Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson

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Doublings - General Principles

A 'doubling' is a way of accenting, or making more prominent, a note.

It works by firstly playing a gracenote to a note (a little accent) and then by repeating the note by 'cutting' it into two using another gracenote.

Long ago, doublings and all other embellishments were called 'cuttings'. Some gracenotes have the job of making a note stand out, whilst others have the job of cutting it. Understanding these two different tasks will greatly help in mastering doublings.

Exactly when the gracenotes should be opened and closed in relation to the beats is a question of interpretation and should be approached freshly in each case. However one can say that typically and most frequently, the first gracenote opens before the beat and closes the note to be doubled (or accented) on the beat, with the second gracenote making a small cut thereafter.


Each note has its own doubling. Please click on the doubling below to learn what it is and how to play it, along with 3 simple exercises for each doubling.

Low G doublingLow A doublingB doublingC doublingD doublingE doublingF doublingHigh G doublingHigh A doubling


Below are 3 more exercises to learn and play along with the video. When you can do this comfortably, you are ready for the next section, grips, taorluaths and birls.
Please use the 5 steps method to practise them solidly - it will speed up your learning later.

Use the how to practise instructions and go through the five steps, speeding up so that you can play along with the video.

As chanters can often sound very different and be out of tune, there  are two versions - high pitch and low pitch.



Doublings General Exercise 1
Doublings exercise 1

Low Pitch



High Pitch



Doublings General Exercise 2
doublings exercise 2
Low Pitch



High Pitch



Doublings General Exercise 3


Doublings exercise 3
Low Pitch



High Pitch



When you are able to play along with these comfortably, then you are ready to go on to the next rudiments, Grips,Taorluaths and Birls.

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