The Royal Scots Cap Badge

Blow pressure and drone read tone

by John
(New Jersey, USA)

Can drone reads be adjusted to sound with less air pressure and still maintain a proper tone?

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Apr 16, 2017
Blow pressure and drone reeds
by: Bill Robertson

Hello John,
Obviously the amount air pressure can be altered by placement of the controlling bridle (the band on the tongue of the reed). If a synthetic or the like reed simply in very small amounts at a time move upwards towards open end of the reed for more air and most likely a rough unwanted sound. To refine the sound and reach a smooth unvarying sound in the drone simply move the bridle downwards in very minute amounts at a time to eventually then as you go mouth tested (lips just over the top end of the reed when blowing with the mouth) by blowing slightly stronger and slightly weaker to eventually have a steady unvarying sound, and enough for your normal playing strength to maintain the sound without being too weak and stopping. Use some "commonsense". Elsewhere you should find my advice on this, or suchlike, for others.

You should have a good teacher helping you, or if in a band the Pipe Major or assistant.

I trust that helps, and all the best,

Bill R--

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