In this class we go over the three types of crossing noises, how you can think critically about possible crossing noise trouble spots when tackling a new tune, and how to analyze what is going wrong and how to gain the finger control to fix it when you commit any of these crossing noises.
In this class we review the type two embellishments before looking at how to really properly fit them into some classic tunes. We talk about the rhythmical value of embellishments and how we need to work to maintain good basic rhythms in our tunes while enhancing them with excellently placed and articulated embellishments.
In this class we look through examples of the two main embellishments types- doubling-type embellishments and low-g oriented embellishments. Looking at a few exercises of various doublings, grips, and taorluaths we talk about just what it is that makes embellishments an important aspect of the music we play, and why it is so important to play them accurately and with a musical grounding.
Besides gracenotes, the bagpipes have no way to separate notes. Unlike other woodwind instruments or string instruments, we can’t tongue or bow our notes to produce articulation and expression. On top of that, we have no dynamic range, meaning we can only play one volume (loud!). For these reasons, one might be tempted say that the bagpipe is a restrictive instrument.
However, our restrictions force us to be truly creative with the tools we have, and one of the aspects of piping that is most creative is the system of embellishments that we utilize in our music.
Embellishments are common groups of gracenotes that we use to produce effects in our playing. They produce complex, unique rhythms, and rich textures in our music. When properly used, embellishments can give us far more interesting articulations than other well known instruments.
Before we get into specific kinds of doublings and how to play them, here are a few basics.
In this short lesson, we get a glimpse of the E gracenote, and how it is commonly used after a doubling. Specifically, it will be used after any doubling that uses G and D gracenotes. In later chapters, we will explore this common G-D-E gracenote combination in more depth, but this lesson is all we’ll need to get our feet wet. You’ll see quite a few of these in the full tunes that we will learn at the end of this chapter.
Here are some simple melodies to help you gain experience Doublings. As usual, we recommend that you get as familiar as possible with the melodies before you begin, so you know what you are trying to produce.