Video Library

by MichelleStewart on October 27, 2011

I’m in the process of gathering some of my students’ favorite bodhran videos for you to listen to and learn from as well as playing along with. So, no more excuses for not knowing what to practice during your 10 Minutes A Day Practice Challenge.

I’ll be posting more videos here on a regular basis so please send me the link to any of your own favourites in the comment section below.

You know I love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment about any of the videos or how you’re doing in your bodhran journey.

Drum On!

~ Michelle

Donnchadh Gough

Moving Hearts – Live In Dublin – The Lark on MUZU.TV.
Moving Hearts – Live In Dublin – The Lark

The History of the Bodhran 1973-1982

John Joe Kelly

Steafan Hannigan

Lucy Randall

Johnny ‘Ringo’ McDonagh

Jim Sutherland

Jim Higgins

Cormac Byrne plays bodhran at Craiceann in Inisheer 2010

Beoga – Eamon Murray

Mance Grady bodhran solo from 2007 CCCF

Robbie Walsh

Tommy Hayes demonstrates his Bodhran Technique with and without beater.

This video is one that inspired many to learn bodhran so it’s only appropriate to post it here.

Some truly amazing bodhran playing by Martin O’Neill.

In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.

Rocky Road to Dublin – Kelly Family + Chieftains

Billie Jean on the bodhran by Tad Sargent

Documentary featuring Seamus O’Kane and Rolf Wagels

Cormac Byrne

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Gill October 28, 2011 at 5:48 am

John Joe Kelly – phenomenal!

MichelleStewart October 28, 2011 at 5:53 am

Of course, Tim, thanks.

gerrit de boer October 28, 2011 at 6:27 am

absolutely great..i enjoyed it Michelle


MichelleStewart October 28, 2011 at 6:31 am

Thanks, Gerrit, Lots of more great stuff to come here. With so many
fantastic players out there now it was difficult to know where to start.

Peter Clements October 28, 2011 at 7:00 am

Wow Michelle, what an incredible lesson from Evelyn Glennie.

The “Video Library” is a great idea Michelle, thank you very much. I have lost count of all the extras you have given us.

Catherine Esteyries October 28, 2011 at 8:54 am

Hi Michelle,

The variety of touching bodhran is amazing. I am still a beginner and videos are very useful for learning.
Thanks for all !

Elaine Lindley October 28, 2011 at 9:18 am

This kid is PHENOMENAL!! I thoroughly LOVE listening to him play! He has several youtube entries, but this is my favorite… ~Enjoy~

Youtube: Joseph McNulty Bodhran Solo posted by Marion 57447

He also has a sort of a dueling drum going on at: Youtube Bodhran Off – Niall and Joseph, posted by cilsalege.

I love watching/listening to them as one sets up the beat, then the other challenges it with either the same beat or a variation. It’s a blast and I’ve learned a lot!

Elaine Lindley October 28, 2011 at 9:21 am
Jack Rossi October 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

Here are a few of my favorite Bodhran videos: (Old Polina – Great Big Sea) (Ordinary Day – Great Big Sea) (Tommy Hayes)

and I love the Toss the Feathers video by the Coors

Dan Kaufman October 28, 2011 at 11:50 am

These videos grace my “Favorites” section:

Eamon Murray of Beoga:

Israeli percussionist Abe Doron of Evergreen:

John Joe Kelly:

They all make it look so easy! 🙂

Lindsay October 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

WOW. Thank you so much for posting the Evelyn Glennie piece. She explains so well what it means to actually ‘feel’ music.

To me, music can be an out of body experience when you allow yourself to be lost in it. Let it wash over you and take you away. It evokes such feelings and can change the way we see the world.

This explains why going to concerts is so meaningful for me. It takes over all of my senses. Seeing, hearing, feeling.

Absolutely amazing video.

Richard "Sammy" Low October 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Wonderful idea, Michelle! Once again, many thanks!

Len Stillson October 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I love playing along with anything by Teada. Here is just one session link.
I also love the milltown videos with Joesph and Niall duelling bodhrans

Mike October 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Thanks so much for all your teaching videos; I just love them!! I would love to see a video on a POLKA beat. I play in an Irish Session and I have trouble with the POLKA BEAT. Can you help me with this?

