Cane Drone Reed Adjustment

Cane drone reeds have a beautiful mellow tone and often play trouble free indefinately. However, environmental factors or knocks may lead to the need to make small adjustments from time to time.

If you received these reeds and need to set them up in your own pipes, give them a chance to settle to your playing environment for a couple of days before making any adjustments.

Adjusting Playing Pressure.

The reed is set to play at a comfortable pressure (approximately 12” Water Pressure). As cane is a natural material, it is affected by temperature and humidity and the aperture between the tongue and the body of the reed may open or close. If this happens, the pressure needed to make the reed sound will change and the reed will be out of balance with the pressure needed for the rest of the set.  

Opening the Tongue Aperture

If the reed starts to play at low pressure but then shuts off before full playing pressure is reached, the tongue has closed and needs to be opened slightly.

This can be done by gently lifting the tongue until slight resistance is felt. Repeating this a few times will open the tongue and increase the air pressure needed for the reed to play.

CUsersKimPicturesPipesDrone Reedsopening a reedjpg

Closing the Tongue Aperture

If the reed doesn’t sound properly at playing pressure, the reed may have opened, the pressure needed is too great and the tongue needs to be closed slightly.

CUsersKimPicturesPipesDrone Reedsclosing a reedjpg

Hold the reed horizontally in front of you, with the reed tongue on the bottom as in the picture on the left. Hold the tongue closed with your thumb and gently warm the hinge area of the tongue. This can be done by holding is about 15cm above a candle for a few seconds. Move away from the heat and keep the tongue held closed for 30 seconds while the reed cools. This should reset the tongue in a more closed position and reduce the air pressure needed for it to play.