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466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

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  • 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

    Thinking about a 466 Chanter for Competitions..

    I love the feeling of the tunes at that pitch.. but do the judges?

    I've never competed before.. so I have nothing to go by..

    Thoughts?
    Despite attempts in old days to rid the country of bagpipers by putting them into battle, these instruments have become accepted as music.

  • #2
    Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

    Specter.... do you mean a bflat thing? Sorry, I'm not good with the meter figures, that'll be the same as 440 on the cheap meter?

    Anyway.. it will be a lot flatter? Loads to be said on this, and I've no doubt you'll get lots of replies.

    Firstly, what level are you playing at? I'd say if you are at G4 (US), then you are a lot more likely to get away with it, IF you are playing well and your pipes are solid.

    This is a brave move to make, and I'd admire you for it. But yer pipes better be good, or there's no point in yer little experiment. If you want placed anyway.

    If you're in a higher grade, I'd think twice. Theoretically, it should make no difference. But lets face it, in reality if you go on after someone sharper, you're going to sound boggin, at least for the Ground of yer piob. Perhaps an unfair situation, but there it is.

    Personally, if I'm in the US, I'm in the Professional Grade, and I need all the advantage I can use. So there's no way I'd play the lower pitched chanter. In fact, if I'm just off the plane, and my reed is still in shock, its more likely to be higher than usual.

    Over here, I started back solo 3 years ago. I was quickly told by a friend, who is a solo Judge, and had heard me compete (compared to others you see, thats the important thing. ) to raise my pitch. Playings still keech, but my pitch is now fashionable.

    So, after all that, no, the Judges don't love it. I'd steer clear.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

      Like all things competition, if you're going to be different, you have to REALLY get it right. No judge will give you the benefit of the doubt for minor issues when you do something like that. You also have to accept that a certain proportion of judges will simply have no truck with it at all no matter how well you play. This is more and more likely the lower down the food chain you are. Allan MacDonald will get a fair hearing whatever chanter he plays, but you may not.

      If your aim is to win prizes, then Neil's advice is quite right.

      If you think the sound has merit and you're prepared to stand by it and take the knocks, then go for it. I think challenging orthodoxy is a good thing, and the current pitch has little to recommend it. My only comment would be that I don't think, personally speaking, that any of the Bb chanters on the market are that brilliant. I have yet to hear one that really sounded top notch in the way that any chanter must to win serious prizes.
      http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
      -- Formerly known as CalumII

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

        I'm not sure you're all being fair to the judges!

        If it's properly in tune, and if the sound body and quality is nice, I'm not sure if anyone that I know on the panel would have the slightest quibble. In fact I daresay most would welcome it.
        http://www.pipereeds.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

          Oh no, that means I must be flat AND keech! Mair practice required, no change!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

            I have played a slightly lower pitch than the norm on occasions. I love the full mellow sound, but not everyone agrees. One the same day, I had two judges. One elderly judge who praised my sound, then a younger one that slaughtered it.

            It depends on who is the judge. Some love a slightly lower pitch, others don't know of anything else than 480++. To be safe, I now stick to my current setup at 479 Hz.
            Never sacrifice clarity for speed

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

              I believe Allan is judging piobaireachd in Vancouver this weekend at the Annual Gathering. He's giving a seminar on Tuesday as well, iirc. If you're in Vancouver you might want to get in the seminar if you have questions like this.
              Cha de\an a' phluic a'phiobaireachd

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                I don't think a judge would knowingly place a flatter pitched person down, but after listening to people play at 480 all day, a 466 person may sound out of tune even if the person has their pipes in perfect harmony and tuning. Not to mention background pipers are far more distracting from a listener's point of view with flatter pitched pipers
                Serving Jello with a ladle since... forever

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                  It's a bit of shock to the ear when you hear a chanter that's drastically different in pitch to what your ear is used to. I think most of the top soloists are pitched between 474 and 480. My ear prefers 466-474.

                  I'd love to play my old Sinclair in competition. I fear that it wouldn't be be so well received as my Naill or MCC2 chanters even though it's a very nice sounding chanter.

                  One of the things that seems to come up in Alan Hamilton's interviews is the current pitch of the pipes. Most of the people he's interviewed seem to think we've come too far. I tend to agree. If we saw the pitch drop 4-6 htz across the board I might be a bit more interested in listening to bands. 480+ is just too much for my ears. It also makes getting a nice piobaireachd high g harder for chanter makers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                    Originally posted by colinmaclellan View Post

                    If it's properly in tune, and if the sound body and quality is nice, I'm not sure if anyone that I know on the panel would have the slightest quibble. In fact I daresay most would welcome it.
                    Thanks Colin

                    I think this should save any more second guessing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                      Originally posted by colinmaclellan View Post
                      If it's properly in tune, and if the sound body and quality is nice, I'm not sure if anyone that I know on the panel would have the slightest quibble.
                      Such should be the case, but there have definitely seen solo score sheets here in the western USA with "pitch a bit low" on them. Not a specific note, but the overall changer pitch. I remember being disgruntled when I saw one, as I'm a mind with you, as long as the pipe is in tune there should be no problem.

                      That said, did the comment result in a lower score/placing? I can't say. Though if it was mentioned, one would think the judge had it in his/her mind as an appropriate warning to give, as misguided as it may have been.

                      I would love to see pipes back off a bit from the high pitches we hear these days.

                      Andrew
                      Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. • BDF Moderator
                      BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                        I rest my case, yerroner!
                        http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
                        -- Formerly known as CalumII

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                          I suppose pipe makers must be happy with the increase in pitch. How many more chanters have they sold because of the pitch increase?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                            Originally posted by Piperalpha View Post
                            I suppose pipe makers must be happy with the increase in pitch. How many more chanters have they sold because of the pitch increase?
                            So in a decade or two they can start lobbying to lower the pitch again, "for the heritage of the art." Then they can sell even more chanters. Its brilliant!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 466 Chanter for Solo Comp?

                              Hmmm.. well maybe I'll just have to have a whack at it... Whats the worse that could happen.. not placing?
                              Despite attempts in old days to rid the country of bagpipers by putting them into battle, these instruments have become accepted as music.

                              Comment

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