Frame Drums

Eileen
Eileen
@eileen
one week ago
19 posts

Yes, it does indeed.  Have you read Layne Redmond's book When Drummers were Women (or is it When Women were Drummers)?.  How about you?  Have you been playing?  So far we're starting to learn the middle eastern rhythms (Ayoub, Baladi, Chiftiteli etc) and some of Marla Leigh's and others' tutorials.  As you said, lots of material available. What have you been learning/doing with yours? (Always looking for ideas!)

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
one week ago
1,819 posts

Eileen, I think that is SOOOOO wonderful that you started your OWN group of women to learn frame drumming together.  What could possibly be nicer??  I know that the tradition of women frame drummers goes back to very ancient times.

I imagine that the spirits of women from many different times and cultures are looking down on your little group with smiles and full hearts.  red drummer

I wish you would take a photo of your group and post it here!




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 08/09/18 06:12:41PM
Eileen
Eileen
@eileen
one week ago
19 posts

Hi again after quite the long absence.  Wondering how you've done with your frame drum?  This summer, 3 women and I have formed a little "learn-frame-drumming" group and we're all loving it.  Youtube is our teacher!  So far we all have smallish basic remo tars/frame drums.  I'm going to check out a darbuka today (kijiji).  Another big learning curve for sure.  There is so much more to this than one would have expected - after the first Doum-Tek_Ka lessons!

Patrick Conroy
Patrick Conroy
@patrick-conroy
3 years ago
1 posts

Just logged onto the new site and saw this thread. I play bodhran and participate in Irish pub session as often as my schedule allows. I have 2 bodhrans; a 15x5 Metloef 'Roo skin (that's the one in my profile picture) and a 16x5 Brendan White double skin (goat).

Eileen
Eileen
@eileen
3 years ago
19 posts

Hi Still haven't gotten a drum, but am planning a little "expedition" to visit this drum maker over the summer - either or both at his workshop and/or a local music and crafts festival nearby in August. I know it's not in your neighbourhood, Lisa, but who knows, there might be other "northerners" on this thread, and anyway, thought it might be interesting. This is his website:http://www.sylvantemple.ca/products/TarBendir.html and this is a little video of his workshop, farm and drums. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITY4t-1kfVg. Cheers.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 years ago
1,819 posts

You sound just like me Eileen...we both can't resist all kinds of activities and learning processes....




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Eileen
Eileen
@eileen
3 years ago
19 posts

Thanks for your update, and yes I saw your Cretan Lyra - very nice! I'm going to learn the rebec the "baby cello" way too as it feels a little easier on the fingering and reach for me. Musical instruments and books - never enough of them and never enough time to learn and read. And now it's back to the veggie garden and its 101 tasks and projects! Not complaining though - it's all wonderful and what would we do without multiple learning curves??

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 years ago
1,819 posts

Hi Eileen- great to hear of your latest research and explorations!

Time, yes more TIME is what I wish I had so I could learn to play and the instruments I would LIKE to learn to play!

I have not had enough time to work on my frame drum as I would like, BUT I did get a rebec-like antique Cretan Lyra with a fiddle fingerboard- that I got on ebay and had it fixed by a luthier to be made playable again...and I actually HAVE been practicing that and enjoyng it a great deal. So that is GOOD. It's much like our little rebecs, with a bowl back too...but with steel violin strings. I play it in my lap like a little baby cello. Still not up to doing a little video yet- it takes a long while to play in tune, like most violin/fiddle thingys do. Glad to hear you got your rebec pegs improved- it really does have a lovely sound I think, with the gut strings.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Eileen
Eileen
@eileen
3 years ago
19 posts

Hi again after a long while! I was just going to check to see how you were doing on the rebec, and had to laugh when I saw the Frame Drums subject line and this post from you. I've been googling frame drums for the past several weeks, since I saw a local used ad for a north american flute and a bodhran. Then I started researching and discovered the tar, riq, bendir, daff, etc and - of course - started to get tempted! And here you are, one step ahead of me again, but on the same slightly eccentric wavelength! Smile.gif. I've narrowed it down to either a tar or bodhran for a drum. Have you seen the Layne Redmond websites and youtube on frame drums? They seem to be really good. My other "research" has been the 10-string lyre (like this one: The Old World Lyre by Musicmaker,) but it's quite pricey, so will go on just "researching" that for a while - Researching is so much cheaper than ordering! And, (yes one thing leads to another in this musical instrument obsession!) A shruti box in also in the research stage. I'm still playing with my recorder group and loving it, and even taking some lessons, playing a little on the dulcimer but not as much as I'd like, and I got the pegs fixed on my rebec by a local luthier and have made some very small starting steps. More time! Need more time. Anyway, greetings and thanks for posting a photo of your lovely tar. More temptation!

William Mann
William Mann
@william-mann
4 years ago
23 posts

That is a very nice, rusticlooking drum. Good choice on the synthetic head; purists will whine about it, but most purists would not be playing their goatskin drums more than five minutes outdoors where I'm from. On a side note you'll appreciate, I build tackhead minstrel banjos using 12-14" Remo drums similar to this for the body:sturdy little drums that last, look authentic, have pre-attached non-stretching heads, and save a heck of a lot of production time in the wood shop.

