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Annoying Bodhran, what to do?

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Subject: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:46 AM

Please can someone (all of you?!) advise me how to handle this situation.

I regularly go to a local folk club where the singers nights are generally quite well supported by audience and singers / musicians alike. The beer is good. The company is good. I really enjoy going.

BUT (big but), my mother sold a bodhran to one of the singers and now he plays the bodhran at absolutely every opportunity. Sometimes it's not too much of a problem, occassionally enhancing a performance. Generally however, I find it a major problem when I sing (unaccompanied).

Last week the bodhran caused me so much of a problem I had to stop singing and ask him to stop playing. I didn't want to do this, it's obviously embarrassing for the man. At the end of the night I went over and apologised to him for having to ask him to stop, and explained to him that I found it really off-putting. His reaction was to say that it was my fault I didn't sing in time. He really got the hump, although I expect some of it was beer talking. Time to walk away, so I did.

Last night at the club, whilst he didn't play the bodhran when I sang, he played it for ALL the other unaccompanied singers performances.

I don't really want to stop going to this club, but it's getting to the point where it's going to become a chore, and that would be dreadful. I have no wish to offend anybody (including those who play bodhran, well or not).

HELP. what do I do? Sorry to go on, but this is a problem for me.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: IanC
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM

Whilst it's not what you want to do, I'd suggest you do stop going to this club. At least for a time. You're obviously not enjoying it just at the moment.

I bet things will have changed if you just go somewhere else for a few weeks. At least you will have had some space to evaluate how you feel about it all.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

Refer to the Heinlein quote in my post to the "Extreme Prejudice and Friends" thread.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

If you sing unaccompainied - then I would say announce that at the beginning of your song. that should take care of it for you - and if you are doing it I suspect that others will pick up the habit rather quickly.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM

Time to reach for the trusty tuning knife...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM

Why fret over the attitude of an insensitive clod? He cant be very bright, or else he doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself. What makes people think that all you have to do is pound on a bodhran any old way and it's ok?

I've had a couple of festival type gigs where te "House band" expected to play along, but, I tell them, "Lookie folks, I dont know how to play with a band, so, by the time you finish your coffee, I'll be finished, ok?"

Diplomacy... The art of saying "Nice doggie" while you are looking around for a rock.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:56 AM

Petrol and matches.

or ask to borrow it, and then play it Clawhammer style. You can get one of these from any good hardware shop.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: pavane
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM

Spill a pint on it, accidentally. That should put it out of use for most of the evening.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:07 AM

Get a bigger, louder, more annoying bodhran.

Or better still, a 14 inch military snare.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:08 AM

I read here, ages ago, some good soul recount the tale of John Kirkpatrick telling the bodhran player in the second row of the stalls to shut the feck up, mid song. That takes balls, but Captain Kirk isn't short of them, having had a well earned rasping from the man himself.

John, perhaps you should have the quiet word with a few 'key' performers that they each announce their 'unaccompanied' wish before their turn. Bet you he will drop it before the last one rises.

How's the running going? I'm going backwards fast!

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:10 AM

I don't think I've ever experienced a faster response to a post, thanks folks....you've all cheered me up at least! Keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks lots,

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:13 AM

How's about asking if you can borrow it for a number?
Don't play the bloody thing; just hang on to it while you sing and then hand it back. He'd have to be terminally dense not to get the message (still, he is a bodhran player...)
...ducks and runs to avoid abduction and forcible anal probing from crazed bodhran-playing aliens...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:14 AM

Thanks Skipjack, the running is going ok...just did blackpool Marathon in 4:22, my PB. I'm doing a tough 7 miler this Sunday in Stainland near Halifax (thats in Yorkshire you know).

Re: bodhran player, that is just how I dealt with the situation last week, but more politely.

Thanks,

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:14 AM

Stanley knife, cut neatly along the inside of the hoop.

or you could fill it with quick drying cement.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:17 AM

...."Ah! I see you've brought your Boring!"


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:19 AM

Use it as a tray for carrying drinks or as a frisbee or as a template for drawing Charlie Brown's head, or to fake some flying saucer photos, or perhaps you could just point out that he's lost the jangly bits on his tambourine.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:23 AM

Turn it into a satelite dish by poking a penny whistle through the middle of it.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:37 AM

...Put it skin-down on the table and fill it with crisps and nuts.
...Dollop something oil-based on the skin - a squirt of WD40 or some 3-in-1; it'll take a lot longer to get the tension back than using beer (and it's a waste of good beer).
...Congratulate the "player" on his new dog-collar. When he looks puzzled, ram the bloody thing down over his head.

Hey, anyone fancy knocking off an instant book - 101 uses for a Bodhran?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:37 AM

Isn't this the sort of thing where the club organiser/s should quietly have a word? If its a singaround thing then couldn't they explain that if its someones 'turn' then they should be assumed to be solo unless they state otherwise.
Could it be a sort of general announcement, aimed at the singers, that if they want accompaniment or not then could they please specify before commencing
Or how about suggesting that the evening be devided into two halves, the second being the one where its free for all to join in if the person whose turn it is says so.
Its unfortunate that he reacted badly to your first approach, and that he has not applied the lesson across all the singers. It would be a shame to let the situation go on though, because it could be putting more people off & then the numbers might fall. Also this enthusiastic new player will surely at some point twig to the unspoken ettiquette & be embarassed at having transgressed so often.
The happy ending would be if there is some way of channelling the enthusiasm into encouraging a jamming element when required. As I said at the start - I'd be inclined to expect the organisers to pick up on the problem and find some way round it. Bit of a tough job though...

Kris


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:40 AM

Ask him why he never chose to take up an instrument.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:57 AM

What shall we do with the bodhran player?
What shall we do with the bodhran player?
What shall we do with the bodhran player?
Er-lye in the mornin'?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:00 AM

Right, me and the guys turn up, surround him and whilst your doing your song we make our move -I can grab his legs and the rest of us can beat the living whatsit out of him....


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:02 AM

Maybe you could enlist your mother's help - ask her to approach the eejit and tell him she needs the bodhran back (insert any old lame excuse as required - bird-bath, panning for gold, serving cous-cous...)
Failing that, how about strength in numbers. Have a quiet word with the other singers, and if the pillock starts beating off, get everyone to come out with a collective groan and a few glares in his direction.
Trouble is, it's amazing how thick-skinned some people can be (...the bodhran's is probably thinner...!).


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM

I'm with kris - it should be one for the organisers.

BTW, the Conwy Club used to open with a session and have another during the beer break and it worked well.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:05 AM

Before I upset every bodhran player, I'd better explain that my comments here refer to the unsensitive type of player who 'only bought one because I can't sing or play a musical instrument but I could manage one of them drum-things.'

I'm sure that someone needs to deal with this problem head on. What'll happen if all the unaccompanied singers clear off because of insensitive bodhran person? He must learn that there are times that the beat of the bodhran is welcome and times that it's not. I do a lot of joining-in stuff (but never on the bodhran!) and I'm lucky that the people who join with me or who I join in with know how it works. But I never join in with unaccompanied songs except with voice. For them that doesn't, they has to be told.

It's probably a job for the organiser. Get together with fellow singers, find out if they are fellow sufferers and then tell the organiser. I'm sure that he or she would rather lose one bodhran player than a whole bunch of singers.

But don't forget to encourage the bodhran bloke with stuff that he can join in on. Kris' idea of splitting the night up between 'performance' and 'joining-in' is a good one.

These bodhran things should have to be licensed. As a melodeon player I'm always happy to see them though, 'cos it means I won't be the least popular person in the room! Just keep him at your side of the Pennines, eh mate?

Les (who has a bodhran, but never plays it)


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM

Hello! I am A Wandering Minstrel and I am a bodhran player! It is not some sort of foul disease any more than accordion or banjo playing, Please don't expect someone to have an instrument and not at least try playing it. Please don't damage his toy either!

Where your friend here has a problem is that he isn't getting the real message about manners!. Most clubs I go to have a "beer break" mid evening lasting around 30 minutes where playing tunes all together is OK. after that instruments are put away.

I used to have a "helpful guitarist" who strummed along to my songs I just stopped singing everytime he started and looked at him. He gave up. Get the MC to explain matters to him. If he can't control himself its him that should leave not you.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:18 AM

Banjos and accordians can also be improved with quick drying cement.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:19 AM

How do you know the bodhran player has arrived at the party? The pounding on the door keeps getting louder and louder and faster and faster!

I've been a singer all my life, and I must say that I resent the intrusions of those who join in songs without refrains without invitation. I know they do it because they love to sing, or because they love the song, or even because they want to sing with me, but the fact is that my turn is my turn, and if I want to share it I will say so, usually by choosing a song with a refrain and inviting the rest of the circle to join in the chorus. Of course, I try (not always successfully) to keep my mouth shut during other peoples' turns, until the chorus comes around.

I play the bodhran -- privately. I will continue to play privately until someone asks me to play publicly. I don't expect that to happen before -- maybe -- 2010.

