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Bodhran Tips

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Pei T 13 Apr 00 - 09:02 PM
Callie 13 Apr 00 - 09:15 PM
Pei T 13 Apr 00 - 09:27 PM
Áine 13 Apr 00 - 09:33 PM
alison 13 Apr 00 - 11:30 PM
alison 13 Apr 00 - 11:32 PM
Mbo 13 Apr 00 - 11:34 PM
Gypsy 14 Apr 00 - 12:44 AM
alison 14 Apr 00 - 02:51 AM
Lady McMoo 14 Apr 00 - 03:44 AM
alison 14 Apr 00 - 04:01 AM
Big Mick 14 Apr 00 - 08:43 AM
Susan-Marie 14 Apr 00 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayer..) 14 Apr 00 - 05:32 PM
skarpi 14 Apr 00 - 06:21 PM
Bert 14 Apr 00 - 06:33 PM
paddyc 14 Apr 00 - 07:16 PM
catspaw49 14 Apr 00 - 10:40 PM
MMario 14 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM
catspaw49 14 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Guest, leeneia 14 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,robkill 14 Apr 00 - 10:58 PM
GUEST,Guest, leeneia 14 Apr 00 - 11:03 PM
alison 15 Apr 00 - 01:20 AM
catspaw49 15 Apr 00 - 01:26 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Apr 00 - 05:41 PM
vindelis 15 Apr 00 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,Trish 15 Apr 00 - 10:03 PM
catspaw49 15 Apr 00 - 11:29 PM
Big Mick 16 Apr 00 - 12:50 AM
alison 16 Apr 00 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,Ickle dorritt 16 Apr 00 - 07:38 AM
Callie 16 Apr 00 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Trish 16 Apr 00 - 06:48 PM
alison 17 Apr 00 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Renee 17 Apr 00 - 02:05 PM
MMario 17 Apr 00 - 02:33 PM
Celtic.Relics.com 17 Apr 00 - 02:51 PM
alison 18 Apr 00 - 02:41 AM
Kim C 18 Apr 00 - 01:54 PM
catspaw49 18 Apr 00 - 02:09 PM
Eric the Viking 18 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowbetter 18 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM
Pei T 18 Apr 00 - 09:43 PM
Seamus Kennedy 19 Apr 00 - 01:38 AM
Gypsy 20 Apr 00 - 01:23 AM
Sorcha 20 Apr 00 - 01:26 AM
GUEST,kisan 8) 20 Apr 00 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Guest, leeneia 20 Apr 00 - 11:28 PM
alison 21 Apr 00 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,trish 25 Apr 00 - 07:54 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 25 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 25 Apr 00 - 08:20 PM
alison 25 Apr 00 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,Bobby Rogerson 26 Apr 00 - 05:38 AM
alison 26 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM
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skarpi 26 Apr 00 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowbetter 26 Apr 00 - 07:09 PM
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Eluned 28 Apr 00 - 09:03 PM
poet 29 Apr 00 - 05:41 PM
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Subject: Bodhran Tips
From: Pei T
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 09:02 PM

Hello All.. It's another friendly lurker popping in for a quicky visit.. :) And yes, this isn't really lyrics, but I figured if there was one place where I could find this information, it was here.

Last year, at the end of my junior year in Ireland, my folks (for my 21st) presented me with a beautiful goat skin bodhran. It's beautiful, it's handmade, I love it. BUT.. The book that it gave on how to play just doesn't work for me.. I can't learn to play a bodhran from a book.. does anyone know any good tapes/videos - ANYTHING?! Not that it's a likelihood that my small Colorado town will have a session in the too near future, but I may someday return to a place that actually has some Irish American spirit!

Thanks in advance, even if you can't help! :) RR :)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Callie
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 09:15 PM

I learnt completely and utterly from watching other people playing, joining in sessions and asking questions. The book that cam e with the bodhran wasn't any use at all. Are there any festivals close by that you can get to? Any concerts you can go to and do a post-gig interrogation of the bodhran player?

Sorry if that doesn't answer your question directly. I don't know of any good resources. Any luck on the net?

Good luck with your playing

--Callie


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Pei T
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 09:27 PM

Unforunately, searching takes time.. I'm graduating from college in about 15 days (14 hours and 36 minutes ) and am currently limiting my net time to letting my parents know I'm alive (still) and.. well. the occasional 15 minute sanity break..

Sadly, the sessions in my town are a little hard to find, it's a mountain town in Colorado with very little "irish" except on St. Pats.

Thanks though.. Maybe in a few weeks I can really do some hunting! :) RR


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Áine
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 09:33 PM

Dear RebelleRose,

Click here for an excellent source for information on the bodhrán. Als, listening to recordings with the bodhrán being played on them will help you immensely. And great good luck to you!

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 11:30 PM

There is an absolutely wonderful book and tape (audio and video)...called "The Bodhran Book" by Stefan Hannigan...

I have an address where it can be ordered from in Australia, I got mine in Ireland and I'm sure it's available worldwide....

