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Do It Yourself (DIY) Making and repairing of instruments, accessories, and more.

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Old 04-01-2020, 09:50 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Glengarry County ON
Posts: 180
Default Reeds from wild northern bamboo


Near where I live in the eastern part of Ontario, there are scattered patches wild bamboo. It's probably the spreading type and was introduced by someone trying for a unique look then got away from them.

It's not very dense and quite splintery.

I've read that early pipers without access to commercial reeds made their own from hay stalks so it's quite likely at get togethers people danced to pipers with grass reeds

So the question: Has anyone tried wild bamboo for chanter reeds?

Social distancing has freed up some time for experimentation

Not too old to rock & roll; Pipe on!
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Old 04-01-2020, 10:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: west side of the pond
Posts: 1,180
Default Re: Reeds from wild northern bamboo

I've used Arundinaria Japonica, the arrow bamboo, with success for drone reeds when first learning the pipes in the 1970's. Burnt the pith out using a hot nail. They worked great and got good reviews from my teacher after asking me why my drones sounded so well that day. Am curious to hear how your project turns out.
Spruce has been used by uilleann pipers for chanter reeds. You might also try that.

Last edited by longwind; 04-01-2020 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 04-05-2020, 03:02 PM   #3
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
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Default Re: Reeds from wild northern bamboo

Any sort of natural woody tube can be made in to a reed if it can be cut with a knife and split. Whether the material provides a good sound is another thing. Try it and see if it works. Around Bakersfield California is a fellow who harvests wild dead canes from waterways and sells it mainly for cauld wind pipes (http://www.sampsoncane.com/). I haven't tried them nor have I tried hunting my own cane and now I no longer live in California.

Last edited by Dave; 04-05-2020 at 03:09 PM.
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