How to choose among all our fine drums?
Here at BOD, we first explored the possibility of combining a spun aluminium drum shell with a synthetic head because we wanted a bodhrán that would hold its tune regardless of the weather. What we discovered was a whole new sound world – the BODdrum looks and can be played like a traditional bodhrán, but offers a much broader vocabulary of tones from deep, soft and mellow, to bright and crisp, full of attack and varied expression. Many musicians now keep their BODdrums alongside their traditional bodhráns as one more musical alternative in their line up. For those who are attracted to the bodhrán but prefer not to play on an animal hide, the BODdrum is an ideal solution, with no animal products used in its manufacture.
The Cormac Byrne Talking Bodhrán, like the BODdrum, has a metal shell with a synthetic head. Cormac worked with us on the design of this drum to meet his demands as a professional player working across a huge range of traditional, modern and world music styles. The drum shell is a heavier gauge for a greater resonance and warmer tone. Used in conjunction with his Talking Sound Bar and Bodhrods, the sound possibilities are limitless.
For the Cormac Byrne Signature Series bodhráns Cormac collaborated with Christian Hedwitschak to design and make Cormac’s ideal traditional bodhrán: a beautiful naturally finished wooden frame with an untaped premium goatskin and a modern, tool-less tuning system. Without taping, the sound can be controlled by the player. Or not, as Cormac explains, “I find it just as easy to get the same level of tone control over the skin by simply dampening it with the chest. Even minimal body dampening can get huge results. And this has one major advantage over taping….you can let go and un-dampen the head when you want to and let the drum go wild with the natural resonances and frequencies. Like taking a sports car into ‘sport mode’, the control is off but the possibilities are much greater. All you need to do is learn to control them and you can let rip when the time is right!!”
For a traditional wooden bodhrán with hide drumskin, Christian Hedwitschak’s Bodhráns are the ideal choice. Christian’s CoreLine features taped heads; in his view, the taping “helps to harmonise the overtone behaviour and makes the overall sound more defined and rounded” by damping the radial line of vibration, whilst not affecting the circular lines. Beautifully made with every step of the process honed to enhance the sound of the instrument, these drums are still very accessibly priced. For a beginner, they are excellent value for money – you will learn to play on a “proper” instrument, not a tourist trinket, giving yourself the best opportunity to learn what a bodhrán can do and sound like. Experienced and professional bodhran players will appreciate the quality and perhaps want to expand their kit by exploring the sound of a larger or deeper shell than what they currently play. The black ChangeHED drum comes with a self contained head system that can be swapped out, allowing you a choice of skins on one shell. Christian’s beautiful new HEDge drum is fully vegan without compromising the playing experience. No animal products were used in the making or finishing of the shell, and it features a synthetic head.
Renegade Rhythms bodhráns are traditional frame drums, hand made by Mog here in England. For those who love the individual character of a hand made drum with a natural goat skin head, these are truly classic examples of the bodhrán, pure and simple. Because the head has not been taped, there is a full play of sound, vibrations and subtle harmonics across the skin. When we tried out each of a dozen or more drums to pick the first eight to bring into our shop, we were delighted that each drum really did have a unique voice. As an extraordinary bodhrán performer and teacher himself, Mog applies his musician’s sensibility to the making of his Renegade Rhythms drums. The dynamic range and tonal variation of these drums is outstanding.
We created the BODdrum in the form of a traditional bodhrán but with a metal shell and synthetic drum skin, to hold its tune in all conditions. But to our delight, we found we had created a new sound for the bodhrán – bright, loud and full of attack, expanding the musical possibilities for the bodhrán player.
We set out to create a bodhrán that would sound equally at home in a traditional Irish session as it would on stage playing Indian, African or other World music. The results were better than we could have imagined, and the Cormac Byrne Talking Bodhrán™ was born.
The Cormac Byrne Signature Series drums are beautifully crafted instruments with untaped skins, allowing the player to control the sound or let it go wild at will. When you are ready to take your playing to another level, the CBss is waiting for you.
Christian Hedwitschak Bodhráns
As a master cabinet maker and bodhrán player himself, Christian’s hand built wooden bodhráns balance materials, construction and finishing for a brilliant playing experience.