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when should a bodran be used

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tuggy mac 23 Sep 03 - 12:15 PM
Leadfingers 23 Sep 03 - 12:18 PM
tuggy mac 23 Sep 03 - 12:20 PM
Tig 23 Sep 03 - 12:49 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Sep 03 - 01:07 PM
tuggy mac 23 Sep 03 - 01:17 PM
tuggy mac 23 Sep 03 - 01:35 PM
harvey andrews 23 Sep 03 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 23 Sep 03 - 01:42 PM
catspaw49 23 Sep 03 - 01:50 PM
greg stephens 23 Sep 03 - 02:34 PM
open mike 23 Sep 03 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,tinker from chicago 23 Sep 03 - 04:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 03 - 04:47 PM
tuggy mac 23 Sep 03 - 05:11 PM
tuggy mac 23 Sep 03 - 05:23 PM
rock chick 23 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,skippy 23 Sep 03 - 05:48 PM
tuggy mac 23 Sep 03 - 06:18 PM
BanjoRay 23 Sep 03 - 06:25 PM
wysiwyg 23 Sep 03 - 06:36 PM
open mike 23 Sep 03 - 06:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 03 - 06:38 PM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Sep 03 - 09:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 03 - 09:12 PM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Sep 03 - 10:26 PM
artbrooks 23 Sep 03 - 10:48 PM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Sep 03 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,Boab 24 Sep 03 - 02:16 AM
GUEST,Boab 24 Sep 03 - 02:52 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 03 - 09:01 AM
GUEST 24 Sep 03 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 24 Sep 03 - 01:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 03 - 01:17 PM
wysiwyg 24 Sep 03 - 01:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 03 - 02:54 PM
GUEST 24 Sep 03 - 03:19 PM
greg stephens 24 Sep 03 - 03:51 PM
Herga Kitty 24 Sep 03 - 04:29 PM
tuggy mac 24 Sep 03 - 07:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 03 - 07:31 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Sep 03 - 01:53 AM
Art Thieme 25 Sep 03 - 12:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 03 - 01:09 PM
Tam the Bam (Nutter) 25 Sep 03 - 01:14 PM
fretless 25 Sep 03 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Claire 25 Sep 03 - 01:25 PM
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Subject: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 12:15 PM

All too often i see bodrans brought to sessions and they seem to linger at the foot of the tables until! a certain tune comes up. these tunes vary.are there set tunes to play or will any tune do?

Cheers a humble book reading amature!
tuggy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 12:18 PM

Some peoples Bodhrans should NEVER be played.No names no Pack drill.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 12:20 PM

Nice one leadfingers!Know where your coming from!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: Tig
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 12:49 PM

You can play a bodhran to most any tune with a reasonably paced rhythm - I play a mean jazz bodhran when I feel like it BUT you must take into consideration anyone else in the room.

When I was first learning I was told:-
LISTEN to the rhythm, go with it rather than across it until you are totally confident in your playing.

It's as important what you MISS OUT as put in - a constant hammering is unnecessary and unfriendly.

COUNT the number of bodhrans in a session - one is brilliant (if played quietly), two - listen to each other, three - think hard and four- forget it (at least for that tune).

DON'T try to play everything. A slow air or solo offering is ruined by a bodhran player and gets all of us a bad reputation!

If you are not sure what/when to play try thinking "would it sound good if I was just listening". You will often find the answer immediately. If you are not sure why not try playing without your stick - fingers or knuckles make a far less harsh sound, especially with your hand firmly on the back - until you are sure. There is also no crime in giving up a tune if you are not happy with your playing of it.

I've survived 30 odd years of playing like that. The best compliment I was ever given was "I don't notice when you are playing!".

Enjoy the sessions, but let everyone else too!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 01:07 PM

When should a bodhran be used? Anytime you want to stoke the fire!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 01:17 PM

Nice one tig and uncle dave!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 01:35 PM

?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: harvey andrews
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 01:38 PM

From my experience of them, as little as possible.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 01:42 PM

St. Stephen's Day


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 01:50 PM

If you have to urinate.
If you have to defecate.
If you have to vomit.
If you need an ashtray.
If you need to stoke a fire.
If you need to start a fire.
If you lost your frisbee.
If you want to watch something sail off a high cliff.
If you need a spare tire.
If you need a picture frame.
If your gorilla needs a teething ring.
If you need to make a banjo sound good.


They have hundreds of other uses........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 02:34 PM

AS a tray to carry drinks to the musicians


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: open mike
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 03:03 PM

as a tool for winnowing grain,
as a child's rolling game such as hoop and stick,
target practice, tossed up like a skeet (clay pigeon),
as a holder for ice to chill musicians' drinks,
as a lamp shade.
in a marching band...marching away..
or, as I do, as a rhythm in a band for contra dancers.
once i played in the "orchestra" for a hill billy play
and was able to provide sound effects for the train
by playing the bodhran with a koosh....
you know, one of theose kid's toys of rubber
whcih looks like a bunch of rubber bands tied together.
sort of gives the effect of a drummer's brush-
soft sound...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST,tinker from chicago
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 04:35 PM

So easy to mock. Banjo jokes, bagpipe jokes, bodhran jokes, all arise from the simple fact that ANY instrument can be played poorly or wrongly. Or is it just the ones that start with "b"?

