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Help please - My Chanter sounds odd.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:31 pm
by papabear
Hello Pipers, I have just packed my pipes out after a week away and the notes on my chanter don´t want to play well at all, it sounds quiter and seems to have a "sore throat" sound. I lightly oiled the pads a week ago and inside the bore of the chanter as I was recommended to do so, prior to that it was singing like a bird ! Could it be that one of the pads is now not sitting correctly? It has been a bit damp also with high humidity here, will that disturb the reed?
I have been playing Clarinet and saxophone for many years and a similar symptom occurs when you have a leaky pad on woodwind instruments. With no fingers on the chanter it seems O.K. but as a I add fingers it seems to get worse ;) Any tips please in solving this problem. Many thanks. Chris.

Re: Help please - My Chanter sounds odd.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:04 pm
by Richard Evans
You can check for leaks by taking the reed out and blowing into the chanter with finger holes covered. Should be totally air-tight.


Re: Help please - My Chanter sounds odd.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:16 am
by pipemakermike
Hi Chris

It is possible that the damp conditions have caused the reed to close a bit and a gentle squeeze across the bridle to open it will return it to its original sound. My first keyed chanter had a reed that was like this. I had to squeeze it twice a year, once to open it and then 6 months later to close it .
Another possibility is that some oil has got onto the reed. If this is the case it will be obvious from a visual inspection. I have cleaned oil off chanter and drone reeds in the past using lighter fuel (petrol) and a soft brush and cleaning only the blades of the reed.

Re: Help please - My Chanter sounds odd.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:41 am
by papabear
Thankyou Richard and thankyou Mike for your time, for the replies, I don´t think there is any oil on the reed I was very careful to avoid that and on close inspection I can see anything, the reed looks completely normal. Yesterday and today it is warmer here and not so much humidity and the chanter is playing better, so it must have been the weather!