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
Grace Notes



"G" Grace Note 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 practicing 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.


"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 B

“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

“G” Grace Note On “C” From Low “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

“G” Grace Note On “D” From Low “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”.


G Grace Note on E from D

“G” Grace Note On “E” From Low “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 practice. 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

“G” Grace Note On “F” From Low “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 Low “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

“G” Grace Note On “D” From Low “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 Low “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

“G” Grace Note On “B” From Low “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 Low “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 Low “A”

Play “A” then “G” grace note to low “G”, spot on (no grace note lateness etc.). Repeat.


A Series Of Runs With "G" Grace Notes

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.

G Grace Not Runs

For more Grace Note tutorials see Bill's Interactive Beginner Tutorials

If you have any questions or comments, please use Contact Form to contact Bill.


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