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 Post subject: Tuning help
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:21 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Ely MN
I am new to the uilleann pipes, I have an O'Grady half set in D I bought second hand. I cannot get the Back D or C to sharpen, they both sound terrible, flat and weak. I tried lowering the reed to the point where I couldn't get it any lower, it seemed to be helping so I trimmed the staple so i could get it lower, which also helped but then I trimmed too much and destroyed that reed, luckily my pipes came with two reeds, I don't want to destroy another reed so I figure it is time to ask for help. Any tips on how to sharpen those two notes. and/or any recommendations on someone to talk to about making me a new reed for this chanter, I have not been able to find any contact info for Neil O'Grady. Thanks.

Also any pipers out there in Northern Minnesota?


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 Post subject: Re: Tuning help
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 1684
Location: Minnesota, Birthplace of the pop-up toaster
There are quite a few pipers in the Twin Cities metro area. There's a fine piper (Jeremy Kingsbury) up near Grand Portage (I think) .
PM me for more deets.

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Tommykleen
Well, don't forget to make music.


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 Post subject: Re: Tuning help
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 4809
Location: WV to the OC
One thing in general, for people new to uilleann piping it's better to not modify the reeds.

The person who made the reed knows much more about how they're supposed to be made, how they're supposed to function, than a beginner does.

Now making adjustments, which don't permanently change the reed, is one thing (and I would advise caution even there) but for sure a beginner shouldn't shave reeds and modify staples and such.

Most likely the problem is coming from improper technique rather than anything fundamentally wrong with the reed.

About adjusting the bridle, I know one guy, a Highland piper who started learning uilleann pipes, who injured his shoulder due to having the reed so far open, so stiff, that it took Herculean effort to blow the pipes. Any uilleann piper would have instantly diagnosed and solved the problem. It's things like that which make it so important to get together with an experienced piper. Skype lessons aren't nearly as effective for reed things.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
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 Post subject: Re: Tuning help
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:25 pm
Posts: 2
I have a theory that the Uilleann Pipes play the player as much as the player plays the pipes.

Sometimes it takes a while to play a set and find where some of the tuning is "hidden". Depending on conditions, there are some days that are more difficult than others, especially Ds and Cs. Sometimes the tuning is in the reed, sometimes the tuning is in the bag (pressure), sometimes it is in the humidity level.

Just keep listening and playing and try to enjoy it!

Making connections with other pipers is also a huge bonus... even if it is by email or video these days.

Best of luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Tuning help
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2002 6:00 pm
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Location: Minnesota, Birthplace of the pop-up toaster
I made a house call: Shawn needs a new reed. It's not him, not the set.

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Well, don't forget to make music.


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