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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 3:36 pm 
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Location: Midwest
My practice set arrived today, and it is beautiful with a lovely mellow sound.

I'v been using the mouth blown chanter for the past few months and am very glad I started with that.

Learning to use the bag and bellows is enough work. I'm glad I learned the fingerings on the chanter first. It would be a real bear to learn bag/bellows/fingerings all at once.

I can post a picture or two at my website if anyone is interested.

Well, I'm gonna go annoy the family and squawk out a tune or two.

Jeff


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2001 1:53 am 
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Location: Surlyville
Jeff,
Post the pictures... this is the set from Pipeworks, right ??


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2001 9:51 pm 
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Yes, this is one of Davy Stephenson's sets from pipeworks,

here's the link to some pix at my website
http://www.animavitae.com/uilleann/

and here's the link to my homepage and my other passion if anyone's interested
http://www.animavitae.com

Jeff


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2001 12:28 am 
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Congrads on the practice set, anima! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did mine, and I too annoyed many people around me with practice, and still do. But you can grin as you listen to them, nod, then go right back to practicing.

Recently I've had a few friends say they've noticed improvement in my playing, so you've got that to look forward to as well.
Congrads once again and best of luck in the practicing!

P.S. I liked your website, especially the 'modern medicine' series.

Mark


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2001 6:59 pm 
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Anima, how's the piping going ?? arms sore? Have you fixated on fingering only forget to pump the bellows once or twice and find the bag deflated ??
Your reed may change slightly as it breaks it causing you to have to make some adjustments. Go easy...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2001 6:06 pm 
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Hahahahaha!!!!

The voice of experience huh? yes I forget to pump or squeeze or finger and it all falls apart.

My wife lies and tells me I sound better each day. I don't believe her

Jeff


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2001 6:54 pm 
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They won't all be good days...
You should spend time doing different things, some pleasant, some not. Hold a note, any note. Hold it for 3 minutes without the volume or pitch changing. Can you pump air into the bag while controlling the pressure to sustain one note?? Do this a few times a week until you no longer have to think about doing it.

Practice two notes... the back D and the high E. Alternate between these two notes as they each require different pressure to play in tune. Ideally, you want to adjust the reed to have a minimum of change for these notes but you should learn to be able to play with less than perfect conditions. Weather changes, bridal adjustments, even different reeds will play differently.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2001 10:08 pm 
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I can keep most of the lower notes continuous while pumping the bellow (although it's not always smooth), however the back D warbles when I pump and breaks up a bit until I resqueeze the bag - that particular note is harder than the rest to sustain it seems. I've been running the scales holding each note for 2 or 3 pumps before moving on. My left arm is sore. My right hand/thumb cramped less tonight so I guess that's a sign of improvement, huh?

Question: when you pump are you completely emptying the bellows? I only seem to empty it about 3/4 - am I pumping too early?

Jeff


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2001 10:26 pm 
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The back D problems you describe are most likely temperature/humidity related. I placed a tiny rubber band (2 or 3 twists depending on the size of band) about 1/4" above the bridal. This cures the problem on my firm reeds but not my soft reeds. You can also adjust the bridal by 'ever so slightly' squeezing the sides (not the front & back) to open the reed lips.
If you change the location of the bridal you will change it's tuning and have to compensate elsewhere.

Pumping on a practice set with a tight reed is fine... it's when you're playing drones that you'll be pumping your little heart out!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2001 11:00 am 
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The use of drones was mentioned with regards to "pumping your little heart out"

The tendancy of a practice set player is to use the minimum amount of pressure to achieve the lower hand, low octave notes. This will come back to haunt you when you get drones, and even more if you add regulators, as I've just done this past spring.

The drones and regs require a steady pressure for them to be in tune, or even play, On my two sets, concert pitch half by D Williams and C 3/4 by D Quinn, the pressure difference between back D and high E is minimal to the point of not being aware of a change, and there is little need to reduce the pressure to play the lower G/D#/E, and the hard D is all but automatic.

The only time I need to increase pressure, and be aware of it, is going into the High B and above.

My suggestion to you is to learn to play, keeping a steady, higher than you think you need pressure on the bag, being careful to not drop pressure when going to thelower notes. It will pay in the long run

Do not let the bag empty, keep pumping to replace the air used, in a gentle, smooth manner, and do not try to keep time to the music with the bellows.

Mike
first time poster


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2001 12:12 pm 
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<<keep pumping to replace the air used, in a <<gentle, smooth manner,

so what you are saying is I should be pumping at all times and not just when the bag gets to a certain point?

Don't I run the possibility of just pumping past the bag and into the chanter instead?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2001 10:10 pm 
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You wrote:
so what you are saying is I should be pumping at all times and not just when the bag gets to a certain point?

Don't I run the possibility of just pumping past the bag and into the chanter instead?

Reply:

yes, if you pump more air than you are using. The point is, you are not supposed to let all the air out, then frantically pump back up. Find a comfortable amount of air in the bag, that you can controll easily, and keep it in that range of comfort. It will come without thought before too many tunes pass through.

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 12:10 pm 
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[quote]
On 2001-12-29 12:00, meuritt wrote:

The tendancy of a practice set player is to use the minimum amount of pressure to achieve the lower hand, low octave notes.

The only time I need to increase pressure, and be aware of it, is going into the High B and above.

My suggestion to you is to learn to play, keeping a steady, higher than you think you need pressure on the bag, being careful to not drop pressure when going to thelower notes. It will pay in the long run.
[quote]

Hi there all. Forgive me for butting in, but with my practice set there's no way I can keep up steady volume and tuning without having the low D warble and hiss, the back D flat flat flat and the high E a frightening noise. I have to change my bag pressure quite a bit to keep everything in tune.

From what you said, Mike, it sounds like I'm going to have quite a bit of trouble with playing with drones, which I'll be getting as soon as I can afford 'em.

I've already tried adjusting the bridle, and I think I've gotten the reed set up well enough (but the humidity here is dropping daily) and I've been practicing bag pressure steadiness during my practice sessions. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 4:10 pm 
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Location: Surlyville
Mark, are you playing the O'Grady set? His reeds play well in cold climates and you should be able to make minor adjustments to the reed to get it to perform well. I have an O'Grady reed thats 15+ months old and plays well. After the reed began to break-in, I had to trim about 1mm off the top to keep it in better tune. I don't recommend this without a backup reed or experienced help.
Something you might have to do is squeeze the bridal slightly instead of moving it up or down. Be very careful as too much pressure will crack a reed. Sometimes a reed can go out of tuning range when moving the bridal up or down too far... squeezing it makes it easier to play and keep it in tune
Without hearing you play or playing it myself it's really hard to determine what you need to do to correct it.
Seth Gallagher has a troubleshooting chart that should be helpful.
http://www.uilleann.com/reeds.html
near the bottom of the page.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2002 5:21 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg
Hey Tony et al;

No, Tony, I'm playing a set made by another Canadian, named G. Colley, I bought it from his son, Duane, who plays about 1500 different kinds of pipes. Okay, not that many. I exaggerate.

The reed, however, is an O'Grady, and it's been working well. I've just moved to a new house and it's much more humid there, so the reed has been responding to the increase. If I'm right, it may be way up to 30 or 40%!!

I was thinking about purchasing a chanter from O'Grady, but financial considerations and your suggestions from an earlier thread have made me decide to wait.

Yours,
Mark


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