Irish music history is filled with beats of drums inside of it. There is no denying that Celtic music has utilized true music of drums to its highest potential. Hand drums like the Irish Bodhran, have helped shape the region’s music history to what we know it today. However, like anything in life, these drums also come in expensive variants and also cheaper ones.
Different players, depending on their skill level and preference, will need different Irish drums. Weight, size, value and many other factors will ultimately affect the drum you purchase. Cheap vs expensive drums, is a debate that has been going on for a long time. Some brands with a known name will sell you essentially the same bodhran or any other drum for expensive prices. Some lesser know brands might also have more love for music in them and produce quality but cheap bodhrans.
Read below to find out whether you should go for an expensive Irish drum or a cheaper one instead:
Choice of Materials
The very first reason to go for more well-know and expensive drums is the choice of materials. Depending on which one you choose, a drum can be made from a large number of pieces. Ranging anywhere between 5 to 100, little pieces and layers make a drum sound like it does.
When you go with quality drums that may be more expensive, you will get the guarantee of quality materials. A bodhran for sale can be found in Ireland both online and in stores for ranging price points. However, it is important to know that you can also get quality materials at cheaper prices when you know where to get them from.
In the case of a bodhran, from its skin, which is the surface that produced sound to its frame and everything else that is attached to it, material quality has an impact on what kinds of beats you will get out of it.
Goat Skin Vs Cow and Buffalo
Right from its very first days, the bodhran has been designed with goat skin. Sheep skin plays almost in a similar way. Cheaper bodhrans also use buffalo or cow skin instead. These are both animal skin leathers that are produced through unique processes.
Yet, there will almost always be a vital difference in the quality of music you will get from the bodhran. The goat or sheep skin is known to produce the iconic punchy sounds that make it feel right. Buffalo or cow skin on the other hand, does its job but fails to match up to the same level of music.
Wooden Vs Plastic Frame
Since the 1960s, where the bodhran really saw its modern fame, some also come with plastic frames. Reason for having a plastic frame has to do with the price cutting and also the overall lightweight drums. However, this will inevitably affect the music and sound output of your typical bodhran.
Basswood or ebony wood Irish bodhran will always sound punchier than a plastic body one. There is also the question of inside tunable fitments on bodhrans. Both wooden and plastic ones can come with tunability features. You should give each a try before purchasing one to see which one suits best.
Fit and Finish
In addition to the material quality, fit and finish will always be a deciding factor for any bodhran as well. Cheaper ones that focus on cost cutting only and not on producing required sounds will have bad fit and finish. However, this is one of the most critical factors for any Irish drum.
There is a fine balance when looking to get your perfect bodhran. Some manufacturers keep their bodhrans quite well finished while their asking prices are also affordable. Muzikkon in Ireland is one such music instrument provider. You also can find great violin for sale along with other options there.
Another area expensive bodhrans will be better in is the long-lasting features. While it is still up for debate that you are better off getting an expensive one or more than one cheaper one instead, cheaper ones will have compromised finishes and materials that will not last as long as expensive ones.
Brand Name and Value
For any music instrument including the bodhran, it will all come down to the brand name and its value. Especially when you are getting an expensive Irish drum and are a skilled player, you should consider the brand value.
For expert players who play in bands and at important places, brand value will always be important. They simply cannot go in crowds showing off a brand name that doesn’t have any value. New learners on the other hand can rock new brands as well.
If you are someone who resells their Irish drums, valued brads will carry maximum return as well. Brands with no value attached to them tend to sell for cheap or even not resell at all.
While it will always be a subjective choice between an expensive or a cheap Irish drum, there are some factors at play here too. New learners can always opt for cheaper versions that yet have no compromises in their sound and music output. There is a bracket that falls right in between expensive and cheap bodhrans or other Irish drums as well.
Experts and skilled drummers should almost always invest in quality drums instead. Their focus should be on getting a known brand bodhran that they can tell other people about as well. Choice of materials and finish quality will be of significance for them as well. What kind of music you are able to get, will influence the price and selection at all times!