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 Post subject: A few bodhran questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 6:00 pm
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Location: Wyoming
Hi, everybody. Haven't been around here for a long time. I see that the rubber room has gone away...the toxic waste cleanup must have cost a fortune. And I'm glad that the musical hybrid and flange/hummus forums are still going strong.

Anyway. I've given up trying to re-head my old Halpin tunable bodhran. It will never be restored to its former glory. Moment of silence, please. :cry:

OK. A few questions.

Does anyone know anything about Robin Shackleton/Sylvan Temple drums? I've discussed design with him; I like his philosophy, and his drums look beautifully made and unique. But it's a lot of coin to slap down on a relative unknown. I'm inclined to pay my money and take my chances, but if anybody has played his drums I'd love to know your thoughts. http://www.sylvantemple.ca/products/Bodhran.html

As far as what I'm shopping for: can anyone tell me a bit about the older-type, wide-and-shallow drums vs. the newer style, narrow-and-deep drums? I have only played on the former, and I'm curious about the latter. How is the sound/playability different? What diameter should I go for in a deeper drum like this? I was going for a 16x6", but I think that is going to be a HUGE drum, and I'm not sure how it's going to sit on my leg at that size. No chance to try them out, so any purchase is going to be an educated guess. Any thoughts?

Robin does a cool steam bending thing that makes the shell concave. It looks great and would probably sit on the leg nicely. Any experience or recommendation on concave shells? It looks like a reasonable idea, but no one else is doing it, and I wonder if there's a reason for that.

If it helps with your recommendations, I pretty much do old-school, Kerry-style accompanying, mostly for my own whistle playing. I'm not really interested in John Joe Kelly-style virtuosity at this stage in the game, but I do like to throw in some triplets and move the pitch around quite a bit.

I have very little opportunity to try out different drums here in Nowhere, Wyoming, so I would appreciate any help. Thank you!

Thomas

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:18 am 
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Hi Wyobadger

Welcome back.

I have not seen any Sylvan Temple drums this side of the pond, so I can't comment on them from experience.

Hedwitschak drums in Germany make concave shell bodhrans - the Martin O'Neill signature edition.

Martin O' Neill playing at Craiceann. A video for bodhran nuts like me.

I have played a few of the O'Neill signature drums, the concave shape does sit well on the leg (or in my case, stomach).

I play very deep rim drums made by Rob Forkner of Metloef drums.
Image one of them is similar to this one, but in red. - 12" kangaroo head.

My personal opinion is that a deep rim drum with around 14" head size is the way to go.
Image this one on the Sylvan Temple website, looks like what i would go for if I was buying from him (though I would likely ask for a deeper rim and an arm hole).

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:35 am 
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I have a bodhran I got from Ben March in Ireland. It’s 5.5 inches deep and 16 across. It’s a great drum, but I feel like I would prefer a shallower shell. If I were buying another I’d probably go with 16 and 4 inches deep. I feel like it would be easier to work the left hand


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:08 am 
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So, is there a big advantage (soundwise or otherwise) to the really deep drums? They seem to be very popular these days, and I'm wondering why.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:35 pm 
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WyoBadger wrote:
So, is there a big advantage (soundwise or otherwise) to the really deep drums? They seem to be very popular these days, and I'm wondering why.



I wonder that myself. Maybe a deeper tone? Or more volumes from a smaller head?


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