Drone Reeds

Scroll down to access shopping cart for this section.

 

Modern drone reeds at right are almost unrecognizable compared with those of yesteryear.

There is a huge selection of drone reeds on the market today. Many of them are superb. Some might go well in some pipes and not so well in others.  Pipers all have their favourites, but most like to experiment as well.

Some like to experiment with different bass reeds. This is a wise move, because a slightly unsteady bass drone reed can be hard to detect; your drones may not lock into tune the way you want them to and your tendency will be to mess with the tenors. Don’t underestimate the effect of a rock solid bass reed on your overall sound. Some pipers play the same bass reed for years and years.

The reeds offered here were chosen because I’ve had direct experience with them over the course of many years. I trust their performance and I know how to work with them.

Each of these makers supplies written instructions with each set of drone reeds, either with the reeds, or online.

Although I have included some of this information in the descriptions of each set of reeds, and while the makers generally include instructions with their reeds, there are some important points to remember when you are adjusting drone reeds.

1) If you are playing drone reeds with plastic tongues, remember that the minutest adjustment of the rubber bridle on the reed will make a big difference in the strength and pitch of the reed. Lengthening the tongue makes the reed stronger and flatter. Shortening the tongue makes the reed weaker and sharper.

2) If you are playing drone reeds with carbon fibre tongues, you have to move the bridle a greater distance to change the pitch and strength.

3) After you have taken a drone out of its stock, be very careful that you don’t knock the tongue or the bridle against the side of the stock as you put it back in. The tongue can be bent or broken (especially plastic tongues) and the bridle can be knocked into a new position, affecting the pitch and strength of the reed.

4) Nearly all drone reed makers offer some kind of a tuning screw in the ends of their reeds. These are provided so that you can adjust the pitch of the reed. By moving the screw outwards the reed becomes flatter and the drone top must tune lower on the tuning pin. By moving the screw inwards the reed becomes sharper and the drone top must tune higher on the tuning pin. Here’s an easy way to remember:  as you are looking at the reed in its position in the drone reedseat, remember that whichever way you move the tuning screw is the same direction the drone top will move on the pin.

5) Inverted bass drone reeds have their tongue facing the opposite direction of standard reeds. For some reason that I don’t know, this tends to reduce the phenomenon of a bass drone reed “roaring” or double-toning at strike-in — every band competitor’s worst nightmare at the starting line! Another way to reduce this happening is to have your bass drone tune lower on the tuning pin. If someone comes to me with a double toning bass drone reed, the first thing I do is try to get it to tune lower. I might lengthen the tongue, although this makes the reader bit stronger, or I might lengthen the tuning screw.

  • $95.00
    Ezeedrone Standard Set (Short Bass)

    Ezeedrone is the most successful synthetic drone reed maker on the planet, and this is their workhorse set. More players (and more good players) play these than any other drone reeds. They can be adjusted using the rubber bridle to lengthen or shorten the tongue of the reed. Lengthening the tongue makes the reed stronger and flatter. Shortening the tongue weakens it and makes it sharper.  Even tiny movements of the bridle can make a big difference in the strength of the reeds. The tuning screw in the end of the reeds can be lengthened to make the reed flatter. That will make the drone top tune lower on the tuning pin. Shortening the tuning screw makes the reed sharper so that the drone tunes higher on the tuning pin.

     

    View Product
  • $99.50
    Ezeedrone Set (Long Bass)

    This Ezeedrone set with its longer bass drone reed is preferred by some pipers because the added length of the bass reed gives it a lower pitch, meaning the bass drone tunes a bit lower on the tuning pin. This can be advantageous if your bass drone tends to double-tone or “roar” on strike-in. The lower the bass tunes on the pin, the less inclined it is to double tone. Note though that if you use drone plugs or tubes that insert into bottom of the bass drone stock, they may interfere with the longer reed. As with all  Ezeedrone reeds, you can adjust for pitch and strength with minute movements of the rubber bridle. Lengthening the tuning screws in the ends of the reeds will make the reeds flatter so that the drone tops tune lower on the tuning pins.

