Singing is probably the most important element of the Scottish Bagpipe. The word “sing”, today commonly used in the world and in Brittany is pronounced [singer].Singing it is therefore the melodic part on which one comes to place one’s fingers. It has the shape of an oboe or a bombarde. A slightly conical bore, a base with a seat to accommodate a double reed. The chanter is made up of eight finger holes and two blinkers for the sound.
What material should be favored?
Today there are essentially two materials: Plastic (Delrin) and wood (African Blackwood). Plastic chanters are much more common today than wooden chanters. We find the vast majority of plastic chanters within bagadoù and pipe bands. The wooden chanters will be more appreciated by experienced soloists. With the used bagpipes for sale you can expect the best.
Oval holes or round holes
The ergonomics of a chanter are essential to ensure good playing comfort. The chanters are generally designed to be as pleasant as possible to play, spacing between the holes, position and shape of the holes.
There are two forms of holes, round holes and oval holes. Ovals are used a lot on pipe band chanters. They offer greater power to the chanters, which is generally what groups want. However, the oval holes are less pleasant to play than the rounds.
The seat of the reed, part in which the reed of the chanter is placed, is threaded on all the models of plastic McCallum chanters. The thread keeps the reed firmly in its seat. The risk when there is no thread is that the reed will move, a fairly frequent phenomenon on plastic chanters in dry weather when there is no thread. The thread thus ensures the stability of your reed, it also allows a more precise adjustment of the degree of depression of the reed and therefore a better agreement. The threads are present on all plastic McCallum chanters but they are not found on wooden chanters whose material naturally retains the reed. In case of the the best kilt sporrans you can also have some good option.
With or without sole
The chanters can be fitted with sole. The sole is a form of tray (or pancake) found at the bottom of the song. Until the early 1970s all chanters were fitted with soles, they were often plastic, sometimes in Ivory or Silver. They contribute to the sound to some extent. The soles were also part of the aesthetics of the song, it prevented cracks in the lower part of the song more fine and obviously in wood since all the chanters were in wood.
Today, there are many more bagpipes sold in the world and singing it without sole is widespread, especially on plastic models. Generally we choose to put a sole when we opt for a wooden solo singer. Despite everything, you can now offer yourself an alloy sole on a plastic chanter for around forty euros.
The different models:
The Chanter McCallum 440Hz
The McCallum 440Hz as its name suggests was created for the needs of the stage. Indeed most of the chanters commonly used today are at frequencies far exceeding the standards: The 448Hz / The 456Hz. It is therefore difficult to envisage in these conditions playing with other brass / keyboard / string instruments which will generally be tuned on La 440Hz bases. The 440Hz chanter is also called the “concert pitch” chanter.