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Bodhran - care of - any advice

GUEST,Rich 30 Jan 08 - 05:27 AM
GUEST 30 Jan 08 - 05:34 AM
redsnapper 30 Jan 08 - 05:51 AM
redsnapper 30 Jan 08 - 05:52 AM
Ella who is Sooze 30 Jan 08 - 07:07 AM
Dave Hanson 30 Jan 08 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 30 Jan 08 - 07:49 AM
Tig 30 Jan 08 - 08:44 AM
gnu 30 Jan 08 - 08:50 AM
Dave Hanson 30 Jan 08 - 09:22 AM
Mr Happy 30 Jan 08 - 09:26 AM
redsnapper 30 Jan 08 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Rich 30 Jan 08 - 09:42 AM
Mr Happy 30 Jan 08 - 09:50 AM
gnu 30 Jan 08 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,Rich 30 Jan 08 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 30 Jan 08 - 10:38 AM
The Sandman 30 Jan 08 - 10:54 AM
Midchuck 30 Jan 08 - 11:12 AM
catspaw49 30 Jan 08 - 11:50 AM
BanjoRay 30 Jan 08 - 12:32 PM
coldjam 30 Jan 08 - 02:36 PM
Jack Campin 30 Jan 08 - 06:35 PM
Tig 30 Jan 08 - 06:41 PM
Barry Finn 30 Jan 08 - 09:32 PM
MaineDog 30 Jan 08 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 08 - 11:36 PM
Stewart 30 Jan 08 - 11:42 PM
Greg B 31 Jan 08 - 12:22 AM
skarpi 31 Jan 08 - 02:23 AM
Ruth Archer 31 Jan 08 - 02:55 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Jan 08 - 03:19 AM
Llanfair 31 Jan 08 - 04:38 AM
Folkiedave 31 Jan 08 - 06:33 AM
Dave Hanson 31 Jan 08 - 06:38 AM
Leadfingers 31 Jan 08 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Jan 08 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Ray 31 Jan 08 - 11:44 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Jan 08 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Curmudgeon 31 Jan 08 - 03:43 PM
Jack Campin 31 Jan 08 - 05:44 PM
gnu 31 Jan 08 - 07:47 PM
Dave Hanson 01 Feb 08 - 03:05 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Feb 08 - 03:54 AM
GUEST 01 Feb 08 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Rich 01 Feb 08 - 07:29 AM
redsnapper 01 Feb 08 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Rich 01 Feb 08 - 09:10 AM
Jon Nix 01 Feb 08 - 09:20 AM
Jon Nix 01 Feb 08 - 09:21 AM
catspaw49 01 Feb 08 - 09:28 AM
Jon Nix 01 Feb 08 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Ruth at work 01 Feb 08 - 10:38 AM
Mr Happy 01 Feb 08 - 10:55 AM
catspaw49 01 Feb 08 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Ray 01 Feb 08 - 12:39 PM
The Sandman 01 Feb 08 - 12:40 PM
gnu 01 Feb 08 - 02:03 PM
Murray MacLeod 01 Feb 08 - 02:53 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 08 - 03:06 PM
Folkiedave 01 Feb 08 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Rich 01 Feb 08 - 06:31 PM
Jack Campin 01 Feb 08 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,Jon Nix 02 Feb 08 - 01:26 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Feb 08 - 02:28 AM
Jon Nix 04 Feb 08 - 06:50 AM
gnu 04 Feb 08 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 04 Feb 08 - 07:46 AM
Jon Nix 04 Feb 08 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless) 04 Feb 08 - 11:47 AM
gnu 04 Feb 08 - 03:07 PM
Ross Campbell 04 Feb 08 - 10:24 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Feb 08 - 02:35 PM
Jack Campin 05 Feb 08 - 04:29 PM
Folkiedave 05 Feb 08 - 05:11 PM
Forsh 05 Feb 08 - 08:17 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Feb 08 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,Boab 06 Feb 08 - 03:10 PM
JeZeBeL 06 Feb 08 - 04:03 PM
Forsh 06 Feb 08 - 05:17 PM
Folkiedave 06 Feb 08 - 05:32 PM
Jim Carroll 07 Feb 08 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Curmudgeon 07 Feb 08 - 12:55 PM
Jim Carroll 07 Feb 08 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Rich 07 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,goodlife 07 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Ray 09 Feb 08 - 12:43 PM
Fred McCormick 09 Feb 08 - 12:46 PM
gnu 09 Feb 08 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,goodlife 09 Feb 08 - 01:54 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 08 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Ray 10 Feb 08 - 06:05 AM
Cluin 26 Aug 08 - 08:02 PM
Cluin 26 Aug 08 - 08:19 PM
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Subject: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:27 AM

I recently bought a second hand Bodhran. I have been told to use a little water on the inside of the drum, to help stop it drying, however, I wanted to know whether I should be doing anything else to help maintain the skin.

For example, should I be using some kind of oil or dubbing or something on the outside of the skin to stop it cracking over time?

Any advice on this subject would be most appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:34 AM

I used to use (very sparingly) a lanolin-based hand cream, maybe once a month if you're playing regularly. Lanolin is made from sheep oil (I used to love rolling fleeces on a local farm because it made my hands so soft!), which seems a logical thing to use on goat skin.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: redsnapper
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:51 AM

A little water dabbed with a sponge or sprayed lightly on the inside will help in adjusting the tension if too tight and the bodhran is not tunable.

The oil from your hands should be sufficient for the skin (I suffice with that and do not apply anything extra) but a little lanolin or neatsfoot oil could also be used very sparingly if you wish.

RS


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: redsnapper
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 05:52 AM

P.S. I expect the razor blade merchants will be along soon! Just ignore them!

RS


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 07:07 AM

I endorse what redsnapper said...

