The Bodhran is the driving backbeat of Irish music but is popular across all Celtic styles. One hand behind the drumskin makes changes to the tension of the skin while the other uses a “tipper” (or sometimes just the hand) with a unique flick of the wrist to beat out driving bass with complex rhythms following the musical phrases of tunes. The ability to tension the skin gives the Bodhran the ability to “talk” (much like Indian Tabla talking drums). There is much more nuanced complexity going on with this instrument than you might think at first glance but an amazing rhythmic powerhouse when played well.

Who you should listen to: Christy Moore, John Joe Kelly (Flook), Robbie Walsh (Four Winds), Cathy Jordan (Dervish)

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