There 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.
What is the best way to tune your chanter in the following scenario?
- You're fully warmed up.
- This is a band scenario, so we don't have the option of being "below the number." It's got to be the same as everyone else.
- There is NO TAPE on the bottom hand notes.
- There is enough tape on the high hand that we wouldn't want much (if any) more.
This is very common problem, especially on a cold day. Some chanters "bottom out" as moisture accumulates on the reeds. And, moisture sets in a lot faster and in more abundance on a cold day.
- We can't sink the reed - that will sharpen the top hand notes more than the bottom hand notes, due to the graduated tuning effect.
- There's no way to sharpen the bottom hand notes - there's no tape to take off the holes!
- We could pinch the reed to bring up its overall pitch - but that could be destructive to the reed, and will "wear off" before long.
For me, this is where the bridle comes in. I tightly wrap a dental elastic around the reed and leave it just above where the reed blades meet the wrapping. This offers sort of a continuous, gentle "pinch" that will bring up the overall pitch of the reed. It will require some tape tweaking on the top hand in all likelihood - but it's a solution that works!
Last thing - when would you consider carving chanter notes? I would only consider this in a high-level competitive environment when you need competitive pitch, and the environment doesn't allow for it. Only in that case would I consider carving bottom hand notes.
Questions? Don't hesitate to ask!