The invasive bodhran player should be taken aside and instructed on group etiquette, and I agree with those who think that the club organizers should do the dirty work.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Peg
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:24 AM

as a singer who sings mostly unaccompaniewd, AND a boudhran player, I gotta say, if someone is insensitive enough to think they should play the drum during an a cappella song, and expect the SINGER to keep time weith the DRUM, instead of the other way round, there is no reasoning with them.

I have been to sessiuns where the "leaders" have no compunction with telling boudhran players to just stop or not play. This I think is wrong (unless, as happened one night, the drum is really interfering with a complex or slow song on solo fiddle); the "other" boudhran player at this sessiun told me when I arrived one night the "leader" would probbaly perefr if only one of us drummed during any given song...

If I bring my drum to a sessiun, I tend to sit out a lot of tunes; some just don't need thr drum, and you also gain a little recognition for being perhaps sensitive to the MUSIC instead of just banging away because you CAN. (Most boudhran players do not really bother to learn it properly and many cannot keep a rhythm very effectively).

It is frustrating to me that at sessiuns where no one knows I am a decent singer, and where there is no oppurtunity to sing, others assume the only thing I can do is play the boudrhan, and I am really only a middling drummer (I can keepo a beat though). A GOOD boudhran player who is sensitive to when it is most appropriate to play, is an asset to a sessiun I believe.

Peg


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:27 AM

Or perhaps I ought to pop over and sing Lord Bateman and see how he gets along with that!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:41 AM

Great song Les! that'll knacker him... even if he can find the rhythm he'll never keep it up for 246 verses!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:43 AM

The drum should never take center stage. It should be heard, but, it should never take over. It must be hell to be so untalented that you have to screw up another persons contribution.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:56 AM

It must be hell to be so untalented that you have to screw up another persons contribution.

Nahhh. It's fun! It's only hell for the other person, and the listeners.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:59 AM

You're welcome to come over Les, I'll sort the visa entry details for you!

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:43 AM

One thing I neglected to mention...he brought TWO bodrhans with him last night.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:47 AM

Shit - he might not know how to play 'em, but the bastard's found a way to make 'em breed!
This man must be stopped at all costs.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:13 PM

Borings in stereo? It doesn't bear thinking about. Maybe he's trying to build up a full kit a bit at a time?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:13 PM

insensitive enough to think they should play the drum during an a cappella song, and expect the SINGER to keep time weith the DRUM, instead of the other way round

Peg - it's nice to hear this sentiment from someone. Locally I know one or two people with whom I am willing to sing accompianied without rehearsal - because they are both skilled enough and willing to follow the singer. Many of the musicians around play their particular variation of a song and no other. tempo and key. and ornementation.

For example - I was asked to sing the other night - started - and was brought to an abrupt halt by one of the musicians loudly declaiming - "that's the wrong key" - unfortunetly the key they wanted to play in was incompatible with my range (drat!) so the musicians ended up sitting out - except for the flute player who was able to transpose on the fly and play along with me.

Now I know I tend to drag some songs out - and certainly don't mind a musician giving me a high sign to pick up the pace - but as a singer I resent having (unasked for) accompianment launch into variations that I'm not singing! If I launch into song while a musician is palying - I certainly try to match what they are playing - not sing my own version! if I can't, I shut up.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:14 PM

John - how did you keep a straight face when he turned up with two?

Seriously, I think that its always a good thing to encourage and respect people's contributions irrespective of how unformed their talent (hey! how tactful is that!). But its not acceptable for someone to trample over a whole night (even if they're good & perfectly formed talent-wise....).
So whatever his quality and choice of instrument, he should not be joining in uninvited & persistently.
Something needs to be done, for the good of the club, the singers and the individual himself.

Keep us posted....

Kris


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:29 PM

It's a horrifying thought that someone could be so unaware (or arrogant) that not only does he play unasked with unaccompanied singers, he also has the cheek to criticise the singer who apologises to him! Geez, John- it's just as well you're a gentle soul... How about designing a 'Government Health Warning' label and attaching it to his bodhran skin when he's at the bar- something like : This bodhran can seriously damage your singing ?

Have a word with the other singers and see how they feel about it. Even if some don't find his playing intrusive, someone has to have a quiet word with him so that he realises he is annoying people. It is not his right to play as and when he wants to, and he should ask each singer if they want him to join in or not. When it's his turn to perform, he can choose whether he wants others to join in with him or not...

Before someone accuses me of being a bodhrán-hater (heaven forfend), I will say that I love a well-played bodhran in a session, but this bloke is giving bodhran players a bad name ! *grin*

Send Ickle Dorrit in!

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:56 PM

When he turned up with two, I would have had to use the Joke "Name X was on his way here tonight and stopped to buy a pack of cigarettes. He had just got in the store when he realized that he had left his Bodhran on the pack seat of his car, with the doors unlocked and the window open. He ran back outside but was too late, some bastard had already thrown another in there with it. I confess I am a bodhran player too and an a capella singer. I prefer an off beat bodhran to the as**oles who don't know the tune you are singing and join in anyway on any instrument, (the mandolin player is the one who pisses me off most) hitting all sorts of notes that are not in the song. It really throws me off the notes I am trying to sing that are supposed to be there. Ah I feel better now. Thanks JohnB


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:08 PM

Just a thought, why not print this off, edit accordingly, ie deleting any reference to yourself, and leave it on the table where he normally sits. I've experienced a similar problem on festival campsite were some thoughtless and or insensitive idiots play their instruments before people have woken. One in particular played bodhran very badly.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:09 PM

Get him to join the Mudcat, then, refresh this thread!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:29 PM

I really don't understand the problem with telling to just stop...

"Look, it's -my- turn... -you're- throwing me off, so stop playing please..."

Easy peasy...

If he won't stop, drop kick him...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Newfie
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:48 PM

I bought a Bodhran last St. Patrick's Day, I've never played it in public (It's a decoration on my wall, singing and guitar may be enough) But I can sympathize with both you and your player. I think if you have him to the point where he is not bothering you, you should count that as a blessing and let the other singers fend for themselves. Enjoy the good beer and good company, smile and applaud him when he inhances a performance and ignore him when he doesn't. If he joins in with you again, without invitation, THEN complain to the organizers.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Justa Picker
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:53 PM

See how it looks on him as a collar.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:06 PM

I think Clinton's approach is best. Even though you don't want to have a confrontation it IS your music you're defending so go ahead and tell him to please sit this song out.
Two bodhrans...*sigh*...that's so scary it's almost funny really. Perhaps he's on to the idea that someone might "harm" his instrument and that's why he now brings a spare.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:06 PM

Is the pub on the edge of a cliff? I hear bodhrans fly nearly as well as Frisbees.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:07 PM

Obviously, this is an isolated incident ( a**hole ?) because Hraners are just like everyone else - people are people and you are bound to find an a**hole in any group, even singers. A short, polite talk with him, aside and privately was your best option. Publically saying what you said was as ill-mannered as he. It embarrassed him and he responded in the a**hole manner that he demonstrated when joining in without being asked.

I have refused to lay down a Hran track with a singer/guitarist on a CD because I thought it detracted from the tune. I have declined invitations to play Hran on tunes in MY OWN KITCHEN becasue I thought it detracted from a particular tune. Not all Hranners are as stunned as this guy, BUT, publically embarrassing him was definitely impolite.

Even though he gave you the gears when you apologized, it may have been the booze talking, as you mentioned, so I suggest another "explanation" when he is sober. If he gives you any grief at that point, put your foot through his Hran and then shove his tipper up his ass. There should be enough other offended people to hold him down for you.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:29 PM

BTW, maybe it's Friday afternoon and the pub's "open" but I only found one derogatory remark re the Hran even remotely original. Kinda like mob mentality... let's all shit on the Hran.

I recall one fellow, a singer/guitarist/mandoleer of note asking me to play at a lively downtown spot with him while I was recovering from a wrist injury. I declined, saying I couldn't do it justice. He replied, "Your only beating a drum." Funny how people crap on the heartbeat of Celtic Trad, even when they're ASKING you to play with them. I liken it to the difference between strumming and playing a guitar.... anyone can strum... even me.

To you crappers... listen to Kevin Conneff, Mance Grady, Colm Murphy, Stephen Hannigan, Gino Lupari, or any of the other Hranners who PLAY the Hran. IF you still hate the Hran, I will politely and graciously bow to your comments. Your choice... if or off.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:32 PM

I like the bodhran (well played). I wasn't shitting on it, just giving a tongue-in-cheek suggestion on how to deal with an annoying person who happens to play the bodhran.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Justa Picker
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:35 PM

Me too.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:59 PM

RATS !!! I was hoping, even though my comments were, more or less, serious, to get something going. Gervase asked about... 101 uses for a Bodhran?

Hors d'ourves (sp ?) tray. Litter box - I think that was mentioned already. Someone said flying saucer pics - would the be an UFO ? Ugly F***ing Object ? I know... an exercise wheel for large, or a bunch of, mice. Anyone else ?

Really, don't take me too seriously... just caught me off guard, in a bad mood, after a BAAAAAD week.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:08 PM

Gnu,

You're quite right, it WAS impolite of me to ask him to stop playing the bodhran in front of others.