It is easy to follow and very clearly described... once through the book and you're well on your way....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 11:32 PM

I do a workshop for beginners on the bodhran, based on the techniques in that book.. if you want me to send me a copy of the handout I give out... send me your email

slainte

alison

epulse@tpg.com.au


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Mbo
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 11:34 PM

Pssssttt....alison kicks butt on bodhran....

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Gypsy
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 12:44 AM

Shouldn't this thread be called bodhran tippers? Anyway, Lark in the Morning has video tapes, and that is the only way to go. It helps to have a padding of sock over the end of your tipper when you start, not quite as scary sounding, and gives a pretty neat sound. My mentor, Ric, also uses what appears to be a plastic whisk broom for some really interesting effects. Remember to hold the tipper like a pencil, and use a long one, or your wrist will scream in a short period of time.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 02:51 AM

you can get nice leather ended tippers... they play softer...(I have said this in earlier threads... but I'll say it again..... a friend of mine got the same effect by cutting the fingertips of some leather ladies gloves stuffing them a little with kapok and glueing them to the ends of a piece of dowelling about the same length as a tipper).

Ideally the tipper should be the same length as the distance between the tip of your little finger and thumb when the hand is extended.

Gypsy I use a jazz drum brush (plastic brush) combined with a shakey egg in one hand.. gives a great jazz/swing sound...

The same friend made a great double ended brush by going to her local art supply store buying the largest paint brushes she could... sawed them in half and glued them together.... different sound again... softer than plastic... you could do the smae with two wooden pastry brushes stuck toether end to end with elastic bands...... (suddenly I'm beginning to feel like a Blue Peter presenter... get down Shep!!)

slainte

alison

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 03:44 AM

A plastic washing-up brush can also be used with interesting effects.

Tip: your wrist should be quite limp and at right angles more or less to your forearm which ideally should be parallel to the face of the bodhran. Your main movement should come from your elbow joint with your wrist swinging backwards and forwards quite freely. Yes, and as remarked above, hold your tipper like a pen fairly loosely so that it itself can pivot readily. Then, practise, practise, practise until you get "the knack" and you will be on your way.

I've seen people playing the bodhran in many other ways but the above gives good results and is "mechanically economical" which is important if you don't wnat to get repetitive strain injury from prolonged playing.

Oh yes, and as with all instruments, it helps a lot if you relax while playing...

All the best and good luck,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 04:01 AM

Or for any of you with a medical bent who remember glass thermometers, hold it like a pen and the movement is like shaking a thermometer.....

and if the bodhran was a clock face you should be aiming (initially) to strike it between the 9 and the 6...

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 08:43 AM

CLICK HERE for a link to The Bodhran Book which can be ordered from Elderly Instruments. It is a wonderful tutorial, even if they do hold the tipper wrong.........That is a joke aimed at my cyberlove, the fair Alison. If you use the search engine on Elderly's site, I am sure they have the video as well.

The key to the bodhran is practice and paying attention to the details of technique. It is not hard to learn how to beat it in a rhythmic way. It is very difficult and requires dedication to learn all of its subtleties. You will learn all you need to know from Hanigan's book and tape.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 09:03 AM

Mick - Subtleties...YES, that what I'm looking for now. I learned the basics in a group class so now I can beat a standard jig, reel, and even slide with one or two variations. But what I hear on CDs is amazing variations of the beat and subtle changes in tone. Does Harigan's book and tape cover that?

RR - I'd be happy to send you a copy of the practice tape my teacher used with us. Send me a private message with your address.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayer..)
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 05:32 PM

I don't know how far you are from Denver but Swallow Hill Music School might be able to help you. I'm pressed for time but I'll post more tomorrow. or email me at rrayburg@hotmail.com

Good luck,

Rich


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: skarpi
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 06:21 PM

Hallo , there is a store in Dublin it is called Waltons. i know they have a video tape how to learn to play Bodhrán I think it is Stefan Hannigans tape. It wont hurt to try . all the best skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Bert
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 06:33 PM

Never played the bodhran. BUT I do have a tip for yuz. When I was in Bahrain I saw the locals playing an instrument which was 'identical' to the bodhran, they called it a tabur (which might have been a generic name for drum).

To tune their instruments, they crumpled up some newspaper, set fire to it and skillfully dried out the skin in the flames.

So next time you're playing in a bar and your bodhran goes soggy, just go on over to the fireplace.....


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: paddyc
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 07:16 PM

A good tape which I used to have was called Learn to Play Bodhran, Spoons, and Bones by Tommy Hayes. It was awesome.

Willy Brennan


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:40 PM

Ahhhh.....Nothing like Bodhran Tips!!! Marinate them first in a heavy red wine and garlic. Braise them over a very hot open fire, almost blackening the outside and leaving the center cold. Serve with a mixture of escarole, shallots, portabellas, zucchini, snow peas, and pecans, sauteed in butter, garlic, parsley, red wine and a dash of cayenne. Roast new potatos with parsley in a lite sour cream sauce makes an excellent side. A nice Cabernet compliments the meal, followed by Pecan pie and perhaps an Expresso.

