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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 7:17 am 
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I recently found a Tru-Tone practice chanter listed for sale locally online, and haven't been able to find much information about them. I think they are made in Scotland, the price for new ones looks to be comparable to the Gibson long practice chanter, but that's about it. After searching various spellings on here, there were no results found, which makes me really wonder if these are any good. To add to it, I've never played a chanter (I'm usually visiting the tin whistle forum here), so I'm even more cautious about buying used. Has anyone played a Tru-Tone practice chanter, and would you recommend one to a newbie? Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:21 am 
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A quick web-search found this http://www.tru-tone.co.uk/90315/info.php?p=3 ... any help ?

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:11 am 
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That's one of the few things I found also. The other being this little snip about them:
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Another very popular chanter is made by "Tru-Tone". The last time I checked, Tru-Tone chanters were on the less-expensive end of things. However, a Tru-Tone with a good reed can sound just fine and may be a good starter chanter for someone not wanting to drop $55 on a practice chanter right away.


That was on this site:
http://www.seattlepiper.com/bagpipeinfo/pchanters/index.html

The one listed locally is $25 (used). While it would be nice to save some money, I don't want to make things more difficult than they have to be by getting something that will end up adding to the learning curve. A brand new Gibson long practice chanter advertised on an online retailer as "pre-tested, balanced, and ready to play" is still not much more than a few sets of strings for my electric bass, so it's not a budget breaker.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:56 am 
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An important thing to consider is the fact that you'll never "outgrow" your practice chanter. You will be learning tunes on it for as long as you are piping.

So buy a good one, even the best ones aren't that expensive. I buy from either Henderson's Piping Supply or The House of Bagpipes in San Francisco, Lynn Miller is a great guy to deal with and he'll set you up properly.

If you buy a wooden one, don't do what most of us did with our first chanter and leave it put together after a practice session. Other wise you'll soon be buying a new one as cracked ones don't play well, and you really can't fix everything with duct tape... :poke:

I'll also take a moment to suggest the tutor More Power To Your Elbow available from the Lowland and Border Piper's Society (LBPS). Check out their web site for lots of good information.

JD


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:41 am 
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Mr Ed wrote:
I've never played a chanter

One thing, Mr Ed ... and not to discourage you at the outset ... But are you aware of the very high breath pressure needed to blow a practice chanter? I mean turn-bright-red-in-the-face pressure. It's a characteristic of many capped double reed instruments. I used to play alongside a krummholz ensemble in younger days, and even those experienced players sometimes looked crimson. I'd guess that some practice chanters/reeds are easier blowing than others - I've only tried a couple of PCs. But at my age now, I think I'd be wary of trying it for fear of a heart attack.

By all means, give it a try, especially if you pick one up for a good price. But just be prepared for the physical demands.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Thank you for mentioning the breath pressure needed, MTGuru. It's something that slipped my mind when tossing the idea around. At this stage of the game, even though I've been a non-smoker for 5+ years now, it may not be a good idea. I've been hesitating on making the investment of time and money mainly because of the finger mobility. The tendinitis and ganglion cyst problems have been fewer and farther between lately, but tonguing is a technique I can't really do without when playing the whistle, but not for lack of trying. And that definitely isn't an option with a chanter. With all things considered, it will be for the best if I stick with the tin whistles and bass and enjoy listening to the pipes.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:42 pm 
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No tonguing required on a practice chanter as you don't use tonguing on the bagpipes anyway. With small pipes you can always play bellows-blown pipes if there are breathing issues.

You can also put a rubber band, the little ones from an orthodontist work best, on the blades of the reed to reduce the air requirements of a practice chanter. It'll also bring the pitch up if you play with other pipers or recordings.

JD


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:59 pm 
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piperjoe wrote:
No tonguing required on a practice chanter as you don't use tonguing on the bagpipes anyway.

JD


I know. :)

Mr Ed wrote:
Thank you for mentioning the breath pressure needed, MTGuru. It's something that slipped my mind when tossing the idea around. At this stage of the game, even though I've been a non-smoker for 5+ years now, it may not be a good idea. I've been hesitating on making the investment of time and money mainly because of the finger mobility. The tendinitis and ganglion cyst problems have been fewer and farther between lately, but tonguing is a technique I can't really do without when playing the whistle, but not for lack of trying. And that definitely isn't an option with a chanter. With all things considered, it will be for the best if I stick with the tin whistles and bass and enjoy listening to the pipes.


I've tossed the idea around quite a bit about playing the pipes since the OP, and truthfully, I'm putting so much effort and time into the tin whistle that I don't play the bass much any more. There just isn't the time or energy to learn another instrument.
Thanks for the help though. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:08 pm 
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MTGuru wrote:
But are you aware of the very high breath pressure needed to blow a practice chanter? I mean turn-bright-red-in-the-face pressure.

While my previous PC (allegedly a Shepherd, but unmarked and so poor in all respects I doubt it) was like that and literally hurt my head to blow, my current Gibson Long with Gibson reed just doesn't make the same demands and is genuinely both pleasant and fun to play.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:13 pm 
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Mr. Ed,

I do understand, I've a whole list of instruments that I'm putting off until my next incarnation. :D

JD


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:38 pm 
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piperjoe wrote:
I've a whole list of instruments that I'm putting off until my next incarnation.

I think that for an instrumentalist, especially a beginner, there are often two competing drives that need to be balanced out.

One is the drive to try a bunch of different instruments in order to discover the one (or ones) that really suit you. Like other relationships, your relationship to your instrument is a mysterious romance. And with some instruments, you know from almost the moment you pick it up that you were just meant to play it. And if you never try it, you'll never know. Others are more like arranged marriages that you may grow into over time with patience and effort.

The other drive is to become really good with your chosen partner. And for that, flitting about from instrument to instrument can definitely be counterproductive. You need a kind of monogamy, or at least serial monogamy. I know people who go through a cycle of trying one, giving up, trying another, giving up ... And they end up as a mediocre jack of all and master of none.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:44 pm 
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I've tried guitar, bass, keyboard, and tin whistle. Bass has been the main one for over 20 years, and tin whistle for the past 3 or 4. Whether I ever get beyond mediocre on the whistle, I don't know, but the journey is starting to become more enjoyable since slowing down to a speed I'm comfortable at and can enjoy the tunes. Besides, life can be complicated enough without adding another instrument and style of music to the mix. Good on anyone who can juggle all that, and do it well.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:58 pm 
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My first PC was a Tru-Tone, purchased in 1998. It's a fine PC. I have a collection of PC's like people have whistles, and the Tru-tone is perfectly suited for players of all levels. From a piping standpoint, PC's fall into two categories...good ones, and cheap, middle-east ebay versions. Most PC's are more than adequate p, but one thing about the Tru-tone I like is a built in watertrap. I don't know if your version has one, but it's handy to have. Walsh PC reeds go well in these chanters.


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