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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Other (not GH) Bagpipes > Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes +
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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 04-07-2020, 02:09 PM   #1
pbutts
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Default Small Pipes in A Tuning Question

I play GHB in a band and started on mouth blown small pipes in A just over a year ago. Overall it's been great fun, I enjoy having the tenor drone. It's both a good practice alternative and just a fun creative outlet.

However, since most of my repertoire is made up of band tunes, I find myself wincing occasionally at how flat the low A sounds. There are a lot of tunes that don't bother me, but most of our band parade standards are heavy on the low A and most of them sound "off." Thoughts?
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:12 PM   #2
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Small Pipes in A Tuning Question

If you are wincing at how flat the low A sounds but not any of the rest of the notes, I'm willing to bet your low A is flat to the rest of the chanter. Tuning is relative, at least drone to chanter is anyway, so nothing should sound bad.

I find it curious that you enjoy having a tenor drone. Do your smallpipes not also have a bass drone?
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Old 04-08-2020, 09:32 AM   #3
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Small Pipes in A Tuning Question

What make of smallpipes ? Most three-drone smallpipes have Bass, Baritone and tenor. It would be different to have a set with only a tenor drone
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Old 04-08-2020, 01:55 PM   #4
pbutts
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Default Re: Small Pipes in A Tuning Question

I misspoke.....I meant the baritone in addition to the usual tenor and bass. They are Gibson cocobola mouth blown pipes. I guess I Could try some tape. The high A and the low A are balanced and the low A tends to disappear under the drones.
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Old 04-08-2020, 03:56 PM   #5
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Small Pipes in A Tuning Question

Unlike the highland pipes where the tenor is one octave below the chanter, because the smallpipe chanter uses a cylindrical bore the low A sounds an octave lower and therefore is at the exact same pitch as the tenor drone.

You’ve discovered why the smallpipe repertoire is not necessarily the same as the highland pipe repertoire. On the highland pipes the high A disappears whereas on the smallpipes it is the low A that disappears.
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