My general rule is that when a bodhran genuinely contributes to the mood of the song AND can be played in a professional manner by someone who has learned, not just purchased, the instrument, then go ahead. It does not belong, ever, in songs in 3/4 time. And the eejits who hold one bulb of the tipper while beating the poor bodhran to death with the other should be arrested for goatskin abuse.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 04:47 PM

Don't be beaten down there. A bodhran played well - and that doesn't mean played flashily, or over-loud - can really lift a tune sometimes, and not just in Irish tunes.

I've always understood that the right way to play the bodhran isn't to think in terms of playing the rhythm, you play the tune, following the lead melody instrument. So it has to be a tune you know, or you're good at picking up tunes.

And bodhrans should be solitary animals - one at a time, at most.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 05:11 PM

Well so far the responce on my q, has been very informative as well as hillarious!

Thanks so far mateys.

Tuggy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 05:23 PM

?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: rock chick
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM

Now see what you have started, again ;o))) and i'm sure again and again and again


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST,skippy
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 05:48 PM

I agree with all of the above!
However last week at Bromyard, there was a bodran player in a band whose name that I did not catch (as I was in the bar when they came on - no surprise there then)who was to say the least EPIC & only a young chap too.
He played the instrument as though it was a part of his body & soul, so for me for once it really worked.
Long may he play, if anyone knows the name of the young band in question them reply & give them the publicity they deserve.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:18 PM

Nice one skippy,i heard a young lad in dublin amongst 13 other instruments. When i told him that hes playing was excepional, he modestly replied.:Could you here it through all of the others. He played very well
Cheers matey!
Tuggy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: BanjoRay
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:25 PM

A good bodhran player sounds great in an Irish session. The best bodhran player would sound terrible in an old time appalachian session. I'm not ducking and running, I'm just going to stand here.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:36 PM

embroidery hoop

cheese mold

hm...... a vision is coming.... there's Spaw.... using it to mold post-vegemite material..... nonononono.......

~S~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: open mike
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:37 PM

not compatable with waltzes as former posts states.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:38 PM

I'd say that any music where the sound of feet tapping would fit in could be music where a bodhran might fit in too, if played the right way.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 09:02 PM

It is not compatible with waltzes if played the "normal" way! i.e. in Trad Irish Style! (shuffle shuffle... played with the "tipper style")

But THE PHYSICAL INSTRUMENT can be played as a medieval tambor, and then it works very well in other styles of music, including early music, which is what I bought it for originally! I haven't learnt the Irish style very well yet, I must admit.

If you also think "tambourine with rattly bits", you also get something quite different too. Although my research shows that some Irish instruments had rattly bits too...

Since it's a "frame drum", it works well in Arabian/Egytpian music too.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 09:12 PM

American First Nation music too.

Frame drums turn up just about anywhere. Mind, I don't think any other part of the world devised the Irish way of playing them. I'm convinced it was the invention of someone who'd got in the way of strumming a guitar or a banjo, and just transferred that way of thinking to the drum.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 10:26 PM

So mcGrath,

In African/Arabian style drumming, many drums (of differnt pitches and sounds) are played together without the claimed obnoxious result of the multiple Bodrans...

do we agree that it is not the INSTRUMENT, but the (Irish) STYLE of playing that tends to make the active presence of more than one or two of the things in a session often objectionable?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 10:48 PM

Bodhrans are, of course, appropriate on all appropriate occasions. Pity the poor bodhrani, who is maligned more than G.W. Bush, and with much less reason. It is primarily his (or her) excellent taste that gives the extra sparkle to those tunes in which he (or she) chooses to participate.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 11:46 PM

Actually, artbrooks,

it wouldn't be the "poor" bodhrani, but the excellent one...

:-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 02:16 AM

I think Robin has it about right. The bodhran can be a very versatile percussion instrument in hands which have not only learned its "traditional' use, but have progressed and experimented in its application to other genres, such as blue-grass, jazz and many a piece of music of any kind which has a rhythm which can be accentuated by percussion. I do


