There’s lots of myths and theories relating to using tape on the pipe chanter. In previous years claims that it’s reduces chanter volume, dulls off the vibrations or even to the extreme restricts finger movements have all been proven to be wrong. Thankfully.
We know now that chanter tape plays an important part in tuning and without actually limits the way we can tune. For example, if we have tape on the chanter there’s the option of flattening or sharpening a note. Without, we’re limited to only sharpening the note by drastic measures such as undercutting the hole or sinking the reed further into the reed seat, which will upset all notes not just the one your trying to tune.
But let’s keep things in perspective, if you come across a note that requires tape more than 1/2 to 2/3 of the chanter hole- there’s something going wrong. I’d suggest checking out the reed balance or the chanter.
So here’s a couple of tips for using tape; always put tape on a clean chanter surface, when trying out a new reed aim for a reasonable balance between Low A and High A and remember, your chanter will always change so the tape will require small movements almost each time you tune.
Finally, a well balanced vibrant chanter sound will almost always be produced from a chanter that has tape on it. It provides great flexibility and control in tuning.