The Royal Scots Cap Badge

 

Playing “G” Grace Notes

 

Grace notes are used singly or in combination to tastefully embellish the melodies and to divide two or more notes of the same pitch, i.e with bagpipe music, the sounds of bagpipes are a constant and continuous. You can use grace notes to break the monotony and add expression to the bagpipe tune being played.

 

They are written as tiny demi-semi-quavers, thirty-second notes, placed and played beside the theme notes on which they are written, but not counted in the time of the music. The notes have a very short, clear, brisk, peep-like sound.

 

The high “G” grace note in particular helps to give bite or keen edge to notes. The first grace note in combinations is most often the high “G” grace note, i.e. Doublings, which are, smart, double sounds occurring very often in the Light Music.

 

Listen To Bill's Audio Instruction

 

G Grace Notes On Various Notes

(Note: If you are using Internet Explorer click twice on the triangle.)

Watch Bill's Video Instruction:

 

G Grace Note On The Lower Hand.

G Grace Note On The Upper Hand.

“G” Grace Notes On Various Notes

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. On Low “A”:
Make yourself familiar with the “G” grace note by practising this one just on low “A”. Sound low “A”. Hold for a few seconds, then lift the upper hand forefinger about 1 cm or ½ inch and replace it swiftly like a return spring action to sound the “G” grace note on low “A”. Repeat often with the swift peep-like sound of the “G” grace note in regular pulses of about a second each. No need to strain. At first you can sound the grace note only on the relevant note of the intervals following to become familiar with the sound required on the note.

Single Intervals With “G” Grace Note On The Second Note.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “A” From Low “G”:
Sound low “G” a few seconds, then lift the upper hand “G” forefinger and lower hand little finger together; bringing the “G” forefinger back briskly to complete “G” grace note on low “A”. You may leave the forefinger up a little longer at first to make sure that it lifts together with the lower little finger. You must be spot on the melody note with the grace note, not too late, or too early. Repeat correctly with continuous blowing often enough to master the movement. *At first you may play a few times intervals without “G” grace note if necessary. Apply all this to the other following intervals if necessary.

 

Hint — If anything, at first think more toward lifting the “G” grace note forefinger fractionally ahead of the lower little finger, although actually lifting together to have the grace note on the low “A”.

 

Note similar application to the rest of these exercises. Remember method above.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “B” From Low “A”:
After sounding a good low “A” lift the upper hand “G” grace note forefinger (which we will now call the high “G” finger) together with the third “B” finger of the lower hand and replace briskly the high “G” finger to sound “G” grace note cleanly on “B”. Repeat continuously often.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “C” From “B”:
From “B” lift the high “G” finger together with the second “C” finger of the lower hand as you replace the lower hand little finger and close the high “G” finger briskly to sound “G” grace note on “C”. This one needs more careful study and application. Remember to think of the lifting motion both going to “C” and returning to “B” when the little finger lifts. You may leave the little finger off a while until familiar.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “D” From “C”:
Sound “C” then lift the high “G” finger together with the “D” forefinger and the grace note replaced smartly to complete high “G” grace note on “D”.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “E” From “D”:
For this practice without the grace note at first. After sounding a long enough “D” lift only the high “G” finger together with the third “E” finger of the upper hand and the little finger of the lower hand. Leave open like that until familiar. Replace together the usual three lower hand fingers and high “G” finger to complete the movement to “E”. This will need much careful practise. To return to “D” simply remember the single interval exercise “D” to “E” when you should think of the “D” forefinger which must lift together with others of the lower hand without a slur. Progressively quicken the fingering change and execution of the “G” grace note on “E”. Repeat correctly often.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “F” From “E”:
This one is simple. After sounding “E” lift the next two “G” and “F” fingers together then replace briskly the “G” finger to complete the “G” grace note on “F”. Repeat as usual.

