Steven Grahl: What One Student Learned About the Importance of Proper Reed Strength and Its Effect on Piping Enjoyment

I originally wanted to learn to play the pipes to continue the honored tradition in the American fire service and to restart the service band at my fire department. One of my biggest struggles was stamina.

It started after changing to what I thought was the correct strength reed. The issues were what I believed to be a maintenance issue. I went back to square one... nothing was leaking and everything was air tight. I hooked up to my manometer and found out I couldn’t play my chanter reed at the sweet spot for any length of time.

I switched back to an easier reed and have been working on “blowing tone” for that reed. I realized it’s not about blowing as hard as possible, but about playing the right reed for my abilities especially one that is comfortable.

I must credit the extremely helpful and knowledgeable instructors and even many of the members can be quite helpful as well.

It seems if you have a question about anything, there is an answer in one of the lessons. If you can’t find it just ask in class or on the forums and someone will point you in the right direction or have an answer.

The tune building process has also changed the way I learn a tune for the better. It makes so much more sense now and I feel like I can practice for 30 min to an hour a day and have made improvement during that time. Often I play more than that in a day because it has become enjoyable and I constantly feel like I am improving.

Thanks Piper's Dojo!

Steven G from Texas

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