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Where’s The Beat? The High A Strike vs. Doubling

Where’s The Beat? The High A Strike vs. Doubling


Want to make the timing of your embellishments better? It takes a good knowledge of where the beat occurs.

Take a look at this little exercise:

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You probably recognize the high A strike, the G gracenote before the high A, and what is commonly called a high A doubling, shown as a high A and a G gracenote before the high A. They are both played by sliding the thumb quickly across the high A.

When you make that movement makes all the difference. The high A strike is simple, the G gracenote occurs right on the beat. That is not the case for the doubling. For a high A doubling, go to the high A on the beat. Only after the note is clearly sounded do you slide the thumb for the G gracenote. The timing should be consistent with your other doublings. Avoid the common mistake of going to the high A slightly before the beat so you can slide the thumb on the beat. Your tunes will sound better with this one little adjustment.

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High A Doubling
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Tom Crawford Tom Crawford is Pipe Major for North Atlanta Pipes & Drums and a piping instructor in Marietta GA. He’s been piping since 2000, when he began his studies with Winter Taylor. Tom has played rock, blues, country and Celtic music for nearly 50 years. He’s been a member of Keltic Kudzu since 2006, where he plays mandolin, bouzouki, whistle, and of course pipes. Tom has played and competed up and down the Atlantic coast, as well as in Canada and Ireland.