As a bodhrán player, you need to have some good jig rhythms in your repertoire. Jigs are just delightful to play, the tunes are so catchy and cheerful, hardly anyone can sit still when a jig starts up.
So in this second of our series of tutorials, we teach you a basic jig and variation in 6/8 time. A jig is characterised by a strongly emphasised first and fourth beat, one downward and one upward.
If you are still working on getting a really crisp and strong sound from your strokes, here’s a tip I often share when teaching workshops: when beating, think of describing an arc with your beater that would pass through the face of the drum and back out again – as if you were trying to hit an imaginary skin at the back of the drum. You should get a much stronger and cleaner sound, as you will be hitting with more force.
Now have a listen and play along to a standard jig rhythm.
Here is your downloadable PDF of the strokes for a Standard Jig
Now have a bit of fun and skip the second beat. As always in a jig, you will have strong first and fourth beats, but this time stop and do nothing for the second beat. I tend to beat strongly on the third as well, as you will hear in this recording, to emphasise the re-entry to the music after the skipped beat.
And here is your downloadable PDF for the Jig Variation 1 which I have written out with the strong 1st, 3rd and 4th beats.
Finally, when you are comfortable with the jig rhythm play along with Saul Bailey again, playing a lovely jig called Tripping Upstairs on his melodion. Don’t forget to try both the basic and the variation, and listen to how each version interacts with the melody.