The situation at the time was that his bodhran was SO distracting I had actually lost my thread in the song.

I had a choice of:

(A) Stop singing after making a mess of the song.

(B) Politely asking him to stop, apologising for having to ask (in front of the audience, ie: Sorry **, would you mind not playing, it's made me lose track of were I am in my song') then carrying on singing.

I chose (B) because it seemed the right thing to do at that time, and it still seems right now, a week later.

The suggestion that the organiser of the club sorts the problem is a non-starter, when a problem occured at the club a while back his response was to stone wall the situation.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:12 PM

101 uses for a Hran,
here are 10....
panning for gold
Longbow target
Riot shield
fancy hub caps ( you could use up 4)...
Temporary umbrella
heat screen while getting things off the Barbecue..
container for gathering berries in
Vomitorium
wash basin
Hoop for the kids to trundle


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:24 PM

--ladies' fashion hat
--clock face (just add hands and cheap battery-powered mechanism)
--basketball hoop (like bar mitzvah, requires skin removal)
--temporary shelter for mice, voles, etc.
--loving cup for musicians' weddings
--genital hiding device for persons caught without clothing
--palette for oil/acrylic/etc. paint
--trampoline for very small persons/animals
--mixing bowl
--chip-n-dip (just add small bowl for dip)
--wastebasket (great for peanut shells)
--banjo body
--racket in "bodhranball" --new game-- use 2, and 1" superball

Alex


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:28 PM

The Ten Commandments of Playing Bluegrass Music

I.) Ye who makes the pie plate sing, the hubcap moan, ye of many metal finger-picks and a bar of steel, keep thine eye squarely on the fret markers and thine ear at strict attention. Thou art blessed with the opportunity to create great joy, but poor pitch on a Dobro is unclean, as is missing the turnaround. Both are offenses so grievous as to be damnable for seven generations.

II.) Practitioner of the tiny eight-string, know that if thy solos are good, all the better, but that is not why thou art in the band. Focus on timing, for sloppy chopping is unclean and an abomination before the maker, and his wrath shall be loosed, yea unto the seventh generation.

III.) Rattle not your tableware, nor strike it first against thy leg, then thy rib cage, all the while assuming the countenance of the stooge, for it is unclean and an abomination before me. Such apish behavior is damnable for seven generations.

IV.) Nor shall ye rake thine thimble-tipped fingers across the tool of the washerwoman for this is an abomination before me, and is damnable, yea unto the seventh generation of thy seed.

V.) Neither shall ye slaughter the goat and stretch its hide across wooden barrels, then beat upon it with wooden timbers on the two and the four. This is the task of the mandolin, and to usurp it is unclean, and damnable unto the seventh generation.

VI.) When thou drag equine hair across filaments of intestine, thou art slave to pitch, as is thy bastard cousin, the stringed doghouse. Thine scale is small, and the possibility for peril immense. The difficulty is understood by the maker, still, poor pitch on a fiddle is damnable for seven generations, yea verily.

VII.) Banjo player-thou art damned. The five-string tambourine makes a hellish racket that few have been able to tame. May the power of the maker be with thee in thy quest, but five gets you ten that thou art damned.

VIII.) Oh ye of the aforementioned big stringed doghouse. The rest of the guys and gals are probably just glad you showed up. Try to keep the slapping to a minimum, for it is damnable.

IX.) Ye who stand in the center and emit pitched words, know that thou art not a God. Thou art a chooch with a guitar whose vocal folds are of such consistency as to be pleasant to the listener, or perhaps some other alpha characteristics has made thee a de facto leader of misfits. To imagine thyself to be anything more is unclean and an abomination before me, and is damnable, yea unto the seventh generation of thy seed.

X.) All who perpetuate the bluegrass idiom, whether ye drag the bow, grasp the plectrum, thump the doghouse or tickle the five-string tambourine, assume not the countenance of the constipated man, nor display false overbite. Playing bluegrass music is pleasurable, and to feign painful artistic reverie is unclean, and damnable for seven generations, yea verily, so say I.

(From a trumpet player/writer/poet in Dover, NH, named Chris Elliot)


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Ditchdweller
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:32 PM

There was a man played a bodhran, played a bodhran, played a bodhran, There was a man played a bodhran, and he was an ache in the bum! So we played it with a razor, a razor, a razor, So we played it with a razor, And stopped the ache in the bum!!

Had a similar problem with a local accordian playing landlord. I asked him not to play along with me with a shanty (Donkey Riding) but he ignored me and started throwing me off rythmn!! I asked him to stop mid verse and got bloody well banned from his pub!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:45 PM

Thanks folks! These postings have cheered me up no end, I really was starting to think it was my fault.

John (back at work for a short time)


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:49 PM

Isn't it funny, (I do it myself) when people are confronted by what seems to be unequivocally a total asshole, they start thinking it's their fault? Second-guessing themselves? Why do we do that, I wonder? Why not just admit that this person was being an asshole?

I'm not attacking you, John, I'm just wondering out loud why you and me and probably everybody else on the 'Cat have these self-doubt moments in the presence of genuine jerks.

There's a PhD thesis in psychology wrapped up here!

Alex


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:04 PM

Thanks for your understanding Alex.

I like to think I consider the feelings of my fellow men and women. I think most of the 'catters I've met, spoken to via the mudcat etc, are of a similar character. Perhaps that's why we stick together on the mudcat (security in numbers?), but more importantly perhaps that's why most of us so clearly understand what we're all on about when we post. I couldn't believe how many responses I got from my initial post. I posted at 1.55pm (uk), with 15 minutes there were 8 replies. Now, 9 hours later, there are around 60, all from people on a similar wavelength. Wonderful, isn't it? Trouble is, that guy's still got a bodhran.

Cheers,

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM

John, You are UK??? for a small fee( a coupla fills of the Grail) I will come and step on it........while he is playing.....


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: sophocleese
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:22 PM

I think you did right John if, as it sounds, you asked him politely even if it was in front of others. He was impolitely trampling on your song and your singing its reasonable to ask him to stop. I've told the story before on Mudcat of the time I lost my temper with a man who continually made noisc during songs. I was upset with him and upset with myself and then discovered that most of the people at song circle were delighted that I had done something even if I did it badly. Ask another singer if the bodhran bothers them. Sometimes we don't share our frustrations with others in a similar situation and yet it can be very helpful to discover you're not weird and suffering alone. If you're not alone then walking away leaves the other singers without your support when a few words quietly delivered might be enough to make the evening more enjoyable for all.

Why bring two bodhrans if you can only play one at a time? Alto and soprano? Regular tuning and DADGAG? Is he trying to start a drum circle?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:02 PM

Hiya Micca, you mean that tin pot of a tankard has finally left Sid's place? (The Chapel Haddlesey one, not the Cumbrian one). Thanks for that Micca, I'll get the cider in ready for you!

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:32 PM

The most memorable term I've heard used to refer to the boghran is "the Irish Chapatti".

"Hran" that's a new one to me. Sounds a bit Star trekky to me, the Hran would be the kind of guys who'd get on the nerves of your average long-suffering Klingon.

Prab to God tis fella doesn't turn up with bongo drums, or you'll be wishing he'd brought the bodhran. Mind, with two bodhrans, maybe he's planning to develop some nightmareish bongo-bodhran...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:03 PM

101 uses cont'd: upside-down as a shade for a ceiling light or a torch lamp. glue a beany or yarmulke on the inside and wear it as a sun hat. roll some billiard balls around the inside to imitate thunder as a theatrical sound effect.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:11 PM

I sing & play bodhran, sometimes I do both at the same time, it's my choice. I went to a session a while back & a drummer played on every song & tune & when I started to sing he started to play along so I placed my palm over his drum so he couldn't play, until he gave up & stopped. When the song was over he told me he's been playing this session for years & I quickly told him if I wanted a drum played behind me didn't he think I'd play myself, I then told him to get the fu%$#@&k out of my face & let him know I thought he was an unaware, selfish shit who didn't mind ruining a good time for all & said it loud enough for most of the others at the session knew what took place. I think later others also had a talk with himI've never seen him since. Good rhythums to bad rubbish. Barry


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:19 PM

If a man wants to disable a tank, he will take a bazooka and blow it all to hell. If a woman wants to disable a tank, she will sneak up on it and pour sugar into the fuel tank. Same result, different method. You seem to have solved the problem for all Barry!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:24 PM

Shit, I think its me your talking about!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:29 PM

Love it.... bongo-bodhrán...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:53 PM

Give a man a fish and he can feed himself for a day Give him a Bodhran and he can hang around musicians. It's not really me ye nah !


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Sydney
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:56 PM

As a singer (unaccompanied) and a bodhran player, I sympathize totally with the predicamant ... and have THOROUGHLY enjoyed some of the "solutions"!!! Rather annoying when one individual seems totally lacking in both manners and sensitivity. Perhaps a LARGE sign posted in advance saying something like "The etiquette police will SHOOT/THROTTLE/SKIN/FLIP THE TIPPER of any git playing a bodhran who does not respect the other players." Gives us all rather a bad name! Hope the situation resolves itself soon, for your sake - he should be spoken to, I feel by the person/people acting in a host capacity. And I'd also get the other musicians onside ... chances are, you're not the only one who has been irritated to distraction! (it's true, you're NOT alone!) Cheers from Canada!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:10 PM

Why the hell does he bring two!
Does this guy have 4 hands?
BURN IT !