Thanks again so much; and keep up the fantastic music and job you are doing!! This stuff is absolutely amazing.

Elizabeth Wallace October 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Toss the Feathers: beautiful.
Billie Jean: very clever. Very creative.
John Joe Kelly: Gawd!!!

Elizabeth Wallace October 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Check out Mance Grady from Rhode Island, USA (he made my drum)

John Ryan October 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Lucy Randall …

… with Brendan Power. This is a gem.

Eleonore October 29, 2011 at 1:52 am

Hi Michelle,

The Evelyn Glennie video is indeed amazing!
Many of my favorites have already been mentioned in the replies to your request.
Some of my own special favorites are:
Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, for which the links is:

Another of these two is:
the first three minutes of this piece is a beautiful air and after this part you can join playing your bodhran and
use all the techniques you have tought us.

The nice thing about these performers is that you can very clearly discover by listening how their music is built up from several parts.
I hope that you understand what I mean, it is difficult to explain in English, being from the Netherlands myself.

Kind regards, (Goatbeater) Eleonore

Sharon McDonald October 29, 2011 at 2:06 am

Fantastic all of them especially Evelyn Glennie’s explanation of interpreting the written and learned structure of the piece being played, basically learn it, practice it and then get out of your own way and play it.

I also love the solo into duet with Abe doran ex Riverdance drummer

Here is a video of daf drumming maybe off the subject a bit but shows how the use of movement with the frame type drums alters the sound and how to use that

Freda October 29, 2011 at 2:23 am

Thankyou Michelle for the video library, I especially loved Evelyn Glennie’s teaching on music being more than just on a sheet of paper. I myself cannot read music so have always struggled with that and have just played by “ear” but have realised that it is not merely just “by ear” its has been with my whole being, my emotions my body, my soul, my heart, my senses. I have also found that music can be clinical and detatched or spiritually connecting!
I saw an amazing film a while ago called “August Rush”. Robin Williams stars in it along with Freddie Highmoor, (the little boy from willie wonker’s chocolate factory, the johnny depp version). If you haven’t seen August Rush before its well worth watching! :))

Angeli Perrow October 29, 2011 at 7:23 am

It was fun watching these videos and seeing the different ways the bodhran can be played.
Thanks for sharing, Michelle!
Happy drumming,

Dave Zimmerman October 29, 2011 at 8:17 am

I like
In my town there is a tavern call Johnny’s Irish Pub. On the last Sunday of each month there are jam sessions. From 3 to 5 new bee’s play under the guidance of an experience player. All instruments and skill levels are welcome. 4:30 to 5:30 singers have a turn, and 5:30 till experienced (skilled) players have at it. A great learning and grooving time. The link is one of the songs we are doing this week.

Randy Feener October 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

I have just recently discovered Neil Lyons.

I have shared a few emails with Aimee Fareell Courtney…she’s great

and this Robbie Walsh is cool too!!!


Deborah Gruel October 30, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Michelle….You’re my favorite!!!!!!!!!

Kate cook November 3, 2011 at 7:34 am

Thankyou so much Michelle, for adding these videos for us, they are amazing, and very inspiring, not forgetting to mention very helpful. So much can be achieved with the bodhran, actually there is no ending to what you can get out of any instrument really. But watching those videos it brings it home to you that there is no limits to how or what a person can do. Just awsome !!! Thanks so much 🙂

marie November 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Thank you it was excellent to watch

Jeff Riedy November 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

All amazing. Especially liking Andrea Corr and Cormac Byrne, but all amazing.

Dave Blackham November 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

A fantastic resource, Connor’s playing is great, I saw him at Gloucester UK some whole ago, a real inspiration. In fact all of the video’s are great to see. Thanks so much for the links.

David Settles November 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

My word Michelle, this has turned into a great site. Thanks for putting it together.
I enjoyed Cromac Byrne and in particular enjoyed it because it came from Craicean 2011. I attended the very first Craicean where Eamon and I were in the same class. I returned for the 3rd one and Eamon was my instructor. He moved up. Not sure what I did. I am finding it difficult to attend again so it is great to see videos from there.

