Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done


Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Does anyone out there, bodhran player or not, know of the process for “making” a double goatskin bodhran. It’s only the actual “doubling” of the skin that I’m interested in as I already know the mounting process. Any ideas….?

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

T,

I can only tell you how I do it. I take like thickness skins and wet them together. I line up the spines and mount them as you would any other skin. You have to maintain enough slack in the skin while mounting or when it drys the force of two skins can explode the tuning ring and the tuners. It is also important to keep enough pressure on the skins after drying and tuning to play so that the skins don’t seperate. Lastly, it is important to make sure no air is caught between the skins while mounting. Hope this helps! Good Luck!

Mike Quinlan

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

How does using a double skin affect the sound?

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

There’s a lot more to it than you might think. Making a double skin drum is fundamentally differnent than mounting two skins with the same technique as you would otherwise mount one. I learned a lot from a technique that O’Kane employs, but you’d have to ask him for the specifics… and no, he didn’t tell it to me either, but I figured it out by examining a drum or two he made with double skins and talking to him about skin stability. Its the only way I’ve ever found that really does a good job of keeping the skins stable and together. Then again, that’s why Seamus is the man!

Put it this way- think of the problems you might have encountered before with double skinned drums, then think of why those problems occur relative to the skins themselves. That’s the key. Tuning is only a secondary fix here…!

Have fun!
Rob

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

hmm…well, if a double-skin is done reeeeeeally right, it sounds lovely. however, it happens that one of the skins will slacken when the other doesnt, or something like that, and you’ll end up with nasty air pockets in the thing. i was told to be safe and go with a single (if you’re thinking about purchasing one, that is).

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Sounds like my idea of hell - playing the bodhran with both hands - twice as much rattle?

What next? Piano-accordions with two keyboards?

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Didn’t mean to sound like it is simple. ( bit of a hurry before I posted). I agree with Rob that is more of an undertaking than mounting one skin. I try to treat it as if I am mounting one skin while attaching the skins to the shell but a good deal of time goes into selecting the right skins to lay together. Making sure the spines line up, thickness, the feel of the skins etc… Using these principles as guide has improved my success rate to the point I haven’t had to remount a two skin drum for a couple years. I have no scientific reasons for this. I go by my experience with the skins themselves. There is a learning curve and don’t be suprised if it takes a few times to get it right.

Success in mounting the skins is based on these principles and some experience. You won’t know success or failure until you try it.
Mike

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

I made a double skin tunable bodhran last year. I used two thin roe deer skins back to back, laying the thicker area of the top skin over the thinner area of the bottom one, to give an overall, fairly even thickness. No problems as yet but it is early days.

I’ve made a lot of drums with just a single skin, but the double one sounds quite different to a thick skinned one. It has a deader tone, not as responsive as a single skin, but I do still like it a lot, because it is a bit different.

There is someone very interested in taking off my hands, (hopefully to play it).

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Yes, I think I catch your drift Rob, perhaps I’ll try that next time.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Yeah, I’ve got a bodhran with a double skin and I think it has developed air pockets. It kind of makes a loud dull thump.

I much prefer my Metloef single skin to any drum I’ve bought or tried, full stop.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

I’ve got a double skin that I think has developed air pockets; it sounds loud, dull and thumpy.

I much prefer my Metloef single skin to any drum I’ve ever bought or tried, full stop.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Oops, thought the first one didn’t post…sorry.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

I must try one of those Metloef drums, if I can get my hands on one.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Brenden White Bodhrans, Seanus O’Kane Bodhrans, Alfonso Bodhrans and Hedschweck Bodhrans are the four drum makers utilizing double skins that I know of. They all have websites. They are excellent drums that are popular with the professionals. Mine was made by Brenden. He might be willing to answer an e-mail at his website. I know his skins have strong mounting. He can stand on his smaller model. I think Johnny McDonnagh gave him the suggestion for double skins and has at least one he uses. When there is tight mounting, it really gives a wider range of tone. I tune mine to “D” below middle “C.” The backslide alteration of tone is almost effortless. The only precaution I have heard was already mentioned here, separation of the skins. I can’t give you feedback from ever hearing about this happening, as all of the top drum makers have strong skin mounting.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Norbert Eckermann also makes double skinned drums. I played one owned by Paul Phillips recently and it’s a real gem.
Extremely well made and nice tone.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

I think the reason that my double skin tunable is a tad dead in tone, is that the skins may well have been overstretched during the curing process. Perhaps they lost a lot of their elasticity, for want of a better word.

As far as I can detect, there are no air pockets between the skins. I was also experimenting with a different sort of tensioning devise, so it is a bit of a ‘one of’, It is a nice drum, but as I’ve said, it’s a bit different to the others thats all.

It is all a learning curve as you say Mike, and anyway,I enjoy what I do. Happy drumming everyone………….dougie

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

I think just about any maker would try making a double skin if you convinced them….maybe some monetarily! I just made the first double skinned drum that I sold last week to some fellow in Tokyo. It was a 16“ dia x 12” deep drum with double broken-in kangaroo skins- if any of you ever see it I think you’ll figure out the skin mounting trick I use pretty quick! I’m convinced that the drum sounds a bit more “meaty”, or even “dull” because the two skins are lightly vibrating against each other, with either skin possibly acting like a dampener to the other. It actually sounded pretty good, and the breaking in of the skins preserved some of the flex…although playability-wise I think single skins are still my own preference.

I think I’ll do a double-headed double-skin next….starting to sound like a pizza parlor or so….

back to work!
cheers,
Rob
www.metloef.com

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Rob, I’ve not come accross kangaroo skins as yet, what are they like in thickness compared to say, goat?

16“ x 12” sounds pretty meaty, I’m working on 12.5“, 14.5”, 16.5“ x 6” just for the moment, using bought in goat skins, or deer which I cure myself. The deer seem to sound so much better though………………….doug.

Re: Double goatskin on bodhrans……..how is it done

Rob, my last drum I made was the first using roo skin. I have a constant supply of skins now so was asking about the process of mounting double skins. Thanks to everyone who answered. Jeremy S.