Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Hello all:

I’m a new member and glad to be here!

Was hoping to get some suggestions on where to buy a good quality entry level bodhran in the USA, preferably in NY. I’ve looked a bunch online, and either found they are a bit over my budget or are located overseas (and also over my budget!)

Also, any suggestions you may have regarding makers would be much appreciated! I’d like to spend $200 or less….

Thanks so much!

Tom

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Most economical way to get one is to first plant some trees, then, buy a couple goats. Raise them up. Start breeding them. Sell the little wee kids and sell goatsmilk. Save the proceeds. Choose one goat from the herd that has the ideal hide and sacrifice it for your Bodhran. Cure the skin properly. When the trees get big enough, hire a logger to cut the trees. Save the choice pieces of wood for your bodhran. Then, market the rest of the timber. As the buisness becomes more successful you can hire a bodhran maker to milk the goats. In his spare time have him/her make a bodhran for you in trade for room and board. Then, Presto, you’ll have your very own bodhran! And, it will have paid for itself! ;-) :-b

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Bad luck, Tom! Slagged on your very first post! Be patient; you will soon get some good information.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Okay, fishpicker, you are new to the site and right away you’re getting the business. Welcome to the mustard boards.

Give him a break.

Okay, anyway, you are going to get flack for mentioning bodhrans. All you need to do is search the discussions for the word "bodhran" and you’ll see what I mean double quick. So, if you have thick skin, you will do well here.

My best advice to you has nothing to do with a specific instrument. You live in a city where you can find lots of sessions. Find some good sessions, and get to know some people who play the instrument you’re interested in, especially if they are a good player and seem well established in this music. If you’re serious about this music that will be your finest resource.

Cheers and good luck.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

In fairness to Tom, a post on this forum asking for the location of the best place to buy a bodhran is like going swimming in shark infested waters after working in the slaughterhouse and not taking a shower beforehand. :)

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Tom, under $200 isn’t going to buy much. The best I’ve seen in that range are tuneable bodhrans made in Pakistan. The skins are adequate, not great, but they should last for a few good years of thumping. The rims and tuning mechanisms are fine. If you can’t find these at a local music store, you can order one through http://www.piccolosmusic.com.

Full disclosure: I teach music lessons through Piccolo’s Music, not an employee, but I am directly associated with the store. I’ve seen these bodrhans in person—they’re a good value, not some wall-art wannabe drum.

Posted .

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Much as I hate to contradict a lady, as a bodhran player I can tell you that there’s nothing much that added dollars get you when you pass the $200 mark - the last time I looked, a perfectly good bodhran could be had for under $100.

We’ll get back to the slagging in a moment, but in all seriousness a drum is a piece of skin on a frame. If the frame is reasonably solid, it doesn’t matter what it’s made of, and if the skin comes off an goat, and not off a nauga, it’s going to sound good. Exotic hardwoods, internal tuning, and name-brand makers do not make a better drum, they only make a more expensive one.
If you want to patronize a small shop for the good reason that it’s better to buy from a small independent maker, I applaud your decision and the spirit in which it’s made - but it won’t affect the quality of the drum you get. It’s a matter of whether you have enough in your pocket to subsidize an admittedly worthy operation - or, more cynically, whether you have enough in your pocket to pay extra for a label on the seat of your pants, or on the rim of your bodhran.

Now, you will want to buy a drum in person - just because they’ll all sound good doesn’t mean they’ll all sound the same, and just because there are perfectly good drums for reasonable prices doesn’t mean that there isn’t also some crap available in the same range. You have to look at what you buy, obviously - just as you wouldn’t buy a guitar or a fiddle without playing it first, you want to play your drum before you put the money down. But if you play a few, you’ll find one that you like for a reasonable price, and you can buy a few tin whistles with the money you’ve saved.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

I’ve never heard a drum for under 200.00 that sounds as good as an Alfonso or Foreman. Only my opinion of course. :’)

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Oops :-)

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Thanks for all of your quick replies—the info is much appreciated!

……Actually, the bodhran is not for me—I’m a guitar player—it’s for my wife….
That being said, I don’t mind gettin the business….I can take it; I’m from NY, after all! :)

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Ordered one today…Thanks again, everyone!

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

As my late father-in-law used to say ( and he was from Brooklyn ), "What this country needs is a good 10-cent cigar."
This is, of course, an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, but it does make the oblique point that the more you pay, by and large, the better you’ll get, but on the way you may pass on some serviceable and quite usable equipment.
I would also add that sometimes I have bought things for members of my family, showing my affection for them by spending more than I might have on myself, and these items get admired then hung on the wall, or put aside after brief intervals.
I may have spoken too late, I fear. Let us know how it was received.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

A present for your wife?
This is what you Americans call a whole new ball of wax.
Hi Tom
This is much more complex.
Firstly, is this gift really for your wife?
I speak as one who has showered gifts upon his beloved over the years in the form of percussion instruments and although I have been happy with every one, I now look back and think………………what a collection!
Secondly,(and I find this works quite well for me now) is there anything else for $200.00 she might prefer?

