Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Hi. Just found this site and having read some of the entertaining discussions I’d like to know if anyone can give me some advice. Firstly I’m a singer (please don’t bite my head off- I know we’re not considered ‘real’ musicians but we love it just the same) and, as an alternative to singing unaccompanied (which can be a bit lonesome) I’ve recently had - following my husbands joking suggestion- the brainwave to actually learn to play the bodhran as a way of accompanying myself and lifting the song. I hasten to add I’m also going to ask a friend whose great on the guitar to join me and maybe add a bit of harmonjy at the same time. I have been listening to some songs ‘as gaeilge’ (Suffolk blowin, Ireland born and bred) and the bodhran tone and rhythm adds a wonderful energy to the music. And as I havn’t met anyone her who plays one, why not give it a go myself!

The thing is is it possible to sing properly and play the bodhran at the same time?

Also, is it very hard to teach yourself?

As for the bodhran itself , having read about the O’Kanes and Davys of this world in some of the discussions, I suspect my fifty quid won’t get me far. The local music shop is selling some at that price- is it a waste of money? And there are different sizes and ‘beaters’ as well??? Clearly I have alot to learn.

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

its definately possable to play it and sing. look up some "planxty" stuff on youtube. christy plays it and sings along.

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

It is possible - but it may restrict your material somewhat.

I noticed the deep irony of your first reply - "I Will Go" - LOL!

I seem to think there might be bits of The Chieftains" that illustrate this as well - but would you describe what Kevin does as singing ?

Ignore that last remark - I’m probably just jealous !

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Well, the first minute or so of that first video anyways…I guess I didn’t watch the video the whole way through. Woops.

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Is it very hard to teach yourself? No. You seem intelligent. It is very easy to teach yourself, assuming you can walk and chew gum. After that there is the little matter of practice. Record yourself, listen, analyse, criticize, modify. Keep going until you are satisfied, which will be about a hundred years from now. And if you are young (ish) now, you may even live that long!

Posted by .

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

you CAN but its forbidden at real sessions

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

I imagine it’ much like singing while strumming chords on a guitar. may I be struck down for suggestion that such practices are acceptable though

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Hi Suffolkgirl

You would likely be better asking your questions here http://www.bodojo.com/

50 quid will get you a wall ornament (no doubt Steve and llig will chip in and say that is what all bodhrans should be).

If you can go a bit more then

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/16-INCH-TUNABLE-BODHRAN-HANDMADE-BLACK-FINISH-pbs16tbl-/360312652543?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Drums_Percussions_MJ&hash=item53e44ec2ff

might be more usable for you.

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Thanks for all the feedback. I’m encouraged to give it a try. When it comes to singing breathing is all and also you need to try and give yourself over to the song to capture the essence of the music and lyrics. Wether I’m experienced enough to not get distracted by the Bodhran remains to be seen but as gam rightly said…I’ll just have to practice. I like to consider myself young ….well ‘ish’ (early 40’s) and I took up the piano a couple of years ago so I believe it’s never too late to learn.

Ebay drum looks good but Is it worth buying without trying?
I am tempted!

Look forward to listening to those links…….thanks again!

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Hi Suffolkgirl

The drums that your local music shop have in stock are likely bottom end Pakistani made drums.

I had a check for music shops in Suffolk and found this one
http://www.music-world-ipswich.co.uk/folk_misc2.php
The Glenluce 14" would likely suit your initial needs and you could try it out at the shop.

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Big Davy,

The more I read your submissions, the more I think what an all round good fellow you are. Spot on with the right advice and keen to share your experience.

You are a credit to this forum Sir !

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Let me add an unpopular view: there’s not a lot that bodhran needs to do except be a round frame with a skin stretched over it. A "bottom end Pakistani drum" generally suits the bil just fine.

If you doubt this, consider that the frame drum has been part of the musical traditions of the area now called Pakistan for a hell of a lot longer than it’s been played in Irish music.

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

A good bodhrán player singing a good song is a joy in any session.

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

I have a good friend that sings and plays bodhran, and it is a great combination.
Just keep the thumping simple, remember it is there to serve the song, not vice versa.
Good luck, and enjoy!

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

i know someone who can do that to the ‘wheels on the bus go ‘round an’ ‘round’ set to Dublin in the Green and the Green’ …

Re: Can you play the bodhran and sing at the same time? And other questions

Thanks BigDavy. I’ll be off to Ipswich soon to try out the Glenluce.