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,
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.)
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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
“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.
“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.
“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”.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“G” Grace Note On “G” From “A”:
Play “A” then “G” grace note to low “G”, spot
on (no grace note lateness etc.). Repeat.
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
“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“
Note: All intervals without any unwanted runs. Repeat correctly often.
“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
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)