Good luck and follow your heart

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

For $200 you could just get a divorce.

Let’s face it, if you’re a musician and she gets a bodhran it’s going to happen.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Fortunately I have no experience in this area, but I’m not sure that divorces can be had for $200.
Certainly you could get yourself grounds for a divorce in that range…

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

You can get a divorce in Vegas for $200.

And it comes with the salad bar.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

It’s probably safer to just find some woman who hates you and buy her a $50 bodhran. That way you keep your wife, avoid divorce, and you’re only out $50 bucks.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

And she already hates you, so there’s no harm done. Good thinking, BP.
I suppose if you’ve a wife (or husband) you’re looking to be rid of, you could give them a pair of spoons and send them out to a session…
(see http://www.tipsyhouse.com/spoonsmurder.mp3 for the reference))

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

I’m with Boatpiper on this one. Albert Alfonso’s drums are among the best I’ve heard, and you won’t touch one of those for $200.

These Pakistani tuneable drums aren’t bad at all, and you can get one for as little as $70 USD. But they’re not an Alfonso.

And being tuneable is less about tuning it (although this is a nice thing to do at a session), and more about accommodating changes in humidity and temperature. It’s not just an added expense but an important feature of better drums, at least if you live where humidity varies more than 5%.

Posted .

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Next week she’ll be in the band and the week after ???????

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

I am curious:

Would any of you Mustard regulars tell anyone here, especially after the response poor Tom got to his very first posting, that the bodhran in question was for YOU?

"It’s for the wife, not me, nope, uh-uh, never."

My oh my.

Posted by .

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

What is it with people whose wives play the bodhran? It saddens me that people wouldn’t want a wife who they could play tunes with.

Or even worse: "Oh wife, I love you, can I get you a present so you can be in a supporting role to me?"

Posted .

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

you’ve got the bull by the horn(s), llig, once again.
female bodhran players usually fancy a tune player - not another bodhran player, llig.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

you can tell a lot about a woman by the way she plays the bodhran. They’re all different. Subtlely, usually, but different.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Funnily enough my wife and I both play tunes ( together ).
Sometimes she tells me to drop back to accompaniment.
We also have two bodhrans, which we only take out one at a time, the older Irish one to sessions, the newer Pakistani one to gigs.
Make of that what you will.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Wow….what a tough crowd! Are you all from NY, too?

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

I was at Custy’s Music in Ennis, County Clare last week. He had some in the price range you were talking about. There is a global discount bringing the price to 185 Euros. Shipping is usually reasonable, too. It looked very decent for the price. Don’t think you’d go wrong.
A Hedwigstag Liteline.

http://www.custysmusic.com/

Good luck!

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

We certainly are NOT all from New York. Who would want to live where there are so many Yankees fans! Yechhh! ;-)

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Tom, let us know how the drum passes review with the missus.

Posted .

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

Al Brown:

Let us be fair - I lived in NYC for some years, and there are
any number of things to recommend the place, and their fandom.

When I think of some, I will get back to you.

Posted by .

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

The one time I was in New York City (in 1982), I rode the train into Penn Station and walked to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus to New Jersey. While I was walking from the train station to the bus terminal, I felt as if I was walking along the bottom of a man-made canyon because there were so many tall buildings on either side of the street.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

I’m married to a New Yorker, although she is from Long Island ( North Shore, of course ), and firmly believes that Manhattan is the centre of the Universe, not that she wants to live there.
The first time we were there I bought a guitar I’m still playing and we went to the Irish Center. When I hit the big time we can afford to go back again.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

For others who are still looking, check out Bucks County Folk Music Shop in in New Britain, PA, near Philadelphia for high quality bodhrans. Built by Carl Dietrich, my bodhran is now 20 years old and still in excellent condition. My 1st bodhran lastest only a couple years of vigorous use and required all sorts of shenanigans to get the correct tension, including Guinness baths to campfires burning, or sunbathing. I even used a hair dryer indoors. Alas this bodhran exploded finally when left in a back window of a car in the summer heat. Bucks sold me a nice replacement skin for $25 after the first skin died. Custy’s I can also recommend as well as Albert Alphonse. Excellent drums and a nice person as well.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

When we were playing a gig outside on a cold, damp, and cloudy day in October, our bodhran player kept having to switch from one drum to the other. Since I had been allowed to park my car right behind the stage, I left the car running with the heat on inside the car. We would play a set of two or three or four tunes and then our bodhran player would switch out his drums. He would take the cold and damp drum and put it inside my car. Then he would take the warm and dry drum out of my car to play our next set of two or three or however many tunes. We had to do this for the whole two hours we were performing outside on this cold, damp, and cloudy October day.

Re: Best place in NY (or, USA) to buy a bodhran

I saw Robin Morton, back in his days with The Boys of the Lough, come on stage at Cambridge Folk Festival with a little camping stove to keep the drum warm. Of course this was back when dinosaurs still walked the earth and no-one had invented a tuneable bodhran.