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And again that bodhran...

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Maffet 07 Jan 04 - 10:13 AM
open mike 07 Jan 04 - 03:37 PM
Phil Cooper 07 Jan 04 - 04:17 PM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Jan 04 - 06:10 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jan 04 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Jan 04 - 10:13 PM
Gypsy 07 Jan 04 - 10:35 PM
LadyJean 08 Jan 04 - 12:33 AM
Maffet 08 Jan 04 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,Boab 08 Jan 04 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Hillary 09 Jan 04 - 04:38 AM
s&r 09 Jan 04 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Davetnova 09 Jan 04 - 06:45 AM
Maffet 13 Jan 04 - 11:15 AM
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Subject: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: Maffet
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:13 AM

Hi,
I know there is a thousand of bodhran threads. I read most of them, before I started this. Situation is simply. I only play harp and become part of harp band. Because more harps is booring to be heard all evening, each member of band get a task to learn some other instrument to add sound variety, make music more funny and interesting.... but ... but. I recieved bodhran. I felt in panic. Me, norhythmic person. They told me, that learning drumming will also help me to improve my horible rhytmic feeling and harp music and I hadn't chance to escape. Well. I have got all information, good bodhran book and I am beating madly to bodhran every morning to practise. I know, nothing goes easy. It took me two years to catch breath on harp to be able to perform for audience and I understand that bodhran is instrument like other and needs time.
(there is no course,sessions or players close to me, so I have only book and tape). Sometimes I give beater away and use it more like Daf and beat by hand. Hmm. I will fight to learn to play it normal way and I hope I will play during most of irish music we do, but we do also sephardic songs where using bodhran like eastern hand drum should be possible, but I am affraid, that other bodhranists would hate to see that. Even I heard some bodhranists who use also hands. What do you think?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: open mike
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 03:37 PM

how about holding the drum between your knees and using
"brushes" like snare drum players use? that would be
different from anything you might have seen or heard!

the "beater" "tipper" or "tripper" which i have found
easiest to use is one that is heavier on one end than
the other: eccentric.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 04:17 PM

There are some players that use their bare hand/knuckles rather than a tipper to play. It gives a different sound.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:10 PM

There is also a style of a shorter tipper attached to a leather thong.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 06:21 PM

The bodhran has really only started to be used noticeably in Irish dance music in the last fifty-odd years, so styles are still developing. They have become vastly more sophisticated in my lifetime than they ever were before, but are mostly quite new; there isn't a long and prescriptive tradition (whatever some people tell you). I should just treat it as a (potentially) versatile frame-drum and take it from there. Recently developed techniques will give you a lot more options, though, so you should certainly try to learn them. They aren't compulsory, though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:13 PM

Tell the group you want to play something else. Bodhran is not an easy instrument. If you got good, you would probably be too loud, and then everyone would tell you to stop.

How about triangle?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: Gypsy
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 10:35 PM

Brushes are great! Our player uses them all the time, and gives a really nice sound. Know someone else who uses her knuckles, that is a good sound too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: LadyJean
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 12:33 AM

A tambourine isn't very Irish, but it might work better. But never burst one, especially not one held by a Salvation Army lassie.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: Maffet
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 04:02 AM

:-) I told them triangle is better for me :-)! Just joke! In fact I absolutly admire good bodhran players and hear some of them to create magical things :-) Once I hear one who created so great pallete of sounds that I never believed that it's possible to create on any kind of drum. It was real music.
Yesterday was scream of help, may be I had one of that moment when I would rather play it with knife :-) I decieded not to dissapoint my friends and fight and learn and I am stabborn in that moment even I know that I will never be good bodhran player ... may be If I will practise a lot I should add something to band and not ruin our music. I know less is sometimes more. Yesterday I told them not to expect anything in few months.:-D I will surely priper brushes. It should be more quiet and when I practise even with towel inside it's still too loud. :-)
Trouble is with family reaction. When they sow me with harp as full beginner two years ago, it was o.k. as you can create lovely sound even from first minute, but bodhran is really not easy and when they sow me "bang!" they were dieing from laughing. I need to practise secretly when everybody is away.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 08 Jan 04 - 12:03 PM