Maybe, and MAYBE IF the drum skin does feel dry and unused for a while then a bit of oil or dubbin (not much) and then just play it. The oil from your hand will be enough to keep it going.

ewis


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 07:09 AM

Hydrofluoric acid works very well but don't get it on your hands.

eric


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 07:49 AM

My bodhran is a cheap non-tunable bought from Hobgoblin about 25 years ago.
I apply Neats foot oil once a year to both sides of the skin, leave overnight and wipe off the excess. Don't expect to play it for another day as the skin slowly re-tightens.
For decoration I have used Windor and Newton's inks applied with a small paintbrush rather than a pen. This was applied before any oil!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Tig
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 08:44 AM

I once made the mistake of allowing a friend to apply neetsfoot to my much loved and very old bodhran. It was unplayable for weeks! As the others have said a drop of water if it's really being awkward - a small damp sponge rubbed over the INSIDE is usually enough. The oil from your hands should be sufficient to keep the skin supple.

My bod is now 30+ and played regularly. It's skin is superb.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: gnu
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 08:50 AM

And, that there wax what some sell... no.

Whatever you use or do.... start with the smallest amount possible and see how it goes. If you use or do too much of anything, you can render a Hran useless.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:22 AM

Anything that can render a Hran ? what the feck is a Hran ? is this text speak or code or what ?

Anything that can render a bodhran silent must be a bonus.

eric


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:26 AM

Make sure you get the right stuff!

Guide & description here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neatsfoot_oil


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: redsnapper
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:30 AM

I agree only for a badly played bodhran Eric. Or particularly for the dreaded "bodhran section". A well-played bodhran however is an excellent addition to a session in my opinion.

RS (stringed instrument player but also used to teach bodhran)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:42 AM

Thanks folks, I think from the sound of it I shall stick to a light water spray on the inside before playing. It is a tuneable one, so I can always loosen it off a bit if I need to.

I was really wondering whether it aged/ cracked if nothing else was applied but from the sounds of it, that doesn't look like its a problem.

I'm pleased with the one I got, I went for a good quality second hand (Malachy Kearns) as opposed to a cheap new one, so i'm hoping it will last.

Oh and while were on, is removing the cross beams completely safe, with respect to the strength of the Bodhran? or are they important structurally? Mine has two and it is difficult to get any movement up and down the drum with my support hand as a result.

Many thanks for the helpful comments,
Rich.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:50 AM

'it is difficult to get any movement up and down the drum'

Are you playing it on the right side?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: gnu
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:55 AM

I also have a Kearns tuneable... love it. Do not remove the "cross beams". You'll get the hang of it.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 10:37 AM

Yes Mr Happy I'm playing it correctly, the cross beams make it difficult for me to move my left hand around on the inside of the drum against the skin, while playing it with my right.

Cheers Gnu, I'll leave them on!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 10:38 AM

A bloke I used to know, who fancied himself as a sort of re-incarnated Celt (I think that that was the word he used?), used to rub Guinness into his bodhran - but then he was as mad as a hatter!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 10:54 AM

be careful, if you play too much you could turn into a goat.
aka the Third Policeman.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 11:12 AM

One of these will do a good job of taking care of a bodhran.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 11:50 AM

My old friend Redsnapper is always on target as he is here. Excellent advice. Now to aid in the truth of the rest of his post, let me suggest:

Buy some tape that leaves no residue when removed and use it to tape off all openings in the frame of the Bodhran. To avoid added "mess" also cut to pieces of thin plywood to sort of box in the drum. I know this will all sound like a lot of work but the end result is worth it. Go to your local aquarium store and buy some high quality silica sand. The higher grade is most easily acquired from aquarium retailers and it is more pure and of a finer and smoother grit. Buy enough to fill the inside of the Bodhran. You will then also need about a pint each of glycerin, neatsfoot, vinegar, and olive oil. Mix those 4 together as best you can. The better you mix it the better it works together.

You're now ready to treat the instrument. Again, I'm sorry for all the hard work this takes but once done you will never have to repeat it and it will provide everything the Bodhran needs to last a lifetime! Place the drum, open end up on one piece of plywood. Fill the inside, previously taped as I described above, with the silica sand, and spread evenly. Give your mixture a final stir and then completely saturate the sand with it. Place the other piece of wood on the top and use duct tape to secure the two pieces of wood together. You may need some help in doing this but be careful not to spill out any sand mix or put undue pressure on the outside of the drum head. When lifting or moving the instrument be sure to keep it flat.

Okay, almost finished. This final step can be taken at anytime over the following two weeks but you know your own schedule so set aside an hour to complete the process. On whatever day you choose take the wrapped Bodhran to the nearest body of water and submerge it in a deep part. Go home and promise yourself you will never buy another one of these damn things.

GOOD LUCK!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: BanjoRay
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 12:32 PM

Never strike the skin of a bodhran with anything - it's very bad for it.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: coldjam
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:36 PM

Spaw, you're a vewwy bad widdle kiddy.

I used a small amount of lanolin on mine and haven't needed to do it again, I wouldn't us Guiness or any drink as the sugar and stuff might eat away at it, or make it smell funky at the very least!

I pretty much beat the heck out of mine, using it as an native american drum and sound effects for songs. I almost never mute it, which would probably make me unwelcome at a celtic jam. I sometimes pour a small amount of water inside to loosen it, but it's tricky-too much and it only thuds. I like the idea of a spray and will run right out and get one!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:35 PM

I'm getting lots of skin care ads served up by Google when reading this thread.

Oil of Ulay ought to work, surely? Or treat it with Avon SkinSoSoft and use it to keep insects as well as musicians away?

I've got a def which I bought in Urfa - similar to a bodhran but no crossbar and with a "snare" made of linked rings like chain mail. It's developed white spots which I suspect are some kind of microbial growth. I've treated it with antifungal foot powder and it seems not to be getting any worse, but I'm just guessing the right treatment.

You get much more spectacular problems with those African drums made of hide with the hair on. I have one that has most of the hair eaten off by an infestation of clothes moth, and a friend of mine has one that occasionally showers him with live maggots when he plays it.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Tig
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:41 PM

A drop of Guiness was given to mine to 'Christen' it by some of my friends when it was new. Since they are VERY well know Irish musicians who's father also made bodhrans I trusted them - and my skin didn't look back until it was hit by neetsfoot (see earlier posting).

