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steveb
27-04-10, 02:54 PM
Hello

Being a novice I am finding it difficult to get a sound out of the chanter.

When the pipe bag is blown up the drones start to sound, but the chanter reed fails to sound.

I have tried 3 different reed types Harris Reedz, Wilson and Megarity, all are "Easy to Medium" and brand new.

Are the reed still to strong for me and should I be using Easy or is it just technique?

Do reeds need to be prepared before first use.


Thank you
Steve

steveb
28-04-10, 04:17 AM
Cheers Scaryguy for your response, very helpful.

I purchased the "Easy to Medium" reeds on the advice of the person selling them after I told him my novice situation (won't mention the name or lay blame).

I do believe I need to go down a level to Easy reeds.

I have been playing the Macedonian Bagpipes for some time and was hoping the transition to be simpler, how wrong was I.

I will try the suggested points of playing with Chanter alone, drones blocked or only 1 drone until I get the hang of the blowing pressure.

No doubt I need an instructor and will actively seek one out.

Thanks
Steve

Heed
28-04-10, 11:08 AM
Steve,

Can only back the last post up, u should seek an instructor. Loads of ways to manipulate reeds, but if you're paying for them yourself, the attrition rate will be too high, and expensive for you. To start with, you should be playing a reed in the "ridiculously easy" class, don't worry what it sounds like at first, its purely to get you used to the technique, and build your stamina up.

It may take a few weeks/months before the sound produced is actually pleasing to the ear, but stick at it, you'll get there. Don't burst a gut blowing, build up gradually.

Hope this helps

steveb
28-04-10, 12:07 PM
I will Heed all the advice given (pardon the pun :bg:) and will go the easy reed and take lessons.

MarinePiper
30-04-10, 10:03 PM
Start by blocking off your drones. Playing your chanter is more important. If you continue to struggle with a hard reed then i would suggest shaving the reed. You must be careful when you do it. Take a light grit sandpaper( 400 grit or higher) and lightly sand down the box of the reed. DO IT EVENLY ON EACH SIDE OF THE REED. Just a little on each side and test the strength of the reed. Dont sand down too much or else you chanter reed will have a very thin sound and will not last long. HEED does make a good point. Since you are a beginner, just worry about your technique, then worry about your sound. In time it will come. Just keep plugging at it.

ppyper1
30-04-10, 10:06 PM
If my students have a hard time getting a sound out of the reed I'll file it a little until they are able to get a sound out of it and then gradually toughen them up to a harder strength reed (no too hard though).

I wouldn't file it yourself until you know what you are doing. Let the instructor file it. Also, try to keep the filing to a minimum if you can.

kiltedsniper
01-05-10, 04:35 PM
Hello

Being a novice I am finding it difficult to get a sound out of the chanter.

When the pipe bag is blown up the drones start to sound, but the chanter reed fails to sound.

I have tried 3 different reed types Harris Reedz, Wilson and Megarity, all are "Easy to Medium" and brand new.

Are the reed still to strong for me and should I be using Easy or is it just technique?

Do reeds need to be prepared before first use.


Thank you
Steve
I agree with everyone here. I would have to venture out and say that most of the pipers here on the PBF have probably experienced what you are going through right now....myself included. I am not an expert in the world of bagpipes by any means, as I am fairly new to the pipes myself. (Have only been playing for about 10 months now) but having proper instruction is a HUGE step in the right direction. I play several different instruments..(mostly self taught )..but the pipes are a different critter all together. I thought that I could teach myself how to play them, and WOW was I wrong. I joined a local pipeband in November of 08 and was on the practice chanter for several months, but, when I finally was able to pay for my pipes (August of 09), the first thing my PM did was to give me a very easy reed and he corked off all my drones, that way I could concentrate on everything else, breathing, squeezing, and proper finger technique. Another bit of advice....practice, practice, practice and when you think you have it down, practice some more, (just don't blow your guts out). With my PMs help, I was able to audition and pass on my first try to get into the kilted section of my band. Not an easy thing to do. My PM is Colorado's only open grade piper and he is also a piping judge as well. So, you are asking yourself, "What's the moral of this story?" Take the advice of all the posts here and find a good instructor. You will be amazed at what you will learn and continue to learn over the years to come.

Heed
04-05-10, 10:31 AM
I wouldn't file it yourself until you know what you are doing. Let the instructor file it. Also, try to keep the filing to a minimum if you can.

Could I second that? 1st sentence in particular! Unless you've got loads of money and don't mind buying loads of reeds.

Second thing ( sorry, sore point here) if and when you succeed in getting an instuctor, then NO OTHER eejit gets to adjust/lay hands on your reed.

You'll get all sorts, wanting to squeeze/shave, blow the reed with their mouth, DON'T let them. They're daft and will ruin your reed! If they really know what they are on about, and listen to your reason for not wanting them to touch the reed, then they'll respect that as well.

steveb
04-05-10, 01:44 PM
Just want to thank all that have given advice, It's great to find a forum with helpful members.

I have contacted "City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band" and will sit in on one of there sessions and speak with the Pipe Major. First step has begun.

Steve
04-05-10, 10:20 PM
Just want to thank all that have given advice, It's great to find a forum with helpful members.

I have contacted "City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band" and will sit in on one of there sessions and speak with the Pipe Major. First step has begun.

Steveb.. Did you get my pm.. ??

steveb
05-05-10, 12:13 AM
Hi Steve
No i didn't not get the PM, I have PM'd you in return.
Thanks