Home Glossary Embellishment Glossary Birls - Simple, Low A, and G Gracenoted
Birls - Simple, Low A, and G Gracenoted

Birls - Simple, Low A, and G Gracenoted


This is an anatomically obscure, two-step OR three-step embellishment played by utilizing two lateral strikes of the Low A finger. Versions of the birl are found throughout Light Music and Piobaireachd.

The Steps (Simple)

Low A Birl HD

The Steps (Low A Birl)

G Gracenoted Birl HDThe Steps (G Gracenoted Birl)


  • This is a special embellishment, that should produce a rhythmic, "crackling" sound when executed properly.
  • It can have either two or three steps, depending on what version of the birl is called for.
  • The movement should produce two OR three even "sounds" or "syllables."
  • Notice that the "simple" birl is played only from Low A to Low A. In modern piping, the Low A and G Gracenoted Birls are probably more commonly seen.

Low A & G Gracenoted Demonstration



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