Home Media News & Blog Chanter Tuning Brain Game #4
Chanter Tuning Brain Game #4

Chanter Tuning Brain Game #4


brainThere are many different ways you can tune a chanter:

  • Change Tape
  • Raise-sink a reed.
  • Lick a Reed
  • Adjust a Bridle on the Reed
  • Shave a Reed.
  • Poke a Reed
  • Carve out a chanter hole.
  • Etc.

What is the best way to tune your chanter in the following scenario?


High G is flat relative to all of the other notes.


  • You're fully warmed up.
  • You have very little tape on any of the notes (including High G).
Show Me the Answer!!!

This is actually pretty rare, and probably wouldn't happen. But, what if it did?

There's a couple of possibilities. It would be tempting to sink the reed to make the high hand sharper relative to the bottom hand (subsequently you'd need to apply tape to High A, F, etc though so this isn't really the best option).

I think I would leave the reed where it is in the reed seat, and tape all of the other notes (especially the bottom hand notes). Having tape to move on the bottom notes is essential to having flexibility in the future. Minimizing tape on the high hand, while having room to move tape on the bottom is the ideal chanter setup.

What to do:

  1. Put some tape on the Low A, and re-tune your drones to that pitch.
  2. Continue to tweak the Low A tape until both the Low A and the High G are in tune.
  3. Next, start to tape other notes to bring them in tune with our new "setting".

Questions? Don't hesitate to ask!


Andrew Douglas Andrew is a prolific practitioner of the bagpipe, having been active at the highest level of pipe bands, solo competition, teaching, and creative endeavors for the past 20 years. He's also the founder and creator of Dojo U and of PipersDojo.com


  1. Small changes, one-at-a-time, until the issue is resolved with no adverse impact on the rest of a "true" scale: Remove tape from High G. Blow just a tad harder. Push the reed farther in the seat. Trim a very small square cut from the tip of the reed thus shortening the parabola (may require some sanding to bring it back to comfortable playing pressure). Confirm the correctness of the standard that you are measuring against.

  2. If there is tape, remove/adjust it.
    If no tape, sync the reed a tad.
    If you can't sync the reed without affecting the other notes too much, then try blowing a bit harder on the high g notes. Often have to compensate on the fly for tone in any case.