Mmmmmmm........Bodhran Tips!!! Now that's some fine eatin'!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: MMario
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM

'Spaw - the fever must be hiting an all-time high...you are getting delerious. PECANS with bodhran tips! Surely you meant pignolies?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM

Okay Mario........works for me. How about a Merlot instead of the Cabernet too? A bit lighter, but still full bodied...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Guest, leeneia
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,robkill
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 10:58 PM

The best video tutorial I have seen so far has been "Bodhran and Bones" by Mel Mercier (son of Pedar Mercier from the Chieftains) and Seamus Egan guesting on flute. It is available from Elderly Instruments.

While Tommy Hayes is an amazing player, I'd only recommend his video if you're interested in learning his unique style of playing.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Guest, leeneia
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 11:03 PM

Yes, you hold the tipper the way a right-handed person holds a pencil. To get the interesting "backbeat," start curling your wrist towards yourself. Pretty soon, the lower end of the tipper will whip up and strike the skin, giving you the backbeat. Experiment with the tipper, holding it in different spots along its length, until you get the backbeat.

It seems to me that by the time you get the backbeat going, you are holding the tipper the way most left-handers hold a pencil - with their fingers curved toward themselves. ---------- The recipe for Bodhran Tips sounds like something from one of those California restaurants where they send the busboy out to scrape something off a tree and call it an expensive Italian mushroom.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 01:20 AM

Hanigan's tape and video does go into things like working the skin to get different types of sound (open, flat, and pushed), and accenting beats... which gives you some variations in sound..... but to learn how to do it.. it is best to find someone whose style you like and watch how they do it, and listen to Irish music to see where the accented beats should fall in particular tunes..

and ignore Mick's comments on holding the tipper.... he has to beat his like a cudgel because it is a 22 inch bodhran.... hahaha

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 01:26 AM

Well, that one's wide open al................But let me just ask you, Cabernet or Merlot? Mario and I can't decide............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 05:41 PM

No-one seems to bother to say that the Haunigan video (sorry, I can't do the proper transliteration of the Gaelic) is available from Hobgoblin and they have a website I am sure (which means I'm not) you can order from.

Actually I did not find his tape helpful, partly because the copy I got was such a really awful copy it was very hard to hear and the picture was bad too.

To help find the "swing" to start with, try a much longer beater than Alison recommends - sort of keeps the wrist rolling easier. WOrks for me and I can't play the damn thing.

ALso push the skin from behind with your left hand to make a bump. It helps get the bounce of the beater off the front face. ANd it's the start of the way the clever players get all those different sounds by left hand movements.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: vindelis
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 07:44 PM

I was talking to my other half,(who does play bodhrain - I don't), about this thread. His advice is that you should practice, practice, practice, and find your own style. He reckons that some people produce a wonderful sound without necessarily using the orthodox method of holding the beater. Either way it just takes a lot of time and lots of the 'P' word. - Unless of course you are one of these people who are naturally gifted and can play anything. Either way keep practicing, and the Stefan Hannigan video is also to be found in the Roundstone music centre. They can be found on Connemara.net Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Trish
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 10:03 PM

My husband gave me a bodhran for my 50th birthday because he knew I had a "thing" about folk music and drums, having played timpani and percussion in amateur orchestras in my youth, but I really think he thought I would hang the bodhran on the wall for decoration. I got the Stefan Hannigan book with that drum, but what really got me going was two things: 1)Going to a really good workshop: in my case, Mog's at Sidmouth Festival (England, August, 2 years in a row - by the end of the second year something was beginning to click!) 2)Practice. practice, practice: I live in Scotland where we get 4 hours of folk music on radio every Saturday night and I play along with any suitable tunes, Irish or Scottish especially, or there are lots of CDs you can play along with: this helps both your timing and your speed, and if you can develop an audiographic memory for tunes this helps your interpretation (i.e. not still playing when everyone else has finished!!) I also have a Moroccan drum that I bought in Marrakesh when I was all of 21: they also used to heat these things over a fire before playing as they would be flat as a pancake otherwise. It is very much like a bodhran, except that the skin goes right over the rim, and is played with the hand rather than a beater, including a very resosnant sound (as long as the drum is tight enough first) achieved by sriking the rim with the hand. My first bodhran was like this last year at Sidmouth on the last night when it was 100% humidity and the only source of dry heat was the hand-drier in the loos! I have since invested in a tensionable instrument! Good drumming Trish


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 11:29 PM

So let me summarize this thing so far. To eliminate confusion, I'll simply refer to either the bodhran or the tipper as "it" which will make the typing easier. I'll use the lines you all have actually written:

"I love it, but a book just doesn't work for me. Does anyone know any good tapes or videos?"

"I learnt completely and utterly from watching other people."

"I do a workshop for beginners on it....."

"It helps to have a padding of sock over the end when you first start...not quite as scary. Remember to hold it like a pencil, a long one, or your wrist will scream in a short period of time."

"Ideally it should be the distance between the tip of your little finger and thumb when your hand is extended."