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Peg
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 12:20 AM

wow Barry, wish I'd been there for that one!!!!!

Peg

who is bringing her boudhran AND her singing voice to Old Songs


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Mummy.
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 02:51 AM

Still holding stomach after reading responses, got up especially early to scan screen - don't need breakfast now.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 03:50 AM

Hello Mum!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,chrisj
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 07:32 AM

Then again there's always the possibility that the heroic bodhran player drew the short straw and was given the task of 'discouraging' over-enthusiastic acapella singers?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Yvonne
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 07:38 AM

Love the replies. Suggest everyone joins John on Thursday night and carry out their own solutions! Lets Get him JJ.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 08:23 AM

To be fair, I suppose the recalcitrant bodhran player hasn't spent a lot of time in folk clubs - I think ours was his first dabbling.

Two bodhrans? Well, to be fair, one was his wife's. Maybe they are starting a band called 'Bodhran Bodhran'!!? (Duran Duran, geddit?!)

If he found the affair embarrassing, he should think himself very fortunate he didn't try it on in some other clubs I could mention! They'd have had a Ritual Bodhran Burning!! Such behaviour is seriously frowned upon!

It's not so much a 'right or wrong' situation, more what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't. A song rarely lasts more than four minutes (though it can often seem longer!), and a performer has only that time to themselves, so to speak. Sadly, there are those who need to 'hog the limelight', and I admit I've been guilty of that myself in the past - then again, haven't we all? That's how we learn... some of us! ;o)

Joining in is only valid if it adds to the performance in a positive way, which is acceptable to both the performer and the audience. It is not valid if it detracts from the performance, overshadows it, or brings it to a halt. It effectively becomes heckling, and is open to be treated as such.

However, I feel there is a real danger of this incident escalating out of all proportion, and I would entreat all those who are directly involved to let the matter drop, before it gets out of hand.

And that includes me...

JJ has my full support - the situation became intolerable, and he's not the only one to suffer. But treating childish behaviour with more of the same is a recipe for disaster...

TTFN


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Yvonne
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 09:57 AM

Bernard you are totally correct ofcourse but what is the solution if he is not only spoiling the performace of the performer but spoiling the listeners pleasure as well??

Surely the organiser of the club should point out his bad manners?

In short how is he to be discouraged???

Hello Mum from me too.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 10:15 AM

Hmmm... it's a tricky one... I'll see what I can do.

Oh, and 'Hello Mum!' from me an' all!!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,forty two
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 10:41 AM

"His reaction was to say that it was my fault I didn't sing in time."

I speak as one new to the club but also a bodhran player (of many years experience) and an unaccompanied singer. Generally I believe that it is not a good thing to mouth off at another musician - I am not saying that I haven't done it! Certainly on many occasions I have had to suggest to other precussion players that a particular session is not big enough for more than one percussive instrument at a time and suggest that turns be taken.

As for accompanying songs - I would never do it unless asked to or unless I knew the singer very well. And as for unaccompanied songs. It is usual and, I think, desireable for a singer to go off beat in a slow ballad accentuating phrases and lines. Think also of a slow air played by a solo instrument; quite often a phrase is stretched hence going off beat and beneficial to the tune.

While maybe undesireable, I believe that you were well within the limits of session etiquette to stop mid tune and have words. And maybe now this subject will be brought up at sessions all over and talked about freely in the open so ALL musicians can take on board that there is such a thing as session etiquette.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 04:16 PM

This is a person thing not a bodhran problem.
I have seen and suffered many a banjo and guitar intrusion as an a capella singer
I had to listen to a person at my regular club harmonise to every song with diminished sevenths all night. No amount of polite humour alters him. I for one breathed a sigh of relief when he joined a West Gallery Quire.
the bad news was that they knew more tuneful sevenths than he could shake a head at and they had more egoes than he could surmount. At the club the organisers have very definite and opinionated views about etiquette but then he is one of them. Ten years later I now live far enough away to dissaude me from visiting, but regulars include some very nice people who made the club vibrant when I was going through divorce, how can I desert them entirely? I chose to suffer his harmonies, I sing to give them enjoyment and if thats what they want, so be it. If I don't feel I can enjoy it any given I have to decline.

If you can't enrol the consensus of the body of the club, blame the club & go elsewhere. In the Uk we are blessed with such richness of sessions/clubs.
convince the bodhran that there is a SESSION down the road and see if he discovers where he should really be going.

AND what is the problem with two bodhrans? both mine are red.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 04:24 PM

Much better to tell someone to pack it in, in as friendly and courteous manner as feels fitting, rather than bottle it up and expect "the organiser" to muscle in as the figure of authority.

It's not hard to tell when someone welcomes accompaniment or not, and if you get it wrong only a pillock would get upset about getting hushed. It happens all the time - a raised hand is enough.

What I find awkward is when I'm singing something I've only recently learnt, or only recently made up, and someone playing a melody instrument jumps in and plays what they assume isn't right tune, only maybe it isn't. But there's no problem in just saying "don't join in on this this time round, I'm still running it in!".

And God preserve us from generalised rules like "no joining in" - they take the guts and spontaneity out of a session.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 04:37 PM

Thanks 42, with a name like that you were bound to have an answer!

I would love the club organiser to get involved in this valuable discussion, but I don't believe he would. Whilst I think he has an attitude of 'live and let live' (which I strongly agree with), I don't think club etiquette is something he's too aware of. The organiser, a competant guitarist and singer / songwriter, is not a traditional performer. Having said that, he's been to other clubs, played along in sessions so he should know the score.

I would also dearly love the bodhranist (eh?....you know what I mean) to be involved in the discussion. Who knows, perhaps the next post to this thread!

Please don't think I want to stop none traditional performers going to the club. Although my preference is for traditional music / singing, a club that doesn't allow all types of performers is a club that would be very boring. A couple of years ago the club was visited by a VERY good singer performing material from musicals. Not folk at all. But he performed, was applauded well for his good singing. He was made welcome....we haven't seen him since, but there you go.

Getting back to the start of this thread, the bodrhanist concerned has fans, and therefore support in the club. He plays guitar, sings funny songs, and entertains. It's a difficult situation to deal with.

If it doesn't get resolved (and I'm not going to say anything at the club, not unless he starts banging his bodhran to my singing again) I'll just not bother with the club again.

Cheers all,

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 08:23 PM

The problem is resolved.

Without going into unnecessary detail, the person in question has upset a few too many people, and will be discretely spoken to at the next available opportunity.

You have my word on that.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 11:26 PM

You know, a bodhrán is a rhythm instrument particularly well suited to play along with lively dance rhythms. Anything else is a rare exception and if done at all should be left to someone experienced enough to pull it off. If this guy just bought his drum, it should be a year before it sees the dim light of a pub or indeed any light except where he practices, and where he takes lessons.

The only songs I tend to play along with are "Sí Do Mhaimeo" (which is in a straight jig rhythm) and "Os Liostail Mé le Sairsint"(which is a march) and both only when sung by my friend and former band mate, Peter, who would actually be upset if I didn't join in. The proper bodhrán accompaniment to a ballad or an air or a waltz is to put your drum in your case, cock your head slightly to one side, listen intently and enjoy.

The same could be said for automatically singing along with someone who starts to sing a solo.

On the other hand, I've seen people come to a session geared towards playing together, and want to sing and play solo all night.

The bodhrán is really just too easy to be an asshole with, and therefore demands the player to be even more sensitive of the players around him than players of most other instruments. I was at a couple of sessions while on a visit to Chicago last year, where one of the session leaders commented that it must be tough to be a bodhran player and have to prove you're not one of those "Bodhran-owners"(His term, not mine) every time you play someplace new. It was at a session I would have not heard about to begin with if he hadn't been happy with my playing and more importantly, my etiquette the night before.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 06:38 AM

Very well said, Rich.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 01:20 PM

Thanks Rich. Thanks Bernard. Thanks everyone. What a brilliant bunch of mates you ALL are. I'll never meet the vast majority face to face which is a shame. Thanks again everyone.

John (the much happier)


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,joe
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 05:03 PM

hmm, a bodhran. that's shaped something like a frizbe, isn't it?

there once was a fool with a bodhran, who didn't know who he was botherin' 'til i finished a mug, got a pick-ax and dug a pit and threw him and his father in.

happy fathers' day, to whom it may concern.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: fiddlergirl
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 07:21 PM

I've got two younger brothers, so I can tell you from experience that a bodhran does NOT make a good medieval sheild, the tipper/sword will just go right through it... perhaps you could don some shining armor and honouraby defend the ears of your listeners?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,shortbuckle
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 07:40 PM

Guitar players get the same frosty looks at most sessions and with good reason, Irish traditional music is not harmonic (mostly)and needs special care when it comes to accompaniment. Leave the 3rd out of the chords lads.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 08:28 PM

Well, this was a treat to cruise through! Well done!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Brían
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 10:29 PM

I was thinking of this thread at my séissiún today when I came in and saw a BODHRÁN AND NOBODY PLAYING IT in my usual seat.
Brían.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 03:40 AM

Thanks noreen and everybody else! You've all been brilliant with your support and understanding.