Luckily it has now recovered!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:32 PM

Stay away from anything that's not organic, nothing with chemicals, never. My son's drum is probably 25+yrs (my old one) & my new one is 12 yrs this winter (both are Mance Grady drums). I've never used anything more than water & what ever oils seeps out of my skin & the've both been a wonder. Check out the articals on the Bodhran Page


Good Luck
Barry


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: MaineDog
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 09:44 PM

A friend of mine who plays such things advises me that one should bury it in the ground for several years (while you may rethink the value of playing it in public). No shit, its good for the skin.
MD


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 11:36 PM

My husband plays, and we got our advice from a man who played for 15 years before him.

The skin is sensitive to humidity. When it is too dry, it sounds like a cymbal(sp?). Rub water into it with a circular motion. Be sure that you get water into every bit of the drum head, not leaving any dry patches, which might break.

When it's too wet, it becomes floppy and loses resonance. Sorry I don't have any advice on how to dry it out best. Obviously, gently and evenly. Some people use a hair dryer at a safe distance, or so I'm told.

We never put any kind of oil on our drumheads.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Stewart
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 11:42 PM

There's a Hole in My Bodhran by Les Barker
To the tune of "There's a Hole in the Bucket"

Oh I've got a bodhran, dear Liza, dear Liza
Oh I've got a bodhran, dear Liza, a bodhran

Oh good, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Oh good, dear Henry, dear Henry, oh good!

With what shall I play it, dear Liza, dear Liza
With what shall I play it, dear Liza, with what?

With a pen knife, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
With a pen knife, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a pen knife

There's a hole in my bodhran, dear Liza, dear Liza
There's a hole in my bodhran, dear Liza, a hole!

Oh good, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Oh good, dear Henry, dear Henry, oh good!


Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Greg B
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 12:22 AM

Depending upon where you live or travel, the head can really dry out.

Good guitar stores sell a guitar case humidifier designed to keep fine classical guitars from drying out and cracking.

You can simulate same by taking a small (couple ounce) food container
and making holes or slots in the top. Then put a damp sponge inside and
and keep it in the case (you do have a case) with your drum.

You might also find a humidity device at a cigar store.

Check on it every so often and make sure that you're achieving the
right balance.

That cigar store will have a humidity meter that may be useful.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: skarpi
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 02:23 AM

firts of all , no acid this is a crime to tell people to use that
acid, and secondly , a HRAN is just a BodHRAN .

got it brb.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 02:55 AM

"You get much more spectacular problems with those African drums made of hide..."

indeed - in the news recently was a chap who played one at a village hall drumming workshop. The beating of his hands released anthrax spores, which he inhaled. What a bizarre and unfortunate way to die.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 03:19 AM

I believe that holding it over a blazing fire helps the sound; the closer the better.
Don't worry too much if it begins to smoulder.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Llanfair
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 04:38 AM

I use my non-tuneable one every week at the market. If the weather is very damp, the skin slackens, so I run it under the hand dryer for a minute till it tightens up again.
Sounds fine to me.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 06:33 AM

Sorry I don't have any advice on how to dry it out best.

You could try a flamethrower.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 06:38 AM

Or napalm ?

eric


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Leadfingers
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 07:07 AM

Perhaps we should have a Permathread for all the 'Anti' jokes ? Or perhaps one for each instrumment ?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:15 AM

I strongly suspect that the people who post all these snotty remarks have never gone to concerts and heard fine bodhran playing.   I picture them spending their lives in basement rooms (painted white) and surrounded by drying pizzas and empty chip bags. Glued to their keyboards, they search for people to insult.

Ignore them. They are just another branch of the 'you shut up and just buy recordings' brigade.
=====
I would not use one of those humidifiers discussed above in my bodhran case because I don't think it could be trusted to humidify the skin evenly.

(I got the warning about even moisture for the drumhead from a woman whose college major was percussion music.)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:44 AM

'fraid I'm one of the stanley knife brigade. Yes, there are people who can play them but 99% of those who turn up to sessions with them seem do so because they haven't a musical bone in their body. I was encouraged by the news last year that an ethnic drum make suffered a bout of anthrax from untreated shins.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 02:36 PM

'I strongly suspect that the people who post all these snotty remarks have never gone to concerts and heard fine bodhran playing.'
I live in an area where you can't throw a stone without hitting an excellent fiddler flautist, concertina player, piper - yo name it -we've got it.
I have lost count of the number of excellent sessions naused up by visiting bodhran players.
The bodhran is an extremely intrusive instrument and if it is badly, or even indifferently played, the effect can be devastating.
There are other instruments that can have a detrimental effect on the sessions, but bodhrans appear to be the chosen weapons taken up by those biding their time until they can master a real instrument.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Curmudgeon
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 03:43 PM

As James Galway once said "I am a flute player, not a flautist. I don't have a flaut and I've never flauted".

Jim Carroll if you're going to show your ignorance about our music please get your terms correct.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 05:44 PM

The bloke who got anthrax from his drums was making djembes out of roadkill in the Scottish Borders. (He was a Buddhist and doing it the cruelty-free way). No African products involved.

"Curmudgeon", you either haven't read any of Jim Carroll's postings or you are *extremely* stupid.
It's a great privilege to have someone with Jim's depth of knowledge on this forum.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: gnu
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 07:47 PM

Aye, and Tom's. Easy lads... easy.

Says Ray : "Yes, there are people who can play them but 99% of those who turn up to sessions with them seem do so because they haven't a musical bone in their body."

Ray... me ZON? Where do ye come from what would say that 99% of the population ere so fookin stooned what they can't even keep a beat? I'll bet that yer friends and relatives is just proud O you right now as ta crown ye.

Drink lots of cold water and walk slow, eh.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:05 AM

I strongly suspect guest leeneia has had a sense of humour bypass.