"A plastic Washing-Up brush can also be used with interesting effects."

"Your wrist should be quite limp and at right angles to your forearm. Your main movement should come from your elbow joint with your wrist swinging backwards and forwards quite freely. Hold it like a pen, fairly loosely and then practice, practice, practice. The above gives good results and is mechanically economical which is important if you don't want to get repetitive strain injury. It helps if you relax a lot."

"The KEY to it is practice and paying attention to the details of technique. It is not hard to learn how to beat it in a rhythmic way, but it is very difficult and requires dedication to learn all of its subtleties."

"I learned the basics in a group class and now I can beat it...with one or two variations."

"I'd only recommend his video if you are interested in learning his unique style."

"It seems to me that by the time you get the backbeat going, you are holding it the way most left-handers hold a pencil with their fingers curling back toward themselves."

"Hannigan's tape and video does go into things like working the skin to get different types of...beats. To learn how to do it it is best to find someone whose style you like and watch how they do it."

"Push the skin from behind with your...hand. It helps get the bounce."

"Practice, Practice Practice.....unless you are one of those people who are naturally gifted."

Hope that sums it up....Personally I'm off to the bathroom to try a few of these as soon as I find a plastic brush.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 12:50 AM

One should be careful about pushing a bump into the skin of the drum. If you are in a moist climate, you will stretch the skin perfectly. You would be better off keeping a flat hand or using the tips and varying distance from the strike point to get the various tones. Also you should note the different areas that get different tones due to irregularities in the thickness of the skin and its relationship to the edge of the frame.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 01:54 AM

Pushing the skin out is a techique used.. but not all the time, (for the reason Mick said).... by pushing the skin out with a finger tip in the middle of the skin you should be able to hear an octave from what the sound was when the skin was flat... therefore by using different amounts of pressure and different positions on the skin you can get all the notes in between....

I have heard "when the saints go marching in" played on the bodhran and you could make out every note.... (even though there were a lot of fancy rhythms going on at the same time.)

Using a longer tipper is OK... but when you come to want to add triplets (which is frequently in Celtic music)you have to work harder with a longer tipper to get the upper end round far enough to make contact with the skin..... (again this depends on your grip and style of playing.. I'm talking about the holding it like a pencil way....shut up 'spaw)

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Ickle dorritt
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 07:38 AM

I play the bodhran in sessions and I although I am not brilliant practise does improve technique more than anything else. Don't use alcohol to moisten the skin if your boodhran is nt tuneable. This seems a favourite trick in our pub which has coal fires and a dry atmosphere but it does the skin no favours. I use a small water spray sparingly. To summarise, keep practising and go for it. Do not get upset if the person next to you empties a pint over your head because he can't stand the noise-it's probably not meant personally!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Callie
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 07:59 AM

Wicked, Spaw, wicked.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Trish
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 06:48 PM

And William Tell overture can be played on bodhran - Hiyo Silver!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:20 AM

you shouldn't put alcohol on the skin at all, tuneable or not... it dries it out and will eventually split.. and it's a waste of alcohol *grin*.... just use water

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Renee
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:05 PM

Sorry for sounding ignorant (I'm new here) but can you tell me how you pronounce 'bodhran'? Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: MMario
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:33 PM

Renee - you'll be close if you just drop the "dh"


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Celtic.Relics.com
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:51 PM

In the tradition of Frederick Jorgensen of Fine Crowd (a Newfoundland celtic band), if your ending a performance and the bodhran didn't cooperate for you..... "put yer fist through the goat and cursed it to death!"

Thankfully Freddy is able to reskin the bodhran, but take my advice, never lend him your bodhran for a show.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 02:41 AM

Renee, you have 3 real choices for pronounciation... but the rule is NEVER sound the "d".

In Northern Ireland it is pronounced bo-rawn (like bow and arrow)

In the Republic of Ireland it is bow-rawn (like the bough of a tree)

and in Scotland it is bor-ann (bor like in boring)

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Kim C
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 01:54 PM

What is the deal with bodhran players sticking their tongues out? Is it a secret sign or something?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 02:09 PM

They're salivating in anticipation of their next order of Bodhran Tips!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 02:25 PM

For music to learn by; try "Four men and a dog" 2 Albums come to mind; 1)Shifting gravel 2)Barking mad they have arguably the best Bodhran player in the world Gino Lupari on them (But for other techniques Christy Moore tracks are good and there's so much other good stuff) But Gino Lupari is awesome. Cheers Eric


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowbetter
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM

