Sharp C natural

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by Mr.Gumby » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:48 am

I think all good pipers vary the pitch of their C naturals (and Fs) depending on the tune they are playing. It was what I was getting at earlier when I said c natural' in it's various guises and pitches is not a push button note.

Listen to Séamus Ennis playing 'The New demesne'. There are at least three different Cs in that one. See also Willie Clancy's C naturals (and his expressive use of F). The description I referred to above gives you a handle on how to control the pitch of the C as required.


This also lies at the heart of what I was saying above, only a player, a good player, has an ear and skills developed enough to assess a chanter. It's this sort of stuff that is required in setting up a chanter and it's what makes the making of pipes, or musical instruments in general, more than just a mechanical exercise, more than an engineering project. It's where engineering and musical skills come together and it's here that one without the other is pretty much useless if the aim is a fine instrument capable of flexibility and colour of voice.


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djm
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by djm » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:05 am

Driftwood wrote:Presumably the C natural that everyone's talking about
I think all the better makers tune it to what sounds best against the drones, not to a theoretical number in a book.The UPs being based on Just Intonation, I think you should be able to answer your own question.

djm
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melagodo
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by melagodo » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:47 am

Hi there. I've got the same problem, my cnat is really sharp, and i've tried with many reeds and fingering.
The thing is that nobody seems able to achieve a decent cnat (with decent i mean playing nice with drones), not even experienced players. (i don't pkay jigs or reels yet, only slow airs, so the problem is made even bigger :( )

The only thing that seems to work is to half-cover 1st hole (since if i use tape i loose my c#, which is ok!)

Any hints on that?

Melagodo

outofthebox
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by outofthebox » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:30 am

The three notes which are most problematic seem to be the two Cs and back D. The amount of tension in the reed tends to determine whether these particular notes will play sharp or flat. A little too much tension and they will tend to play sharp, but too little and they give way under pressure and play flat. If a reed is still quite new, notes which are playing sharp may come good after some settling and playing in time, as the tension in the reed will come down a little by itself. So be patient!

If the reed doesn't come good then a little refinement at the bottom of the blades may be required - removing a little more of the bark from both blades at either side of the bottom of the V scrape - along the lines of lowering the tension of a spring. But if you take off too much you will get a weak, pressure sensitve reed and flat back D which is a worse problem. So as always with reeds - proceed with the utmost caution!

melagodo
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by melagodo » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:22 pm

Thanks for your kind reply! The reed is 3 months old, but i'm really worried it's a chanter issue...back D anc c# are really good, it's just the cnat that doesn't let me sleep..
Since i'm rather new to ups, do u think a cnat key would solve my problem? Yeah, i know maybe it's too early to learn keys, but that would make me enjoying my music more and more (since there's no worse thing that a friend of you that doesnt't know anything about ups or music in general and tells you that a note is "wrong"....:( )

Thanks again,

Melagodo

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awilde569
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by awilde569 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:01 pm

You might try some cross-fingering for the cnat as well before trying to do anything too drastic to your key (granted that won't help you much in the second octave, but still).
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melagodo
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by melagodo » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:39 am

I've tried all fingererings suggested in this topic and others, and also lifting the chanter. I'm aware that it's not a push&play note but i've never heard a decent cnat coming from my chanter :(
As said, the only way to get a nice cnat is to half-cover the 1st hole, but since i'm not that good results are not always nice...;)

I was thinking adding the key just because every time I meet a cnat, i get really frustrated by the sound :( but still, since i don't know how the cnat key works, i'm not sure it'll help..

Melagodo

outofthebox
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by outofthebox » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:03 am

Apart from taping the holes, you can also experiment with a constriction placed on the inside of the bore - such as a small rolled up piece of paper card. I'd suggest that you try placing it between the B and A holes and see if it will flatten your CNat. Of course it may also flatten other notes too. With the pipes tuning is always something of a compromise. Best to forget about perfect tuning - the intervals are always going to sound a little eccentric and that is part of the magic of the instrument. Close enough is good enough and work on elbow pressure refinement to achieve a sweeter intonation.

melagodo
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by melagodo » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:52 pm

outofthebox wrote:Apart from taping the holes, you can also experiment with a constriction placed on the inside of the bore - such as a small rolled up piece of paper card. I'd suggest that you try placing it between the B and A holes and see if it will flatten your CNat. Of course it may also flatten other notes too. With the pipes tuning is always something of a compromise. Best to forget about perfect tuning - the intervals are always going to sound a little eccentric and that is part of the magic of the instrument. Close enough is good enough and work on elbow pressure refinement to achieve a sweeter intonation.
By taping the hole I've got others problems with C# that is fine, so i've got to find another way.
My cnat is 22 cents sharp, while i'd prefer some cents flat.
Will try with a rush, but the thing is that i don't have to flatten the C#, only Cnat...
using diferent pressure doesn't solve my problem, not even when done by experienced players (i'm a beginner...)

Melagodo

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awilde569
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by awilde569 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:10 pm

I guess the real question is how does that wind up harmonizing with your drone(s)? It's not an equal temperament instrument if that was what you were basing it on.
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melagodo
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by melagodo » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:29 am

awilde569 wrote:I guess the real question is how does that wind up harmonizing with your drone(s)? It's not an equal temperament instrument if that was what you were basing it on.
Yeah, I know. And i'm not that obsessed with cents and perfect pitch (i was just trying to give you some details of my problem), just trying to find a way to make my Cnats playing well with the drones!

Melagodo

outofthebox
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by outofthebox » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:46 am

Just keep experimenting - moving different sized constrictions up and down the bore until you find something that will flatten your CNat. And if you are successful, let us know how you did it. 8)

melagodo
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by melagodo » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:34 am

outofthebox wrote:Just keep experimenting - moving different sized constrictions up and down the bore until you find something that will flatten your CNat. And if you are successful, let us know how you did it. 8)
I'll let you know as soon as i'll able to flatten C but not C# ;)
thanks for your support, guys!

Melagodo

outofthebox
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by outofthebox » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:14 am

Just one last suggestion that occurred to me. When I started to learn the tin whistle many years ago (without instruction or a tutor book) I learned to play CNat by sliding my first finger across to half hole the B hole. I do this from time to time on my chanter and it works as a variation. Perhaps you have already tried this - but I thought it was worth mentioning here.

melagodo
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Re: Sharp C natural

Post by melagodo » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:29 am

outofthebox wrote:Just one last suggestion that occurred to me. When I started to learn the tin whistle many years ago (without instruction or a tutor book) I learned to play CNat by sliding my first finger across to half hole the B hole. I do this from time to time on my chanter and it works as a variation. Perhaps you have already tried this - but I thought it was worth mentioning here.
Thanks man ;) as I said, this is the only way for me to play cnats...but I guess it should be, as you said, a variation that gives even more colour to a C. Without saying that is damn difficult for a beginner :-P

Melagodo

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