Monthly Archives: September 2012

Gellaitrys + Selbies & a Piobaireachd

So, had to break out the Gellaitry’s again after the cosmetic refurb of a new bag cover and cords, as seen above. Figured I’d give the Selbie’s that were sounding so good in the Jeffers pipe a go so I did, and the first sets are of that combo. It was okay for light music, but they’re definitely showing their age. By the time I got to my attempt at a Piobaireachd, I couldn’t get through the ground without the tuning changing. I think I started playing these Selbie’s in 2002 and pretty solidly through 2008ish, and then off and on again. They got a little mold on them and stuff. :o) The bridles slide very easily so I’m just not sure they’re tight enough to keep everything in tune. So, in frustration, I threw the Kinnairds back in and had, you guessed it, no trouble.

Gellaitry’s with old Selbie’s:

Mrs. Lily Christie (band 6/8)

Newmarket House & Hen’s March (last year’s HJ)

The Mermaid, Gravel Walk, Spanner in the Works, & High Road to Linton

Big Yin, Kitty lie over, & Drops of Brandy (The Tully Tribute set)

Gellaitry’s with Kinnaird:

Too Long in this Condition (So yeah, I got to the end and wasn’t sure how to sight read the a mach until it was too late. Not too bad considering it was my 3rd Piobaireachd in like a year, and that I play a different one every time. Some day they won’t bore the crap out of me.)

Jeffers + Selbie, Canning, and Kinnaird

So, I got another crack at the pipes this week (maybe I shouldn’t use the word crack when talking about a set of pipes I don’t own) and tried out a couple other bass drone reeds, the polycarbonate Canning and the Kinnaird. I think they both performed well. I think the important point is that those Selbie tenors really make the sound what it is. The tenors are going to have higher amplitude overtones in the chanter fundamental range and I think that’s what I hear a lot of, each note has its own character, lots of growling sparkliness emanating from my Harmon-Kardon space ship looking speakers. Whenever I get around to posting my research on the properties of tenor and bass drone reeds (probably never) you would know as well as I that Selbie’s are the extroverts of tenor reeds, and I think they match these bores very well. Once I go to an all Kinnaird setup, the tenors are markedly quieter (which surprised me), the pipe became very bass dominant (blended? if you will) but I think it lost a bit of sparkle compared to having those Selbie tenors in there. I recommend Selbies often for those who play Shepherds and Hardies because those pipes can be very mellow and need all the help they can get. The Selbie bass is a solid reed too, do doubt. Unlike the Crozier carbon which has bold pure tenors (on par with Selbie) but a very meek bass, the Selbie delivers on all fronts. The also play well in Lawrie type pipes to bring up the tenor presence just a tad, so I understand they work well in McCallums too. I think for big tenor pipes like Hendersons they can make the tenors too big though, so they’re not a panacea. You run into big problems getting all the high amplitude overtones in tune with the chanter fundamentals. I need to try them in my Gellaitry’s again, where the Kinnairds were the perfect fit. Enough talk, more screwing up!

Polycarbonate Canning Bass + Selbie Tenors

01-fair_maid-swallows_tail-rakish_paddy (this has become a staple set of mine)

02-arthur_bignold_of_lochrosque-rossshire_volunteers-kantara_to_el_arish (the first is my Robertson friend’s 2/4 competition march and the second two are mine I’m thinking about switching to, away form Cowal Gathering and Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal which I’ve used for the last several years)

Kinnaird Bass + Selbie Tenors

03-cowal_gathering-dora_macleod-miss_proud (well, dora sucked)

Kinnaird Bass and Tenors

04-pm_george_allan-braes_of_melinish (fingers tightening had to release some energy somehow, I guess the grips were the needle on the camel’s back)

05-highland_cathedral-clumsy_lover_jig (I know, I hate the first tune too but I’m running out of slow airs and figured I should get it on here at least once)