The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Strikes Are Used To Separate Notes


For this bagpipe lesson Bill shows you how to play strikes, which are very brisk tap or bounce by certain fingers used to separate some notes just as a grace note.


Wikipedia defines a Strike as “A grace note played by tapping one or more fingers on the chanter”


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Watch Bill's Video Instruction




Strike on low A
Strike on low “A”:
Sound low “A” for about a second or two, then with the lower hand little finger strike the lowest hole once, raising the little finger very smartly. The strike should bounce back without any lingering to above its hole. (At first you may leave the little finger on the hole a bit longer than the grace note timing to become accurate and familiar.) Play crisply with progress. It is important that the little finger should rise almost quicker than it went downwards. Repeat with each strike in an even steady rhythm. Study the video clip.


Strike on B
Strike on “B”:
In much the same way as the previous strike sound “B” then strike rapidly with the remaining lower hand two fingers together down and up. Beware of playing an unwanted run by lifting the little finger ahead of the “B” finger. Repeat steadily.


Strike on C
Strike on “C”:
Sound “C” then, with the little finger on, smartly strike once with the two raised fingers – down/up. If necessary play the low “G” grace note a bit longer at first, then progress to a clean very slick strike (light tap). Repeat steadily in an even rhythm/timing.


Strike on D
Strikes on “D”:
This one can be done in two ways. The earlier stage simpler way is to strike “C” with the forefinger only very smartly once like the others. Repeat. The other more advanced way which can be practised later if not now is to strike with all the remaining fingers of the lower hand together (little finger already on) without any hint other than the sound of one low “G” strike only. There should be no hint of runs or the like by lifting some fingers one after the other. Repeat correctly as usual.


Strike on E
Strike on “E”:
Simply sound “E”, then strike smartly the low “A” with the “E” finger, in the usual manner. Remember the swift return action, always with the finger/s above the proper holes. Repeat.


Strike on F
Strike on “F”:
Sound “F” then with the “F” second finger smartly strike “E”. Repeat.


Strike on G
Strike on high “G”:
Sound high “G”, then with the high “G” forefinger strike smartly “F”. Repeat.


Strike on high A
Strike on high “A”:
Sound high “A” then with the thumb cross high “G” with a short sharp flick across the hole. The flick across the hole is easier and produces a smarter grace note sound than if attempting a straight strike. Repeat.


These strikes like the earlier exercises are to assist you soon in playing simple tunes. Therefore, please revise correctly all that has gone before.


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