I banjo, so I know all about instrument jokes, and love them all.

eric


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:54 AM

Curmugeon,
Here in Clare 'The Home of Traditional Music', musicians refer to themselves as either, depending on how they have come to the music. The same applies to 'violinists' and 'fiddle players'.
All of which does not in any way alter the detrimental effect that bodhrans can have on the music, and the bad manners and insensitivity that all-too-often accompany them.
In fairness, bodhran players are not the only culprits, but they predominate here, especially during the summer months, probably because of the portable nature of the instrument, coupled with the fact that making some sort of an display seems to take the least effort and talent. Most other instrumentalists I know of appear to have attempted to arrive at a certain level before they appear in public, not so with the bodhran. There used to be a saying when I worked in the building trade, "If you can piss, you can paint"; in the same way, around here they say, "if you can scratch, you can play the bodhran".
Whatever my personal tastes, there does seem to be a plague of visitors who choose to practice in public on them in our sessions, which does nothing for either the music or the reputation of the instrument.
Jim Carroll
Sorry - all this is a sore point with me -which may be stating the obvious.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 05:42 AM

From Jack Campin:
"The bloke who got anthrax from his drums was making djembes out of roadkill in the Scottish Borders. (He was a Buddhist and doing it the cruelty-free way). No African products involved."


From The Telegraph:
"It was previously thought that Christopher "Pascale" Norris was infected by contaminated hides he used to make drums himself.

But the NHS Borders report said he is likely to have contracted the illness after playing or handling anthrax-contaminated West African drums at a drumming workshop."

Anthrax is extremely uncommon in British wildlife: only 4 cases have been reported in the last 10 years, apparently. So badger and squirrel drums are, it would seem, perfectly safe.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 07:29 AM

Just wanted to say thanks for all the genuine advice, and thanks for the jokes and the good-natured p_ _ _ taking, I particularly liked the Gatling Gun link from Midchuck and the lengthy one from catspaw49 - I thought it was genuine until near the end!

However, I am disappointed that another Mudcat thread goes beyond good natured banter. You just can't seem to reign yoursleves in can you. I don't think statements such as "bodhrans appear to be the chosen weapons taken up by those biding their time until they can master a real instrument." are necessary, good natured or humorous. Also, given this thread was started by someone (me) who has recently acquired said instrument, do you not think it is a little unnecessary?

Also, you'll never know whether your generalisation applies to me or whether I am going to ruin a session, because you have no idea of whether I play anything else, why I want to play the Bodhran, where I intend to play it, whether I want to play it at a session at all or whether I'll be any good. Anyway, now I'm getting drawn in.

I think I will still visit Mudcat to keep an eye on things, but I will be disinclined to post again. I was going to post a thread to ask about tuition, but sod that I think I'll just search the internet while I listen to Christy Moore's 'The Hackler from Grouse Hall'.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: redsnapper
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:00 AM

I did warn you to ignore them Rich!

It happens all the time (and I've been here the best part of nine years). Some people just can't resist posting half-baked, mean comments. I hope however you'll continue to post as the good does outweigh the bad here.

RS


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:10 AM

RS - you're right you did warn me, I should have listened!!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jon Nix
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:20 AM

The vehemence against bodhran players is mostly expressed by those who cannot play themselves.
Both instruments require a lot of skill to play well.
Certainly a poorly played bodhran is painful to hear, but no more so than any other instrument played badly.
A well played bodhran is a delightful accompaniment to some (but not all) tunes. Personally, I love Christy Moore's use of the instrument.
But then it is always a matter of taste.

I'm sorry that Tom Carroll, whose beloved Ireland is responsible for the things in the first place, is so distressed by their misuse. Cheer up Tom, at least you live in the home of traditional music. The rest of us are just trying to create our own little "traditional homesteads" many miles from Spancil Hill.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jon Nix
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:21 AM

Errata......sorry JIM Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:28 AM

Glad you liked it Rich. Feghoot style long winded but totally bullshit answers are a favorite of mine. Sadly though over these many years it has also eventually precluded other old timers here from paying any attention to me at all.................***sigh***...............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jon Nix
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:11 AM

Spaw,
I love your answers.....LMAO I'm sure others do too.
I just wish I could think of such goodies myself.
Keep 'em coming.....
Jon


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Ruth at work
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:38 AM

"Cheer up Tom, at least you live in the home of traditional music."

Errata: ONE home of traditional music. There are many more, just as valid and musically interesting as Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 10:55 AM

Dan Bohr plays his Bran Hod with a Hard Nob, using the Hand Orb technique!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 11:14 AM

Ya' gotta' lay off the narcotic Happy.......Seems to have made your shit completely null and void. Barring that, send me some if you can.......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 12:39 PM

If someone can translate what Gnu has to say I'd be grateful - wonderful stuff alcohol!

Perhaps a word about my experience - I've been playing guitar and mandolin on a semi-pro basis for 30+ years (only "semi-pro" 'cos I can make more money doing other things) so I think I'm reasonably well qualified to comment about such things.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 12:40 PM

I have just started reading a book called Beat the goatskin till the goat cries.
Unfortunately some Bodhran players playing is enough to make not only a goat,but any music lover cry.

It would be a good idea if some of them,got a few lessons before they joined in,and then bore in mind that they are an accompanying instrument.
In the hands of a skilled player who is listening to the melody players, the bodhran can be an asset,alas these are a minority.
a good idea for some of them would be to learn to diddle the standard repertoire while they practise,and to play along with different recordings,and then play quietly at unfamiliar sessions.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: gnu
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 02:03 PM

Ray... as per your request...

Where do ye come from = Apparently, from your area

what would say that 99% of the population = 99% of the population

ere so fookin stooned = are so bereft of musical aptitude

what they can't even keep a beat? = they can't even keep a beat on a drum.

I'll bet that yer friends and relatives is just proud O you right now as ta crown ye. = Where I come from, if a man insulted people with such thoughtless and arrogant bullshit, he would put himself in physical jeopoardy.

Drink lots of cold water and walk slow, eh. = Lighten up. Take it easy.

Hope that clears it up for you.

In addition, where do ye come from what... oops, sorry... I'll start again... Being a musician of any qualification does not give you the right to generalize about others, nor instruments. Of course, I will grant you that there are a lot of twits around.

As for your "alcohol" comment, maybe YOU need a good siff drink so it will be easier to pull that cipín out of your ass.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 02:53 PM

Spaw, don't beat yourself up, I wasn't paying you any attention at all long before you posted any long winded but totally bullshit answers ...