I generally keep my wrist fairly straight, with the tipper almost perpendicular to my arm. (Hold it like a pen and then turn the writing end towards you.) This will help in developing triplets and cuts down on the wear and tear on your wrist. Follow the "whipping the thermometer' analogy, but don't shake your whole arm, just turn your wrist. When you first start, you'll notice your down stroke may be more prominent than your upstroke. One exercise that will help this is to play the basic reel pattern backwards (UP down up down UP down up down.....) By accenting the upstroke you'll force the muscles in your wrist that are responsible for the upstroke to develop. Try playing without accent so that someone listening with there eyes closed wouldn't be able to discern the up and down strokes. Practice SLOWLY, at first. This will make any flaws in your rhythm painfully obvious. If you start out trying to play as fast as Frank Torpey or Tommy Hayes, you won't catch those early problems until after you've been practicing them for a long time. I tell my students if they are gong to miss a days practice, the day after a lesson is a bad day to miss. If you forget what you're supposed to be practicing and practice a mistake for a week it is even harder to go back and correct it, because by that time, the mistake feels right. A great disc to practice with is Martin Hayes "Under the Moon". Martin plays slowly enough for a fairly new player to keep up with, he really punches the accents on the fiddle, and his timing is flawless. Gradually, play with faster CDs. Listen to a lot of drummers. LIsten to Johnny McDonagh, Donnchadh Gough (Danu), Colm Murphy, Frank Torpey etc. They'l show you what your drum's supposed to sound like. Finally, PLEASE don't play sessions until you have at least the basics down, and can play in time. You'll find people more helpful if you haven't driven them to cursing you under their breath. If you have a local session to go to, go and listen. If the you see a player who knows what he's doing ask for help outside the session.

Good luck, and if you have problems feel free to contact me rrayburg@hotmail.com

Rich


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Pei T
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 09:43 PM

Oh my!! I was hoping for a few tips, little did I know.. Thank you all so very very much.. (Sorry about the 4 day absence.. silly profs think that SENIORS should have to WORK the two weeks before they graduate )

I don't even know where to start, but you all gave me a lot to think about and I will DEFINITELY check out some of the videos/tapes everyone has recommended..

THANKS!!!

RR


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 01:38 AM

Personally, I visualize myself shaking a ball of snot off my fingertip to get the correct wrist motion. No, Catspaw, not FLICKING, not WIPING, - SHAKING. BTW, 'spaw, I always thought that bodhrán tips were the result of a mohel performing a bris on a baby bodhrán. All the best.
Seamus


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Gypsy
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:23 AM

Spaw..are bodhran in season right now? Or are you referring to the ranch raised, tender tips? Without hormones, of course!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:26 AM

Oh good heavens..........my bodhran/aspargus tips froze yesterday.


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Subject: first
From: GUEST,kisan 8)
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 09:33 AM

No reply... Just a simple "hello" from kisan8) , one of the few Hungarian bodhrán players ! Üdvözlet minden bodhránosnak !


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Guest, leeneia
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 11:28 PM

O gosh, you all are so earnest about this! What's all this "practice, practice, practice" stuff? Just put on some tapes and "play, play, play!"

And if you came to a session at my house and "didn't know the basics" nobody would be mean to you. We are all capable of counting to 3 (jigs) or 4 (reels) and ignoring a stray sound. Same way we would ignore a radiator or car going by.

Find some friends and have fun, for heavens sake.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:59 AM

I'm all for sticking on music or joining in sessions... but shouldn't jigs be either 6 or 2? (as in either 6 quvers or 2 sets of 3 quavers)

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,trish
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 07:54 PM

Not if they're slip jigs - they're in 9 (or 3) depending how you count it, and you have to play the second nine "upside down" if you play all nine beats. I cheat and usually play 123 456 7-9, so you get dud udu d-u (where d=down and u=up) so you're ready to start the next 9 on a downbeat - if you get my drift.......? Slainte mhath Trish


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM

Okey now I'v played DRUM bodhran for nearly 25 years.. And I am damn good!! I was taught at a session by an OLD IRISH MAN... he said hold the beater like a pencil.. keep your wrist loose.. the movement is as if you were shaking water off your hands.. Listen to alot of Chieftan Music.. practice, practice, practice... Drive guitar palyers crazy wherever you can..and be sure to sit next to the most stuck up fiddle player in the group..HAVE FUN


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:20 PM

That would be players...


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:57 PM

yep Trish, I love slip jigs..... most guitarists don't....

I do it with 2 skips sometimes..... dud u-u d-d, or d-d udu dud.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Bobby Rogerson
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:38 AM

Get a couple of cassettes---Mary Bergin [whistle] and Stockton's Wing. Pick up your bodhran, in your left hand, pretend you're about to blow your nose with your fingers with your right, stick a tipper in it a la haudin a pencil, keep your wrist slack and your elbow supple, don't worry about playing "double-ended"--that will come naturally--- and get to it. It'll happen very suddenly; you'll be up and away afore ye know it! Relax---the tipper does 90% of the work. And, a wee aside---many an accomplished bodhran handler doesn't use any implement--tipper brush or other; you can learn to jig an' reel with the back of your fingers.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 08:39 AM

Christy Moore being an excellent example of someone who plays with his fingers......

