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

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Old 02-20-2019, 03:53 PM   #1
Neal Hinerman
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Default This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

So I have a bunch of reeds, and a bunch of chanters, and I'm in the process of getting a couple of reeds ready for the St. Patrick's Day festivities. I usually pitch at 475 in my pipes, but the gig will be played with a group pitching at 479.

I can get 479 low / high A when mouth-blowing the chanter, but once it's in the pipes low A drops down to 475. From there trying to get the reed to pitch at 479 while in the pipes is a nightmare. I sink the reed, blow, sink some more, blow, and it goes to pieces. Seems like I can speed an hour chasing the pitch on just one reed, with really poor results.

I'm playing Warnock & Warnock Chesney reeds in a Colin Kyo Laminate, McCallum McC2 Blackwood, RJM Blackwood, and a few polys as well. I blow between 25 - 30 inches of water.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:56 PM   #2
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

Just for clarification- how deep-sunk a reed are we talking? Like... No hemp, jammed in as far as possible?
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:25 PM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal Hinerman View Post

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Blow one reed for a week, don't worry about the pitch, then after a week set it to your target pitch.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:43 PM   #4
Neal Hinerman
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

@ Baggy - They start out midway in, and then get progressively deeper. And the deeper they get, the sharper High G gets.

@ CalumII - Thank you, I'll give that a shot!
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:26 PM   #5
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

Your mouth is a different chamber size and shape from your chanter stock, for starters. Just for the heck of it, play the chanter with your tongue in different positions within your mouth and with your jaws slightly more open or closed while keeping you lips closed over the chanter tenon. I expect pitch will change slightly as you do that.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:49 PM   #6
Neal Hinerman
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

@ Klondike - Thank you! That's something I never thought of! I'll have to try it with a spare chanter stock I have, and see how that works. That would remove the size-of-the-mouth variable.
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:35 AM   #7
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

Keep in mind there are also pressure differences. When you mouth blow a reed you are able to push harder with your diaphragm which also raises the top hand pitch (since these notes require the most pressure) then you put it in the pipes and you're not blowing as hard so often the top hand can be flat compared to mouth blowing. Just a thought.
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:42 PM   #8
Paul M Burke
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

What Callum ll said.

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Old 02-25-2019, 09:34 AM   #9
Dan Bell
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

Trying to set the pitch of a chanter by mouth-blowing is an exercise in futility.

If you're setting up a new reed, get it close, and then play it every day for a few days. Its pitch should stabilize. Once it has, then raise it or sink it until it's at your target pitch. Don't be too fussy about it: if you end up playing under different temperature/humidity conditions than where you set it up, the pitch will move a bit anyway.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:46 PM   #10
Neal Hinerman
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Default Re: This is driving me nuts - mouth-blown pitch vs. pipe-blown pitch

I thank you all for your comments. I've found 3 reeds that will work!
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