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:06 PM

Frank,
Thank you for eventually getting my name right.
Let me assure whoever that the bodhran is hated largely by other instrumentalists, don't believe me; drop in sometime.
My comment about Clare being 'the home of traditional music' was intended as an ironic one - that's how it is described by many of those who write about it.
The problem with the bodhran is that its percusiveness changes the nature of the music; shifting the emphasis away from the melody.
Even well played (I am aware that there are skillful players) it is intrusive - that is why there are songs about it, stories about wrecked sessions, a general hostility towards it and a whole repertoire of techniques for excluding it from sessions.
Please don't put it down to envy by non-muuscians; in my experience it is largely non-musicians who play the damn thing.
Jim Carroll
PS Derek, or whatever your name is; these forums are about airing (often diverse) opinions.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:28 PM

One large cty kept moving its session to avoid bodhran players.

Many of them modrhans I am afraid.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 06:31 PM

Jim - not sure if 'Derek, or whatever your name is' was refering to me, I guess so (Rich by the way, has been on every post). You are absolutely right, this forum is about airing opinions. Therefore, I am sure you won't mind me airing my opinion about the manner in which you air your opinions. :-)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 07:06 PM

A couple of clips of real musicians playing a rather similar instrument:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg1vlwFnzB8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOqItTZyENw

Can't see either of them needing to descend on an Irish session to get an audience, though.

BTW for anyone near Edinburgh, the Azeri singer/tar-player Davod Azad will be here next month as part of the Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace (http://www.eicsp.org/ - yours truly is playing with the Dunya Ensemble at the event on 29 Feb). He can play the daf like that as well. (There may be a sample of his drumming on his website but it's so hard to navigate I couldn't find it).


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Jon Nix
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 01:26 AM

"PS Derek, or whatever your name is; these forums are about airing (often diverse) opinions."

Sure George, which is why just occasionally Derek, Frank or I (or even some others) will post a comment which diverges from the usual bodhran haters. Not because we hold a grudge like some seem to do, but because we want to try and expand the debate.

However, thanks Fred for your comments, which help us to understand the soreness of your point and that of other haters. Maybe Derek, Frank & I will be more sympathetic to your position in future.

Meanwhile, we did understand the irony about Clare. We have been there (without bodhran - which we can't play anyway, by the way) and found everyone we met to be most friendly (and cheerful) - and none of them were arrogant enough to make such a claim about their fair county. (Or perhaps they were just fooling with us English - you never can tell when the twinkle appears in an Irish eye.)

All the best ;-)
Derek, Frank & Jon (I answer to them all)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 02:28 AM

Don't hate the bodhran - just the effect it has on Irish music; (have no opinion on its use in other musics). This is a relatively new phenomenon; the bodhran has only had widespread use in Ireland since the 1960s.
It is a well-extablished belief that the effect of the instrument is a detrimental one on what is now basically a melodic musical form - hence the general hostility - would be interested to hear another explanation of it, other than "people just don't understand us" or the the 'jealous non-musician' one?????
It really isn't my claim that Clare is 'the home of traditional music' - it's one of the irritating catch-phrases that is virtually impossible to avoid - as you would know if you lived here. It does have some validity, thanks to Willie Clancy, Johnny Doran, Bobby Casey, Tom McCarthy, Junior Crehan, Paddy Breen, Elizabeth Crotty, P Joe Hayes and son Martin, Paddy Canny, John Kelly, Micho, Packie and Gussie Russell, Chris Droney...... and all the other household names who, within living memory, kept the music and dance alive here long enough for a younger generation to take it up and give it the high profile that it is now enjoying.
Yes, the Irish (particularly here in Clare) are extremely friendly and cheerful - as a couple of Brits we found that to be very much the case when we moved here ten years ago.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jon Nix
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 06:50 AM

Thanks Jim,
I was very interested by your point:
"the bodhran has only had widespread use in Ireland since the 1960s"

This was news to me. Please can you (or anyone else) provide a brief history of the instrument, since I had always (obviously in error) thought it was a traditional Irish item?

Kind wishes
Jon


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: gnu
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 07:06 AM

I put "Bodhran History" in the filter, three years and here it is.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 07:46 AM

Just realised that I only use my bodhran to solo accompany a few songs.
If I'm going to a session I take an musical instrument!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jon Nix
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:53 AM

Wow, thanks "gnu".
Interesting thread link.
Show's how much we don't know for sure eh?

Perhaps in a few more years the bodhran will become "officially" traditional, (like one day the electric guitar will, when people are all playing some new-fangled cyber invention).

How old does the use of an instrument have to be before it is considered traditional?

Now that could start a ball rolling..........
Cheers


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer (cookieless)
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:47 AM

"How old does the use of an instrument have to be before it is considered traditional?"

I reckon if you can play a traditional tune on it it'll do the job...

I'll just get me laptop...

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: gnu
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 03:07 PM

If it sounds as good as the Hran (yes, I know!... when played well and not bothering real musicians TOOOOO much), about 20 minutes, an hour tops. ;-)

Sooooo, if it gained widespread use in the 60's, add, say, ten to twenty years to spread widely. Round that off and you get about 60. To get a Senior's Day discount at most businesses around her, you have to be 55. I'd say the Hran has earned it's spot.

Sooooo, to sum it all up, who gives a darn? Ye come up Kent County to my camp on a cold and clear Saturday night in October and listen to the tunes played around the firepit resonate down the river valley and watch the stars twinkle with delight. If ye don't tap yer feet, yer daid.... er stooned.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 10:24 PM

Will Lang (Park Bench Social Club) and the Easy Club's Jim Sutherland are a couple of people who can actually get a tune out of a bodhran. In the hands of musicians like these, the instrument can be spectacular, and their playing in accompaniment mode takes nothing away from the melody instruments. The problem in sessions is that some people looking to participate (rather than spectate) make the mistake of thinking that the bodhran would be a simple entry-level instrument because all you have to do is hit the thing (none of that messy tuning-up, learning tunes and different time-signatures). If you're prepared to put the work in, good for you - and good for the rest of us.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:35 PM

