Bodhrán Basics

This course is designed to equip the beginner with all the rudiments necessary to tastefully accompany traditional Irish music. The tutor will patiently guide you from holding the stick and the drum, and learning the basic stroke, right through to sophisticated patterns on the drum, step by step. The emphasis in this course is on technique. The tutor equips you with the rudiments you will need to develop your own style of playing. You will also learn fail proof techniques to differentiate between reels and jigs and how to follow the structure of a set of tunes in your playing. Chapters 6 and 10, respectively will tell you all you need to know to get going on the bones and spoons, respectively, so that you will have the full quiver of traditional Irish percussion instruments in your armory.

Bodhrán Basics
 
OAIM Free Lessons

Free Lesson

Sample Lesson 1: In this sample lesson, Brian explains how best to hold the drum and the stick. He then tells you how to play simple variations on the jig and reels..

Free Lesson

Sample Lesson 1, part 2: Brian’s follow-up introduction encompasses methods of tone variation, rhythmical variation and a preview of the bones and spoons.

Kate Morris

I feel inspired to keep going and make [bodhrán] my speciality

"Well, I made my bodhran debut last night at a pub folk session where I sometimes play fiddle. Often they go a bit too fast for me so when that happened I switched to bodhran. I was the only percussion player and no-one told me to stop, so I consider it a success! I kept it simple and not too loud, threw in the odd variation with a triplet or an accent...I really enjoyed it. Thank you again to OAIM for making this possible, I feel inspired to keep going and make it my speciality. There are plenty of fiddle players but not enough folk drummers."

Kate Morris - UK

Course Syllabus for Full Access Lessons
Bodhrán Basics Lesson 1

Brian looks at reel and jig variations as well as how to correctly hold the stick.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 2

Brian looks at leaving out all the upstrokes in a jig rhythm and accenting all of the off-beats in reels.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 3

Brian offers a more technical jig variation and demonstrates the use of the heel of the hand in producing different tones. He also introduces crunch rolls.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 4

Brian teaches you how to play the bodhran with your hand, eliminating the need to a stick.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 5

Brian looks at down stroke rim-shots.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 6

The fundamentals of bones playing are covered in this lesson.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 7

Advanced rim-shot techniques are explained and Brian introduces ‘vamping’ in jigs.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 8

Brian tells you about slip jig rhythms in this lesson.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 9

The fundamentals of spoon playing are covered in this lesson.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 10

Brian now takes all the previous techniques taught and applies them to playing along with music.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 11

Brian continues to utilise the music in applying techniques, improvising as he sees fit.

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Bodhrán Basics Lesson 12

Brian’s outroduction covers session etiquette, composing new rhythms and how to take it to the next level.

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Tutor Info

Brian Fleming

Brian Fleming

Brian Fleming plays percussion from around the world, specialising in the traditional Irish percussion instruments the bodhrán and bones and West African percussion. He has recorded on some 30 albums, produced 3, played on several soundtracks for film and tv. He has played with many of the best known innovators in Irish music and dance, including Davy Spillane, Emer Mayock (Afro Celts), Anuna, Michael Flatley, Cormac Breathnach, De jimbe and Kila. He has taught bodhrán and percussion in schools, music schools, universities and festivals all over Ireland, including UCD, UCC, TCD and Waltons School of Music and abroad, in the US, Singapore and Cuba...[Read More]