Thanks again for the site.

Mike November 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Thanks so much, Cormac is Great!! I still need help with the polka beat. Is there any chance that you could find a Polka beat to send out to us? It sure would help.
Thanks again for your site, its the only chance I have to learn how to play!!

Laura November 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

These are great, what a good resource to see and hear different styles of playing as well as different tones of the drums. I have been listening on and off all day at work! Can’t wait to get home and pick up my drum.

Jeremy November 10, 2011 at 4:29 am

I loved the corrs music long before I knew who was playing. Growing up in Arkansas-USA, NPR had a celtic music night every sunday night, and it seemed that one of their songs was always on it. I think my inspiration for the bodhran came from groups like the High Kings, and family groups like Celtic K notwork-though they broke up several years ago. cormac byrne phenomenal, it is absolutely amazing the different tones you can get out of these drums.

The High Kings,
Dance at The Crossroads,
star of the county down,

Graham November 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

I’m just starting out so wathcing theses videos encourages me to keep at it. I’m trying to perfect the tipper playing so seeing Tommy Hayes playing with his hand was great as this is the only way at the moment I can play along with anyone. This is a great resource.

Kathip November 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I’m finding that watching all these videos makes me feel better about my style that isn’t traditionally perfect:) so many talented bodhran players

The Paul Mckenna band – saw them this summer – really enjoyed them

gerrit de boer November 11, 2011 at 2:37 am

keep it up, are doing a womderful job

Gerrit de Boer, the netherlands

Joanne Turton November 16, 2011 at 1:49 am

Great work Michelle, fantastic resource, you just keep on with the awesome extras thank you

Freda November 18, 2011 at 5:11 am

Dear Michelle,
I see what you mean about Cormac Byrne, he makes playing bodhran look so easy, I am still a newbie in the bodhran department and donot practice as much as I should, my main instrument though is acoustic guitar and I have been playing for a long time so my rhythm/coordination is good. I use similar techniques of my strumming and apply them to the bodhran which is really quite effective, I also find helpful that there is no right or wrong way of holding the beater but just not to hold it too tightly so as to restrict the freedom of movement in the wrist, however I do find the actual holding of the bodhran and the placing my hand at the back of the bodhran a bit awkward and the sound i am producing isn’t like what I have heard yours and others’ sound. Whether or not I play loud or softly seems to make no difference eg. the video’s I have watched are very useful in showing techniique but the sound of their playing is like a light “slappy” kind of sound, whereas my sound is either too bassy too cardboardy or sounds like someone knocking on the door! Do you understand what I mean?

Terry Flanagan November 19, 2011 at 8:43 am

Pretty fantastic, thanks to Michelle we’re closer to being that good today than we were yesterday. I have a Bodhran made by Mance Grady,he and his wife are very personable and candid when you order or need help after the sale

Nathan November 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

Hi Michelle
Merry Christmas hope you have a good Christmas away with your family.
Hard to beleive it is nearly a year >>>>> I got the drum last christmas, I now have 2.

There is a young group that you can play along with, found on you tube
called, Tumbleweed Trad, there is 48 videos, and fills the 1/2 hour a day playing with ease.
AND it’s fun

Kurt Wilhelm December 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Wow! This is both encouraging AND intimidating. I feel good, even given the fact that 2 months ago I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce the word “Bodhran” when I watch these. I want to play along and they help me to feel the music. However, I also see hoooooowwwwww far I have to go. The light at the ned of the tunnel is a mere speck at this point!

Phillip December 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Dear Michelle, I would love to see more of YOU here on this library.
Another good bodhran video is from Celtic Woman. The songs are called The Contradiction and Reels.

Phillip December 20, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Sorry forgot the link:
Celtic woman The Contradiction:
Celtic Woman Reels:

Eleanor October 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm

More Cormac Byrne – with very good sound!

Eleanor October 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm

A multi-part documentary about many traditional instruments being made and played, including our favourite played by Seamus O’Kane.
This is part one of five.

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