Sorry, meant to respond earlier.
It always takes me by surprise that bodhrán players appear to be as unaware of the reputation of the instrument as they are and treat the remarks as a joke. It really isn't the case. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not an appreciated species.
I have been in situations where it would not have been inconceivable for somebody to take a Stanley knife to a bodhrán. I witnessed Seamus Ennis, arguably one of the greatest pipers within living memory, storm out of a session when one was produced.
A typical attitude to the instrument was summed up for me by an incident which took place here some years ago at a local dancing/singing venue (dominant instruments – fiddles and flutes).
A bodhrán – bashing stranger began appearing regularly at the session fully armed with a selection of extremely fancy instruments; while nobody was happy about it, good manners prevailed and prevented anybody from commenting.
One night he arrived as usual, shortly followed by a regular dancer who was slightly the worse for wear, having first been to a family party. She hoisted herself onto the bar stool next to him, failing to notice that he had placed one of his Bodhráns against the leg, and managed to smash it to smithereens – deader than Monty Python's Norwegian Blue. She apologised profusely and left in tears, extremely embarrassed. Various people in the bar came over and commiserated with your man, genuinely sympathetic – after all, a musical instrument is a musical instrument.
The perpetrator of the heinous crime failed to appear over the next few weeks, but when she finally put in an appearance she was greeted by a deputation of locals, one of whom made a congratulatory speech and presented her with a medal bought by donations.
Somebody requested a history – sorry it couldn't have been more brief.
It comes from Fintan Vallely's 'The Companion To Irish Traditional Music; anybody with the slightest interest in the subject should avail themselves of a copy.
Jim Carroll

Bodhrán.
A shallow, circular frame-drum with a skin of goat-hide, the form of which dates to 3,000 BC. Made of fish-skin in Lapland, widespread as the 'tar' all over North Africa, 'doira' in Afghanistan and throughout Asia, it has become a phenomenal Irish music icon since the 1960s. Folklore information is scarce; turn-of-the-century literature on Irish music does not mention it at all and historic pictorial and written records point to the music tradition in Ireland being primarily melodic. The 'madhouse of theorising' about the bodhrán's origins (the words of American researcher Janet McCrickard) wrongly ascribes it a mythic role as 'the traditional Irish percussion', or 'the heartbeat of Irish music'. John B. Keane, in his novel, The Bodhrán Makers, so invests the device with a romantic tradition which he invents from conflating its use in the new-year's Syren' with the image of its very modern-day playing style. Brian Friel's play Dancing at Lughnasa incorrectly includes the bodhrán with a modern playing style in a scene that involves a 1930s' radio programme. The film Titanic farcically includes it in modern style as percussion among low-class (Irish emigrant) passengers.
The bodhrán was played artistically in Irish music only in certain areas prior to the 1960s. As Micheál Ó Súilleabháin said in his address to the 1996 Crossroads Conference: 'If you just go back a small bit, the bodhrán was played one day a year. All the old lads I talked to around 1970/71 told me "you take out the bodhrán any day of the year other than 26 December and you're mad. Its like wearing shamrock on the First of June".' The best efforts at sourcing it are in its original skin tray winnower' form, 'dallan', used here as late as the 1930s. That was not specific to Ireland. Called 'wecht' in England and Lowland Scotland, Janet McCrickard includes in her book both descriptions from Scottish literature and examples extant in the National Museum of Scotland. In Scots Gaelic it was called 'Dallas'. There, a pierced version - for sieving - was called 'crerar', the winnower was 'windin' wecht', other versions were used for baking, and for storing haggis. There is only one suggestion of its use as a drum: in Nethertown, Fife, a drum belonging to the 1796 French-revolutionary Friends of the People was stored in 'Thresher Charlie's Garret'. Dinneen's 1927 Irish dictionary gives 'a shallow skin-bottomed vessel, a drum, a dildurn' as the meaning of 'bodhrán'. McCrickard deduces that 'dildurn' is from the Gaelic word 'dilder', meaning 'to make a rattling sound', similar to a Yorkshire word 'dildam'. Further, Dinneen describes the Irish 'dallan' as a 'winnowing fan, a sheephide, a "wight"'. McCrickard refers also to an obsolete Ulster word 'bull' meaning a 'skin drum', and to the old English word 'buller' meaning 'din'. Clearly there are inter-relationships between both devices and the descriptive words.
The wren.
For the druids in Ireland prior to Christianity the wren was sacred, and a modern Christian tale involves St Stephen hiding in a whin gorse bush being betrayed by a wren. Based on this, on one day of the year the wren is killed: the 26th December wren hunt in Roscommon, Sligo, Kerry and other places takes ritual revenge, uses loud noise of drum and music to stun the bird (bodhrán = deafening). This is reminiscent of a similar symbolic practice, using fife and drum, which exists in France, which may have been adapted here in the eighteenth century, and which may in turn explain its customary use also in Sligo/ Roscommon. In this sense alone, as in Nethertown, Fifeshire, the bodhrán may reflect another tradition, that of revolutionary France which produced the 1798 rebellion. Use in Ireland. The earliest evidence in Ireland is provided by Hamilton's Irish Flute Player's Handbook. Therein he reproduces a painting from c. 1842 which depicts a flute player playing in the company of a tambourine being played in the Islamic fashion with fingertips. The uniform and the features of the player suggest a non-national, and/or a military connection, or possibly a band connection. Since the Salvation Army bands (in Ireland since the 1870s) used tambourine, one can only speculate. Gerry Hallinan, born in Co. Roscommon (d. 1994 while dancing a set in Albany, NY), described how as children in the 1920s he and friends made drums from a bent sally (willow) branch over which they stretched a skin. Significantly, they nailed on pennies as jingles. Sonny Davey reports that Thomas McAuley, master bodhrán maker before him, would use the rim of a redundant sand-riddle for a frame, and would attach pot-menders (light, tinned-metal discs) as jingles. Both these cases suggest the copying of a manufactured, Islamic style instrument like that in the Hamilton picture. Furthur, Davey describes the older Pat Killoran as playing the bodhrán in an extrovert manner 'with runs and graces, from skin middle out to the rim, using the tips of his fingers and nails'. Willie Reynolds in his autobiography describes Paddy Kelly of Ballymore: 'he could hit it off the top of his head and also off his elbow', and says that most players used fingers. All of this suggests the Islam-influenced style currently prevalent on the continent - in 'Tarantella' music in Southern Italy, but particularly (Islamic influenced) folk music in Spain, i.e. tambourine technique. Kevin Danagher's 1949 photograph of a young bodhrán player from Kerry suggests the modern-day playing pose, but in the absence of a sound-recording it is hard to tell. However it came to Ireland, Sean O Riada certainly triggered the bodhrán's modern-day popularity by adapting it as a form of percussion for his radio ensemble `toiri Chualann. Willie Reynolds recalls that in his young days, players were 'few and far between', that 'the Fleadhanna Ceoil brought it into popularity'.
Construction.
A frame is made from a steamed plywood plank bent into a circle. Over this is stretched a cured goatskin which, according to the skill of the maker, will be scraped down to provide a particular thickness and playing timbre. The skin is tacked or glued in place. That is the basic bodhrán. More sophisticated makers include a tuning device. This involves another, movable, plywood hoop fitted on guides inside the frame. It is operated up and down by a system of screws, Allen keys or wood wedges which adjust skin tension in order to alter instrument pitch, or to compensate for humidity and temperature changes. Playing is done either with both ends of a knobbed stick (cipin, tipper) or with the back of the fingers. In modern times the skin tension may be adjusted by the pressure of the left hand from the inside, giving a pitch-changing sensation. The top players have their own systems of aesthetics and techniques. Beating style has learned much from Indian tablas, Arabic tar and dumbeq; rhythm seems to be informed too by the footwork of step-dancers and expert set-dancers.
Manufacture.
It is made widely today, most profusely by Malachy and Anne Kearns' IDA-backed enterprise in Roundstone, Co. Galway. Other makers include Pádraig McNeela in Dublin who makes up to six hundred of the ornamental and a couple of hundred of the playable kind annually, these are sold at regular kerbside stalls at the Willie Clancy school and fleadhanna ceoil. Like the others, Charlie Byrne from Tipperary is a modern maker - he began only after his daughter had 'won the all-Ireland [fleadh championship] on it twenty-nine years ago'. Belfast maker Eamon Maguire began playing and making after hearing one in Doolin in the early '60s. Among the other makers are Frank McNamara in Ennistymon and Paddy Clancy in Limerick. Bodhráns are now also manufactured in England and Scotland and similar Pakistani drums are imported. (EDI)
Style.
Bodhrán performance cannot easily be categorised into different regional styles; it is more easily defined by referring to the manner of performance peculiar to an individual, or to a group of players. There are currently as many styles of playing in existence - in and outside of Ireland - as there are players to execute them. Some insist that the correct method involves following the rhythm of the tune, others hold that the melody of the tune (by way of tonal adjustment) must be followed. Some use both methods. Certain players make use of 'motor' rhythms or rhythmic patterns which are not so symbolically bound up with the melody, but rhythmically add a sympathetic accompaniment (Jim Higgins, Colm Murphy). In all bodhrán styles the player's rhythmic repertoire comprises 'down strokes', 'up strokes', 'doubling' or 'trebling' and combinations of each. It is the unique and individual grouping of these basic but indispensable strokes with other devices that differentiates between one style and another.
Syncopation, which is fundamental to jazz rhythm, is another method of varying time melodically and, more importantly, rhyth-mically. A basic reel rhythm would sound as follows:

