Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Ok, So i sent an email to this Dave Daye fellow and on his site it said his Penny Chanter comes with "no keys". Here’s my question, is a "key" what it requires to go into the second octave? third? or are keys just additional switches to play additional notes?

Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Keys in the context that Mr. Daye is speaking mean additional notes… e.g., the most common keys on an uilleann pipe chanter are C natural and F natural.

As this is your first set, you really won’t need any keys - there are plenty of tunes to keep you busy enough for years without the use of them, and besides, if you really do want to use those notes, they can be fingered easily enough on the chanter, esp. the Fnatural.

Hope that helps.

Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Don’t need no stinking keys for a practice chanter. The one key that is usually order is the Cn key, BUT ONLY USED FOR THE 2nd OCTAVE. Few tune get there, especially if you are new to the instrument. To get to the 2nd octave, a slight increase in bag pressure gets you there.

Fn can be half holed…or… not played at all- fake with the F#.

Yes, you will be busy for at least 7 years…

PS- contact Boston Pipe works and Pat Sky as well as a sanity check. All three are good.

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Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Hmm, well the David Daye starter set looks nice, does anyone have any input on it either positive or negative? Thanks

Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Jasper:

In your previous thread, I mentioned my half-set, with which I am well pleased. They are quite well made, nothing fancy about them though, but they are rugged, which can be a blessing if you drop them.

After a year and a half, I am also very happy I bought the half-set instead of the quarter-set (practice set).

Here are my reasons:

1. With the stop valve on, I am effectively playing on a practice set, since the drones are silent. (BTW, the drone stock on my Daye set pops off easily, leaving a quarter-set anyway.)

2. I will not have to upgrade the set for drones should I continue to be happy with the set, although as I gain experience and hear more pipers I may want to acquire a set with different qualities of sound or "aesthetic" (wood and silver, very nice!).

3. My personal approach to learning the instrument, I feel that having the half-set WITH the drones attached means that I will not have any minor adjustments to make in hand position or posture when I go to the drones. Years will be needed to know if this makes any difference, but right now it seems to make sense.

It seems most good pipers and piping teachers will tell you the same fundamental rule: YEARS ON THE CHANTER ALONE. When you get onto the uilleann pipes, you will likely see the wisdom of this. Therefore:

Get a half-set. But if you do get a half-set, do not be tempted to try practicing them with the drones ON. Consider the fact that the uilleann pipes have been around for many years, many fine musicians have worked out the best ways of learning through painfull trial and error, and every rule concerning the pipes has a reason that has been discussed and tested many times over. LEAVE THE DRONES OFF.

Good luck.

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Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

It has been observed that weather or not the drones are turned on or left stopped the drones lay across your lap whilst playing the pipes. Some though not all pipers say that if you begin to play without drones that it could be difficult to adjust to the way it feels when you are ready for them later. So buy the drones but don’t turn them on while you are playing/practicing Good luck.

Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Well, if you’ve got drones, it can actually be helpful when just starting out, to play just the tenor drone without the chanter a bit, to get used to making a steady air flow.

And yeah, you don’t need keys yet. I’ve been playing over three years and I half hole Fnat and G# when I need them, and just avoid tunes with a high Cnat.

Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Those uilleann chanter thingies are trash. A friend of mine bought one while he was waiting on his practice set so I tried it out & then reccommended that he send it straight back for a refund , which he did !

Re: Help me understand Uilleann Chanter

Pakistani uilleann pipes are shite. They are unplayble and cannot be made unplayable.
That is why they are so cheap. In fact, Pakistani GHB are shite as well. Horrible things.
Expensive kindling for a Chinese accordion fire.

Get a real UP chanter. I recommend Eugene Lambe, but there are others. Eugene is in Kinvara, Co. Galway.
Martin Gallen (Banba Designs) of Strabane is a good choice for serviceable pipes with a touch less finish (as of this writing).

Going cheap is asking for disappointment. Especially when starting out, you need optimal playability. I use the F-nat key frequently in laments and airs. It adds that ‘haunting’ accent. You can half-hole it, and that is doable by the novice, of course. But for what—a hundred bucks—you can just make your life easier. I’d get all 3 keys . I think the F-nat is the most used by me, but probably C-nat/F-nat are going to be most useful in that order overall. Good luck. You won’t know you need the C-natural until you come to it in a tune, then it’ll be too late. LOL.

It’s funny, we’ll go out and spend 25,000 for a shite car, but an excellent set of pipes is less than half that ($8k?). I’d rather have the nice set of pipes and a used toyota, thanks. ;-)