Pipe Chanter Reeds
Introduction to Reed Making for the Highland Bagpipe
A few words of caution!
It is not the intention of the author to pretend all-seeing knowledge in the art of bagpipe reed making. Many reed makers have a variety of systems of arriving at similar results. Some bad, some good. Some will differ in dimensions and tools to be used. It can only be said that what works the best is the way to go for anybody.
For the purpose of these notes, all diagrams and sketches have been drawn by the author and, by way of an apology, no formal training in this art has been his lot, as will be seen!
At one time or another, each of us have had a bad experience with reeds. This prepared paper is not the cure-all to that problem. However, it is the hope to reduce the incidence of these problems.
The main purpose is to explain in general terms what goes into the making of reeds and to give some insight and guidance to those who feel that they would like to make an attempt at it. You are urged to try! Even if only one person does try and is successful in producing consistently good reeds, then we are 100% ahead of our present position and the efforts gone into compiling these notes will have been worthwhile.
As a last word, it only remains to be said that the main ingredient for success in reed making is Patience.
Gordon K. Speirs