Musical notation removed
(Where D = down stroke and U - upstroke) a double down stroke on the first beat of each bar).
This stroke when suitably articulated is often referred to as 'doubling', 'trebling', the 'triplet' or the 'roll'. In the above example the additional down stroke is played between beats 1 and 2 but this itself is only one of the five possible platings within a bar of 6/8. The bodhrán player's style is also governed by the method with which the 'roll' or 'triplet' is executed.
The style- of a bodhrán player is not only concerned with the manner in which the player personally chooses to articulate the rhythm but also in his or her preferred performance method. Bodhrán styles cannot be clearly classified according to easily defined divisions. The terminology used here is loosely applied, in fact each of the styles has common fundamental traits. The most common style of bodhrán performance is the 'two-sided stick style'; others include the 'one-sided stick style', the 'hand style', the 'brush style' and a very contemporary 'two-handed style'.
In the 'two-sided stick style' the stick is held similar to a pen but closer to one end than the mid-point. A less conventional method is to place the middle finger in a circular strap fixed to the middle of the stick, the fingers either side holding the stick in place. Noteworthy exponents of this style are Mel Mercier and Frank Torpey. In each case the bodhrán is held with the opposite hand placed on the skin dampening the overall effect. In only some exceptional cases is the bodhrán held by use of cross bars or chords attached to the back of the drum - this was a feature of the playing of Sean O Riada and Peadar Mercier in the 1960s.
In the hand technique, the bodhrán is more often held by the crossbars at the back, the tension of the skin being adjusted by use of the fingers on the same hand (Donal Lunny, Seamus Tansey, Ted McGowan, Josie McDonagh, Sonny Davey). With both these methods the bodhrán may only have a range of two or three tonal areas but this may be as effective or aesthetically satisfying to its performers and their audience if it has sufficient rhythmic interest. Nowadays most performers dampen the skin at the back with the hand giving rise to greater tonal possibilities.
In the 'one-sided stick style' the player often uses very similar rhythms to the 'two-sided stick style' but executing the same rhythms using only one end of the stick. The 'brush style' is also played in this fashion using a hairbrush, drum-kit brushes or something similar.
At present, certain bodhrán players are noted for particular performance practices mat together with many other components fuse to give them an overall style. There is a very fertile cross-pollination of ideas between players. Some of these stylistic devices include: the 'rim shot', a rhythmic contrast between skin and wood sounds often found in the playing of Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh. This echoes the use of wood-block as contrast by the snare drummer in a ceili band. 'Slapping' is a method of emphasising certain beats by use of the left hand hitting the skin open-handedly (Tommy Hayes). Some contemporary styles make use of tonally pronounced rhythmic runs from high to low pitch, not unlike a 'fill' on drum kit (John Joe Kelly). Others make use of non-Irish traditional rhythmic ideas such as Indian polyrhythmic structures (Mel Mercier) and African and Latin American rhythms. Conventional and unconventional elements stand side by side, and these rhythmic peculiarities are crafted into the music with imaginative effect and originality.
The hand style is possibly the more archaic, but is associated with the instrument's Northern region. John Joe Cowry from Tynagh, East Galway, won the All-Ireland competition in the early 1990s using it the same way as in Sligo/Roscommon. Junior Davey (from Sligo) is another All-Ireland winner. He uses stick, as does Mossy Griffin of Ennis. A male-ethos instrument in the past, many younger women play bodhrán today e.g. Cherish die Ladies, Cathy Jordan of Dervish and Aimée Leonard of the group Anam.

