newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

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pipeymvcloud
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by pipeymvcloud » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:01 pm

Please I need help. I have a pratice set in D. I am having a hell of a time trying to get notes out of the chanter. it seems I have to put alot of air and pressure on the bag. I see vids of other pipers and they dont seem to be having a hard time with it. i have tried to adjust the reed but with out luck. Oh and its goos to be here

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PJ
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by PJ » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:53 pm

Where did you get your pipes? The first option is always to contact the maker directly.
PJ

Mike Hulme
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by Mike Hulme » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:14 pm

Hello pipeymvcloud, and welcome to the Forum. If you let us know where you are there may be a local piper who could help you in the early stages. It is much better than help at a distance! However, have you checked that your bag and bellows are airtight? If you have keys fitted to the Chanter do they leak? How have you tried adjusting your reed? If you bought the set new, or second-hand and know who the maker is then he should be your first port of call for help. From what you say about the amount of pressure it takes to get the chanter to sound it seems that the lips of the reed may be too open. Reeds are delicate things and you must take things gently.

A quick How To:

Firstly take the reed out of the chanter and check that the sides of the reed are closed. Put your finger across the end of the reed head and try sucking air through the staple. Do not blow through it. If you can draw in air then the reed leaks. The leak could either be through the sides, or it could have a split in the blades. Check carefully with a magnifying glass. If the sides leak then wipe a piece of beeswax down the sides from binding the reed head - very gently as you approach the lips. Gently squeeze the sides of the reed with a stroking motion to staunch the leak. Check again to see if the reed draws air in. If there is a split in a blade then you probably need a new reed, but you could try putting some superglue on a pin and drawing this along the crack . let it dry thoroughly and check again for air loss. Finally make sure that the binding on the reed is also airtight. Paint some clear nail varnish around the wrapping and let that dry.

Test the crow of the reed. Suck air through the staple and see if you are getting a good crow. Tee reed should sound with a long intake of breath and should close up and stop with a sharp intake. Any leak will also show up here. If there is no crow check the opening of the lips. It should be around 0.6 - 0.7 mm. The opening of the lips is effected by squeezing the bridle on the flats to close the reed and by squeezing on the sides to open it. Do this very gently as it is easy to crack the reed beyond salvation. Moving the bridle down toward the binding will close the reed and moving it towards the lips will open it. This also affects the tuning of the chanter.

If you cannot get the reed to crow with the lips open to the correct elevation then the reed is probably too thick and needs scraping down. This is beyond most beginners and I offer no advice at this time. From your post I take it that you have only one reed. You need a spare reed, ideally made to fit your chanter. Let us know where you are and we can point you in the right direction. There are a number of very competent reedmakers on this Forum if you cannot get the maker of your chanter to supply another reed.

And, possibly the most important advice; get to a Tionol (a Piper's Gathering) and let some experienced players take a look at your set.

pipeymvcloud
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by pipeymvcloud » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:56 pm

I am in SC. As far as I know there is only 1 person i have be able to find that plays. but he is busy until Nov. I have contacted the maker and he did offer reed adjustment. and from what he said made sense. I guess my question is, should you really have to apply alot of pressure to the bag. it is to the point it seems uncomfortable.

outofthebox
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by outofthebox » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:50 am

The short answer is that a reed should never require a lot of pressure to play. This same problem has come up quite recently on this forum. I have a feeling that pipemakers do not finish the scrape on reeds. This is fine for experienced players who can work the scrape down to suit themselves, but tough on beginners like yourself. Hopefully you can get in contact with an experienced piper in your area who can help you out so that the reed will play with less pressure.

pipeymvcloud
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by pipeymvcloud » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:37 pm

Well i tried adjusting the reed and I split it. I am so frustrated. Does anyone know of a player in SC GA or NC. i want to learn this instrument bad.

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Bill
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by Bill » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:14 am

http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewto ... =6&t=77596

Here's a bunch of pipers getting together in NC in September 18-19. Pat Sky is a resident of Spruce Pine and a long time pipemaker/reedmaker. The gathering is laid back, low key and enjoyable. At any rate, get in touch with Pat for starters.
Bill

pipeymvcloud
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by pipeymvcloud » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:25 pm

thank you everyone for your input. i have reserved rooms for the gathering. i just hope someone can fix my reed while I am there

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fancypiper
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by fancypiper » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:13 pm

pipeymvcloud wrote:Well i tried adjusting the reed and I split it. I am so frustrated.
I feel your pain and I went through your experience with a fairly hard to reed concert (D) chanter and with my C chanter as well, but I had been to a couple of reedmaking schools under the tutalage of Eugene Lambe and Benedict Koehler back in 1996-97 before I had ordered my C chanter. Making my C reed, I succeeded first try.

:( Your reed head is a goner . You will have to get someone to replace the head (and perhaps get the "Heart of the Instrument" video?).

Did you happen to get a couple of spare staples with your pipes? I consider it necessary to have a couple of staples (5 staples total is nice, they fit one tube of cane) handy, especially if you are like me, an isolated piper.

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the plod
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by the plod » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:54 pm

If Pat Sky can't make a reed for you then no one can. Take a deep breath and head up to NC. It'll work out.

JEff

outofthebox
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by outofthebox » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:31 am

pipeymvcloud wrote:Well i tried adjusting the reed and I split it. I am so frustrated. Does anyone know of a player in SC GA or NC. i want to learn this instrument bad.
If one of the blades of your reed head is cracked, you could try the repair suggested by Dave Hegarty in his excellent manual. This involves applying a very small amount of super glue along the line of the crack, pressing it down gently until it dries - about 30 seconds - then carefully sand it smooth with a very fine sandpaper. I have tried this method on a regulator reed and it did restore it to a playable condition.

Here's the link for Dave Hegarty's reed manual - well worth reading and retaining for future reference 8)

http://www.pipers.ie/Documents/Reedmakers_Guide.pdf

pipeymvcloud
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by pipeymvcloud » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:55 am

I still have my other Reed. Perhaps they might be able to fix that one. But I am going to order extras right now

fiddlerwill
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by fiddlerwill » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:03 am

Good move, I always recomend pipers have as large a selection of reeds as possible. They are very sensitive to even the smallest adjustment. Good luck.

peterwaller
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by peterwaller » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:29 pm

Can someone help me please? I am new to Uilleann pipes and want to purchase a set and also learn. I have written to the 2 local societys close to me, I lve nr Bristol in the UK and no one has ever replied no matter how many times I have emailed them. Can anyone help me on my "journey" or is it go it alone for beginners. My email is powerclean@aol.com and my name is Peter Waller. Thx.

outofthebox
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by outofthebox » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:47 am

Uilleann pipers are still comparatively rare and elusive. But I'm sure there must be at least one somewhere in the vicinity of a city as large as Bristol who can help you to get started.

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