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Gracenotes are to Consonants as Melody Notes are to Vowels
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Gracenotes are to Consonants as Melody Notes are to Vowels

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See how the dictionary gives us all of the details of word-articulations? We need to develop the same understanding of bagpipe articulations.

Ok, so: In the subject line of this post I said "Gracenotes are to consonants at Melody Notes are to vowells." What does that mean?

Well, think about it. What is the difference between the word "Cat" and the word "Mat"? It's just the first letter, or consonant. Change the way we articulate the beginning of the word, and it can take on a very different sound and meaning. The same would be true if we changed the consonant at the end of the word. Think of "Cat," and "Cab" this time. The way we articulate the end of that word drastically changes the sound (and of course the meaning) of the word.

Notice that the vowell sound stays the same in all of those examples. It's the "filler" that makes these consonant-articulations possible.

In bagpiping, gracenotes are the same concept as the consonants! Depending on the type of articulation we use (G gracenote, D gracenote, Strike, etc), bagpipe melodies will take on different sounds and meanings. Indeed - very slight differences in gracenote patterns can mean the difference between jigs and reels, marches and hornpipes - and so on, and so forth.

Thinking of gracenotes as articulative devices is key to mastering them. Let us show you a bit about this at Dojo University:

----->Click here to explore gracenotes at Dojo University

Check out some of these other links to see what the Dojo might be able to offer you!

----->Click here to shop at PipersDojo.com, and experience the best customer service in the industry!
----->Click here to get up to $50 off your first PipersDojo.com order
----->Click here to explore Dojo Univesity - our online bagpipe school

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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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