    View Product
  • $97.50
    Ezeedrone Set with Short Inverted Bass

    The ‘inverted bass’ reed has the tongue tied onto the body facing the opposite direction from the standard set. The reason for this is that inverted bass reeds tend to be more reliable upon strike-in, with fewer double-toning (“roaring”) problems. As with all Ezeedrone sets, even small adjustments of the rubber bridle will make a significant difference in the pitch and strength of the reeds. Lengthening the tuning screw in the end of the reed will cause the drone top to tune lower on the tuning pin since it makes the reed flatter.

    View Product
  • $123.50
    Ezeedrone Increased Absorption Set with Inverted Bass

    Similar to the standard set, the body of these reeds is made of a material that more effectively absorbs moisture from your breath, allowing a little longer playing time before moisture affects the steadiness of your drones. This set has a short, inverted bass drone reed for more reliable strike-ins. As with the standard Ezeedrone sets, the minutest movement of the rubber bridle will make a significant difference in the pitch and strength of the reed. Lengthening the tuning screw in the end of the reed will make it flatter so that the drone top tunes lower on the pin.

     

    View Product
  • $67.50
    Ezeedrone Tenors – pair

    As stated in the introduction to this section, if you have a remarkably steady bass drone reed that you really like, you might wish to play it with these tenors even though it is not the same make. This is a very common practice among top players. Ezeedrone tenors are remarkably steady and rich. They can be adjusted using the rubber bridle for the tuning screw in the end of the reed. Moving the bridal the tiniest bit can make a significant difference. The tuning screw allows you to adjust for pitch. Lengthening the screw causes the drone top to tune lower. Shortening the screw causes the drone top to tune higher.

    View Product
  • $43.50
    Ezeedrone Inverted Bass (short)

    The “short” inverted bass drone reeds provided by Ezeedrone are a bit sharper and tune slightly higher on the tuning pin. They also reduce the possibility of a long bass reed being interfered with by stock plugs or moisture control systems that insert into the stock bottoms. The ‘inverted bass’ reed has the tongue tied onto the body facing the opposite direction from the standard bass. Inverted bass reeds tend to be more reliable upon strike-in, with fewer double-toning (“roaring”) problems. The tuning plug in the end of the reed can be screwed into the reed so that the drone top tunes higher. Screwing the plug further out causes the drone top to tune lower. Bass drone reeds that tune low on the pins tend to strike in more reliably.

     

    View Product
  • $125.00
    Ezeedrone Long Bass and Long Tenors

    These reeds are designed for pipers wishing to play a flatter pitch without having the drone tops tune off the ends of the pins. They are particularly useful for pipers playing close to Bb (466 hertz). The reeds can be flat and further using the tuning screw in the ends. Making the tuning screw longer will make the reed flatter so that the drone top tunes lower on the pin.

    View Product
  • $123.50
    Canning Drone Reeds, Standard Carbon Bass

    I’ve always enjoyed the slightly more refined and air efficient Canning tenor drones. They are also quite reliable in terms of the tenors striking in with minimal squealing. I use these with my boys at St. Andrew’s College for this reason. These reeds can be adjusted using the rubber bridal. (The tiniest movement of the bridle can make a substantial difference!) The nosecone of the reed is equipped with a grub screw. Moving the screw towards the end of the reed makes the drone top tune lower on the pin. Moving the screw towards the body of the reed makes the drone top tune higher. I find the tone of these reeds quite refined. The reeds come with excellent instructions.

    View Product
  • $123.50
    Canning Drone Reeds, Inverted Carbon Bass

    The tenor reeds in this set are standard, but the bass ‘inverted’ bass reed has the tongue tied onto the body facing the opposite direction from the standard bass. The reason for this is that inverted bass reeds tend to be more reliable upon strike-in, with fewer double-toning (“roaring”) problems. These reeds can be adjusted using the rubber bridal. (The tiniest movement of the bridle can make a substantial difference!) The nosecone of the reed is equipped with a grub screw. Moving the screw towards the end of the reed makes the drone top tune lower on the pin. Moving the screw towards the body of the reed makes the drone top tune higher. I find the tone of these reeds quite refined and I also find the tenors easier to strike in (less squealing) than some on the market. The reeds come with excellent instructions.

