[Harp-L] Blu-tac to lower reed pitch- revisited

 (was:  MB 364 and 365 modifications)

Thanks Richard:

Great tip, and thanks to Brendan too.
I just checked out some of the Harp-L archives for previous posts on this subject so as not to rehash previous territory.  Great info and several alternative approaches suggested as well.  I do occasionally scrub my reed plates after spells of playing so the point that Larry brings up about having to re do the Blu-tac if it falls off in the process is some concern.  

But if its easy to add, redo and adjust the tuning accordingly, it seems a lot less stressful to the reed than removing semitones worth of material from the reed.  

Burke T.

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 13:30:06 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Hunter <turtlehill@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] Re: Harp-L Digest, Vol 103, Issue 2
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

"burket@xxxxxxx" wrote:
<Since you have had issues with solder to lower pitch, would you be so brave as 
to make a low A out of a C
<just by removing reed material?  Three half steps makes me worry about reed 

Burke, there is an alternative to filing and solder.  Blu-tac is an inexpensive 
material (less than $10 for enough to modify pitch on hundreds, if not thousands 
of reeds), and very durable.  It was recommended some time ago by Brendan Power 
as a simple and low-risk method for lowering reed pitch. I've used it 
successfully to convert standard tunings to Dorian Minor, which involves 
lowering the pitch of the draw 3 and draw 7 reeds by 1/2 step.

The method is simple: you take a (very) tiny piece of Blu-tac, and attach it the 
free end of the reed.  You then sculpt the Blu-tac (using an x-acto or similar 
knife) until the reed is at the desired pitch.  If you remove too much material, 
you add more Blu-tac.  The quantity of blu-tac required to lower pitch 1/2 step 
is very, very small, and it seems to have no effect on reed stability.  I doubt 
that lowering pitch farther using this method would noticeably reduce stability.

It's cheap, easy, and low-risk--if you don't like the results, scrape off the 
Blu-tac and try something else.  The only downside is that you can't raise reeed 
pitch using the same technique.  But you can't raise pitch by adding weight to a 
reed, no matter how it's done.

Good luck and regards, Richard Hunter


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