Sets for Sale

Tune your chanter
Tune your drones


Uilleann pipemaker.

Tune your drones
I find this the best way to tune my drones:

1 - Play the note 'a' on the chanter and turn on the drones.

2 - Stop the baritone and bass drones by tapping the holes while increasing pressure on the bag. This chokes the reed and stops it playing.

3 - (a) Tune the tenor drone till it harmonizes with the 'a' on the chanter. Once you think it is right, keep playing just the tenor drone and check it also with the bottom d, g, f# and back d on the chanter. It should sound in tune with all of them. If not keep adjusting until you get a balance between all the notes.
      (b) Now check the tenor drone with the notes A, G, and F# in the second octave. The reason for doing this is because when you play the 2nd octave there is more pressure and sometimes the drones may rise in pitch with this extra pressure. So if neccessary adjust until you get a balance between the two octaves. If you are unable to get a balance between the firstst and second octave then the chanter may be flat/sharp in the second octave. If so, follow the instructions in the "Tune your chanter" guide.

4 - Assuming you have your tenor drone in tune, turn on the baritone drone by placing your finger on the hole and flicking it out, this releases the pressure that choked the reed when you stopped it earlier. Tune the baritone to the tenor so that they are in constant pitch with each other. You will know you are getting close as you hear a kind of beating sound getting slower eventually to no beat and then they shold be in tune. Then also check it playing the second octave on the chanter and adjust if neccesary.

5 - I find the easiest way to tune the bass drone is to stop the chanter or take it out and place your finger over the chanter stock hole. Then turn on just the tenor and bass drone and tune the bass to the tenor till they are constant with each other.

6 - Now put the chanter back in and play with all 3 drones for about 10 mins. Listen carefully as the reeds warm up and make any changes neccessary.

You now should have a tuned set of drones!

Alan Roberts

All pages and images © 2003 Charles Roberts