Making the chanter presents an added challenge, because no matter how accurately you make it, the quality of sound and accuracy of pitch is still going to depend upon the design and accuracy of the reed you put in it. So in addition to making the chanter you also need to learn how to design and build the reed to go in it - or find a supplier of well-made, reliable reeds and design your chanter to fit them. Even then, in my experience, I find that no matter how accurately I make a chanter I usually need to make some final fine-tuning adjustments to it to make it fit perfectly with the reed.

Unlike with highland pipes, the chanter reeds used in mouth-blown smallpipes are synthetic and so are very stable and will last for many years without any alteration. Adjusting a synthetic chanter reed is not easy and usually involves taking a step which can not be reversed. Adjusting a wooden chanter is much easier because each hole can be fine-tuned up or down quite easily by drilling out or back-filling and any alteration is easily reversed using the same methods.

The holes may appear virtually the same size but they're not. They vary considerably in size but I countersink the upper half of each hole so that to the fingers all the holes feel the same.

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