Someone said " you might get good and play loud". Careful!! Being loud is pretty often NOT what is pleasant to hear. You want to play loud? Stick mainly to solo bodhran pieces, such as "Jacobites by Name","I will Go", "MacGregors Gathering!", and you can hammer all hell out of the goatskin.But jigs, reels, 3-4 waltzes require thebodhran---or any other percussion instrument-to complement the melody as played by the other instruments. Blue-grass is enhanced by a cross between the jazz brush and solid tipper, best obtained, I think, by the commonly used bound bundle of kebab sticks. The use of a jazz brush can often produce an over-intrusive sound [you can modify by partly retracting the bristles.]I have found, particularly when amplification is involved, that a bound bundle of broom twigs gives a soft rhythmic backing to pieces like "Fanny Power" etc. Experiment too with the form of tipper you use. If you wish to try [on a rare occasion!] some "rim work", I think you may find the plain round tipper best [ie. no "knobs" on the ends]. Having said all that--if you are just not "rhythmically inclined" in spite of long endeavour, maybe slow airs on the harp or keyboard is your best direction....-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: GUEST,Hillary
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 04:38 AM

I've played with a variety of tippers but have my 'usual' which is just a plain round one weighted at the lower end (with a nail driven through it lengthwise) also the aforementioned bundle of kebab sticks. I like the idea of broom twigs, will give that a go....I hand drum on a couple of numbers by hitting the drum palm parallel to the skin, with the tips of my fingers for a very gentle sound through to a full 'smack' of the whole hand for a louder (and more impressive-looking!) effect.

The sound is quite dead if you don't bounce the fingers back quickly - you're almost flicking at the drum, like whacking a wet towel at someone......ooh, a wet towel - I must go and experiment to see what that sounds like!

Seriously, experimentation is the key, and you soon develop your own unique sound. I think there are songs that just aren't suited to any drum, you have to be prepared to put it down sometimes. But I personally think that the 'less is more' brigade are what the tipper was really designed for (just wash it before you begin playing again!...)

One thing's for shure - you'll never be a good bodhran player as long as you keep saying that. Go out to the beach or the forest or the middle of a school playing field and just play it for yourself, not for anyone else. Music is a spectator sport, y'know....

Good luck

Hillary


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: s&r
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 05:11 AM

Nobody seems to have mentioned the "holding" hand. If this is braced agaist the skin the tone and loudness can be modified according to the position of the holding hand eg with the hand pressed flat against the skin, the sound is dead; one or two fingers pressed against the skin will produce a whole range of tones according to their position etc.

Care and treatment of the skin is important - a spray bottle can be used sparingly to dampen the skin slightly and prevent the sound being too bright; dubbin applied two or three times a year will increase the weight and suppleness of the skin giving a deeper tone

Stu


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: GUEST,Davetnova
Date: 09 Jan 04 - 06:45 AM

Although my playing will never be heard outside of my house I find a one inch flat artists brush used single ended gives a lovely deep soft QUIET tone.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: And again that bodhran...
From: Maffet
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:15 AM

So many lovely post sice the time I was there. :-) Thank you. Happily my playing start to have some marks of playing and not only plain "bang! bang!" Practise is really gold. When I am in focus I am able to play easy reel, with some little variations in rythm.
Baob: dont worry I dont play loud, even when I play harp and I am sure in melody I never play too loud ... rather try to find proper sound in harmony of other instruments to fill them than to lead over them. I dont want to be leader, I only want to have fun! Last weekend I found one old celtic CD with slow reel and used it to practise, I have got right feeling more easily. I have towel inside of bodhran and must admit that like that sound a lot. I experimented with hand, but I am not so far to have it under control.
One band member was there to rehears with me and was curious how my bodhran learning is going. Was suprised why I play so slowly. Hmmm ... I prefer slowly but under control and in rhythm. I know it will speed up, when I will be more sure.

Hillary ... I know! I know! :-) I am quiet, will go home, take my drum and play. Music is drug! I find myself in mad mood playing neverending hours some tunes just for joy very often. Loosing any idea about time and world. With bodhran and specialy if person is beginner it is not so easy on beginning, but it will come. :-)


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