Reed Workshop

I am currently learning how to make my own reeds for the uilleann pipes.  The double reed needed to play the Irish uilleann pipes is not like any other reed in the world; unlike reeds for other instruments such as a saxophone, clarinet, or even other double reed instruments such as the oboe or bassoon, the uilleann pipe double reed plays with absolutely no moisture since the air comes from a bag via a set of bellows rather than being blown by the mouth.  The art of reed making is extremely delicate and to be a reed maker takes much patience and experience.  Even a fraction of a millimeter can have a drastic effect on the performance of a reed.

This photo shows some of the tools needed to make a reed from stalks of arundo donax cane.  In the front left you can see some slips of gouged cane prior to being bound together as well as some finished reeds (right) ready for final tweaking to be fine-tuned for a specific chanter.