Stockton's Wing are great to play along with.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,kisan 8)
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 08:50 AM

Okay, sit next to the fiddle player, but use something for eye-protection ! (you know, the bow...) Oh, and I think slipjigs are the coolest! Sometimes I play slipjig to jigs also... it's really nice and it can confuse the other musicians (huh-huh...) . I play Dud udu dud Udu dud udu. (or reverse) Bye, Keep on tippin' ! kisan 8) of Budapest


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,marc
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 02:24 PM

A small session ettiquete point while your learning. In many sessions there is a one bodhran at a time rule, its not posted any where, just understood. Two beginner drummers together can sometimes produce sonic mud for the rest of the players to slog through, 4or 5 can be hell. Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: skarpi
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 06:40 PM

Hallo All, Well I listen and play along with the cheiftains and some of the Dubliners jigs and reels . I dont know anybody In Iceland who plays the bodhrán so I have to learn it this way. I am gonna use my tuneable Irish Bodhrán when my band plays In May at the first time and I hope it will works. All the best skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowbetter
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 07:09 PM

If you do find yourself at a session where there's a lot of bodhrans, make a point of learning to play to polkas. A lot of drummers can't play them so at least you'll get a fair share of playing. (And they're a lot of fun once you get the hang of them). In slipjigs try not to cheat them. Play the alternate measures starting on an upstroke. It really adds to the feel of them. Play them gently and pretty (Yes a bodhran can be played pretty!) If you have a hard time with them a good one to start with is Barney Brallaghan. If the rhythm starts to throw you, the C part will help you get it back. Likewise, a good polka to learn bodhran on is Jer the Rigger.

All the best,

Rich


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,MARK CAMPBELL
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:59 PM

MUSIC AND MORE PARTICULARLY RHYTHM THEORY IS USEFUL.

LEARNING TO MINIM, CROTCHET, QUAVER AND SEMI-QUAVER TRIPLETS (WITH CAPACITY TO PLAY ACCENTS ON ANY NOTE) IS FUNDAMENTAL.

SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT YOU SHOULD FEEL THE RHYTHM AND NOT UNDERSTAND YOU NOTES AND GROOVES IN A SYSTEMATIC WAY.

I DO NOT.

LEARN WHAT MAKES UP YOUR RHYTHMS (THE ALPHABET) AND YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN (WORDS) AND GROOVES (PHRASES) AND TELL YOUR OWN STORIES (AND PASS THEM ON TO OTHERS USING EMAIL).


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,ella
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 08:49 AM

as well as playing the bodhran I also dance, I find that the two are connected, as I listen to the tunes, I also pick out what step could be done to to the tune and then pass that on to my drum playing. (Not all the time though) But it does make a nice varient.

Helps if you can do Irish dancing though

Suze


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,ella
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM

I agree to the session etiquette posted earlier, and would like to add that if you every fall accross an old established session where they have a regular established bodhran player, don't just jump right in and play. This can upset sometimes, it is nice to wait to be asked to join in, or wait till they have put the bodhran down then ask them if they mind. Especially in far out country pubs.

This helps to keep tempers down. I go to alot around Ireland, and have even occasionally been given the honour of being offered the ol' fellas lovely sounding much cherished drum to have ago on, once they have listened to me playing.

Over here you sometimes find lots of bodhran players in sessions, and they don't know the unwritten etiquette, which can get really annoying, especially when one player is not as good with keeping up to the same tempo. This can ruin a good session.

Ella S


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhran.....)
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 05:42 PM

Suze, Have you had much luck playing 3's and 7's on bodhran? Could be either very interesting or very upsetting! I remember when I first started learning ceilis and sets, the 7 steps across was a bit of an enigma to me. Out of 4/4, 2/4, 6/8, 12/8, where does the 7 ever occur? Of course if you don't think about it just dance it fits fine, but when learning anything new I tend to analyze it to death.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Eluned
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 09:03 PM

I wanted to thank RebRose for posting this question in the first place!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: poet
Date: 29 Apr 00 - 05:41 PM

I was given three days to learn the Bodrhan, well we all Know how ridiculous that was but I stuck at it and I,m still learning 15yrs Later.There are two things not mentioned here that may help.

)1) Carry a Hair dryer. its a gentler and safer way of tightening up your skin than the lounge fire.

2)Whilst the Bodhran is Known for accompanying Irish & Scottish Music it also works well with most (but not all) other forms of music. I've sat in with Bluegrass/Blues/rock & roll/skiffle and other music that doesn'nt seem to have a name. The world is yours my friend enjoy youself.

Graham (Guernsey)

P.S.
Its traditional for Guitarists to take the piss out of Bodhran players. Take NO notice Musicians appreciate us.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Trish
Date: 29 Apr 00 - 07:04 PM

This is for Kisan and Rich - anyone tried the 13/8? Seems Eastern Europe specialises in it! Try playing along to Andy Irvine, Blowzabella, etc....... No tips here, apart from you just have to feel it somehow!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,kisan 8)
Date: 30 Apr 00 - 11:53 AM

Yesss !! I LOVE 13/8, there is a cool tune, called "Pelistersko oro" from Bulgaria or Macedonia... Slán, kisan 8)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Eluned
Date: 30 Apr 00 - 11:55 AM

