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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 12:06 pm 
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Thanks for the responses. It sounds like general knowledge is transferable but skills only transfer back from UPs to Whistles.

I will probably begin with the whistle but there was another 'hybrid' path out there that I wanted to run by you.

Song of the Sea offers a sort of Practice UP w/o bellows, bag, etc. but shaped and styled like a traditional chanter. Has anyone had experience with these or have an opinion on them?

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 1:41 pm 
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No, no, no, no way! This topic has surfaced several times and most pipers agree that this kind of "practice chanter" is no good as a substitute for a real practice set. OK, I haven't played this thing yet, but I think getting the fingering right on the chanter is one of the easier tasks when it comes to learning the pipes. But, as has been said several times before, there is much more to it. If you want to play the pipes, play the pipes. It's a great challenge but a rewarding one. If you must go the way to insanity, go all the way.
Christian


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 2:59 pm 
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I have to strongly disagree...sort of!

While having never played the little beast I know personally of a number of people who have. Without question, according to them, the Uilleann PC helps you learn the fingering much more quickly...without having to learn the fingering, the bellows, the bags, and the whole arms flapping and flailing about at the same time thing. <b>But</b>, once these people have moved onto the real set of pipes the Uilleann PC has always been put away for good. Total lifespan of the UPC was usually no more than a month or two.

I also play the GHB and there are a lot of analogies there between the two sets of pipes, although for some reason they aren't the same. Everyone starts with the practice chanter and then, once the fingering is learned, you move on to the real thing. <b>But</b>, you never put the PC into mothballs! It's still your constant companion.

I would think the difference between the two sets of pipes is the overall noise level. There are warning labels, or should be, on GHB sets that state "Do not play indoors!". I've walked into a house where twenty sets of Uilleann pipes were all playing at the same time and they could not be heard outside.

I would say that if you want, go ahead and try the Uilleann practice chanter but it's use might be limited or non-existent in your near future. Money better spent on something else?? Only you can be the judge of that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 4:02 pm 
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Davo... let's start with I OWN ONE !!!
So I speak from experience.
The plastic Uilleann Whistle Chanter sold by Song of The Sea can be considered an instrument unto itself. Though it's fingered like a Uilleann pipe, the breath control and voicing is that of... a whistle!
It's physical size is close to a pipe (which is great) but the drawback is it's in the key of A and not D like concert pipes. So, if you had plans of learning tunes from a CD or playing alongside tutorials on VCR (like the NPU tapes) you won't be in the same key.
This won't be a problem if you go it alone reading sheet music. Know what you're getting into.
I would recommend getting some surgical tubing to replace the (stiffer) plastic.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 7:03 pm 
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I agree with John. The (reeded) uilleann practice chanter got me going and I'm glad I bought it. While waiting for my pipes, I was able to learn the fingerings and the pulse of irish music. It gave me a "leg up" when I finally got my practice set.

Jeff


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:46 am 
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Jeff... are the practice chanter plastic reeds anywhere near the size of your cane reeds? You know what my next question is... don't you?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:06 pm 
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yes, I know what the next question is. :smile:

The tube and bindings are the same size, but the reed itself is only half as long. The plastic looks to be similar to a yogurt container.

I put it in my chanter, it plays loud and just slightly buzzy, but overall, it's tuning was excellent (better than my current natural reed)

so far the highest I can get it to go is E in the second octave

Here is a picture of it next to a "regular" chanter reed.
http://www.animavitae.com/uilleann/reeds.jpg

Jeff


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:23 pm 
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What's that white stuff on your reed ?? you watching 'Return of the Mummy' on DVD ?

OK,
this weekend I'll make a plastic reed and let you know my recipe... should it work.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:40 pm 
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Hey all.

Something struck me while I was looking at some of the other photos you have up, Anima.

The chanter top you have is brass (or some such metal) and about the same width as your chanter. Now, the set I have has a wood chanter top (maple, btw) and is much much wider than the chanter itself, (which is also maple)and significantly shorter than the top Anima's photos have.

Do any of you think that there's a reason it was made this way? The maker's not on the net and I bought the set through his son, so I can't just phone him up or email him and ask.

And have any of you played maple chanters and if so, how do they compare to other woods? I've been thinking that my chanter is a little... well, screechy (something I mentioned way back when I first started participating on this forum) and if it's mostly to do with the wood, perhaps I should look at getting another chanter. (ugh, this instrument is expensive!)

Does anyone have anything to say about the wood/metal difference I mentioned about the chanter top? Will that change/impare the sound of the chanter? I'd appreciate your input(s).

Thanks,
Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 9:25 pm 
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I've been told a wooden windcap yields a sweeter sound...
Bruce Childress came into town one day (while on vacation) and he brought his B chanter for me to see. I asked him to switch between a metal top and a wooden top and NEITHER of us could tell a difference in the sound.
------------
O'Grady's standard pipes are in Maple and his deluxe pipes are in Cocobolo. Many bassoons are made from Maple and guitar necks are also in Maple. I don't know how that equates to pipemaking but It grows in North America and seasoned Maple should be easy to obtain.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tony on 2002-01-23 22:34 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 9:53 pm 
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The white stuff is just some teflon tape around the binding - don't ask me why, it came that way.

:smile:


Jeff


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2002 4:48 am 
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Jeff,
Of the teflon sealed reeds I've seen it's only been used at the 'taper' and covered by the wrapping. I hope you weren't upset by my 'Mummy' comment. Dentil floss would probably look the same in the picture. I wasn't sure.
---------
I bought 10 reeds last year and asked for some variety to get some ideas for finding my preffered reed. I took a picture of 3 of them.
http://www.angar.net/reeds/reeds.jpg
Notice they aren't all the same length but they all play in-tune.
My O'Grady chanter plays the top reed well and I prefer the bottom (more traditional) reed in my Simack chanter.
The picture is pretty clear showing the bridal sizes and reedmakers notes. They refer to the diameter of the sanding tube and the reed width. This way, I can order by specification rather then sending the reed back (to Australia) to be copied.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2002 7:00 pm 
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Who made all of your reeds?

Jeff


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2002 2:05 am 
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My reed inventory ??
In D, I have:
1 Childress that plays very well,
1 O'Grady that plays very well, 2 that play average and 1 suitable as a letter opener.
5 Simack (Ian Mackenzie of Australia) that play fantastic, 6 that play very well, 1 that throws sparks from the bottom of the chanter. (my Jimi Hendrix reed, often plays 3 octaves)

:eek:


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