Home Class Archives BAEYS Tutor BAEYS Chapter 4 Tutor [Vintage] - Lesson 4-4: Type B Embellishments - Low G Oriented Movements
Tutor [Vintage] - Lesson 4-4: Type B Embellishments - Low G Oriented Movements

Tutor [Vintage] - Lesson 4-4: Type B Embellishments - Low G Oriented Movements

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The last thing we have to learn before moving on to full bagpipe tunes are Low G Oriented Movements. Low G movements are the most esoteric of all bagpipe movements. These are tricky embellishments, which are truly powerful and rich when executed well, but sound terrible and musically pointless when executed incorrectly (or carelessly).

With these Low G movements, focus hard on the two cardinal rules; play every embellishment accurately and evenly. Don’t be in a rush to play these as fast as you can. Patience in mastering the Low G movements now will reward you for the rest of your piping career.

4-4.1: Grips


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Steps:

  1. Start on (come from) any note.
  2. Play Low G.
  3. Play D Gracenote on Low G.
  4. Play any note.

There are two ways to play the grip relative to the beat. The most commonly taught method (Method A) is to play Step 3 on the beat. However, we generally find Method B more musical, which is to play Step 1 on the beat. A good piper will be able to play the grip either way, and will utilize whichever method he or she finds to be the most musical, in any situation.

4-4.2: Taorluaths


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Steps:

  1. Start on (come from) any note.
  2. Play Low G.
  3. Play D Gracenote on Low G.
  4. Play E gracenote any note.

There are two ways to play the taorluath relative to the beat. The most commonly taught method (Method A) is to play Step 3 on the beat. However, we generally find Method B more musical, which is to play Step 1 on the beat. A good piper will be able to play the taorluath either way, and will utilize whichever method he or she finds to be the most musical, in any situation.

4-4.3: D Throws


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Steps:

  1. Start on (come from) any note.
  2. Play Low G.
  3. Play D Gracenote to C.
  4. Play D.

There are two ways to play the D Throw relative to the beat. The most commonly taught method (Method A) is to play Step 2 on the beat. However, we generally find Method B more musical, which is to play Step 1 on the beat. A good piper will be able to play the D throw either way, and will utilize whichever method he or she finds to be the most musical, in any situation.

It is also important to note that there are two different methods of playing the D throw. We teach you the “light” method here, because we generally find the light D throw more musical. See Chapter 4 Appendix to learn the “heavy” D throw method. A good piper will be able to play the D throw either way, and will utilize whichever method he or she finds to be the most musical, in any situation.

4-4.4: Simple Low A to Low A birl.


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Steps:

  1. Start on Low A.
  2. “Swipe” to produce Low G Gracenote on Low A
  3. “Swipe” to produce Low G Gracenote on Low A

The first swipe of the birl (Step 1) goes on the beat.

It is very important to observe proper birl technique on the Video for this section. Birls take time to learn because they use a unique movement to produce the two swipes.

There is actually a lot more to birls, as you will see in the Chapter 4 Appendix. However, this simple Low A to Low A birl will allow us to learn some basic bagpipe tunes, which happens in the next lesson!

Objectives:

  • Play every note accurately.
    • A crisp, clean transition to each note.
    • Correct gracenote technique. (See Videos 2-1, 3-1, 3-5.1, 3-5.2)
    • Play rhythms accurately.
      • Tap your foot at the beginning of each beat. (See Note 1 from Lesson 1-3)
      • Fuse your G Gracenotes to the tap of your foot.
      • Obey the Cardinal Rules of Embellishments
  • Rule 2: Play each step evenly (the same length).
  • Keep your fingers properly positioned on the chanter. (See Lesson 1-1.2)

Don’t worry about how fast the tempo is; worry about the steadiness of the tempo.

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Andrew Douglas Andrew is a prolific practitioner of the bagpipe, having been active at the highest level of pipe bands, solo competition, teaching, and creative endeavors for the past 20 years. He's also the founder and creator of Dojo U and of PipersDojo.com

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