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 Post subject: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Location: Wooster, Ohio
I’m a novice as it comes to uilleann pipes, so if I am missing something elementary let me know. :)

I sat down to pipe and I noticed that everything appears to be in tune (key of D) except for B. B is coming out as a very solid B flat. (For the record, I have only tested the first octave and am using the following fingering [thumb —> bottom]: XX00 XXXX X. It is a 4-keyed chanter.)

I am 95% sure it used to play B. Since I have had the chanter, I have not removed the reed until yesterday, so I suspect the reed to be the issue, but I do not know which variable regarding the reed is the issue.

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Good to see you're getting acquainted with the pipes.

Reed was good late last year. Two good players, including the reedmaker, test played it and it sounded fine. It has been several months since then, and most of the time the set has been sitting idle. But it seemed fine, in my limited experience, when I sent the set to you.

I would tend to look first at bag technique or leaky fingers and branch out from there. You really need to nail down a local piper. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:09 pm 
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awildman wrote:
You really need to nail down a local piper. :wink:


We’ll that is the problem: I wouldn’t have taken out the reed myself but a local pipe maker did. :p He had played the set beautifully and said the chanter was “pretty good”, but at some point took out the reed, put it back in, and now the B is wonkey. :p

This is why my guess is that it is the reed as some changes to the chanter can affect one note toward the top or the bottom more than other notes (based on my bamboo-flute making experience), but it could be my technique. I will keep checking that. :)


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:31 pm 
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Personally, it really irritates me for someone to take the reed out of someone else's working chanter. I would never disturb a reed that is working well, and never remove someone else's reed, unless they asked me to for some reason. You don't even need to take it out to adjust the bridle. The only real reasons to remove the reed are to adjust the pitch of the chanter up or down, to re-seat it if the seat is not air tight, or to change the reed.

Did he adjust the bridle? Opening or closing the lips of the reed (with the bridle) can affect several notes in various ways, but usually not just the B in my experience.

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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:50 pm 
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If you don't think it was wonky before and it is wonky after he messed with it, you should take it back to him and let him make it right. Hopefully he can......

The maker who made that reed did a great job. No rush needed for the bore, and it was totally in tune when he handed it off to me.

The chanter is Taylor style, with a wide throat and no tonehole undercutting. For that matter, it has quite small toneholes in general. If your maker adjusted the reed for a more standard bore and toneholes, he was doing it wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:48 pm 
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An Draighean wrote:
Personally, it really irritates me for someone to take the reed out of someone else's working chanter. I would never disturb a reed that is working well, and never remove someone else's reed, unless they asked me to for some reason. You don't even need to take it out to adjust the bridle. The only real reasons to remove the reed are to adjust the pitch of the chanter up or down, to re-seat it if the seat is not air tight, or to change the reed.

Did he adjust the bridle? Opening or closing the lips of the reed (with the bridle) can affect several notes in various ways, but usually not just the B in my experience.


In his defense, I had asked about tuning, since it is something I’ve had little or no experience with as it comes to tuning the pipes. So I think it was part of that conversation that he mentioned a few things about the reed, but I did not perceive any changes being made such as the bridle.


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:55 pm 
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awildman wrote:
If you don't think it was wonky before and it is wonky after he messed with it, you should take it back to him and let him make it right. Hopefully he can......


I will keep looking at it. I had simply hoped there was a really short answer. Other wise, I think he is likely able to identify the problem or give a solution. He is a pretty smart and nice guy.


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:21 pm 
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I don't know that there is a 'short answer' when it comes to the pipes. :)

By the way, my local maker (the guy who made the reed) is an understated top maker, and he couldn't find anything bad to say about the chanter. Quirks aside, he wanted to dislike the thing because of the lack of undercutting and some of the cosmetics etc but once he got the reed dialed in, he liked it. I asked him about tone and intonation and if anything was particularly annoying or odd with tone or imbalance etc - basically anything that I, as a beginner, wouldn't notice. He said there were no problems with any of that stuff and that the chanter would last a beginner for several years, or even longer. He went through the chanter on two different occasions, and took bore measurements and all the other voodoo that good makers use. So yes, I would say 'pretty good' sums it up. Its quirks are mostly cosmetic.

Let us know what you find out.


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:29 pm 
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One thought: make sure the reed is not touching the inside of the chanter cap. That bit of chanter curve can make things tricky. Maybe even do something weird if things resonate at certain frequencies.

If you look down the chanter from the reed end, you can see if the reed is centered properly with the chanter, and even nudged a bit towards the inside of the curve, so that it keeps the spirit of the curve. This will make the reed more centered in the cap, and less likely to touch anything when vibrating. There is not much room for moving the reed in the seat, but enough to keep it clear of everything.


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:57 am 
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This is all good information, thank you. :) I will try to check it out more tonight when’s i am able.


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:36 am 
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AaronFW wrote:
I sat down to pipe


A very minor issue, but "to pipe" doesn't sound right to me, but I dont know why .

RORY

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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:47 am 
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rorybbellows wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
I sat down to pipe


A very minor issue, but "to pipe" doesn't sound right to me, but I dont know why .

RORY


I agree it sounds a bit odd, but it sure beats "squeeze the bladder".... :thumbsup:

dave boling

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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:21 am 
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daveboling wrote:
rorybbellows wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
I sat down to pipe


A very minor issue, but "to pipe" doesn't sound right to me, but I dont know why .

RORY


I agree it sounds a bit odd, but it sure beats "squeeze the bladder".... :thumbsup:

dave boling


Agreed on the "squeezing the bladder".

English allows for creating new nouns and verbs pretty prolifically, so while "to pipe" isn't common it is permissible with English Word Formation Rules. This is probably why it doesn't sound right, but appears to be acceptable English. Apart from that, I like playing around with English and "to play the pipes" seems unnecessarily long when I can just say "to pipe".


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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:12 pm 
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I personally haven't encountered a flat lower octave B. A small adjustment to the bridle, moving it down like 1/2 mm might be enough. If you're uncomfortable with touching the reed, you could always just see if the reed "corrects" itself as the weather changes. I mess with my reeds often, especially my bass reg reed, but I also make reeds, so I'm not afraid of potential issues.

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 Post subject: Re: All but one.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:52 pm 
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A “flat” B might actually be the product of just intonation and therefore blend better with the drones. Personally, a flat B drives me nuts, and I tend to leave my B on the sharp side, especially when playing with equal-tempered [there’s a joke in there] instruments.

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