Eric Cunningham (ERC). Flute and whistle player, from Headford, Co. Galway, who has researched the bodhrán at Limerick University.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 04:29 PM

I think I can add something to the early story of the tambourine. It had a fanatical promoter around 1800: Joseph Dale (1750-1821), an organist in London who published William Shield's "Rosina". His enthusiasm led him to patent an "improved tambourine", which I think had a lever or two to change the tone. His compositions include a set of 8 waltzes for harp and tambourine
with accompaniment for flute and triangle, and a Grand Sonata for pianoforte and tambourine
with accompaniment for flute, violin and bass. (I've seen these. The tambourine parts look a bit like Labanotation).

My guess is that Dale was not unique, and there was a general vogue for the tambourine in Britain at the beginning of the 19th century. Maybe it was a spinoff of the "Turkish music" of Mozart's time, and maybe it came back from military campaigns in Egypt. Naturally it would have crossed the Irish Sea.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 05:11 PM

Normally Jim your information is incredibly useful.

This time - slightly too much! :-)

Dave


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Forsh
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 08:17 PM

My 'Bod' is 51 and I get all sorts of sounds out of it, not just percussion! :) (and not all pleasant)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:05 AM

Sorry Dave,
Scanned down the whole entry as didn't know who would find what useful.
Well worth getting the book.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:10 PM

Hi, Rich--
   Re. your lament about finding difficulty with hand movement across the skin of your bodhran because of the limited gap under the cross-dowels; I use an unorthodox but very effective method of nuance variation. I hold the drum by gripping the dowels with my thumb and index finger, and applying pressure at whatever various levels is necessary on the skin. The tones available are without limit [between the upper and lower limits of course], and the fact that this method gives freedom to move the drum in any direction while playing gives even greater freedom to vary nuances. In fact it is perfectly possible to continue playing the drum while turning somersults [wish I could turn somersaults!!]
   Just a wee tale from the past---the late great Iain Macintosh was on stage at Irvine, Ayrshire folk club as I walked in carrying the drum case. He paused briefly in his intro to whatever he was about to perform to say "Boab, take that thing oot o' its case an' Ah'll hae ye wearin' like a horse-collar!!"


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 04:03 PM

I have an O'Kane Bodhran which I've played for about 8 years now, and I've never ever put anything on it, it's perfect as it is.

If yu are going to use anything on it I would suggest neats foot oil. I found that te best on my old bodhran which was a cheapie.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Forsh
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 05:17 PM

Jim C, I was just responding to: "My bod is now 30+ and played regularly. It's skin is superb."
:) *Grin*


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 05:32 PM

I thought you'd poasted the book!! :-)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:46 AM

It wouldn't go through the letter boax
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Curmudgeon
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 12:55 PM

Isn't Jim Carroll's lengthy posting a breach of copyright?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:28 PM

Probably,
I'll check with Fintan when I see him in a couple of weeks,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 05:13 PM

Boab - thanks for the interesting tip. May leave the somersaulting until later :-) Cheers


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,goodlife
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM

I am a bodhran player and i play the tin whistle and i agree to the fact that some players do not take into account the other musicians in the fact they play too loud or can not hold a beat But i suspect the majority of people who complain about the bodhran can not hold the beat either many many times as i play i have to miss beats to keep up with a lot of misicians and singers alot of singers can not hold a tune in a bucket and a lot of musicians don't know the tune well enough to keep up But hey this is the folk club scene where else can they find out if what they are playing or singing is similar to everybody else you don't often hear bodhran players taking the p----- all it takes is a friendly word of encouragment as you do to any other singer/musicianand i am sure it would be appreciated


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 12:43 PM

Gnu - thanks for the explanation - it hasn't become that much clearer! Sorry for the delay - just come back from a week in Northumberland; fortunately didn't see one bodhran.

I totally agree with Jim Carroll's views except for his references to the bodhran being a musical instrument. Same goes for any type of drum (possibly excluding tympani).

Ray


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 12:46 PM

Do I detect a correlation between the lack of punctuation and capitalisation in this person's posting, and his choice of musical instrument?

"I am a bodhran player and i play the tin whistle and i agree to the fact that some players do not take into account the other musicians in the fact they play too loud or can not hold a beat But i suspect the majority of people who complain about the bodhran can not hold the beat either many many times as i play i have to miss beats to keep up with a lot of misicians and singers alot of singers can not hold a tune in a bucket and a lot of musicians don't know the tune well enough to keep up But hey this is the folk club scene where else can they find out if what they are playing or singing is similar to everybody else you don't often hear bodhran players taking the p----- all it takes is a friendly word of encouragment as you do to any other singer/musicianand i am sure it would be appreciated"


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: gnu
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 01:21 PM

Ray.... Hehehehe. You need better bait than that!

Fred... No. That's just you being impolite. Surely you can make a better joke or draw a more definitive hypothesis.

Then again, your post indicates my hypothesis... oh, you know what I mean.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,goodlife
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 01:54 PM

Sorry Fred, did i rattle your cage with a hint of truth
Then there are those who tag on behind


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 04:59 PM

Sorry Ray - a slip of the tongue.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 06:05 AM

This whole saga reminds me of the banjo player and the bodhranist who were arguing which instrument was the hardest to play. They agreed to go away and practice each other's "instrument" for a month to try and settle the matter.

The banjo player went out and bought a bodhran and started to practice. Next day, the bodhranist went into a shop and explained to the manager that he was looking for a banjo. You're a bodhranist said the manager. How did you know that; said the bodhranist? This is a chip shop- came the reply!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Cluin
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 08:02 PM

The bodhraneer, the bodhraneer,
The dirty little nipper
He commandeered the skipper's rear
And plugged it with his tipper


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Subject: RE: Bodhran - care of - any advice
From: Cluin
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 08:19 PM

On 2nd thought, "fiddler's rear" is better.


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