I've got back into work this morning and found a number of emails, some from club attendees (we don't have members) who I didn't realise knew about the mudcat. There support was very surprising and most welcome.

Bernard's post & email has explained that 'something will be said'. It would appear that unwanted accompaniment has been a problem for others, as so many of you have so wisely said.

Thanks again!

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 05:11 AM

How about, you get everyone in the session to bring one along, no other instruments. It'll be a crap evening, but you'll only have to do it once.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:12 PM

and what would you call a roomfull of bodhran players?

anything you want, they wont hear you!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:25 PM

How many would you need to change a light bulb?

WHAT DID YOU SAY?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 09:42 PM

A terrorist goes into a pub with an UZI and demands, "Are there any fiddlers here?". The one tries to hide his fiddle behind him, but to no avail. The terrorist sees it and asks "Bluegrass or Irish?". The nervous young man stammers, "Ir-rish". The terrorists points the gun at him and orders him to play. The fiddler does his best and scrapes through a reel and the terrorist demands he keep going. The fiddler plays through his entire reperetoire before the terrorist is satisfied...........


................and guns down the 50 bodhránists playing along!!


Rich
I figured it would hurt a lot less if I posted it myself than if someone else did.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,joe
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 10:12 PM

i have nothing to add; i just want to be the 100th entry. thanx


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Ro1sin@aol.com
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 10:29 PM

ask him if he knws why a bodhran playe is like a foot message

ecause a foot masage bucks up the feet

and a bodahn player cks the beat


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:20 AM

Ah but can he spell?? ;-)

*BG*

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: jmdornan
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:38 AM

John, beside the fact that you handled the situation as a true professional should, don't worry too much about him. You can always ask him up on stage to do a number by himself, so many audiences members think it's cool to play along, but would never get up on a stage themselves. Sometime they need to know why you are the one getting paid to be on the stage :) Of course this is a judgement call, because he may not get it, even if he screws up on stage...but we have all been through this where your audience thinks they can do what you do. I work in interactive street theater, and also am a musician in the forum, THAT gets interesting. Everyone you meet has played some instrument way back in high school, and wants to work with you, you can only be poliet for so long before you have to explain it's your career annd you are very serious about it. I also know it's very hard to be a a musician starting out, because so many people say they can do thing they really can't.

Good luck Jill


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:44 AM

Nice words Jill, I've started to blush!

Gratefull thanks & best wishes,

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: MMario
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:49 AM

ACK! hi Jill!

She knows whereof she speaks , people, 'cause she has to put up with *me*


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Shantyman
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 12:23 PM

Jonn

The suggestion that the club organiser should interviene seems a good one! Perhaps he'll then be too busy to play guitar throughout unaccompanied performances. Perhaps the bodhran could be given to the club organiser. On the subject of loosing the thread of the song, I lost it last week due to the intervention of Boddintons Bitter; but I'm not going to ask the landlord to refrain from selling it! By the way thanks for remembering the words for me


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Midchuck
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 12:48 PM

"Boddingtons Bitter"...What a great name! I may have to journey across the Atlantic just to have some.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 12:59 PM

Peter: the reason Allan lost his thread due to Boddington's Bitter was really that he had been out celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife.

I've not seen Allan wearing a tie before, let alone a blazer! Congrats once again Allan! I would agree, the last thing we want is a beer being withdrawn! I'll be on the guest or the Landlord on Thursday 'cos I'm going on my bike. BTW, what time are you arriving at Alderley Edge on midsummer sunrise? And what date do you regard as midsummer? I was going up on Thursday 21st. John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 02:00 PM

Hey John J...no offense but it seems like the problem is that you want everyone to sit quietly and pay attention to you performing by your self. I guess this is fine for some sort of pre-arranged song club event, but if this is a session then let him play...or stop performing songs that you don't want anybody to play along on. The other alternative is to sing the song in your car on the way over, and get it out of the way before you show up to a social event. The only other thing I can think of is to get yourself a gig somewhere by yourself where you don't need to be annoyed by other people who also wish to play and can still have everybody pay attention to you.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: jmdornan
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 02:42 PM

MMARIO - you are the least of my worries.. I enjoy performing with you :) and no I 've never been able to spell but can sing in 3 languages does that count for something?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: sophocleese
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 03:56 PM

UB Dan, that's an assholish thing to say. At a place where other people can take turns being in the limelight its reasonable to wish to have your turn in the limelight. Just because you have an instrument does not mean that it HAS to be played on every song. Sometimes the music is served better when there is less of a musical free-for-all. Listening is part of music. The bodhran player in this instance sounds like the selfish nit who cannot stand to be quiet.

In any group of people there you can have many options from one person singing or playing to everybody singing and playing. Why limit the group to one particular dynamic? It sounds idiotic to me.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:45 PM

Listening is part of music and it may be true that a musical free for all does not result in the best music...but these sessions are often musical and free for all. I understand the point about the bodhrain not being suited to all songs and that bad playing of any sort is disruptive to the entire dynamic...but, it is a session. I don't see any difference between showing up to a tradition session with a Marshall stack and an electric guitar loaded with distortion and showing up to a session to perform solo. It is a social event which is designed to get people to play together. If people are performing individually, that is called an open mike night or I guess maybe a song circle. Yes people take turns choosing songs or playing leads...but if you want to play alone than go ahead and play alone. There is another thread out now talking about songs that only you like...the guy who started it is talking about songs that he enjoys but doesn't perform much because his audience doesn't react well. He is suiting his music to his audience...this is a good thing. In a session, the audience is also your new band...suit your music to them. I'm not saying every song has to be appropriate for 15 bodhrains joining in, but maybe you could stay away from songs that nobody can join in on.

To be fair, I agree that the drum could sit out slower songs or inappropriate songs, but I also think its silly to shopw up to a session and expect everyone to sit and listen to you...by yourself...get a solo gig, go busking, invite a friend over to watch you, sing in the shower...but if you are at a socail session you should expect to play with people. Teach and learn..teach and learn...but don't exclude. Maybe do a song once and then ask people to join in after they get an idea of the tune, but if nobody can join in, save it for another time.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:48 PM

Hi UB Dan, and thanks for your input.

Thanks also Sophoclese for your support!

The problems I have with this bodhran player are many, but the main problem I have is he actually puts me off singing.

Last week I completely lost the thread of my song due to the intrusive manner in which the bodhran was played.

In addition to that, the bodhran wasn't played in the rhythm I was singing. When I apologised to the guy later in the evening for having to ask him to stop, and also giving my reasons, his response was that my timing was at fault. I thought that a little unreasonable, but chose not to pursue the matter and to walk away from the situation in an amicable way as possible.

The fact that all other musicians remain quiet when I (or all the other unaccompanied singers at the club for that matter) sing and he chooses to bang away on his bodhran is barely worth mentioning in comparison.

There is no doubt that a bodhran can go really well with many performances, but I'm not good enough a singer to deal with an out of time, interfering noise.

I hope that puts you in the picture.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 05:03 PM

John, I'll be honest, I support you in this matter. I agree with you, completely. I did not read every single post, but from what I read I gathered that everyone was agreeing with you, but not for the right reason. I think asking him not to play on a particular song is perfectly acceptable, but I do not think that it should be expected that every person should take turns playing solo at a session. This is not what I would expect and not what anyone should expect. I guess there are other gatherings where this is perfectly acceptable, but if you walk into a session and say..every body be quiet, its my turn, listen to me...I would think you were in the wrong. You'll notice I didn't post any reply until the thread had grown, and that is mainly because I do agree with how you handled and are planning to handle this specific type of situation. I just take exception to the several posts saying any sort of playing along is rude.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: sophocleese
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 05:50 PM

Okay UBDan I understand what you're saying now. The assholish part, that pissed me off, was the implication of selfisheness and singularity on John's part. I didn't get the same impression of blanket statements about never playing along but that some level of sensitivity is required even in sessions. The way the situation was presented that sensitivity was lacking on the part of the bodhran player. We were responding to John's request for assistance and support we may have answered differently if the bodhran player had posted asking what to do with a singer who cannot play along with his bodhran. Kind of an interesting idea actually...hmmm.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Bernard
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 07:53 PM

With respect, UB Dan, there is a vast difference between a 'session' and a 'singaround'.

A session is an 'all in together' situation, but a singaround is primarily a one-at-a-time scenario where each takes their turn.

I am a 'resident' at the club that JJ is referring to, in case clarification is needed...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: 8_Pints
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 09:00 PM

John,

Perhaps a little gentle humour might ease the situation ..

"I don't know how I'm going to manage without you, but I'd like to try!" *BG*

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 12:56 AM

Hey John.

