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What Oils Should I Use On My Bodhrán? 9 moisturisers for when your drum is dry.

There are many safe moisturisers you can use and it is best to avoid those with too many chemicals. The skin will only need any of these if it becomes dry, like looking after your hands.   Silcox is the base for moisturisers with nothing added. It will make the skin as smooth as silk. Rub it on the outside of the skin. Vasaline petroleum jelly; usually if you can use...

Do Bodhrán's Die? And What Can Be Done About It?

It has been mentioned to me, and also I have noticed it on a few online discussion boards, people claiming that some bodhráns don't last too long, or "die" to use a more dramatic term.  I have had a number of Bodhráns in for re-skinning because the player claims that the skin has gone too soft, I must say that I did not make these drums but usually this just happens when the...

The Advantages Of A Tuneable Bodhrán by The Bodhrán Maker

People often buy tuneable bodhrans without knowing the advantages of being able to adjust the tension of the skin. Obviously they learn eventually but, if you're not sure have a look at the video I made below, I have tried to cover everything in it. Basically the goatskin is suseptable to humidity and as such the tension can vary. If the humidity is too high the skin gets loose. If...

How long does it take to make a great bodhrán drum?

How long is a piece of string?! The truth is, it could be any length but if we break down the different processes and put a time on them we can come to some reasonable answer to that question.   The cureing of the goatskin; It takes 6 to 7 days to lime the skin in a bucket and then it will need to be pickeled in brine for two...

Bodhrán Beaters (For Beginners)

The most popular sizes and designs are ribbed, bulbus, split, tipper, brush, fiddle bow and the one thing they have in common is they are all used to beat the bodhran. Beaters can be from 5" long to 11" and this outside measurement is not definitave.  Ronán O,Snodaigh of Kila use a along bent willow like stick that could be 24" long and uses it very effectively indeed.  They are...

The art of curing a goatskin (A bodhrán skin)

To cure a goatskin a solution of garden lime mixed with water is used. The skin is left soaking in the mix for six or seven days until the skin is soft enough to wash the hair off in a barrel of water. The back of the skin must then be scraped of all membrane and fat so that the skin does not smell when dried. The skin must then be soaked in a pickle...

The best Bodhrán Drums to buy?

What makes a real bodhrán? It is a great question, in fact it is the most important question every bodhrán player, new or seasoned, asks themselves when choosing to purchase one.  If you would like to buy a bodhrán you can visit my store here For me, for 34 years I have researched, tinkered and hammered away trying to figure what exactly makes a great bodhrán beat. You could say...

The Bodhrán

The History of The Bodhrán By Paraic McNeela (The Bodhrán Maker)   Every year I give a lecture in DCU (Dublin City University) on the topic of The Bodhrán.  The fun thing I like to do at the start, to grab the students attention, is to say "The facts you are about to hear are all lies".  That of course is not true, but over the years if there is...

How to treat your Bodhrán skin

Goatskin is very similar to human skin and as such should be treated with plenty of TLC.  On our hands and faces we use moisturisers to moisten and soften our skin. This is to treat cracked skin or to prevent skin from becoming dehidrated.  So it is with the bodhran drumhead, which is usually goatskin.  It needs moistureiser to prevent the skin from drying out or becoming too hard. The moisture will help the...
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