Add cross braces to the inside of this drum, and it becomes a bodhran (though the notch would be unusual). Irish drums are usually a little deeper, but not necessarily so. As withmost folk instruments, depth and width are "eye-of-the-beholder" issues; and I prefer them somewhat shallow. I haveconsidered playingunbraced drums before, but prefer the bodhran because of the bracing. It allows you to insert your holding hand in the back of the drum, where it can strike, muffle, or tension the head. And the bodhran does not require a tipper; while it is true that most players use them, you will find some very traditional native Irish performers playing bare-handed.

Good luck, and have fun!

robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
4 years ago
260 posts

Looks like the head of one of those giant single string African banjos... Bob.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
1,819 posts

Hey thanks Travis!

I'll post more updates on this when I return from a mini vacation on monday. I'm currently on very limited computer time.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Travis Zach
Travis Zach
@travis-zach
4 years ago
1 posts

That's a beauty! I just took up bodhran myself. I blame all of you multi-instrumentalists here on FOTMD. I also blameyou for the banjo.The dulcimer was my own fault, though.Grin.gif

TZ

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
1,819 posts

Here is my cool frame drum...I am in awe of it. I have to say it's a bit intimidating due to its size, beauty, and resonance. It looks like a planet or moon.

Did my first practice session yesterday... could be worse i suppose, but there is a LOT to learn and coordinate!

Putting in the practice time is the key to improvement of course. Happily, it's more fun than frustration to practice on it, and Brian says he doesn't mind the sound drifting down the stairs at all. I'm pretty lucky in that respect!




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 08/09/18 06:06:27PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
1,819 posts

Oh my gosh...the 'Tar' frame drum arrived this afternoon!

---It's really beautiful. The Remo head is synthetic so will not sag in humidity (like my cheezy tambourines do), but they use a technique of somehow imprinting the head with a real photo image of goat skin- looks SO real, and has a nice texture like real dried hide. Even the sides are aged looking. Awesome! I'll take a picture tomorrow to post here.

---It's pretty big...18" across. It sits vertically, on one knee while you play with one hand holding the top and the other hand doing most of the strokes. Has a very resonant nice tone, since it's tight. My arms are sore after just an hour's practice for the first time...to be expected I guess.

---After watching some Youtube lessons for the past few days, I knew some of the beginner moves to try out, and although I've never actually drummed before in my entire life and naturally don't sound good yet, I found it was still tons of fun to try the different tone effects in combination. There is a lot of variety in sounds one can get using your hands on a frame drum like this. Even Brian was surprised at the different sounds coming from upstairs after just an hour.

I'll be needing to do LOTS of practice, since I've never done any real drumming before- I pretty much still stink at it. But wow, so much fun, I didn't expect it to be so fun! That'll make practice very enjoyable.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
1,819 posts

Good advice, thanks Skip and JohnHenry!

I imagine it'll be a while, if at all, that I manage to get a bit of control and sound like anything. I was amazed at how many great free youtube lessons there are out there for frame drums, and I can just play slowly along to whatever tunes I punch up on my computer- the advantages of living in the hi tech age! I'll be using my hand rather than a tipper/beater stick, so that may make the volume more controllable. I ordered a "Tar" rather than a bodhran. It will be shallower depth than most bodhrans I think. But it 18" diameter, so fairly large..best to be held vertically on the lap while sitting I think- thats what most people do with that size frame drum.

I've had a couple of cheap tambourines sitting around for a couple of years, but still can't play them very well. But maybe if I practice on this Tar enough, it'll eventually help my tambourine playing as well...might make sense. I'd love to be able to play a decent tambourine when in minstrel banjo gatherings. Always good to have musical options in various playing situations!




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
John Henry
John Henry
@john-henry
4 years ago
337 posts

I have three Bodhrans ! Before coming back to the MD I played HD for many years in all sorts of sessions, and found it convenient to have a drum by my side to 'bridge the gap' when tunes arose that I could not cope with. I did'nt always use a 'tipper', quite often relied on the fingers of my right hand ,and frequently used a 'brush' type beater, offers a softer option ? And of course you can always 'dampen the sound, your hand , duster ,tea towel, knick...whoops !
Main thing to remember, you may think your timing is great, others may not ! Softly ,softly catches monkee !
JohnH

Skip
Skip
@skip
4 years ago
242 posts

I've had a bodhran for several years. I use it at a couple of jams I go to. I prefer playing it with others rather than my dulcimers. I was a bit concerned about taking it at first, but now most of the folks want it because it helps with timing [metronome effect]. The biggest problem I had was being too loud. I don't play it very well but that doesn't matter, it's fun and it really has helped keep the groups together, specially the speed demons in the HD group. I just recently bought a cheap tamborine to mess around with. Now I can have jingles along with a very small drum. :>)

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
1,819 posts

Ok, so I recently ordered myself a "Tar" -a frame drum based on those from North African and Middle Eastern cultures. It should arrive in a couple of days. Thank goodness for Youtube beginner videos, that's all I can say...lol. Not sure what I'm in for, or whether I will have any sort of success. It might be that all I do is annoy Brian and the cats, and become shunned in my own house. But I'm game to find out!

Frame drums are single-headed hoop frame drums. The smaller ones are often hand-held while the larger ones can be held vertically on the lap. Their head diameter is wider than the hoop is deep. In most cultures they are played with the hand, though Irish bodhrans are typically played with a tipper or beater.

Anyone else here who plays frame drums?- please share! As a total drum beginner, I'd love to hear about what you do with your frame drum.

P.S. I was partly inspired to 'go for it' by member Helen of Australia, who recently bravely agreed to share with us her beginning adventures with a didgeridoo !




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 08/09/18 06:08:13PM