Chris Apps’ reed advice: what is causing this flat high G?


I was contacted by a customer to say that reeds were producing a disturbingly flat high G when played in his pipes. It only happened when he blew the reed in the pipes. Not when he mouth blew the chanter on its own.

He had a good moisture control system and there was no restriction across the top of the stock that wasn’t letting the air through. When he tried reeds in other chanters they also sounded fine until put into this particular pipe. He had contacted various makers to no avail.

I wracked my brain and concluded that there may be a crack in the stock. There was no obvious crack on the outside but a small hairline crack on the inside of the stock was noticeable. I suggested he push some beeswax into the crack to stop the leak and re-test the chanter. Hey presto! Problem solved. The leak from the crack was causing the high G to go flat.