previously bought mediums and they did the same thing straight out of the box. The problem then was I immediately attacked them with sandpaper to clear the crow and ease them a bit and after I blew them for a while they ended up a little easy. Nothing major but the high A could be blown a little sharp easily and I thought with a few months blowing that would only get worse.

So I really just to see if my line of thinking here is correct. What's a usual time to blow in a Shepherd reed? I'd rather blow away at it for a period of time and then take a bit off it if necessary.
In my experience, Shepherd reeds blow in quickly with just a few pinches. Shaving or sanding usually shortens their life as the cane is already fairly thin on the top of the blades and can get fragile. The key with a Shepherd is to get one that's close to your comfortable strength or a bit stronger, pinch as needed, then leave it alone.

Also make sure the reed is well seated in the chanter. I had to sink the reeds a bit deeper in the RJM than some chanters to make sure the reed was snug. With no thread in the seat, this was necessary.

Last edited by piper_hm; 07-22-2020 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:32 AM   #3
Randy McIntosh
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Default Re: Piobaireachd High G

I just purchased this chanter a couple of months ago.


I'm using a Warnock reed (medium as I blow around 32 inches) with a very nice tone.



I have purchased some Sheppard's to try out but have not yet as the Warnock is doing a wonderful job.


To be noted that at the same time I purchase the Tone Protector Chanter cap. It seems to have helped with the break-in period of the Warnock.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:26 AM   #4
Big Tone
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Default Re: Piobaireachd High G

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper_hm View Post
In my experience, Shepherd reeds blow in quickly with just a few pinches. Shaving or sanding usually shortens their life as the cane is already fairly thin on the top of the blades and can get fragile. The key with a Shepherd is to get one that's close to your comfortable strength or a bit stronger, pinch as needed, then leave it alone.

Also make sure the reed is well seated in the chanter. I had to sink the reeds a bit deeper in the RJM than some chanters to make sure the reed was snug. With no thread in the seat, this was necessary.
I did notice when I shaved the lips you could see a very slight raggedness to the cane compared to an untouched reed. I used 400 grit sandpaper, ran the reed at a 45 degree angle for a few inches over it.

I have the reed well hemped, I'll recheck it. The high A is a touch flat with no tape on it. I just left it where it was for the time being as I thought it might sharpen as I played it so I can sink it in a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy MacIntosh
To be noted that at the same time I purchase the Tone Protector Chanter cap. It seems to have helped with the break-in period of the Warnock.
I have the reed case. The other reeds are in it and I'm giving them a mouth blow in a spare and a pinch every other day. I'm hoping that'll have them ready to go.
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