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 the humidity is too low the skin becomes too dry and gets tight. The tuning system eliminates these problems. If in a session you find your drum is too loud, you can let off the tension by loosening the screws. Alternatively if the skin is flopy, you can tighten the screws.
You may wish to higher the tension so as to be heard, or lower the tension so as to be humble. So you can change the tension for different tunes.
I usually change the tension by turning the screws a quarter turn each, and then sound the bodhran. If I am happy with the sound I leave it and play on. If I am not happy with the sound I turn the screws again until I have found the sound I wish to achieve. Try highering and lowering the tension to hear the different sounds your bodhran can make. It is favoured among bodhran players to higher the tension if playing with a tipper the higher end of the bodhrán, this is called high end playing. It is using the bottom end of the tipper only and playing the top half of the bodhran. For this type of playing you need the tuning system to tighten the skin.