    View Product
  • $69.50
    Canning Tenor Drone Reeds – Pair

    If you have a different make of bass drone reed that you like, or if you just want to experiment, you can purchase just a pair of standard Canning tenor drone reeds. As stated in the introduction to this section, if you have a remarkably steady bass drone reed that you really like, you might wish to play it with these tenors even though it is not the same make. This is a very common practice among top players. These reeds can be adjusted using the rubber bridal. (The tiniest movement of the bridle can make a substantial difference!) The nosecone of the reed is equipped with a grub screw. Moving the screw towards the end of the reed makes the drone top tune lower on the pin. Moving the screw towards the body of the reed makes the drone top tune higher. I find the tone of these reeds refined and I also find them easier to strike in (less squealing) than some on the market.

    View Product
  • $147.50
    Kinnaird Edge Drone Reeds

    Rob Kinnaird has been an innovator in piping for two decades now.  His Kinnaird Edge drone reeds are the next generation of Kinnaird carbon fibre drone reeds. They use a patented bendable tongue and grub screws that allow the tongue of the reed to be made stronger or weaker. They can be further adjusted for pitch using a grub screw in the “nose cone” of the reed. Moving the screw towards the tip “lengthens” the reed so that it is flatter (the drone top tunes lower on the pin) while moving the screw towards the body of the reed makes the reed sharper so that the drone top tunes higher on the pin. I’ve seen pipers play Kinnaird reeds for years and years. Clear instructions are included with the reeds.

    View Product
  • $125.00
    Kinnaird Evolution Drone Reeds

    A piping innovator out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Rob Kinnaird created one of the first widely produce carbon-fibre-tongued drone reeds on the market. The are long-lasting, steady and reliable. They can be adjusted for pitch and strength using the O-ring bridle, and adjusted for pitch using a grub screw in the “nose cone” of the reed. Moving the screw towards the tip “lengthens” the reed so that it is flatter (the drone top tunes lower on the pin) while moving the screw towards the body of the reed makes the reed sharper so that the drone top tunes higher on the pin. I’ve seen pipers play these reeds for years and years. Clear instructions are included with the reeds.

    View Product
  • $55.00
    Kinnaird Evolution Bass Drone Reed

    Many top-flight performers consider Kinnaird bass drone reeds among the steadiest and most reliable in the business. I have found they pair well with Ezeedrone or Canning tenor reeds. The reed can be adjusted for strength and pitch using the O-ring bridle. A small grub screw in the nosecone of the reed allows an extra level of pitch adjustment. Moving the screw towards the tip of the reed will cause the drone top to tune lower on the pin. Moving it towards the body of the reed will cause the drone top to tune higher on the pin. These reeds are extremely long-lasting and come with clear and concise operating instructions.

    View Product
  • $75.00
    Kinnaird Edge Bass Drone Reed

    Many top-flight performers find Kinnaird bass drone reeds among the steadiest and most reliable in the business. I have found they pair well with Ezeedrone or Canning tenor reeds. The patented bendable carbon fibre tongue and added adjustment capabilities using built-in grub screws make this the new generation of Kinnaird bass drone reeds.

    View Product
  • $137.50
    Crozier V2 Carbon Fibre Drone Reeds

    Australia’s Robert Crozier, a member of the World Champion Victoria Police Pipe Band in the 1990s, has been a piping innovator for decades now. This is his newest generation of carbon fibre drone reed, with a curved body rather than a curved tongue, and pitched slightly higher than the previous generation. His reeds are known for their full-bodied sound and cane-like tone and steadiness. The reeds can be adjusted for pitch and strength using the rubber bridle. The rubber plug in the end of the reed allows for further adjustment of pitch. Lengthening the plug makes the reed flatter so the drone top tunes lower on the pin. Shortening the plug makes the reed sharper, causing the drone top to tune higher on the pin.

    View Product
  • $77.50
    Crozier V2 Carbon Fibre Bass Drone Reed only

    In an era when more and more pipers are playing bass drone reeds that are not the same make as the two tenors, the Crozier carbon fibre bass reed is a frequent choice for its steadiness and full-bodied sound. The reed can be adjusted for pitch and strength using the rubber bridle. The rubber plug in the end of the reed allows for further adjustment of pitch. Lengthening the plug makes the reed flatter so the drone top tunes lower on the pin. Shortening the plug makes the reed sharper, causing the drone top to tune higher on the pin.

    View Product