I think you handled the whole situation properly. Since he has stopped playing with you, it would be a little presumptuous to pursue matters any further - others MAY enjoy his accompaniment (doubtful) - and it would probably make you look a little immature and petty.

If you try to do anything else - i.e. talk to the management; talk to the other players; bring up your complaint again; leave the session - you will just remind everybody of an uncomfortable incident, making them uncomfortable all over again.

Speaking to him civilly in the first place, will probably motivate others to do the same, and he may get the message eventually.

In group situations, once is usually enough.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 04:34 AM

UB Dan, you and I are on a very similar wavelength! I would hate it if I went to a session, played a tune and nobody joined in.

At the end of the day what is needed is consideration for others. Joining in by singing or playing is fine as long as it is appropriate. I suggest that playing a bodhran with virtually EVERY song (mostly unaccompanied) is inappropriate.

Paul S.: Humour is indeed an ideal way to calm things down, if we laugh at the situation together it reduces the potential for further ill feeling and hopefully gets forgotten in the mists of time. Great so long as he doesn't forget to ease off on the bodhran!

Cheers,

John John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 01:50 PM


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 02:47 PM

I think Julia said it as succinctly as possible.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 03:00 PM

John J said...I suggest that playing a bodhran with virtually EVERY song (mostly unaccompanied) is inappropriate.

I know what you MEANT to say. That's why I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I'm going to attend one of your sessions some day and bring all three of my Hrans and my bones too. But I will play when asked.

I forget who said it but, "Hran" is NOT "Star Trekkie". I am a Hranner and proud of it. Hey, there's another use for a Hran... in an episode of Star Trek.... the Enterprise goes into a time warp and is set upon by a spaceship with Celtic knotwork all over it, shaped like a Hran... every time the Captain tries to communicate with the bandits, they play Hran along to his message and it drives the crew mad. They even beam Flatley aboard and he taps the crap out of their warp drive.

Flatley ? No, that's getting toooo weird.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 03:08 PM

Gottit Gnu, I read it and couldn't believe what I'd written! Gnu you'd be more than welcome at any session / singaround or whatever: The Bull's Head in Mobberley near Knutsford tonight (Wednesday) or The Railway in Heatley, near Lymm tomorrow night (Thursday). You could always come up to Alderley Edge @ 3.39am tomorrow for Solstice sunrise.

Cheers,

John (just off to the pub for a sing, a play and a pint)


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 03:23 PM

Sounds rather Brit to me. I am in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Might be a bit too much of a stroll, carrying all me Hrans n all. But, I do appreciate the invite.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 07:43 PM

Yes it is Gnu, ah well, perhaps if you're ever over here!

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 12:20 AM

Irish Abroad's website has detailed guide about how to behave at a session. Specifically, they suggest that if you play a Bodhran you are to ask they-who-conduct-the-session if it OK (a yankism) to join in. I got the impression that the answer would probably be no.

I was going to buy this really neat Bodhran with a Celtic knot design (made in Ireland) but realized that in Missouri's humidity it would go: plopp plopp floppitty slopp. This is a problem solver for you though. Have all who are annoyed by the hran player to chip in to send him over here. I live on the banks of the Missouri river where we have 120% humidity on a GOOD day. He'll pack it in, surely. Then, because I am a CLAWHAMMER BANJO player, I could dry it out and make a Boucher style tack-head fretless thumper.

It's been a long week


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 03:02 PM

OK, I've heard some pretty annoying bodhrán from tim to time,and when I started playing sessions I may have even been the annoying bodhrán in question,but this thread is getting to be more annoying than any bodhrán ever could.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 03:36 PM

Like I said before, everyone craps on us but still they still ask us to play (on some tunes). In a way, I don't understand. Maybe with me it's different. The lads I play with... I mean, REALLY play with, are Irish Trad and Troubles players. These tunes are suited to Hran.

Anyway, this is about dead. See you all at the session. Rich.... Hran on !!!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 05:11 PM

Hey there everyone....

Ok, I won't admit to being a bodhran player...well, no I will actually,

I'm proud to be one!!

When people play all the time whether they're welcome to or not it makes me cringe like hell, this bloke sounds like one of those people!!

Many people say bodhrans should be seen and not heard. And in a sense I agree in certain situations. I won't play in songs unless there are ten thousand other people playing instruments and the tune has the right rhythm to play bodhran to.

I'm actually too scared to go into a singing session and play bodhran as I know people would take it off me and fill it with cider...like a replacement for micca's tankard!! No, the truth is I would rather sit and listen or join in singing chorus'.

BOdhrans suit certain situations and certain tunes, but otherwise i think we should just sit back and listen.

I think somebody needs to have a little quiet chat with this bloke, and if he doesn't listen then he obviously doesn't have any feelings relevant to the situation and needs telling firmly.

It is better to say something than to have him drive everybody away from the circle.

GOod luck

Emma xxx


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 01:54 PM

Well put Emma, I support your views on the use of the Bodhran 100%. You're my kind of Bodhran player!!

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Ditchdweller
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 02:32 PM

Boddington's Bitter?? Thought Boddington's hadn't brewed ale for years since Whitbread took over the brewing!!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 03:38 PM

Cheers John, has the situation improved yet?

Emma xxx


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J at home
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 04:16 PM

Sapper 82: I'm afraid you're right, what is worse is that I know only 2 pubs that keep the Whitbread/Boddington brew in a drinkable state around these parts: The Railway @ Heatley near Lymm (the folk club pub) and the Mark Addy in central Manchester. The only other decent pint I've had is at The volunteer in SIDMOUTH! Emma: well our bodhran man is away in San Francisco (that's in America you know), so things are certainlt temporarily better. The club organiser is going to 'have a word', I just hope it doesn't get anybody's back up too much. I rather fear it might.

Ho hum.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:20 PM

Wow, glad things are turning out. I bet he gets deported from america for playing his bodhran all the time!! That would be funny.

Do u think it mite get the message through?

Tell your organiser good luck with this guy.

Hope it all turns out for the best

Emma xxx


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 10:18 PM

if he travels across the Bay to the Starry Plough and does his boor-ran thing... I'll tell my daughter to be alert this Saturday especially. Did he come over on his own? Is there a chance he'll come to Missouri? We have a "blue" grass festival on the 30th at Centennial Farms in Augusta, Missouri. I can imagine him playing "it" at the festival. Perhaps we could get the Missouri Valley Coon Club's dogs, chase him along the Augusta Bottoms road. Then, again, he might just fit in.

Well, I must agree this is enough about boorish bodhran players. If its all the same, I'd like to know more about this Boddingtons/Whitebread thing. It sounds like a Monty Python routine.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:05 AM

This is my understanding of the Boddington's/ Whitbread situation, I'm sure others will correct me where I am wrong and where there are omissions:

Boddington's is (was) a traditional Manchester Brewery of really good beers. Some years ago Whitbread a really major player in the uk brewing industry became a substantial, then a major shareholder. This was financially good news for the brewery but seriously bad news for the drinkers of Manchester. Whitbread it should be said, have a reputation for brewing bland beers with little or no character. In the mid 70s Boddington's had a major quality problem with a huge batch of beer produced for the Christmas rush. They had a new member of staff who unfortunately made a mistake. (In the uk mistakes are not regarded as part of the learning curve.) Since that episode in the 70s, the beer quality / taste has certainly changed for the worst. All very sad. The good news is that such big-brewery antics have spawned loads of small breweries who produce some really excellent beers. Shame about Boddies though. Although they have a very high profile in the uk, I suppose there beer has had to be 'dumbed down' so there is more of a national appeal to it.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 06:21 AM

Coyote breath: When we bought a bodhran to take out to Dubai, we were advised to take one with a robust, i.e. thickish, skin, as it would be less affected by the humidity. That was in 1979-ish, and we still have it - it did seem to do the trick. (inscribed Nick Driver Goat). No fancy celtic designs though.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Jude
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 07:35 AM

John J - I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as a drinkable pint of Boddys since Whitbread took over....
Me, if local I'll stick to Speckled Hen, Wadworth's 6X or Flowers Original and in Sidmouth's Anchor Middle Bar ... the Exmoor Gold will do nicely....
.. none of which should be wasted on detuning bodrans
...... Ah - detuning bodrans - that's what its for, I always wondered why people bought Watney's ( it's so awful it couldn't possibly be to drink)

Jude


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John P
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 07:50 AM

Coyote Breath, Argh! please don't start calling it a hran! It's annoying enough having gnu calling it that all the time!

gnu, how do you pronounce that, anyway? I always hear the word with the "h" (and the "d") being silent or nearly so. In any event, the second syllable of the word would start with the "d", wouldn't it? Or maybe the "r"?

