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Solo and band chanter.

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.. Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Thu 13 Nov - 23:35:14

With todays higher pitch is it really necessary to have a separate chanter fer doin' yer solo gigs competitions?.

Sunday past I bumped into an old friend from Ravara ( drummer ), I'd just finished playing a hymn then Flowers of the forest. Walking back towards the car Colin said, "Hey, a liked the sound of yer pipes Iain well done "

This made me think is it really that important to have a second chanter for other gigs?.......the pitch we have at Drumlough ( although not ear piercing' ) is IMO a very musical pitch, not too high, yet not of the Muirhead pith either affraid big grin , therefore I think it's a waste of money/time to purchase a chanter just for yer own engagements.
Most engagements will never stretch a good solid band reed to the extent of knocking it off from the resta the band, in fact it'll prob' do it a bita good gettin' a wee bita air through it.

What da the resta ya think?.......do you use the band set up/yer own ?....'n why?.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Piping Connections on Fri 14 Nov - 0:32:11

As A retailer of fine bagpiping products i have to disagree laughing laughing laughing
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Piper06 on Fri 14 Nov - 5:25:57

I agree with you Redneck. I bought my "solo" chanter last year. I love the feel, and the way it plays. As far as tuning into the band, my chanter and reed is so stable that they tune to me. I rarely have to adjust my tuning. I don't see the need for a second chanter.

I have the one that came with my pipes. I use it to break in and keep a second reed in the works just in case of a disaster with my play reed. I try to play the break in one every so often, but usually it's once a month or so.

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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Fri 14 Nov - 7:16:16

I use my own chanter.

why ?

Mainly, because I absolutely detest the shape and size of the holes on the poly McCallum chanters.

I also happen to adore my blackwood Sinclair.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Wyatt on Fri 14 Nov - 11:46:04

Well...My old Kintail was 25 years old..hand picked by the late Duncan Johnstone..it had the old "Dysart Craw"
but as the pitch went up..!! and reedmakers followed suit ,I found it harder and harder getting a good reed to sit
in there...my purchase of a Strathmore some years ago.was a revelation...must be one of the best "solo" chanters
ever...love it..!!but I had to purchase a Shepherd (poly) recently...geeeeez..what volume,pitch,and tone...and as has been
proven around the competitions in the past years...a superb band chanter..."horses for courses"...
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Fri 14 Nov - 16:55:23

True_Blue_Piper wrote:I use my own chanter.

why ?

Mainly, because I absolutely detest the shape and size of the holes on the poly McCallum chanters.

I also happen to adore my blackwood Sinclair.

Same here m8, regarding our ABW chanters. The McCallum aint all that bad Ron. Jeeze if I can use it wi my wee fingers you should find it no problem...... big grin , not that am sayin' yer fingers are.........Ummmmm thick... affraid Ha ha
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Fri 14 Nov - 16:57:42

Piping Connections wrote:As A retailer of fine bagpiping products i have to disagree laughing laughing laughing

ignore ignore ignore raspberry Ha ha Ha ha Ha ha
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by stormy on Sat 15 Nov - 2:26:56

I've alwyas been a band player and never got into solo competition.
Many of the guys I played with in the police were also solo competitiors and used a different chanter when competing solo.
The pitch of these "solo" chanters was pretty much the same as the band. Why then use a second chanter?
The answer is simple. The PM would kill you if the band chanter reed ever became inconsistant with what he wanted. Further time tuning up, longer playing time etc will have an effect on the reed, and this in turn could affect the reed next time the band played.
The strength of the reed was also a factor. The band reed may have beed slightly harder than the player was happy with when playing solo.

I personally managed fine for many years working with the one reed and chanter, the band one. I did not compete solo however and if I had I would more than likely have used a second chanter and reed, if only to ensure that the band "sound" was maintained.

I think that a second chanter for solo competition is of more importance to higher grade players, who compete with bands and also solo.
A second chanter is of importance to all players of any level in case of emergencies. If you are playing at a gig and you break the reed, what do you do?

A second chanter is not a necessity but for reasons outlined above is well worthwhile.

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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Piper06 on Sat 15 Nov - 5:47:17

That is why I maintain my second chanter.

Of course now I have a second set of pipes. I am keeping my first set, a poly set to use in bad weather. So I will have to play them too. It will keep me working out more. Pint

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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Sat 15 Nov - 13:28:46

Have to say that I also have a secondary chanter knocking about the pipe box "just in case"........an old poly Warmac.....played Warmacs in four different bands.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Sat 15 Nov - 14:34:13

@Stormy, point taken ref' solo work. However I personally don't feel that a gig would put anymore stress/lessen the life of a band reed by much, if at all. My gigs consist of maybe 2 sets with an initial 6/8 to bring in guests. My practise time at home would last more. So all in all a gig would just be another night the pipes were being played.

