Donkey skins for drums

Donkey skins for drums

My sister’s 19 year old donkey, Gina, isn’t well at all and may not see out the winter.
Q. Are donkey skins any good for making bodhrans?

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Windup!?

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I also have two donkeys, don’t think I would want to turn them into drums when they leave this world… They make enough noise while among the living.

These are our two:

http://www.lindaeskin.com/eq-donks101.html

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One of the best steaks I’ve ever bit into was an ex jackass…

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If your sister sees this you can try the skin of your own ass.

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Horse or zebra skins work well for the sort of African drums that produce a leaden thud when whacked with a truncheon - you leave the hair on the skin for this.

I have a couple of them, but not being part of an African drum corps I haven’t found a lot of use for them.

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Donkeys, being a sub-species of horse, will probably have a fairly thick hide. I would imagine that one of the several advantages of the goatskin is that it is thinner and thus more resonant. On the other hand, a dull quiet bodhran seems an advantage to me.

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Hahaha…. What an amazing way to commemorate your much loved equid when it passes away. Make the tail into a fiddle bow and the skin into a bodhran.

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Don’t forget the bones. Oh, and glue.

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With two sides of a donkey why not go all out and make a Lambeg?

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Sorry Doc, donkey tails just don’t make it for bow hair. :-D

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I’ve tanned animal skins and also work with leather in general. My opinion would be no, not really. Goatskin is very thin and supple compared to most other hides.

If you can’t find a goat, you’d be much better off shooting a deer, or possibly a large dog

I think you could make a nice carrying bag for your drum out of the donkey hides, though

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Can you make wig glue from dead donkeys?…

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Speaking of Deer Nate, here’s a photo of my Bodhran, which is made from Scottish Deerskin.

http://inlinethumb26.webshots.com/49177/2049782910102727105S425x425Q85.jpg

It didn’t work well at all, at all, as a straightforward Bodhran, but is now a cracker, since I had it converted to a tuneable.

If you Ass-k me though, I’d say most folks wouldn’t want to use Donkey Skin, but I could be wrong, after all, it’s usually a case of Horses for Courses! :-P

Cheers,
Dick

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That actually looks like a nice drum, Dick. I bet it is duller than a normal drum, though. Deer hide is a good bit heavier than goat, but it at least has some stretch to it

…I was only guessing about dog. I sure hope nobody actually tried that

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Well, once the dog is dead…….

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you might try to use a cat. People are always saying that there’s more than one way to skin one of those things, so it’s probably pretty easy

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"… is respected as a fine bodhrán maker. The most favoured and common skins he uses are goat and deer; greyhound and donkey hides are also good." http://www.bodhran.com/reviews/index.html

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If you feed the martins well enough, might be better than cat and definitely more playful.

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greyhound skin???? This skin your own drum head thread is going to the dogs!

…but now that you mention it, greyhounds probably would work pretty well. they’re so skinny their hides probably are alot like a goat

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Now i understand the levity i have caused in many of your replies. after all, the passing of our animal friends or indeed human ones often occasion denial. Witness the irish or even Neapolitan wakes which involve much heartfelt hysterical sorrow and music making.
The only to be expected passing next winter of dear Daniel and Eyesore (my sister’s donkeys) will be marked with respect in the same vein with keening and whiskey etc.
However, what i really wanted to know was whether a Brian Howard’s donkey skin bodhran from the early 90’s might be a good buy? The original owner has passed away I am told by his non musical but somewhat impoverished widow.

J. J.

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JJ, I personally am sorry for making jokes about what really is a sad thing for you. I love animals, and I miss them when they pass like one of my family.

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Dogs are for bagpipes:

http://www.campin.me.uk/Music/Zaqq/

Dog skin is also one of the options for a Turkish davul or Bulgarian tapan - a two-headed bass drum with one head heavier than the other. The commonest combo is sheep on one and goat on the other. Mine has the light skin made from polycarbonate but maybe dog would be better - I must ask a vet.

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I think my horse might be a bit big to be reincarnated as a set of bagpipes.

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There are more horses asses in the world than there are horses.

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"On the other hand, a dull quiet bodhran seems an advantage to me…" (Guernsey Pete)

It sounds rather too like one of those infrasound machines which, in the course of experiments, has pulped the vital organs of unfortunate assistants who got in the way of the waves without realising how lethal they were.

The problem with targeting a session foe with such an instrument is that it is not a precision weapon, and would probably take out a lot of your mates as well.

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"The problem with targeting a session foe with such an instrument is that it is not a precision weapon, and would probably take out a lot of your mates as well."

That’s why the Creator gave us shakey eggs.

Less colateral damage, less expensive too.
:-/

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Donkey skin bodhrans might be just the job to kick some life into a session.

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I have three donkey’s, and one of them tried to bite me today! He has been notified of the content of this discussion and warned of his potential fate if he tries this again. :-)

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Indeed! A case of biting the hand that feeds it. I accompanied some Greek and Italian musicians yesterday afternoon at an Italian wedding. They appreciated the sound of the bodhràn and seemed to think it would be easy to play. My God what have I done! You can now await the arrival of impoverished bodhràn toting Italian and Greek citizens hoping for free beer at your sessions.
My deepest and sincerest apologies.

J.J.

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