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Steafan Hannigan - The Bodhran Book

Bodhrán Basics - Steáfán Hannigan

Steafan Hannigan - The Bodhran Book32 page softback A5 black & white booklet, comes with audio CD

from from £7.95 (€11 / $14 approx)

Published in 1991 as The bodhrán Book containing advanced tutorial material, republished 1994 & 2002 with CD (this version)

ISBN: 0 946005877 Ossian Publications Ltd OMB 102


Images courtesy Ossian Publications

  • Format: Book with Audio CD. 44m 08s.
  • Target audience: Beginner
  • Playing Style: Kerry
  • Notation system: Author's own

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

The Package

A 32 page Black and white booklet-based tutorial containing an audio CD. The CD has Steáfán reading the book pretty much verbatim and illustrating the discussed pattern by playing either solo or in mini performance.

The product is aimed directly at beginning bodhránii, those who need to get the fundamentals upon which they can build their skills.

Lesson Delivery Method

The tutorial can be used either by being read, listened to, or most likely a combination of both.

The CD versions of the book chapters are delivered in audio 'chunks' representing the duration and content of the written chapters. Rhythmic patterns are not available as separate CD tracks and it is unfortunately difficult for a beginner to repeat specific passages for practise because of this.

Rhythms are notated in Steáfán's own manner using a series of up and down arrows of varying scale to indicate stroke direction / accent. Hand-drawn illustrations are used where appropriate.

Using the tutorial.

The chapter headings vary in length as can be seen from the chapter and CD track list below

  • Introductory Tune (CD track1 - 0:57)
  • Introduction (CD track 2 -1:35)
  1. About bodhráns (CD track 3 - 3:27)
  2. The Cipin or Tipper (CD track 4 - 2:06)
  3. Getting Started (CD track 5 - 3:39)
  4. Dynamic Playing (CD track 6 - 1:17)
  5. Skin Sounds (CD track 7 - 5:37)
  6. Reels 1 (CD track 8 - 4:14)
  7. Jigs 1 (CD track 9 - 4:35)
  8. Reels 2 (CD track 10 - 5:17)
  9. Jigs2 (CD track 11 - 5:53)
  10. Triplets (CD track 12 - 2:51)
  11. Basics to remember
  12. Care & maintenance
  • Extra tunes to Play along with (CD track 13 - 2:35)

The tutorial structure follows the standard path of introduction to the drum; the technique; Right hand / left hand duties; reels; jigs & Triplets. As this is a beginner text it stops at Triplets. In the original text it goes on to Rim Playing, complex reels & jigs, other forms and 15 pages of tunes

Paul Marshall - January 2004


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