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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Littleton, CO
new to pipes in general- is there much of a difference between the chanter reed for Uillean, chanter on Highland Great Pipes, or practice chanter reed? i.e. could one use much the same directions for making reeds? any help would be appreciated, as the nearest place I know of to buy reeds is all the way on the other side of Denver.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2002 12:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 969
Location: Greater Northwest, America
In short? Yes. There is a *great* difference between reeds. Even from UP chanter to UP chanter. Take one of Tim Britton's reeds and place it next to a Gallagher and you'll wonder what two different instruments they came from.

UP reeds are unique among bagpipe reeds (someone correct me if I'm wrong) in their ability to jump octaves. Mouth-blown bagpipes would convey too much moisture to a UP reed (thus the bellows-blown method) and warp it.

Practice reeds (from the mouth-blown UP practice chanter, for example) of the plastic variety tend to be decent in the first octave and questionable in the second octave. I have been told they make decent regulator reeds, though I personally prefer to try and maintain natural reeds throughout my set. I'm so looking forward to trying to re-reed my entire set in Elder.

Anyhow.. Good luck in piping. Read a lot and learn even more. Check out the various sites on UP reed-making and you will understand some of the differences and what goes into a UP reed. It will also help you towards learning how to adjust your own reeds when they are being problematical. If you have the money, pick up the various 'manuals' for reed-making.

Best wishes,
Dionys

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Tir gan teanga <--> Tir gan Anam.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2002 8:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 772
Location: Midwest
I have posted some pictures of different reeds

the first picture shows from L to R:
GHB reed, GHB practice chanter reed, U.P. reed

http://www.animavitae.com/uilleann/reeds2.jpg

As you can see there is a big difference among the three. differences in staple length and reed size give each instrument their characteristic sound.

this next picture shows a U.P. mouthblown chanter reed next to a U.P. reed. As you can see there are differences here also - due to the different requirements of each intstrument.

http://www.animavitae.com/uilleann/reeds.jpg

The U.P. practice chanter reed will work in an actual UP chanter, but sounds buzzy and cannot reach the 2nd octave (in my experience).

So thus........ the best reed for an UP chanter is a reed made for it. UPs are fairly individual instruments. Unlike a clarinet or sax, you usually just can't buy a reed, put it in and expect it to play well and in tune. Because most U.Ps are handmade instruments there exist differences between every chanter - even those made by the same person. Unless you are conversant in U.P reed making you may need to send the chanter off to its maker or someone else qualified to "reed it up"

Jeff
Kansas City


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2002 9:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 2227
Location: Back home in the Green and Musty Isle, in Dublin.
Alhren (you of the superscript thingie), welcome to the appalling vista of pipers and their unending discussions of reed problems (actually "reed problems" is a pleonasm).

If you really want to be discouraged, try the threads on elder reeds elsewhere on this board - one of them gives directions to a whole sordid underworld of reed obsession.

If you're living in the US (and especially inland) you really should try to connect with someone who is living in the same general area, because trying to deal with reed problems by e-mail is a recipe for early suicide, and even if you get a reed that's playing perfectly, changing weather can wreak havoc within days or even hours.

I live about 60 km from the Belgian coast and even at that a snap of cold dry weather can make my life misery. I was in Co. Clare for a week recently and it was sheer joy, because the weather was fine but the underlying humidity was perfect.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Roger O'Keeffe on 2002-04-12 11:06 ]</font>


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