The reed strength is a good point too regarding the solo reed maybe being not as robust, here again I disagree. Just from a personal point of view I'd always play a reed with body 'n not one which would not suit the band.

@Ron, aye m8, heard some good war-mac chanters, our regimental band had 'em way back. Got good sound wi 'em too.

Some good points made, cheers.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Sat 15 Nov - 18:25:16

Iain, I get what you're saying, I just can't get used to the big oval holes on the McCallum, so much so, that I give up......
I have several chanters, blackwood Sinclairs from the 80s, poly Warmacs from the same era, poly Shephards from the 90s, and even a blackwood Robertson from the 60s and a Hardie from the same era....and I prefer them all to the poly McCallum.
I even have my father's Sinclair chanter from 1964......at which time the Edinburgh Polis were playing McPhersons...with three exceptions.....Geordie Lumsden, Jock Percival and my father who played Sinclairs.
But I do like the Warmac and even the Warnock before that......they are easy to reed and at the time.....were like....changing twin SUs or Strombergs.....for fuel injection!!!
By the way, I'm now in the 20th century....I am retrying manmade stuff......new hybrid bag on "thee great instrument". So far so good.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Wyatt on Sat 15 Nov - 22:40:02

True Blue ..Piper..Did your Father ever play one of Willie Sinclairs..famous
!"impregnated maple" chanters..I remember one night at the George Hotel I did a gig with George Lumsden
he had just recieved his from the Police."Wisnae Happy"...we all agreed it just did not look right..sounded no bad though..!!
but when I took a Canadian friend and fellow piper up to see the Police do their daily Festival
march(no longer done)..!!along Princes Street..he exclaimed..what the xxxx..are they!!!
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Sun 16 Nov - 0:26:02

Ron, the ABW Sinclair's from that era were in a class of their own. The time Iain was PM of the Edinburgh Police he judged the RAMS the same year we won grade2 at the worlds.

He asked Tommy Geddis ( PM ) if he would sell him our set of chanters for the Polis. True. They were indeed a good set/batch, needless to say he never got them.....thank god.
The following year I got one of these that Harry Stevenson Snr played as he retired.
To this day I can hear the crack of the bottom hand and the depth of sound when a grip or strike was played, Och aye, 'n a good reed from JK.

@ Wyatt, think I recall the chanters yer on about, was it the lighter coloured ones?.....we sent ours back 'n stuck da the black ones, 'n they were black...lol.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Sun 16 Nov - 2:57:43

I remember the Canadian Maple wood chanters....and drones....there was nothing wrong with the sound...they just looked bloody awful.
Wyatt...when did they stop the 11am march along Princes Street? Last time I was home during the summer months (that would be 3 or 4 years ago), they were still doing it.....avoiding the yucky brown stuff from the horse in front.
And this sounds daft, but I seem to remember one of the blokes on a horse in front being from the RCMP...
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Wyatt on Sun 16 Nov - 11:00:48

piper Yip/....they all gather and play just under the Scotts Monument...now,,your old city..as we
speak ..is like a bomb site..!!we have over 400..roadworks over the city...and in the city centre the "tram works
are taking over...you could not march a band,,,along Princes Street...and thats the way it will be till at least
2011...the Council have lost the plot...big time...Aye...the Auld Polis Band...Duncan Smith,Jock Percival,Euan Anderson
George Lumsden,The "BIG"Drum Major..Ronnie Mason..Iain Macleod....Harry Mcnulty...and Colin Forbes..
geeeez ..takes me back...!!."The Sinclair..Heyday...!!..(with Willie Mcrostie reeds..?)...Sheepskin Bags and
realllllllll....cane reeds....it would shake your very soul....
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Sun 16 Nov - 12:26:01

funnily enough I saw Harry at Sinclairs a couple of weeks ago..
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Sun 16 Nov - 16:20:23

Wyatt wrote:piper Yip/....they all gather and play just under the Scotts Monument...now,,your old city..as we
speak ..is like a bomb site..!!we have over 400..roadworks over the city...and in the city centre the "tram works
are taking over...you could not march a band,,,along Princes Street...and thats the way it will be till at least
2011...the Council have lost the plot...big time...Aye...the Auld Polis Band...Duncan Smith,Jock Percival,Euan Anderson
George Lumsden,The "BIG"Drum Major..Ronnie Mason..Iain Macleod....Harry Mcnulty...and Colin Forbes..
geeeez ..takes me back...!!."The Sinclair..Heyday...!!..(with Willie Mcrostie reeds..?)...Sheepskin Bags and
realllllllll....cane reeds....it would shake your very soul....

