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Piping Advice

#1
Looking for some advice for my lad. Novice piper, just got his first set of pipes, picked up a set of drone reeds (EzeeDrone Reeds, synth.) this last Saturday, tuned and fitted no problems. Issue is, he has a pipe chanter reed, but takes some blowing to sound it, and he cannot play his scales let alone the fisrt bar of Black Bear. Now he is wondering if any Pipers frequent this site, and if so, could he get a wee bit o' advice. Thanks in advance!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#2
Here is a good piece of advice: get him to master Black Bear and there will be a special talent. I may be a sassenach but I have stood on parade while the band of the Black Watch did their thing and it always sends a shiver up my spine.
 
#4
Is the pipe chanter reed wood?

If so, the best thing to do is to get his teacher to shave it - needs to be done by someone who knows what they are doing 'cause it can change the tone. Otherwise, a temporary weakening of the reed can be got by gently squeezing it from the sides and then gobbing down the reed from the binding end.

Honestly.

ex-CCF Pipe Lance Corporal I.

(once described on national telly as 'the haunting sound of a Scottish welcome'. The fact I'd been on the effing op myself, with my pipes, never occurred to the tw@ts.)
 
#5
Sounds like the chanter reed is a bit "stiff" it will need blowing in. If you can get an easier reed off a piper so much the better, otherwise lots of playing will be required!
 
#8
Idrach said:
Is the pipe chanter reed wood?

If so, the best thing to do is to get his teacher to shave it - needs to be done by someone who knows what they are doing 'cause it can change the tone. Otherwise, a temporary weakening of the reed can be got by gently squeezing it from the sides and then gobbing down the reed from the binding end.

Honestly.

ex-CCF Pipe Lance Corporal I.

(once described on national telly as 'the haunting sound of a Scottish welcome'. The fact I'd been on the effing op myself, with my pipes, never occurred to the tw@ts.)
It is that, will give it a go , thanks!
 
#10
Having the reed shaved is a good idea if the blades are a bit thick and heavy to vibrate easily, but will shorten is life a bit. Another reason why it might be hard to blow is if air is leaking anywhere.

Firstly, ensure that the reed is seated properly in the chanter and the hemp isn't dried out and leaking air slightly. Then you could also try getting a tiny rubber band (one of the 1cm diameter ones used by dentists, etc, but some bagpipe suppliers sell them too) and wrap it carefully round the read just below the shoulders, just enough to hold the blades together.

Good luck, A_D Junior!
 

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