I learned a little bodran playing with a friend at these weekly jam sessions held at a place called "Celtic Trader" in Charlotte.
I also learned that it is not good drummer protocol for two bodrans to drum at the same time in a small enclosed space when some of the other musicians have soft-playing instruments.
I may start up again, encouraged by this thread, when their sessions move outside this summer! (but first I will "Play, Play, Play", so I can be sure I'm not messing up the musicians)!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 22 Jul 01 - 03:32 PM

I have a question for all you bodhran players. Today I have been watching some oldish (70's?) Irish TV footage and on it I noticed that the bodhran players seemed to play it straight, driving along the rhythm of the tune and keeping the time. Recently I have noticed that a lot of the players I see localy play a more fancy style (pushing the skin behind to alter the tone), now at first this seemed interesting, but they seem to do it all the time. Am I going to get in trouble for saying this? - I like the simple rhythmic playing best
How do you play yours and what opinions do you have on style of playing, do you play in a variety of styles to suit the tune being played?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Jul 01 - 05:31 PM

Not of any use to you right now, but an oppportunity to put in a plug, my brother is currently making a Bodhran Instructional Video that will be available at Folk of the Woods


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 22 Jul 01 - 08:23 PM

you get different notes by "working" the skin.... so you can add more dynamics to your playing..... but it can be annoying if it is used all the time........

the Stefan Hannigan book and video shows how to work the skin well.............

its like people who play on the rim..... nice in small doses... *grin*

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Gypsy
Date: 22 Jul 01 - 09:21 PM

Find the best player you can, and see if you can play with them. I have felt on my tipper, and when getting into the rythym, will often times play about 1/2 inch above the skin. Find that it is easier to catch the beat with our Shanty man playing. He's a master. And the felt keeps me from being annoying.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: RichM
Date: 23 Jul 01 - 10:15 AM

The question that all rythmn players should always ask themselves:Am i supporting the group sound?

I don't play bodhran, but I play a rythmn instrument: upright bass. I can do all the fancy riffs; but I choose NOT to use them 95% of the time. Why? Because the role of a rhythm instrument is to contribute to the ensemble--not to stand out as a solo instrument.

Bodhran players: find the groove, the beat, the rhythm. When you do it's like riding a wave. You'll get compliments, and the group sound will be great!


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Jul 01 - 03:45 PM

GUEST,Renee
I have heard many an Irish voice pronounce it bowron (that bow as in tie and Ron as in "Da Doo Don..."
I pronounce it in the Scots tradition - boran (two short syllables bu-ran bu as in butt and ran as in having run)

RebbelleRose
the correct way to pronounce it is like the best way to play the goat - the way that feels comfortable.
I have a tutor that shows a traditional Irish beater held with the nobble behind the fingers of a clenched fist sticking out from between the middle fingers and between the upper and middle knuckles. Tripples are impossible this way.
I personally have a feature mid stick that I hook my middle and index fingers round such that the beater is between those fingers. Tripples are not as easy but there are compensations, I can play with three sticks at once, very posey but you get far more interesting rim shots. Rim shots are a bit advanced but they will come when you are ready for them.
I never practiced to records but had a lot of good sessions to join-in on. You will find the fluency comes when you can anticipate which is the result experience &/or practice. That moment arrives when you can miss a beat because you are losing it but pick up the beat properly on the next note (or next but one). Begginners usually try to hit each note and desperately catch-up with the beat in this situation. It is a mental and a muscular thing.
Oh yea, consider the volume - it is always louder to others
Enjoy


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 23 Jul 01 - 06:36 PM

Eluned, I'm happy to hear that sentiment, about 2 players not playing at once. I'd rather play right half the time (or 1/3 or ....) than bang away all the time to the groans of the rest of the players. Take turns. It will sound infinitely clearer, and you'll get far fewer "infernal racket" comments. Hook up with your friend outside the session if possible, too. Practice with CDs. The melody players have to practice away from the session, why shouldn't we?

Rich


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 05:27 PM

Alison

"Stockton's Wing are great to play along with..... "

Can you recommend an album as I would like to buy one to practise to.

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Jeanie
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 07:17 PM

Here are the details of the Steafan Hannigan book (and tape) that Alison and others have been recommending. As a bodhran learner, I'm finding it excellent:
'Bodhran Basics' by Steafan Hannigan publ. Ossian Publications Ref: OMB 102 ISBN 0 946005 87 7
Ossian Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 84, Cork, Ireland
Ossian Publications UK, Unit 3, Prince William Road, Loughborough
Ossian Publications USA, RRS Box 374, Loudon, New Hampshire 03301

He has some fun ideas - eg. for reels, you play DOWN up down up and say to yourself Wa - ter - me - lon
Jigs are : Pineapple Apricot !

Apart from the book, you can't beat (!) just messing about on your own - (i.e. not playing with a band or even along to tapes) and by trial and error getting the feel of it. As far as playing along to tapes goes, I don't restrict myself to celtic music - it's fun to play along to *anything* - and it doesn't have to be loud, either, especially if you experiment using your hand instead of the tipper.

