The Irish bodhran, the simplest of Irish instruments to take up and the hardest to control. When you learn to play the bodhran it’s important to remember it’s place in the session and it’s relatively minor role as background rhythm. Traditional Irish music relies on the melody, the stars of the session are fiddle, accordion, and flute. The melody of the tune is the overriding factor, don’t be a session killer, taking over the tune, but provide the background rhythm and support the tune. That being said, in Irish songs I find great pleasure in Irish Ballads where the more traditional use of a drum can be more significant and down right haunting.
When one takes up the bodhran the most important fact to remember is that the Irish drum is a musical instrument and it takes practice to get it right. So many times people anxious to be a part of an Irish music session grab a bodhran thinking its easy. They bang on the thing and the end result is an intrusive nerve grating banging. Don’t be that guy, as with all Irish session instruments start out slowly, listen to the tune play softly as not to interfere with the melody and ease yourself in. The respect you show your fellow musicians will aid in your receiving guidance, tips, and enjoyment of playing. After taking a few lessons you could probably as good as this young fella…..
But less face it, if you are starting out trying to learn the bodhran the hardest part is how to pronounce it. There is a general rule which will follow this aside– if you pronounce it correctly there will always be a slightly different way to say it depending on the county of the Irish person you are talking to.–The general rule of pronunciation—- I asked Leo Doherty of Walton’s Music –” Leo what is the proper pronunciation of bodhran?” ”Well, Brian, it’s a boron you moron”. Even I could figure that one out
this website give good insight for learning to play the Bodhran, click on the beginners section. And good luck and good playing.