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Home Reviews - Book Reviews Nicholas Driver - Bodhran and Bones Tutor
Nicholas Driver - Bodhran and Bones Tutor

Nicholas Driver - Bodhran and Bones Tutor26 pages, softback, A4 black & white

Purchased from from Mally.com cost 3.95 (6 / $7 approx)

Published in 1988 republished 1994

ISBN: None.

Published by Gremlin Musical Instrument Company.

Images courtesy Mally.com

  • Format: 26 page A4 book
  • Target audience: Beginner
  • Playing Style: Kerry
  • Notation system: Conventional plus Micheal O Suilleabhain's stroke direction notation.

This review assumes that players are right-handed - left handed players should reverse any references.


The Package

The 26 page Black and white booklet-based tutorial deals with both the bodhran and the bones.

The product is aimed at beginning bodhranii, or someone who wishes to acquaint themselves with the basic technique

Lesson Delivery Method

The book comprises

  • introduction,
  • right hand technique,
  • notation explanation,
  • the reel tutorial,
  • triplets or 'introducing the top knob',
  • the jigs tutorial,
  • Left hand,
  • the rim and
  • other styles

It does all this in 8 pages of which two are photographs, so it is all pretty basic and brief. There is some additional information on the elements and construction of the drum and following the bones tutorial, advice on playing with other instruments and a useful historical perspective by Janet McCrickard.

Rhythms are notated using single line notation with up and down symbols with accents and signs to indicate appropriate action. This is the same as or similar to the system used in Micheal O Suilleabhan's tutor.

Using the tutorial.

I do have to say that I found this publication really to be too basic to be one that I would recommend. It is not without value and does indeed do what it says on the tin but it is a modest publication. It is priced very cheaply which reflects this and the fact that it covers both bodhran and bones in one book will be useful to some prople.

User Friendliness

I found the publication to be sparse in areas of learning and the style a little instructional, 'do this then that...'. The lack of examples or variations offered would leave a user thinking 'where next?' The notes on the one line score don't always sit in position nor are they always accurately placed in relation to the stroke direction indicators, not a major hassle but a niggle

What do I think?

For me this publication is just not sufficiently well fleshed out or put together to be a recommended purchase. If you have to learn the basics and it's the only one, it'll possibly do it, but there are better tutorials with additional features and other styles of delivery that deliver more bang for your buck.

Am I Glad I bought it?

No

Would I recommend it?

Not really

Paul Marshall - January 2004





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