There are many different tuning devices on the market, a good inexpensive one is the
, which sells for about $40.00 and is well worth the money.
Electronic Pipe Tuning
Please Note: This method will only work if you blow at the same steady pressure when playing both the chanter and the drones.
1. Cork up the 3 drones. Turn on the tuner and set the calibration to 455 hz, then play Low A and observe where the needle sits. Now play High A, if the needle sits in the same place as the Low A, then your chanter Low A and High A are an octave apart and that is where you want to be. If the High A is to the right of where the needle sat when you played Low A then your High A is sharp, raise the reed slightly in the reed seat. If the needle is to the left of where the needle sat when you played Low A, the High A is flat, sink the reed slightly in the reed seat. In other words move the chanter reed up or down until you have the Low A and the High A in exactly the same place on the scale.
2. Play E. If the E is in the same place as the Low A & High A, your three main tuning notes are now in tune. If the E is to the right of your needle setting, try adding a strip of tape to the chanter across the top of the E hole to flatten it. If the needle is to the left, the E is flat and you would now have to add tape to the High and Low A's. If you can't get these three notes to tune in the same place select another pipe chanter reed.
3. Remove the chanter and cork up the chanter stock. Remove the stopper from the outside Tenor drone, blow at the same pressure as you did with the pipe chanter and move the Tenor top on the tuning slide until the needle sits in the same place as it did with the chanter notes.
4. Cork up the outside Tenor & Bass. Remove the cork in the middle Tenor and repeat the step 3.
5. Cork up the both Tenors. Place the Bass top section so that it sits on the top tuning slide with only one or two strands of hemp showing. Remove the cork in the Bass Drone and repeat step 3 by moving the mid section of the Bass drone on the bottom tuning slide. Your drones are now tuned to the chanter notes, providing you have been blowing at the same pressure.
6. Replace the pipe chanter into the stock. Remove all three-drone stoppers from the drones and play Low A, E and High A your Chanter and Drones should now be roughly in tune.
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