Creating back pressure within a reed

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outofthebox
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:02 pm

Creating back pressure within a reed

Post by outofthebox » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:43 am

This is something I do with my chanter reeds, which I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else. I cut a piece of plastic straw about 5mm long and roll it up so that I can slide it inside the staple. I then slide it carefully up until it gets to the flattened part, when it won't easily slide up any further. This creates a constriction at this point within the staple which creates a back pressure effect on the reed which I find very nice. This back pressure makes it possible to get a little something extra in terms of reed response - giving a better feel or definition ( its hard to describe this effect but it is significant ) from the notes of the chanter. The reeds I make are very light playing so I'm playing with a very low airflow. I suppose that those who play harder reeds at higher volume might not find extra back pressure so useful. But I just thought it was worth adding here for the record.

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djm
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Re: Creating back pressure within a reed

Post by djm » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:40 am

Are you using tubular or rolled staples? The reason I ask is that maybe your bit of plastic in a tubular staple is making up the difference to come closer to a rolled staple (just a guess).

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outofthebox
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:02 pm

Re: Creating back pressure within a reed

Post by outofthebox » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:17 pm

I use copper tubing staples. The constriction has the effect of changing the airflow from wide to narrow and back to wide again - something more along the lines of pumping air through an hour glass. I should say that I would only use this method in chanter reeds. This added back pressure wouldn't work well with regulator reeds.

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