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 02:52 AM

---My spatulate digits don't tend to make the same mess of my bodharn playing---honest!--As I was trying to say---I do NOT agree with the assertion that the bodhran can have no place following 3/4 time. I have used it ,and heard it used, very effectively as soft percussion to "Fanny Power" and several other similar melodies, usually in mandolin instrumentals. The drum, I would agree, is hardly suitable if a slavish adherence to the wooden tipper is indulged. But the bodhran, in spite of much popular belief, is NOT a "traditional" instrument. So it follows that neither is the wooden tipper! Many a nice waltz instrumental is complemented by a background of bodhran played [discreetly!] using a tipper composed of bunched kebab sticks---or better still in some cases, an even less intrusive stick made up by bunching broom twigs , which can be "tonally adjusted" by positioning elastic bands on either side of the central binding. A steel jazz brush also can add to the versatility of the bodhran, not only by directly playing the skin , but in certain instrumentals by using it to complement the wooden tipper simply by lightly keeping it in contact with the skin while the tipper does the striking; this can mimic a "snare drum" almost to perfection. So don't be intimidated by the detractors! If an instrumentalist or vocal performer does not want bodhran backing, by all means comply with their wishes. Experience will at length let you know when NOT to play bodhran---and there are many times when this will be so. Those who caution against multiple bodhran players in a session are in general quite right. Unless players can synchronise every beat the result is almost surely discord. And bodhrans are a BACKGROUND INSTRUMENT. Unless a drum solo is asked for, the bodhran sound should blend quietly with the rhythm being created by the group as a whole. As a bodhran player you can never be a "star" unless you can play jigs and reels while doing somersaults . Just enjoy what you do, don't intrude excessively [as many another instrument does!], and try all innovative methods of playing with c.d. or cassette at home first!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 09:01 AM

Massed percussion is a different genre. It can be overdone, even in traditions where it is very important, but it's capable of being extremely intrixcate and delicate as well as exciting.

But it doesn't belong in the kind of music where bodhrans are at home - and by that I mean, not just frame drums, but teh frame drumn played in the Irish techniques.

And I'd say the same about pretty well any instrument, not just the bodhran. It's a music made up of individual instruments playing together, not of rhythm sections and string sections and so forth. A kind of chamber dance music even. I can quite imagine that massed bodhrans might work in the same kind of setting as massed bagpipes, such as a marching band - but neither would be too welcome in an indoors session or a dance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 09:20 AM

I hate the bloody things, mostly because they are played so badly by so many. They have become the equivilent of the tambourine, toos it at the member of the band who is tone deaf. Played well it is a fabulous addition to CERTAIN songs.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 01:09 PM

FURTHERMORE (and driftin' away from the main theme, as is my wont) - how should the word 'Bodhran' be pronounced? I've heard people at our club pronounce it many ways, including "BO-rran", or "Bo-RRAN" (stress on the capitals) but I saw a programme on the haunted fish-bowl a while back about the history of the Bodhran, and every one of the many Irish expert players called it the "Bow-Ron" (pronounced 'Bow' as in Bend From The Waist, and 'Ron' as in.... well, Ron!

Anybody got the definitive answer? ('Ere comes another argument!)

JB


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 01:17 PM

I always say "bow-ron". But people vary. Just so long as you avoid prnouncing it with a "d" in the middle. The "d" is there as a way of warning people not to pronounce it...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 01:34 PM

... for fear of unleashing a bodhran attack...

Hm, does that mean that "jodhpurs" should be "jowpers"? Geephers!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 02:54 PM

That's a Hindu word - different rules apply.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:19 PM

a bodhran should be used when you need kindling for the djembe


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:51 PM

you dont really need the d in djembe either.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:29 PM

I'd just like to add button accordion to Tinker from Chicago's list of b instruments.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: tuggy mac
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 07:09 PM

SO FAR SO GOOD VERY INFORMATIVE YA,ALL!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 07:31 PM

and of course there's bongos and bones


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 01:53 AM

Best advice to a beginning bodran player I have heard:

"Play it with a sharp knife!"

Robin


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 12:46 PM

Of course, Catherine The Great used one as an I.U.D. for many years.
It was she who made up those buttons that proclaimed for all to see ----- "FANNY POWER"----and then she handed 'em out to all her consorts. One of 'em must've written the tune which I hear once in a while now.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 01:09 PM

I think the folk-singing horse should maybe make an appearance around now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 01:14 PM

I'm ashamed to admit I play the Bordhran, I think a bordran should played as loudly as possible so you can't hear the Banjo and Accordion players.

What do you call someone with very little musical tatlent?

A bordran player

What do you call someone with no musical tatlent?

A banjo player


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: fretless
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 01:24 PM

No one has yet mentioned the other percussive toy that is sometimes used to abuse Irish traditional music: the spoons. Bodhran and spoons can both, separately, complement traditional music, but I don't recall ever hearing them work well together on an Irish tune. Why?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 01:25 PM

At least a bodhran, if played somewhat decently, doesn't smear across the tune and take all the lift out of it. Even the best dijerido playing can do that! Somehow didg players at sessions seem to think that anything in their key is licence to....mmmmmmrmrrrrmmmmoooooooomnmmmmoooo.

A pet peave, and even we bodhran players have them!
Claire


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 01:48 PM

A didge played as a drone can work quite well. Of course just playing one note throughout a whole tune might get a bit boring to do, but it's what drones are supposed to do.

"What do you call someone who likes to hang around with musicians?" "A drummer."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 11:17 PM

I'm proud to say that I have an Acoustic Four-Guitar Piano-Accordion.

It can drown out Four Acoustic Guitars....

:-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Folklore: when should a bodran be used
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 02:02 AM

Spoons and bodhrans suit differebt rhythms. Reels are great for bodhrans but very tiring for spoons and bones. Polkas are great for spoons or bones but most bodhran players I've met struggle.


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