There is no adequate manner to
depict a birl diagrammatically. Every
teacher has their own way to describe this embellishment. There are two birls in
common use - a heavy birl and a light
birl, and it is important to be competent at both.
there are two actions in a birl.
The heavy birl is best described as
“Tap and Across”.
This means tap your little finger down on Low ‘G’ and then
across the hole thus giving two strikes. Only move you little finger,
your best to avoid any extra movements from other fingers (this maybe
Try to feel in your arm that you are controlling your
little finger with
two different muscles.
The light birl can be
described as an upside down seven on the chanter - slide your little
across the hole and back up diagonally.
birl can be preceded by a
High ‘G’ gracenote or not - the music will tell you this. Make both Low ‘A’s the
same length. This
movement requires to be very fast.
There is quite considerable variation in the execution of birls. If your teacher deviates from anything described above this does not automatically mean that something is wrong. These Birls are however used and recognised world-wide, whereas other styles may not be (yet?).
For a demonstration of the tap and across birl, please click below;
For a demonstration of the upside down seven birl, please click below:
How to Practice
Rhythm and Reading Music
Hand Position and the Scale
G,D,E Gracenotes exercise
Doublings - general principles
Low G Doublings
Low A Doublings
High G Doublings
High A Doublings
Transition to Bagpipes
Tuning a Bagpipe
Using Midi files