How to Tie a Bridle on a Bass Drone Reed

Tying a bass drone reed helps preserve the integrity of the wood.

Tying the bridle on a bass drone reed for a bagpipe requires knowledge of the materials needed and the technique used to tie a knot. This process takes some practice to get right, but with the proper experience and training, it is possible to tie reeds effectively. As its name suggests, the drone reed creates the bass drone on the bagpipes. This drone serves as the foundation for all of the other pitches. Like any other reed, it must be tied appropriately to prevent the cane reed from breaking. The bridle is the small piece of hemp that wraps around the reed, holding it together.

Apply the wax to approximately 9 inches of hemp, using your hand. Ensure that the entire hemp thread is covered in wax as this will make a permanent tie and prevent your reed from breaking. Line up the hemp against the reed facing lengthwise from the portion of the reed that attaches to the bagpipe (the base) to the tip of the reed. You should have about 1 inch of string lined up against the reed.

Hold the string in place with your thumb and wrap the hemp around the reed five times, securing the thread to the reed. Loop the remaining portion of the string around the end of the base of the reed. String a portion of the string underneath the thread so that when you pull on the end of the thread, it will close the loop and create a secure fitting to the reed.

Cut the remaining thread and let the reed dry overnight. This will create a secure tie that will keep your reed in good condition.


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