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 Post subject: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:44 am 
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Hi I am hoping someone can maybe help as I am at my wit's end in regard to my tenor Drone. I have made three different tenor drone reeds using Dave Hegarty's book as a guide but not one of them plays properly in that I cannot get a stable note e.g it jumps from one octave to the other and sounds strangled despite sounding ok when you suck air through it. The drone itself is clear and I have checked repeatedly that the reed is seated in as far as it can go and is secure. I have retied the bridle on numerous occasions to ensure it is not loose.
In simple terms the reed sounds ok when sucking air through it but as soon as I put it in the actual drone it sounds like a strangled cat. Any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 am
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Location: Parker County, Texas, USA
Drones are quite sensitive as to where the bridle is placed, and very small movements up and down can have quite a large impact.

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:23 am 
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Location: centre France
You have ONLY made three ?! I could have a a good day or I could make 10 before an ideal reed was achieved... and I've been at this for more than 40 years!

To be able to help you with a specific problem you'd need to give a lot more details. What materials you are using and who made the drone etc etc.

Do you have NPU's reedmaking DVD ' The heart of the instrument' ?


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:33 pm 
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Only made three tenor drone reeds but have made Bass and Baritone ones previously without similar problems. Making from cane bought from NPU and have watched numerous videos on YouTube without solving problem. I met you in Ennis years ago and respect your experience and hoped for a more encouraging response. However I will just keep trying to get it right!!


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:06 pm 
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Location: centre France
The problem of using a 'whole' material , as in a length of cane tube, as it comes, is that diameters and wall thicknesses are never constant... you may need to make a shorter or longer reed to suit your drone, or cut the tongue deeper or shallower than suggested by a book, where an average, or range of dimensions has been given.

But it sounds to me as if something might be leaking air; perhaps the stopper at the end of the tube , or the way you have cut the tongue has left a gap when the reed closes. Perhaps the angle of the cut or using too thick a blade or the tongue is uneven or twisted so it sits down one edge before the other.

There are lots of reasons why a drone reed might not work including leaks on the drone itself or some design problem in the drone or just an unfortunate miss match between reed shape and drone...

Do you use a ballast weight ? Do you have an obstruction in the stock ? Is the drone reed tongue touching anything

Who made the drone ?


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:25 pm 
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Thanks for that and I will review all of these points. The drones were made by Peter Hunter Yorkshire now sadly deceased. Appreciate all the points raised Thanks Geoff.


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:03 am
Posts: 22
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
When Nick Whitmer set up and tied in a replacement bag for my Whitmer half set, I went to Ithaca to pick it up. As he got it going for me and balanced the drones to the chanter (I'm a beginner) he found one of the drone reeds (baritone IIRC) wouldn't behave, even after he tried adjusting it. He picked up his own set and swapped his reed with mine. I was astonished (and of course honored). I gather that was the fastest solution as far as Nick was concerned (and got me out of his hair!).

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:19 am 
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Location: Ravenna, OH
Cane drone reeds are a pain; I have better luck with brass bodied composites. If you're set on cane, get a hold of Ted Anderson. He's pretty knowledgeable with that kind of stuff, and might walk you through if you ask.

Some initial thoughts on the screeching cat effect: 1. the bridle might be too tight, or too high 2. there might be a weird twist in the material 3. the tongue may not be flush with the bed, so roll the reed between your fingers a little bit and give the tongue a little snap.

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:31 am 
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Thanks all useful comment and I will bear it in mind. Maybe I should try the brass route as that would remove the variances found within cane which might minimise the possibilities of problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:30 pm 
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Location: Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
I've had better consistency with cane reeds since I started carefully opening the bore of undersized pieces using a hand-held egg-beater drill to my preferred bore size.

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 Post subject: Re: Tenor Drone Reed
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:55 pm 
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Interesting thought - well worth a try. Thanks


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