Sharp C natural

A forum to discuss the arcane art of making uilleann pipes, reeds, and set maintenance.

Moderators: the plod, dropkick

User avatar
bobble991
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:13 pm
Location: Perth, Scotland

Sharp C natural

Post by bobble991 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:03 pm

I jsut finished a chanter and it plays well in tune apart from C natural. I cant tell if its a reed issue or a chanter issue. I wouldnt know how to flatten C nat on the chanter but could it be a reed issue? Any ideas? And for reference how would I adjust the chanter if it was that that is the problem?

Bob
Last edited by bobble991 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
awilde569
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 6:51 pm
Real Name: Alex DeWilde
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Re: Sharp C nutural

Post by awilde569 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:56 pm

If it's a keyed note reducing the size of the hole diameter would flatten the note, as would moving the hole location closer to the bell/bottom of the chanter. Had the same problem with my E tonehole, had to make it smaller and move it about 3-4mm further down to bring it into tune. Not sure what would need to be done if that note is being cross-fingered.
Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity

User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:29 am

Re: Sharp C nutural

Post by Mr.Gumby » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:30 pm

There are rather a lot of sides to playing a c nat on the pipes. Without knowing how you play it (or the pitch you are aiming for), there's very little in the way of advice that could be given.
My brain hurts

User avatar
bobble991
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:13 pm
Location: Perth, Scotland

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by bobble991 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:44 pm

I am aiming for C natural. It is unkeyed. I play it with the c# finger and the f# finger (index right hand) both up as per Heather Clarke book. It is sharp in both the lower and upper octave

Thanks
Bob

User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:29 am

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Mr.Gumby » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:15 pm

'c natural' in it's various guises and pitches is not a push button note. No good piper will lift off two fingers and a presto...

Read Pat Mitchell's description of Willie Clancy's c natural (not taking the finger off but 'uncurling' it in order to colour and bring the note to the required pitch). Do you take the chanter off the knee? (did you try?)

I don't think there's really much to be said, nothing final anyway, without actually seeing and hearing what you're doing. FWIW, I do think c natural takes a bit more coaxing than just plainly taking those two two fingers off to get a good c natural sound.
My brain hurts

User avatar
djm
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:27 pm
Real Name: David Moulton
Location: Canadia
Contact:

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by djm » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:02 pm

Some reeds and/or reed/chanter combinations prefer the C# + G fingers to be raised to get a Cnat, or C# + G + F#. You haven't mentioned what all finger combinations your have tried. As Mr. Gumby points out, some of the best sounding Cnats come from lifting the chanter off the knee when sounding the Cnat.

djm
Sex and drugs and uilleann pipes

User avatar
bobble991
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:13 pm
Location: Perth, Scotland

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by bobble991 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:06 am

djm wrote:Some reeds and/or reed/chanter combinations prefer the C# + G fingers to be raised to get a Cnat,

djm

Wow spot on the money. I had tried lifting more fingers, but always keeping the c# and f# fingers up. I discovered that lifting my c# and second finger rh up at the same time gives a c nat which is almost spot on. Now if I can just figure out how to use that strobe tuner for final adjustments instead of my Korg, I think I will have my first fully in tune up chanter. Thanks for the help guys I think you have saved me from complete baldness

Bob

User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:29 am

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Mr.Gumby » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:51 am

And that's why a maker should first learn and play very well and know the instrument before starting to make pipes.

Image

I remember well the man who cut a quarter of an inch off the bottom to tune his bottom Ds and sold several chanters before it was pointed out to him there's a hard bottom D on chanters that's supposed to be the one that's in tune.
My brain hurts

Richard Evans
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Real Name: Richard Evans
Location: Cumbria, UK
Contact:

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Richard Evans » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:00 am

Is this the Kenna C chanter from the SRS? I have made three of these and maybe three dozen reeds (ranging from moderately good to terrible). Every chanter/reed combination plays a perfect C natural with the G finger (only) off- plus the C# finger of course!
I had assumed at first this was some kind of aberation resulting from inaccurate reaming but I don't think so now- it is a strong feature of the chanters, unaffected by any form of rushing, or anything else.
The biggest problem I have is getting a good hard D, and also a flat second octave G- needs quite a bit of extra pressure to bring it in, with any reed I think.

Cheers
Richard

Richard Evans
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Real Name: Richard Evans
Location: Cumbria, UK
Contact:

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Richard Evans » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:11 am

Mr.Gumby wrote:And that's why a maker should first learn and play very well and know the instrument before starting to make pipes.
That's good theoretical advice if you have several hundred pounds to spare for a decent chanter. I have the workshop and the hand skills but not the cash so I'm doing it the hard way! And it is VERY hard, and frustrating, and fascinating as well. Making the actual chanter is of course the easy bit, once you have the reamers.