It is also highly addictive. If it wasn't past midnight right now...

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 07:53 PM

actually seeing as you asked.. I have just made a CD for playing along with

people at workshops kept asking me to recommend one.... and I thought... I can do this

so I've made a CD with sets played slower than usual and instructions on the various rhythms... same sort of thing as the Steafan Hannigan

info here

a few of the bodhran makers / teachers over here are promoting them for me.....

if you're interested let me know

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 09:54 PM

Alison, your link doesn't work for me.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 02:29 AM

Don't be afraid to experiment with tippers. After trying out various different wood tippers, you will find yourself automatically picking up your favourite. The best tipper for the occasion isn't necesarily wood. Besides the use of the back of the fingers for some soft-touch playing, I use a tipper formed by bundling meat-skewer sticks, which can be made for either double-end or single-end playing, and is admirably suited to bluegrass accompaniment, or in some 3-4 beats with a vocal. I have also "invented" a use for scotch broom; a "brush" type tipper is easily made by binding a bundle of broom twigs. Surprising how long it lasts, and is perfect for an accompaniment which requires soft background rhythm.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Guessed
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 08:55 AM

On the comment by Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) two of anything can be confusing. I heard two Ullean pipers playing with one a semi, demi femot quaver behind the other. Their skill was unquestioned, and they were strangers but enjoyed each others' playing.
The problem for me was when I moved seats, behind the lagging player was not a problem, but hearing one in each ear was total confusion. Which to follow? When were they going into games mode?
They had played all day, I not long arrived - their session, they were avoiding repetion/boredom - their call. My frustration. Time to move on?
And as for meldoen players' games - well!!!
Now where did I put my spoons? Bones? Shaky egg? Digeredoo - that will please them.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: alison
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 10:15 AM

try the link again Michael it seems to be working now

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: open mike
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 11:39 AM

i play the bodhran at contra dances and the dancers say they really like to hear a strong beat so they can dance along--
i performed on one in a musical play once and got a
great sound effect by using one of those little
KUSH balls a toy made of a bunch of rubber band like
objects--when swished against the drum it made a
great train sound....wooo wooo!! (no actually chug-a chug-a)
i find that a tripper/tipper which is heavier on one end
than the other moves better--"eccentric" --"off-centered"...
yes the best tools to keep in your bodhran kit are a
spray bottle and a hair dryer-for in California it is
often very hot and dry which stretches the skin right off the
frame if you don't watch out (i have repaired the skin
numerous times where the head ripped right thru where the
tacks attached it to the rim) I suggest getting a drum with multiple rows of tacks in a staggered pattern for a stronger
connection--but shoe goo worked wonders to allow it
to live again! shoe goo is a glue made for repairing tennis
shoes. Also some drums seem to have the head glues to the frame--
this might prevent the tack stretching problem.
a hair dryer is great when the weather causes the
skin to become flabby--and it in not always practical to bulid a fire
in the hall-in fact it never is!!
i also keep an oven mitt--a comical character one--in wit my drum in
case i want to play it muted. (the aligator one seems most effective)
but the dog one works too---oh by the way no one mentioned that when the drum is bade from a dog skin it is called a bow wow ron...
that's enough....Laurel


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: John J
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 12:20 PM

It's very refreshing to find musicians serious about learning to play ANY instrument properly, including the bodhran.

More power to your elbow! (Or wrist)

John

BTW, remember this? http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=35467#484048


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: Keevan6
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 01:00 AM

hey Pei......if you ever get the chance, try to hook up with some Djembe, and Doumbeck players.....the basic beats are repetitive and with a little practice......the Bodhran gives the session a kinda worldbeat feel......really wicked. gotta chance ta sit in with my brothers and sisters this year at an SCA event. we started to jam.....lost ourselves to the rythym....when we looked up....we found that we had drawn an audience......(anyhoo I digress)....the Bodhran can and DOES compliment drumming circles.....not to mention that it is good practice...(plus you don't have to worry about sounding terrible.....it gets swallowed up in the frenzy)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: gnu
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 03:21 PM

GUEST, Boab.... got any pictures ?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: gnu
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 03:34 PM

Eh ? Anyone got Boab's number ? If so, let him know : Enquiring minds want to know.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: gnu
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 04:03 PM

Eh ? Anyone got Boab's number ? If so, let him/her know : Enquiring minds want to know.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 08:06 PM

They are best played with a Stanley Knife.
Bill(the sound)


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 03:42 AM

Sorry if the time lapse seemed stand-offish! Gnu---My technology is somewhat limited. Any way to get in touch privately?


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: gnu
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 09:59 AM

Unfortunately, this is an office computer. Hence, I can't give out the email address. Just thought you might have a way of displaying pictures at one of them there sites... don't know much about them. If you were a Mudcat member, you could post to the picture gallery. Anyway, I appreciate your offer. Thanks. Keep on Hrannin'.


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Subject: RE: Bodhran Tips
From: cyder_drinker
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 12:29 PM

Someone sent me This Link. Oh, and don't forget the large pinch of salt while you're at it!


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