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Fixing a flat B?

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  • Fixing a flat B?

    Hey, all!

    I recently began using a Shepherd Bb reed in my MacLellan A440 chanter, and I LOVE that I hardly have to use any tape on it as opposed to the Chesney Warnock reeds I used previously. The one downside I've discovered, though, is that the B is flat when everything else is in balance. Are there any reed tweaks that could help fix this, or is it going to have to be a chanter carving solution? I could always sink the reed so my B is in tune, but then I'd most likely have to tape every other hole, which kinda defeats the purpose...

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Kevin
    "Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."
    Ray Bradbury

  • #2
    Is your reed, by chance, on the easier side of blowing pressure? I've noticed on a number of chanters that B tends to go flat in respect to the rest of the scale with reeds that play under 25" h2o. Sinking the reed a bit more and taping almost all the other holes is probably the least invasive solution. On my main chanter, I did some judicious carving to fix it. One caveat. If the hole for B is made too large, especially with softer reeds (especially especially border and session pipe chanters) there is more chance to get a wonky/flat transition from B to E if it is false fingered with the B finger up.
    One other possible fix you might consider, to be done with extreme caution, would be to close the staple eye a very little as it will flatten the top hand notes more noticeably.
    How flat is your B? I'm finding I don't like the 4 cents sharp tuning anymore as much as right on the zero line of the meter.
    Before you start fixing problems with your reeds, check to see if the bag or stocks are leaking.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Marcblur?feature=guide

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    • #3
      Yeah, it is an easy strength reed, but I believe I may have some mediums I can try. That'll be something I can at least try before taking any drastic measures. Thanks, Twitchy!
      "Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."
      Ray Bradbury

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      • #4
        Undercut the B hole! Or accept the tuning of B is only slightly flat.
        www.selpiper.dk

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        • #5
          The medium strength Shepherds were the right solution! My B is still a wee bit flat, but it's nowhere near where the easy strength put it! So glad I didn't have to carve my chanter (Yep, I'm a coward! ;-) )! Thanks, everyone!
          "Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."
          Ray Bradbury

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          • #6
            In my experience you will, very seldom, find a reed that will give a perfect scale. So taping and modifying chanters are just something you do all the time.
            www.selpiper.dk

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