Other annoying shortenings of instrument names:
ano
tar
tern
lo
dolin
bec
pet
ouki
jo
bro
bard
bla
ute
olin
ola
cal
tle

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: KitKat
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:04 AM

Boddingtons is now manufactured by Interbrew (used to be part of Whitbread but no longer). They are based in Magor, South Wales and pay enormous attention to consistency of flovour and quality. Of course, if you happen to think it's crap, what they make is consistent crap.

pat


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:17 AM

I was told by an Irish friend that bodh was like bough and ran has a long a as in the name Sian, or the ar in barn, or alternatively like aw as in lawn. The accent is on the second syllable. SO something like boughRARN or boughRAWN would be an approximation (only). I expect it varies in different parts of Ireland anyway.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: RichM
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:54 AM

As a fellow accompanist to Irish music (I'm a guitar player), I'll tell you what I like and don't like about the bodhranists.

I like a bodhran that tasteful, fits in, is in time with the music--and lifts the pulse of the music.

I don't like:

-bodhrans not in time--get with the rythmn!

-bodhrans played too loudly. Fit the volume to the tune.
-bodhrans, conversely, played too softly. I know, I know--some people would consider that a blessing! Again, fit the volume to the tune.
-bodhrans that beat a heavy four-to-the-bar beat. It's an instrument capable of more subtlety than that.
Find the pulse! Pulse goes beyond the signature rythmn of the tune--every tune has its own pulse, which could be longer than the bar, or shorter. Find it. Play it. Don't drag the lead instruments out of THEIR pulse.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,McCracker
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 03:03 PM

Perhaps this person is retarded. The mentally defective are known for doing this type of stuff. But then again, if he is making snide comments about being out of time, probably not. I don't think that it would be out of line to do pretty much what you did. Just what part of "unaccompanied singing' does this cretin not understand.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 06:44 PM

I think Irish drums (whatever you want to call them) are criticised too often. Most of us folkies are only fair musicians (at best, ok. some are great but many are not but can still be enjoyed), and it can look very self aggrandising to put others off or down, and I well remember a rather precious actor-singer telling a very good guitarist that he found his playing "rather distracting".

I think the safest course is to say in advance if you do or don't want people to join in, and to warn them it there are unusual things coming such as an arrangement with a chord that is not the usual one, or an accelerando on a particular part of the song, or if (like me) you do the "Wild Mountain Time" in 4/4 rather than 3/4.

By and large I think of folk music as participative. It may be necessary to vary that but it is probably better to be cautious. Offer to tune the guitar that is driving you mad. Get someone else to tune the banjo that is driving you mad. Point out that you are playing a recorder in medieval pitch and that it is NOT a semi-tone off modern pitch. But if you have to ask someone to stop you have to - once you are sure that you are not being precious and self-important. SOmetimes you have to. But examine your conscience first.

he story that started this thread may well have been one of the occasions when a firm stand was essential - but it could (with the benefit of hindsight, which is always easier) have been avoided by saying in advance that you were doing a song that was not in strict tempo and so was likely to be better without rythm accompaniment. The reaction to such an ADVANCE announcement would warn the alert if they were pushing into a session or being self-important (which some, but not all, unaccompanied singers can be). One reason I tend not to do unaccompanied songs is that you do have to be doubleplusgood to make them a good experience for the listener(s).

Be careful. You probably were. If you were, then you did what you had to do. But in many cases it is not necessary to exclude accompanists. I know one "jam session" (so advertised) when an excellent guitarist thoroughly surprised me by joining "Haul away for ROsie" (which a friend and I were doing unaccompanied, like most shanties, and in B as it happened) and the blues feel to the sequence he added put a whole new light on the song for me and I thought it was great. I might have said that shanties were usually unaccompanied and I woudl have missed a very enjoyable experience.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 07:35 PM

Just come in on this after being off line for several weeks. I agree with Peg and Rich - the art of playing the Bodhran is knowing when not to play, and/or to play with sensitivity for the music and the other musicians. One player I heard about was causing a nuisance by playing along with everything: when he went out to the loo, leaving his beaters on the table, they were taken outside to a conveniently-placed river to play "Pooh-sticks" with! I also remember my early efforts in one of the Council rooms at Sidmouth FF in Mog's workshop - about 60 of us hammering away, when one of the council workers came in to ask if we could make less noise! Tattie B


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Hawker
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:03 PM

Hi
As A bodhran player myself, I get really pissed off with people who give the rest of us a bad name.
I know when to play and when not and it's pretty obvious to me that this chap doesn't. Who MC's the club? perhaps talk to this person, maybe he could start the evening off by saying that it's lovely to have such a wealth of talent in the room, and that it looks like a good night of music and song yet again, however, would participants respect the wishes of singers who prefer to sing unaccompanied.
As a singer also, it is not a case of singing out of rhythm, it is a case of singing with feeling and altering the pace of the song to add expression, if he tries that retort again, suggest that the same is also true of a good bodhran player, which if he was, he would understand.
If all else fails, get a G penny whistle and just blow it, using any fingering, when he "plays" or sings
He may not get the message, but he may begin to understand how you feel!
Last resort - tell a bevvy of bodhran jokes whilst introducing your song, if he then joins in, point to him and say - see, I told you so!
Good Luck
Lucy


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 03:44 AM

CAn you suggest some suitable jokes then? I know several bagpipe jokes, but I haven't heard a bodhran one. (And am I doubly cursed? I play bodhran AND Melodeon, although not at the same time, usually)


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:10 AM

Bodhran jokes.

As in any large joke collection most of them are just bad. One missing on that list is:

Why are men better bodhran players than women?
Because they've already mastered the wrist movement.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Finny
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 05:54 AM

This is pretty crass, but maybe you could suggest he use it as a bedpan!

Finnabhair


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:15 AM

All these inappropriate bodhran playing stories reminds me of my favourite. I was sitting in a session in Redcar with Jane Sherburn (one of my all-time favourite bodhran players) and Kate Rusby (what a name-dropper I am). None of us had our instruments with us so we were just listening.

Then this wassack comes in, unraps the bodhran from the brown paper bag (he must've just bought it) sits down in the middle of the session and attempts to play. After indulging in some girlish humour with Kate (that's your boyfriend, that is!) Jane could stand it no longer. She firmly asked 'Could I have a lend of your bodhran, mate?' and then played it brilliantly and handed it back. The chap just got up and walked out, to the relief of the whole session and comments like 'ee lass, you'll go straight to heaven'.

Not that I dispise the bodhran player. I hope he's a brilliant player by now. I offer the story as a cautionary tale. If you're not very experienced, tell the others in the session/singaround/whatever. Sit at the back and do join in quietly. The others will understand. They'll offer help. They were at that stage themselves once.

Les


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 08:36 AM

I found these as well
What do you call a groupie who hangs around and annoys musicians? A bodhran player.
What is the difference between a bodhran player and a terrorist? Terrorists have sympathisers.
What do bodhran players use for birth control? Their personalities.
What's the best thing to play a bodhran with? A razor blade.
but not as good as some of the others


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Bernard
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 03:32 PM

Difference between a bodhran player and an onion?

You cry when you slice up an onion...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:29 PM

Don't know if anyone posted this Hran link... The Bodhran Page is at, I hope this works....

Click here


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:30 PM

OOOOPS... I meant to say that there is a list of jokes there.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: rock chick
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 09:59 AM

I play the Bodhran, and I am good at playing, but I only play when invited too, which is quite often, However I do object to people playing(thinking they are playing) when in fact all they are doing is banging, also when more than one person plays, all using different beats, if a mess, an embrassemment for those who CAN play. It gives us good Bodhran players a bad name also more important it gives the instrument a bad name, when in fact if played correctly it like any other instrument can be beautiful to lisen to. If I was you just tell him outright, if it offends him, so what, he is offending others.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 11:34 AM

Well put Rock Chick; I agree with your sentiments, as I'm sure a majority of singers and musicians. By the way, what do you call a person who plays the bodhran? A bodhranist perhaps? Time for another thread perhaps.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: PeteBoom
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:06 PM

I don't know - as one who plays bodhran and plays at whistle and a few other instrument, I think it is safe to say that most people I've met who have recently taken up the drum (thanks Riverdance... thanks a LOT...) would be best off by playing it with a pen knife.

The general gist is, if you've got a clue, you'll be welcomed into a session - sometimes invited to join in with a band that is actually performing. Be patient and practice - don't try and sound like Mr. Whatzit in whatever band's CD you just picked up - odds are he's been playing a LOT longer than you. Find a teacher who will be willing to work with beginners, then go for more than a couple of lessons and be willing to pay richly for the shared knowledge. Odds are your teacher paid dearly to get it, show enough respect for your teacher and their skill to reciprocate.

That is the polite version of what I tell people at festivals who ask "Gee - I want to learn to play that thing. How do I go about it?"

OK - I'll get off the soap box -

Regards -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Hawker
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:37 PM

Bodhran Jokes:
What do you call a bodhran player who doesn't play in a session?
A gentleman

There was this chap walked into a session in a bar in Northern Ireland with a package under his arm, which he carefully placed under his chair, he then sat in the session and listened. After a time, the curious person next to him asked...."Whats in the package?" to which the whispered answer was cagily given: "2 pounds of semtex" The questioner, looking much relieved said:"Thank Christ for that, I thought it was another bodhran!"

What is the difference between a bodhran payer and a foot bath?
One bucks up the feet.....

