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About the steady sound of the bagpipe

by Denny
(Hong Kong)

Dear Sir,

I have a problem on tuning the pipe. When I use a hard reed, the drones are stopped easily. Is there any solution to solve the problem. Is that only hard reed can give out a good pipe sound?

One more question, when I hear the sound of the pipe, it seems that the sound is not steady. Is that it means my reed is too hard?

One more question, my reed's high A note can't reach the real sound of high A and if I give a harder presure, it can do that. How can I solve this problem?

Am I need to sand my reed?

Hong Kong

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May 29, 2012
About the steady sound of the bagpipe
by: Bill Robertson

Hello Denny,
I think the chanter reed for the moment might be a bit too hard, proving your drone reeds are not too easy, yet smooth and steady when testing in each drone by mouth blowing a little harder and softer with the steady sound not varying in pitch etc.- not rough.

The chanter reed acn be simply squeeezed about the centre of the blades with your thumb and forefinger to ease the reed temporarily. Do that each time before playing for a few days. If still very strong you may sand with fine paper a little at a time each blade to weaken and free up the reed. Avoid sanding too much and making the reed too easy, weak sounding, and shrill.
I trust that helps meanwhile.
All the best,

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