Cheers
Richard

User avatar
djm
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:27 pm
Real Name: David Moulton
Location: Canadia
Contact:

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by djm » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:55 am

Mr.Gumby wrote:And that's why a maker should first learn and play very well and know the instrument before starting to make pipes.
Perhaps Mr.Gumby meant "before starting to sell pipes." with which I'm sure most of us would agree?

djm
Sex and drugs and uilleann pipes

User avatar
Mr.Gumby
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:29 am

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Mr.Gumby » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:04 am

. Making the actual chanter is of course the easy bit, once you have the reamers.
If you stick in the reamer and leave at that it is. If there are any bore adjustments to be done, voicing and fine tuning, then playing and making skills are paramount again. Some pipemakers would argue the hard work only starts once the drilling and reaming are done.

Perhaps Mr.Gumby meant "before starting to sell pipes." with which I'm sure most of us would agree?
That for certain, too many people are selling their learning projects. But to be honest, I think there's a bit more to setting up a chanter, even plainly assessing how a chanter work (how to play a c natural in tune?) that will completely elude someone who isn't at least a decent player. In other words, you risk coming out of the woodshed with some really awkward results if you don't know how an average chanter (let alone a good one) will play for you. Mind you, no harm in experimenting but it's probably good to keep in mind the tutorbooks only skim the surface of piping and it's probably a good idea to get some practical feedback on your projects from the occasional piper with a bit of experience.
Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
My brain hurts

User avatar
bobble991
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:13 pm
Location: Perth, Scotland

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by bobble991 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:09 am

I too had the workshop but not the money. This has been a hobby for many years and I am finally getting results I am happyish with. I dont know if I would ever want to sell pipes, really I just want a full d set and a full flat set( and a narrow bore D perhaps) of my own that play in tune. This is a rowesome derived D chanter which plays a nice hard bottom d and is quite well in tune now. I think I could move on to regulators now. Should I ever sell anything it would be a bonus but it just isnt on the cards for a year at least while I further refine everything.
Richard, I sidelined the Kenna C while I sorted out the bass drone and got it going well and then made new reamers for the chanter. These have produced the current chanter. Ill go back to the Kenna c soon.
I appreciate very much the help of the members of this and other forums, I never had any training from anyone and little engineering experience so any guidance I get from the forum is very important to me.

Thanks
Bob

Richard Evans
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Real Name: Richard Evans
Location: Cumbria, UK
Contact:

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Richard Evans » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:36 am

Mr.Gumby wrote:
. Making the actual chanter is of course the easy bit, once you have the reamers.
If you stick in the reamer and leave at that it is. If there are any bore adjustments to be done, voicing and fine tuning, then playing and making skills are paramount again. Some pipemakers would argue the hard work only starts once the drilling and reaming are done.

Perhaps Mr.Gumby meant "before starting to sell pipes." with which I'm sure most of us would agree?
That for certain, too many people are selling their learning projects. But to be honest, I think there's a bit more to setting up a chanter, even plainly assessing how a chanter work (how to play a c natural in tune?) that will completely elude someone who isn't at least a decent player. In other words, you risk coming out of the woodshed with some really awkward results if you don't know how an average chanter (let alone a good one) will play for you. Mind you, no harm in experimenting but it's probably good to keep in mind the tutorbooks only skim the surface of piping and it's probably a good idea to get some practical feedback on your projects from the occasional piper with a bit of experience.
Yes, I suppose what I meant was "making something that LOOKS LIKE a chanter is the easy bit". Also totally agree with Mr Gumby's other points.
Cheers
Richard

Driftwood
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:12 pm

Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Driftwood » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:38 am

Presumably the C natural that everyone's talking about is as defined in Hegarty's reedmaking book i.e. very slightly flatter than the equal temperment C. However, I have read about another C natural called the harmonic seventh which would be considerably flatter at about 30 cents south of the equal temperment note. If the bagpipe scale is supposed to be based on the harmonics of the fundamental then wouldn't it be better to use this harmonic seventh? Can you get this note on the uilleann chanter and does anyone use it?

Whilst on the subject of Cs, I have read one or two ITM tutor books that say that in some tunes the Fs and Cs are variable and that fiddlers can pitch these notes halfway between the natural and sharp notes. Again, is it possible to do this on the chanter and if so, does anyone do it?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest