Author: Lawrence Curtis

Tunes to play on a bodhran

Bodhran’s History

The iconic Irish drum the bodhran, is one of a few Celtic instruments that predate Christianity. We are all familiar with Ireland’s rich and deep-rooted musical heritage. What do we know about the distinctive Irish drum?

Although the bodhran drum has been around for thousands of years, its first appearances were in paintings in the early nineteenth century. In contemporary culture, recordings of the drum began to make their way onto the music scene in 1960s.

Many genres use the bodhran, including the one below.

  • Classical music: Maxwell Davies Symphony No. 5
  • Contradance music: Hillbillies, Swallowtails from Mars
  • Folk: John Lionarons Philadelphia, PA
  • Rock: Jim Sutherland and Johnny McDonagh, Cordelia’s Dad
  • Tammerlin: World music

What is the Bodhran Drum?

The bodhran has been a part of Ireland’s culture since its popularity. Modern Irish music now includes the Irish drum. This adds a sense of authenticity to those with strong Irish heritage connections.

How to play a Bodhran ?

There are many ways to play the bodhran drum. A tipper is a small, double-ended drumstick that is used to play the bodhran. The tipper is much smaller than traditional drumsticks and allows the bodhran player to create many musical sounds.

Kerry Style – With the Kerry style, both ends of the tipper’s hand are used. The tipper is held with the dominant hand by the player who holds the drum on one knee. The person can create a stunning sequence of beats by twisting and fluttering their hands.

West Limerick This style uses only one tipper and sounds more like traditional drumsticks.

Hand The hand is used for striking the bodhran. The heel creates a loud beat while the flat of your palm makes soft sounds. With gentle taps and slides as well as hard rapping, the fingers are also in play.

Why I play the bodhran

Would you like to play the fun-loving sideline skit on the radio in supporting Chris union’s new band – Spvari-tech? On a day when the guys are partying and the song has been playing non-stop at the bar, I play a part. I love it. At the end of the commercial, I’m play-off a cutaway that shows the socially-conscious Death CDs in action.  On the downside, it reminds me of a couple of nights when I had to stage a full MOT equivalent (I don’t want to get into that topic), playing up to the legit part of my abilities.

Although the bodhran is easy to master, some of its hand movements are not so simple. These hand placements and movements help you control the pitch and timber of the instrument, so it is an essential part of learning how it works.

How long did it take you to learn bodhran

The basics were easy to learn in just four hours. But the key is continuing the learning process, emphasis.

Playing with Real People

Find a session near you once you are ready to start playing with other musicians. I went to the session and introduced myself. I have found that most sessions will accept a beginner if he is polite. If it’s a large session, you may not want more than one drummer at once. You may need to lower your volume and reduce the amount of ornamentation at first. This will allow other musicians to hear you clearly and recognize you as a professional. Once I was able to sync in, the beats were at the right pitch and the beats hit the right rhythm.  Playing with other musicians, bodhran takes the gigs to a new level, This is the main reason I chose to go with Bodhran

This is why I chose Bodhran.

Few tips for your first gig

  • Warm up before playing.
  • Don’t over-stress your wrist.
  • If you hurt, stop.