Playing “G” Grace Note In Descending Single Interval Sequence.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “E” From “F”:
Play “F” for about two seconds, then lift the high “G” finger as you change down to the “E” like an exchange of fingers. Close the “G” grace note finger smartly to complete to “E”. Make sure the “G” grace note opens early enough to be on “E” without being a fraction too late. Return to “F” and repeat with equal duration on the theme notes as for all these from “E”.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “D” From “E”:
Play “E”, then lift the “G” finger together with the change to a clean “D” and replace the “G” finger smartly to complete the movement. Return to “E” cleanly without any slur. Repeat.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “C” From “D”:
After playing “D” simply play “G” grace note down to “C” as you change without any lateness. Repeat.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “B” From “C”:
From “C” play a “G” grace note to “B”, making sure you lift the lower hand little finger to “B” to complete this one. Return to “C” correctly as you replace the little finger. Repeat.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “A” From “B”:
Play “B” then “G” grace note precisely on “A” as you replace the third low “A” finger. Repeat.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G” Grace Note On “G” From “A”:
Play “A” then “G” grace note to low “G”, spot on (no grace note lateness etc.). Repeat.

Some Random Intervals With “G” Grace Note

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. Low “A” To “D” With “G” Grace Notes:
From low “A” lift the high “G” finger and “D”, then smartly replace the “G” finger to complete the movement cleanly. Repeat.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “E” To Low “A” With “G” Grace Notes:
From “E” lift the high “G” finger as you replace smartly the “E” finger to sound low “A” with the grace note spot on the “A”. Repeat.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “F” To “B” With “G” Grace Notes:
From “F” lift the high “G” finger along with the “B” finger as you replace smartly the other two upper hand fingers to complete the movement to “B”. Repeat.

A Series Of Runs With “G” Grace Note:

 

Each tied run of notes commences with a “G” grace note. The count of 1,2,3,4, is shown to assist you with the even timing of each note. Play at a rather slow tempo.

 

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter.

 

Two Note Intervals With “G” Grace Note:

 

These are simply the Two Notes interval exercise with “G” grace note on the upper note each time progressively up to “F”. All these should not have to be described in detail. Just apply the same principles as in the single interval exercises, but with the two note interval and making sure the notes are sounded cleanly and correctly, without any unwanted runs or crossing sounds. Play at a steady tempo (speed) with each note of equal single pulse duration, as written. If necessary play firstly intervals a few times without grace notes.

Two examples from which the rest can be taken in principle

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter. “G“ Grace Note On “D” from “B”:
Sound “B“ for about two seconds. Lift the high “G“ finger together with the “D“ forefinger and “C“ second finger, then close the “G“ grace note briskly on “D“, little finger on. Return to “B“ with the little finger lifting as you replace smartly together both “D“ and “C“ fingers.

Note: All intervals without any unwanted runs. Repeat correctly often.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter.

“G“ Grace Note On “F” from “D”:
Sound “D“ long enough. Lift all three fingers together of the upper hand (not the thumb) and the lower hand little finger. Replace the remaining three finger of the lower hand, as complete the “G“ grace note on “F“ at the same time by replacing smartly the upper hand forefinger.

 

Hint —Play a few times without the right hand on if necessary, then as required. Return to “D“ by lifting all three fingers of the lower hand together cleanly, and replace the remaining two upper hand fingers and the lower hand little finger. Repeat. Progressively become slick and clean.

 

Hint — At first play the “G“ grace note execution a bit open (slower) to become familiar, then quicken as you go. (Fast track to about halfway audio)

Study and play a bar at a time repeatedly.

 

Playing Low G to B on the bagpipe practice chanter.

 

Please Note:
Bill's Bagpipe Tutorials DVD for extra G Grace Note practice exercises. Click on the link below for more information.

 

We trust that you have benefited from this bagpipe lesson and hope you enjoyed it.

 

Return from Grace Notes back to Bagpipe Lessons

 

 


 


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