I Officially Have Bodhran ‘Tipper Envy’ – Part 1

by MichelleStewart on August 13, 2012

(August 2012) Back in Scotland after three weeks home in Cape Breton. I had the most amazing week with my bodhran students at the Gaelic College.

We had a bit of a BodhranExpert Platinum members reunion with drummers flying and driving in from Ireland, California, Ontario, Manitoba, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania as well as locals from the Maritimes.

Lots of photos still to come from that, but I am really excited to share this incredible tipper collection with you. I have huge ‘tipper envy’ for my friend Lauraileen O’Connor’s bodhran tipper collection.


Tipper Collection (1st Half)

The tippers in the photo are numbered so you can see who made it below. Most names are hyperlinked to take you directly to the maker’s site.

1. Valentin at Craiceann (Aislin Ceoil on FB)
2. Don’t remember who made it but it was made for Craiceann 2011
3. Allan Collison at Craiceann
4. Allen Kirkpatrick of Bethesda Woodworks
5. Christian Hedwitshak
6. Ben March
7. Neil Lyons
8. Falconwood Tippers Robbie Walsh edition
9. Falconwood Tippers
10. Christian Hedwitshak
11. Belgarth???
12. Falconwood Tippers
13. Allen Kirkpatrick of BethesdaWoodworks
14. ChristianHedwitshak
15. Christian Hedwitshak
16. ???
17. Falconwood Tippers
18. Glenn Stout
19. Falconwood Tippers
20. ChristianHedwitshak
21. ChristianHedwitshak
22. ChristianHedwitshak
23. Brian’s Bodhran Beaters (made from the wood of table damage in a fire – still has a burn mark on it!)

I was lucky enough to get a brief try with most of these and realized it’s time to invest in a few new beaters myself. This is only HALF OF THE COLLECTION. Click here to see the 2nd Half.

Can you do me a favour? Could you please leave a comment if you have any of these and share what you think of them so others can benefit from your first hand experience.

Also feel free to add any information you might have about the unknown make and contact info for any of the names not linked to a maker’s website or Facebook page.

Lastly don’t forget you can click  the Facebook ‘Recommend’ button below to share this collection with any of your friends.

Keep Calm and Drum On!

~ Michelle


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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron August 15, 2012 at 7:27 am

Ha, ha…this is fun!
Never ever concidered myself as a ‘tipper-envy-patient’. I’ve made a lot of tippers from all kind of woods…woods found at the sea shore, somewhere in a forest where you can pick up the most beautiful and strange peaces of wood and make them out of it…it is realy fun to do!
Sorry Michelle, as far as I know there is no cure for this…so let’s shake the world by drumming to gether each at the other side of this globe…Keep Sound and Drumming!



Rob S August 15, 2012 at 7:33 am

So, the song was wrong… It is NOT a long way to Tipper envy.

Joy Hagler August 15, 2012 at 7:59 am

I highly recommend Christian Hedwitschak. I have many of his, including both click tippers that I absolutely adore. I also have two from Brian’s Bodhran Beaters..the JJ speed beater and Merlin’s Key. The JJ is a tough little thing, only 8# long, but delivers a powerful punch on my thick skinned TrHed. I also have two skewers that I made myself, one of bamboo and the other of dowel rods. Someday I hope to have some by Falconwood. My favorite is the Glen Stout…how can you not love something made by your classmate? I am also currently working on sawing up old fiddle bows for the extra long, thin tippers that some top end players use.

Seeing how I play Celtic, Bluegrass, and Blues, I find it essential to have a variety of tippers on hand to achieve that certain sound the music needs. Bluegrass musicians particularly like the rod and click tippers and they give that certain clickety clack sound that compliments their train songs. Overall they are fun, beautiful, and make great gifts.

Mark Shepard August 15, 2012 at 8:09 am

Wow! you certainly ahve reached the “Tipper-Point” on this… any more “tips” on how to use all these?

Keep the beat!


Don Mathis August 15, 2012 at 8:21 am


We have a large Southern porch where I like to practice my Bodhran. The problem is that I don’t want to expose my neighbors to this wonderful sound. The solution is to construct a tipper with each end covered with a soft leather and filled with a soft pillow foam material. It muffles the sound and yet I can hear it clearly.

Sitting on the porch in the evening with my bodhran and a mint julep is just about as good as it gets!

Don Mathis
Atlanta, Georgia

Beverly Murphy August 15, 2012 at 10:11 am

What a collection. Me too! I thought I had enough….5, and gave 2 to my grandson……but this is amazing!

Carol stewart August 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

Wow. Very nice. What a pretty picture. Love the case; looks hand crafted.

I’m a beginner bodhran player, so my collection is small and cheap. I bought the “beginners bundle” online, and did manage to get a nice one or two. My Albert Alfonso came with a nice tiipper.

How many tippers do you need? One more! Or, one less than a divorce. Or, as my husband points out, you can play with only one at a time, so why do I need so many? This from a man who has two tricked out Harley-Davidson motorcycles (he collects chrome).

Time to shop some more! 🙂

Carol Stewart
Lakeland, FL

Dave Notman August 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

Tippers are a bit like plectrums (picks), you keep aquiring new ones, hoping to find that “magic” one!
I’ll post a picture on your FB page of one that I invented.

Dubhg Taylor August 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm

“Tipperific!” The “perfect tipper,” just like the elusive butterfly. It’s out there somewhere!

Colin Laver August 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

The eleventh commandment says thou shalt not covet thy neighbours tipper. Tut… However rules were made to be broken!

Deborah Brower August 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I think the No. 7 tipper (bundle stick) and No. 11 (laminate stick) were made by Albert Alfonso. Albert is the only one who makes those laminate tippers out of pool cues and he developed the shrink wrap for the bundle stick as well as the beveled edge technique.

Maurice August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I make my own hotrods out of kebab skewers as a hobby. It took me a couple of attempts and a bit of experimenting to get right but once I found the knack I was really pleased with the result. They sound great and are quite easy to make.

Randy Feener August 16, 2012 at 5:19 am

I too have an adiction that has added up to over 20 tippers that I carry. Weather it be golf clubs or fishing rods etc…one tipper does not do it all. I decided very early that I wanted to be as versatile as I could be and to be accepted in to as many music circles as possible. In order to do that successfully, everyone knows each genre of music has a ” certain sound” and the bodhran and the right tipper can be adapted to that sound. Weather it is using the small rod/skewer to use for that ” shuffle” or the thicker Power rod design for that “thumper, concussive” beat to get through some heavier tunes, or the brush type to get through those ballads of John Prine…it’s a wonderful addiction to have to which will hopefully never find a cure!

Lynn Gehringer August 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

I am fortunate to have a husband who is woodworker and makes my tippers for me. I have quite the collection. My drum is a Christian Hedwitshak Dragonskin which I love.

Robin August 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Gaelic College convinced me of two things. I needs to upgrade my drum, & I need more tippers!

Tim Jedlicka September 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm

My favorite these days is from David Draeger with his e-notch tippers. My thumb fits nicely into the notch.

David Storniolo June 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

I am in search of the perfect tipper, I will never stop looking till I make it. I am very fussy about weight , balance , bounce grippyness if that’s a word. Dave

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