Newbie reed issues

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Jugdish
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:55 pm
Real Name: Brian

Newbie reed issues

Post by Jugdish » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:02 pm

Greetings all,

I recently took delivery of a Kirk Lynch practice set, and am having a heluva time with the reed. I don't want to bother Kirk too much, so I came to the board for help. I'm coming from 5 years of Highland piping with a grade IV band (but haven't played for a couple of years). I thought highland reeds were a pain in the ass until I actually got my uilleann set. My problem is that I cannot get a decent tone from the chanter; it either closes up with pressure or requires too much pressure and won't reach the second octave. Any hints would be appreciated......

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the plod
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Re: Newbie reed issues

Post by the plod » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:16 pm

Welcome to uilleann pipe reeds in the winter. :mrgreen: The humidity has A LOT to do with how these play. Most of my reeds sound like crap at 35% humidity or below, they sing at 60% or higher. I keep a humidifier going in my music room in the winter.

Where are you located?

outofthebox
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Re: Newbie reed issues

Post by outofthebox » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:56 am

Pressure is the key. To play comfortably in both octaves a reed mustn't be too open and strong. So when the reed is closed down a little with the bridle so that it will play lighter, it is necessary to find just the right pressure with the bag arm so that reed and player are in balance. Too much bag arm pressure and the reed will close up. If you can find other uilleann pipers in your area, they may be able to help refine the scrape of your reed a little to make it more responsive. But the reed may be fine and will come good with time. Don't expect to achieve sweet tone straight away - the relationship with reed and chanter is something that every player must develop over time. By time I mean the rest of your life 8)

There is also plenty of great reed information available here -

http://source.pipers.ie/Section.aspx?id=133

Jugdish
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:55 pm
Real Name: Brian

Re: Newbie reed issues

Post by Jugdish » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:08 am

Thanks for the quick replies.... I live in Wisconsin and it's colder than a witches thorax at the moment, which means it's very dry in the house. I was able to fiddle with the bridle a bit and got some sound out of the reed, but it was not pleasant by any means. Wrapping a piece of copper around a reed scares the hell out of me, but I guess I'll have to get use to it.

Jarlath.I
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Re: Newbie reed issues

Post by Jarlath.I » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:19 pm

I live in a similar climate. Get a good humidifier, and don't mess around with the reed unless you have a spare. I try to keep the humidity level in my room at about 40% which works for my pipes. Don't try to cheat and bring the pipes from dry air to the bathroom after a shower either. It's a good way to crack the chanter. You'll be loving life this summer!!!

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