Back then this was IMO the band which was responsible for the higher pitch we have today.......the forerunners so to speak, ad love it if some company would re-release the albums from then on CD.........my fav' one was the pipes on parade or pipers parade ( cant recall the exact title ), MSR....Conundrum, PM Roy Stewart, The Little Cascade. Great selection of jigs too on the albums, good ole stalwarts, one which I given by big Angus was written when he was here on tour wi the Guards "Turf Lodge " class wee jig.

Whilst some good new tunes are composed today it's hard da go past the gid oul masters of yesteryear.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Wyatt on Sun 16 Nov - 16:46:31

I think the most famous of all Edinburgh Police PipeMajors was Donald Shaw Ramsay..
legend has it they all, played Macpherson chanters then made by the ex..Pipe Major
of the .K.O.S.B's...and famous composer..Willie Bryson.and it was Donald Shaw Ramsay along with this amazing
sound..who introduced Hornpipes and Jigs into Pipe Band reportiore .
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Sun 16 Nov - 16:57:09

laughing laughing , just posted this very thing on another thread m8. Great minds think alike.

Some sound DSR was something else, Iain had the band goin' well too. Maybe wi the introduction of Ian Duncan to the P/Sgts job him 'n Davey can build the band again to higher heights than they have been of late.
Still have ma soft spot fer the E.P.P.B
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Wyatt on Sun 16 Nov - 18:43:46

Now....I heard on the grapvine...some company is going to put out some old LPs..of the Polis on CD,,sure
I heard it on "Pipeline"....?....used to play the tune,,Festival Parade...written I'm sure by Ronnie Ackroyd...many moons ago
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by Redneck on Sun 16 Nov - 20:59:42

Hope so, would be great da listen da the oul Polis again.
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Mon 17 Nov - 6:14:10

Occasionally you can get some of their LPs from record dealers, yet there were more records produced by the Edinburgh Police than is often known....and some of them I have never seen advertised.

Anyway, maybe we should get this
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.. Re: Solo and band chanter.

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Mon 17 Nov - 18:12:07

Wyatt wrote:piper Yip/....they all gather and play just under the Scotts Monument...now,,your old city..as we
speak ..is like a bomb site..!!we have over 400..roadworks over the city...and in the city centre the "tram works
are taking over...you could not march a band,,,along Princes Street...and thats the way it will be till at least
2011...the Council have lost the plot...big time...Aye...the Auld Polis Band...Duncan Smith,Jock Percival,Euan Anderson
George Lumsden,The "BIG"Drum Major..Ronnie Mason..Iain Macleod....Harry Mcnulty...and Colin Forbes..
geeeez ..takes me back...!!."The Sinclair..Heyday...!!..(with Willie Mcrostie reeds..?)...Sheepskin Bags and
realllllllll....cane reeds....it would shake your very soul....

Some of them are NOT the old band !!!! You seem to be thinking of the 70s not the 60s...!!!!
The resurgence years of the Eagle Pipers....which never quite made it, they never got the same name as existed in the 60s.....
Among the pipers of the Edinburgh Polis in the 60s (not previously mentioned would have been the likes of Jock Percival, Ronnie Ackroyd, Laurie Gillespie, Ralston Lewis, Martin Wilson Sr....and even a young 18 yr old Gavin Stoddart.
The drummers from these golden years included the likes of Jimmy Hermiston, Harry Fairley (whose wife owned "Helen's Plaice" the fishmongers at Marchmont) and George Brown.
The band even had groupies in these days...including the likes of Mr. Wilson who owned half the hotels/motels at Craigmillar Road / Newington and....Wullie Ross....the owner at the time of the Oxford Bar. The groupies even travelled overseas with the band.
Euan Anderson was but a youngster back then.....correct me if I'm wrong but did his father not work for one of the breweries? Big man with a well manicured white beard?
Colin Forbes...there's a name from the 70s.....did he not pass away under "unfortunate circumstances"? And as for Duncan Smith, did he not subsequently move over to David Urquhart Travel PB or similar?
Funnily enough I bumped into Ralston Lewis's eldest daughter in HK about 15 years ago....
And I used to go to school with Mhairi....Iain McLeod's eldest.
I was brought up as a wee laddie with them being in the house, and I can still recall getting my hide tanned when some arrived one day in a polis car which was a Morris Minor....a panda car....
Whilst the old man was in the house, I was outside practicing how to let all four tyres of a polis car down....with a matchstick !
And only one spare tyre....ouch, my backside was sore for days....!!!
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