What is a definfition of perfect pitch?
Throwing a bodhran down a well without touching the sides

Or even, throwing a bodhran down a well and not hitting the sides or the banjo already at the bottom!

I am tempted to say that the best bodhran joke is on those people who really believe that they can play in time!

Lucy


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Midchuck
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 11:59 AM

Cheer up, it could be worse. Some people have trouble playing the things, so they put a neck and strings on them and think they're improving them, while they actually make them furr, furr, wuss!

Neither shall ye slaughter the goat and stretch its hide across wooden barrels, then beat upon it with wooden timbers on the two and the four. This is the task of the mandolin, and to usurp it is unclean, and damnable unto the seventh generation.

- from the Ten Commandments of Bluegrass

Peter


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 01:04 PM

boughRAWN >>> RAWN. Bough varies. Some say Bo-rawn or something midway between the two. Accent usually on first.... depends on time of night = number of drinks. See post from Rich 23 june 3:02PM to see "Bodhranist" properly (it's his Mudcat handle). I prefer Hranner. I realize this is an Anglisization, or bastardization, but I'm not much for being too strict, about anything.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Ditchdweller
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 01:01 PM

Is the Bodhran also known in Dorset as the Riddle Drum? I seem to recall somone telling me it is mentioned in one of Thomas Hardy's books.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 01:07 PM

Anyone know anything about Duffs?

not as in plum, or up the:

A duff being a square frame drum, precussor to the Bodgrhdgrandghrn, prevalent in England in the 1200/1300s.

All I know is that it was played with a single stick, and from the shape of the stick we can presume only one end of it was used.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: MMario
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 01:19 PM

most of the references I can find to "duff" are for an islamic single sided wooden framed drum played with the hand.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 05:29 AM

clearly, there's a gap in the market here.

any makers of borin beaters thought of making them from polystyrene?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: fogie
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 06:07 AM

So you lot think youve got problems- weve got the world's authority on quadruple bones playing in some of our sessions, and the worst thing is that shes reasonably good , but only plays at one volume, and always flat out. Whats more shes completely impervious to all of our gentle suggestions, and any criticism is water off a ducks back. Were all clubbing together to throw the poor thins out of the window and substitute rubber ones!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 08:55 AM

Just as a point of interest, the guy who made me start this thread last year STILL goes to the same folk club and STILL hits his bodhran in attemted accompaniment of anything remotely musical.

Consequently I don't go to the club half as often these days.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: PeteBoom
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 11:26 AM

I'll trade you an annoying banjo player (who can't keep time) for your bodhran thumper and bone whacker... It would make a nice change - ;-)

P


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Declan
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 11:32 AM

I wasn't going to bother responding to this thread, because it looked like the situation had resolved itself, but if the guy is still making a nuisance of himself he needs to be told.

People like this man (and there are many of them, who play many types of instruments, but the bodhran seems to attract more than its fair share) tend to ruin any session they sit into. If he won't/can't stop doing this, it is him rather than you who should move away from the session. I don't generally enjoy conflict of this type myself, but there often comes a time when it just has to be done.

The etiquette in English folk sessions tends to differ from sessions here in Ireland. If someone is playing a bodhran (or any other instrument) offensively in a session they will tend to be told fairly quickly. Its obviously nicer to have a quiet word in someones ear rather than to tell him off in front of others, but sometimes the point is best made in the heat of the moment. I suspect that if someone is this insensitive in the first place, if you tried to have a quiet word at a different time they would claim to not understand what you are talking about.

As to not singing in time, in general the correct tempo for a tune or song is the one that the singer or player who is leading the tune starts off in. Its the job of any backer (I'm a guitar backer myself) is to accompany the tune or song in the key and rhythm that the lead player/singer chooses. If the bodhranai is asked to lead off a song or set of tunes then they can set the tempo, I somehow doubt if anyone is going to ask this particular person to do this, on that instrument at least.

As has been said before, if you don't want accompaniment say so. In those circumstances if someone insists on playing against your wishes, and this annoys you, I'd have no hestiation in stopping singing until they stop, and if they don't get the hint, in making it clear that that is what you are doing.

I've been asked to stop backing singers myself occasionally (thankfully not too often) and while I don't always take this with good grace when it happens, on reflection, in the sober light of the next day at least I realise the person was probably right.

Have the courage to confront the person if it bothers you, rather than running away from the situation. I bet most of the other people who attend the club will thank you for it.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 12:25 PM

i was at a ff in wakefield [uk]some time ago.

i went to a vg irish session in the pub & there was a young irish button acc player.

as usual, i joined in with the tunes on guitar.

when the b/c player started a new tune, i joined in with that one too. he stopped playing, turned to me & asked if i could stop playing as he couldn't hear his own instrument.

i must say at the time i felt hurt & very disgruntled- but i did stop playing.

not so long afterwards, maybe a couple of weeks later, at another session back home, another incident occured where someone was drowning out a tune/song leader by playing too loud [& badly]

nobody said anything to the 'offender' but it could be seen by people's expressions how they felt.

this caused me to reflect on my own experience with the young accordian player & felt instead of resentment, actual gratitude to him that i'd been told [very politely & reason why given] to shut the f*** up!

the moral of this drawn out tale is, i learnt a lesson & subsequently realised more consideration for others in sessions & possibly if we tell our own 'offenders' in a direct, practical & polite way to stop/ tone down their behaviour, we may in fact be doing them a favour as well as ourselves- ie they may pause to THINK more what they're doing/ HOW they're playing.

i know i'm a much better joiner-in now, so well might they be too, if we just tell them & make it clear.

comments,

cheers

mr h


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,toribw who should be working
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 12:54 PM

At our local session, the four or five bodhran players who come regularly have learned to take turns on tunes that are suited to the bodhran. Luckily we (as I play -- yes, play-- the bodhran myself) all were able to come to that agreement easily and without any rancor. For some reason, our session seems to attract reasonable and (mostly) respectful bodhran players.

However when one brought a djembe and was trying out some new rhythms, that person was told quickly and in no uncertain terms to lay off. The djembe is a thing of the past.

Sometimes telling someone directly is the only way to go. It's not always fun, but it has to be done. Politely, if at all possible.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: PageOfCups
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 01:49 PM

Somewhere way back there someplace, Rich said:
I was at a couple of sessions while on a visit to Chicago last year, where one of the session leaders commented that it must be tough to be a bodhran player and have to prove you're not one of those "Bodhran-owners"(His term, not mine) every time you play someplace new.

THANK YOU!!

I'm a fair-to-middling bodhran player who played flute from fourth grade through college in marching bands, concert bands, orchestras, wind ensembles, and woodwind quintets. I know how to listen. I know how to follow a melodic line. I know when to keep strict tempo and when to vary it. (I'm housebroken, too. ;-) ) And the person Rich quoted was right: it stinks to have to prove myself every time I open my case.

I understand the whole "bodhran-owner" concept. I've seen it way too many times at sessions. It p*sses me off that these un-musical clods make my life difficult by ruining the reputation of my chosen instrument. I've even left sessions because I couldn't get a tipper in edgewise due to bodhran "players" who have to play loudly on Every Single Blessed Tune.

Somewhere less far back, Emma said:
Many people say bodhrans should be seen and not heard. And in a sense I agree in certain situations. I won't play in songs unless there are ten thousand other people playing instruments and the tune has the right rhythm to play bodhran to.

Looks like we're in competition for the title of world's most polite bodhran player! :-) You go - er, not go, in this case - girl!!

Despite there not being ten thousand others playing, I got brave & asked to play at a pub session when I went to the Fleadh in Ennis this summer. An obvious Yank, an unknown quantity, and I was still welcomed. I tried to make a good impression as well as have fun, and I believe I did both.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 04:03 PM

I've mentioned elsewhere that I had the honor of watching PJ Swanno hold an entire crowded pub enthralled with nothing but a flashing smile and a brilliantly played bodhran. And she neverr used it to intrude on another's playing, which is a situation I would think would be well-solved with a pint of 10W30 motor oil.

Blessings on right-minded bodhran players all, sez I. don't forget that banjo players and accordion players (and I married one!) have a similar cross to bear! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 05:11 PM

The absolute first rule for bodhran players should be this:

Never, ever, under any circumstances, regardless of how friendly they are, regardless of how cute they are, and regardless of how drunk you are you to loan a bodhran to anyone at a session unless you know for a fact that they know how to play the thing!

My wife made the mistake at one of our recent sessions of passing hers to a guy who swore repeatedly that he knew how to play one but just hadn't brought his with him. Yeah, sure. Within 15 seconds I was ready to gore the guy with the pointy end of my banjo. She has made a solemn promise never to do it again.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 05:28 PM

Or you could shout "Pull" and give it both barrels !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 09:08 PM

there's an precision instrument manufacturer in uk who makes a device eminently suitable for muting inappropriate drumb playing. its called a stanley knife!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 11:37 PM

I have never heard one played well. It always sounds off somehow. Must be a difficult instrument. Al


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: alison
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 12:28 AM

that's the problem ...... its easy to get a noise out of... so any fool can try... but it is more difficult to "play"

slainte

alison


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