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Extended Finger Chart

First Octave C Natural



Oh, I got this far and found I had an Eb in the 3rd octave.

Number 28

C natural

on the knee



X | OXX | XOXX | X

This is one of the most evocative notes on the chanter. It is played quite flat to give a wonderful blend with the drones and shows up the chanters untempered tuning characteristics.

There are a few distinct pitches of C natural that blend with the drones, it is an acoustical oddity. Anyone interested look it up.

On some old chanters you would have to shade the top note of the chanter to get this tuning. This was made like this so that the next note above C# was sharp enough. On your Howard both these notes have been made in tune.

Tuning 15 cents flat

Number 29

C natural

tempered pitch


If you are unfortunate enough to have to play with a piano you will need this note. By removing the G finger the C Natural will be sharpened enough to play in tempered tuning.

There are some tunes that seem to like to be played with this tuning of the c note. If you are playing by ear and don't seem to be able to decide whether the note should be a C# or C natural it might be one of those tunes that need a tempered C natural.

Tuning 18 cents sharp

Number 30

C natural

off the knee

X | OXX | XXXX | O

No, I have not got the finger chart wrong. The off the knee fingering is the same as C# but the chanter is off the knee. (See below what happens to the C# fingering).

It has different tonal qualities and can be played in conjunction with other off the Knee notes.

Tuning 18 cents sharp

Number 31

C natural

using the key



This is useful when playing quick passages or when you need to move from another keyed note say Bb. you can of course open only the top (red) key.

It was when I realised that I could open more than one key and not affect the pitch could nest the keywork in the Howard System of keys. This enables tunes with intervals that were nearly impossible to play with the old system to be played with relative ease.

The same finger positions will do for playing off the knee.

Tuning 15 cents flat

Number 32

C natural

half holed.


X | DOO | XXXX | O

This note is obtained by placing a normal on the knee B note and half holing the top note hole on the front of the chanter.

Tuning dependant on players skill.

Number 33

C natural

when playing regulators.


This is one for the contortionists!

When the chanter bottom hand is involved in playing regulators you could use a half-holed C natural. A more accurate way of playing is to hook your little finger round the back of the chanter and press the key with the back of the finger just below the nail.

You can get used to it, honest.

Tuning 18 cents flat