Adding one more new tune: Georgia Whaling Song


For this week, I will memorise the Georgia Whaling Song. Nice and slow, bar by bar. Got the first line down already. To help me keep it very very slow to start with, I imagine that I am teaching this to someone note by note. All clear and wide open.

Sigh, I still haven’t started tuning those pipes….

5 days of only pipes practise

Time, as is not surprising, has not been on my side this week. All I could do was to do all my practising on the pipes. There was no spare time for the practice chanter as well.  The up-side of that is, that when I did get back in touch with the practice chanter, it was suddenly sooooo much easier for my fingers, as well as maintaining the correct timing.

I”m happy so far. The hardest part I have yet again to start from scratch: tuning the pipes.  Uh, it’s Sunday already…maybe I can squeeze it in before I have to run about again and do other things.

Nevertheless, I am making progress. The real sticking point is tuning! If only I could get over that quickly, but I think not.

Taming the reed with a rubber band


Well, I should have thought of this earlier, shouldn’t I. If the reed is too hard and licking and squeezing it doesn’t have much of an impact, then take one dental rubber band ( used for practice chanter reeds) and roll it onto the chanter reed, as high as necessary to the tip of the blade, and PRESTO the reed is finally playable!

This is now day two of using the rubber band and I was now able to take it off altogether. Will do the same for me backup reed.

So, it’s been a good two days of practising my tunes on the pipes.  The next major challenge is the tuning process. Will do as much as I can, and then take it to the local pipe band to do the rest for me.

After that, I’ll be on my way to being a not to trashy piper for the next 6 to 12 months.


Taming the reed

After struggling with two new reeds ( supposedly low pressure…!) I finally am managing to play complete tunes on them, although there are still some patches where I lose the battle with the reed to a greater or lesser extend.

Below are two of my first attempts at playing a complete tune with the new reed ( and my strengthened diaphragm).

Warning: I only have two tenor drones open at this stage and the setup is totally untuned. I’ll be returning to the tuning part of my education shortly… as soon as I have ordered another set of chanter reeds.

The Dark Island

The Skye Boat Song

and the old standard, Amazing Grace,