The Irish Bodhran has grown in popularity a great deal specially after the resurgence of the 1960s. Many new playing ways and designs of the actual Bodhran have been invented since then. Different materials have been used in the manufacturing process of this famous Irish Drum. The skin or the thin membrane that is found at the face end of the Bodhran and is beaten to produce the punchy music that is associated with the instrument has traditionally been manufactured from animal skin (goat skin mostly), with modern innovations and new technologies breaking in, some plastic skin versions have also come up and are used just as much as the natural skin one. Here are few key differences between the two in order to help newbies choose the right skin for their Irish frame drum.
Advantages of the Natural Skin Bodhran
The natural skins have been used in the Irish drum’s history and has a number of advantages, some of which are:
- The Punchy Sound – If you are looking for the highest quality punchy Bodhran sounds, the natural skin is the way to go. To date there has been no plastic version of the skin that comes close to the punch and the oomph of the natural skins because of the rigid flexibility they offer.
- The Natural Feel – Natural skins are derived from animal skins that are dried for long periods of time and then processed in order to make them smooth and flat. The natural feel they are able to provide can just not be replaced with artificial plastic or any other material skins.
- Flexible Music Aided by Flexibility in the Skins – The natural skins made from animal leather are flexible and allow the players to tighten or loosen them depending on requirement. This is really helpful in more humid environments as the sound comes out different because of the humidity in the environment. Flexibility in the skin solves this very efficiently.
- The tenability of the natural skins goes even beyond just tightening or loosening it. The possibility of accompanying one song in D and then retune it to play the next in C is very real with natural skins.
Advantages of the Plastic Skin
The un-natural plastic skins apart from harming the environment also have some good things about them, some of which are:
- No Direct Climate, Temperature or Humidity Effect – The plastic skins are manufactured from plastic that doesn’t get effected by the weather, rain or any harsh temperatures. This enables them to be played even when there is slight rain around. Just shake them a little and get all the water off them, the plastic will not absorb any of it. Same is with temperatures, play them anywhere you want without having to worry about the skin getting affected by the temperature.
- The Sound – Punchy sound is one thing, these plastic skins probably will never be able to provide the same punch as the natural skins, however if you are looking for other different sounds that might be low in bass but can sound completely different to one another, different types of plastic skins are perfect and once you master the one you chose, the different sound of your particular Bodhran will be unique.
These days in Ireland and also all over the world, Bodhrans are available in both skins options. It is very easy for music lovers to find Bodhran for Sale from numerous music stores across the world and also Buy Bodhran Online from potentially countless online music instrument sellers, however with online options, checking their authenticity in the music industry is highly recommended. Getting cheap ones from people who don’t know or care much about music will not provide same quality sounds or music.