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"What Is a Grip?"
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"What Is a Grip?"

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A grip is a common, three-step embellishment that occurs in all types of Highland bagpipe music. It starts on any note and can end on any note.

The grip is written as follows:

When played from D, the grip is written as follows:

The Grip

Steps for Playing the Grip: To play the grip, execute the following steps:

Step 0: Start (come) from any note.
Step 1: Play low G
Step 2: Play a D grace note on low G
Step 3: Play any note

The following graphic illustrates the steps for playing the grip:

When playing the grip from D, a B grace note is played in step 2 instead of a D grace note. To play the grip from D, execute the following steps:

Step 0: Start (come) from any note.
Step 1: Play low G
Step 2: Play a B grace note to low G
Step 3: Play any note

Beat Placement in the Grip: There are two techniques for beat placement when playing the grip.

The most common technique is to place step 3 on the beat, thereby finishing the grip on the beat.

The second technique, the technique that is emphasized here at Dojo University, is to place step 1 on the beat, thereby beginning the grip on the beat.

Take Action

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Mark Olson Mark Olson is a software engineer in Omaha, NE. Over the years, he has played numerous musical instruments including the bagpipes, guitar, piano, flute, and saxophone. As a young man, Mark competed as a solo piper. Due to the demands of raising a family, Mark had to forgo his musical pursuits. While he regrets the fact he gave up the bagpipes, he is proud of the fact that both of his sons have grown to be fine young men. With the nest now empty, he has picked up the pipes once again. If he gets his chops, and his groove, back, he plans to compete again as a solo piper.

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