The Royal Scots Cap Badge

1st pipe set up new player

by Craig
(Texas)

Hi Bill,


I'm teaching my daughter to play the pipes. We have an old 1960s Lowrie to start her off. Bag size is small and length of blowpipe short. But she has problems obtaining steady sound from the chanter in the goose mode.

Do I sand the reed until it's paper thin, then enough for her to play it?

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May 12, 2016
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1st pipe set up new player
by: Bill Robertson

Sorry Craig, I forgot to tell you that the first section on the link on drone reed has both cane and synthetic reeds. I suggest that you fast forward to 1.50 to arrive at the synthetic drone reed part.
Regards,

Bill Robertson

May 12, 2016
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1st pipe set up new player
by: Bill Robertson

Hello Craig,
The Anon person has provided good information on the chanter reed weakening.
I think he missed the common way if the reed is only slightly too strong i.e. With the thumb and forefinger apply reasonable pressure to the blades of the reed about 2/3rd they way down from the opening of the blades at the top. The reed will revert after some short time. With dgrees of that pressure you could also get some idea of the strength by trial and error with the beginner.
I advise you to use this link for a first time up learner showing on video the three main stages of commencing to play:http://www.bagpipe-tutorials.com/bagpipe-tuning-exercises.html
Also farther down in text for each stage.
The first video helps you in setting the tenor drone reed as you need one drone only on the first stage of commencing to play.
If for some reason you cannot reveal through the link, it is from our Bagpipe Article left of main page of our site. The item is long so keep scrolling as you go to the bottom.
Any difficulties, questions etc., simply ask me directly at: bagpiper1@slingshot.co.nz
I hope that helps, as it should. Regards,
Bill R

May 11, 2016
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Reed Manipulation
by: Anonymous

Sanding reeds is risky. Once material has been removed, it cannot be put back. Try purchasing an EASY reed. All reeds will break-in over time. If sanding is necessary, consider doing so in stages over a period of weeks - during the break-in cycle. Weakening a reed is best done by sanding the middle third of the four corners, or sides/shoulders of the reed. Use 600 grip paper with light pressure for about 4-5 strokes in line with the grain of the cane, then do the same on each of the other 3 shoulders. While breaking in the reed, if it is still too strong, try pinching the top third together between clean, dry forefinger and thumb - just enough to hold the lips together. Hold this for a slow count of 10, then try playing again. Do this for about three days before taking sandpaper to the shoulders again. Continue alternating pinching x 3 days, sanding 4-5 strokes on all 4 shoulders, middle third of the length of the cane, until she can make a steady sound.

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