Seamus Mac Conaonaigh asks whether bodhran players on
this list like a stick in the back. I don't know, that sounds
Seriously, though, I am personally a convert to playing
the bodhran without any cross bracing in back. I do think that it]
allows much greater control over the tone of the drum. I learned
of this style of playing from Tom McKean, the great bodhran player
for the band Dun Creagan. Tom told me that he discovered it by
accident when the braces came unglued from his bodhran and fell out.
He tried to play it without them and found that he liked it better.
Later, when Tom was attending a De Danann concert, he observed that
Johnny McDonagh's bodhran also lacked braces in back. He asked
McDonagh what he liked about that method, and "Ringo" answered
that that way, he didn't have to lend his bodhran to people who
couldn't play it.
Indeed, it is a bit more difficult to hold the drum without
the braces. It takes more than just "balancing it between your leg
and the back of the skin." I kind of jam the bodhran between my
leg and my chest. But I am no expert. Does anyone have a better
way of holding a bodhran with no braces?
--Rick Gagne ([log in to unmask])