Bodhran Tippers Of The World-Part 3

by MichelleStewart on August 19, 2013

I’m just back from spending the entire summer in Cape Breton where I was teaching bodhran at the Gaelic College for two weeks. I’ll post more about that in another blog soon, but now that I’m back in Scotland I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of this awesome tipper series with you.

As most you of already know, a few months ago I asked the bodhran community to send me photos of their tipper collections, big or small.

The goal was simply to share our mutual passion for bodhran and possibly even enlighten others about tippers from around the world.

I figured I’d get a good response, but I didn’t anticipate quite so many entries so I’ve had to break the album down into several parts to showcase the collections best.

So, here it is, Part 3 of the ‘Tippers Of The World’ album.   If you’ve sent me your photo, but don’t see it here, or in Part 1  or Part 2 don’t worry. It will be featured in an upcoming instalment.

Enjoy the wealth of information shared here, but please don’t feel like you need to rush out and buy twenty new tippers. Many of the larger collections have grown over the years, but all you need is one really good tipper to get started.

With that said, if you’re looking for a new tipper I suspect these collections and accompanying descriptions will be extremely helpful.

For a larger view of each collection click on the individual photos.

Drum On!

~ Michelle

                                    Part 3

Farmington, New Hampshire, USA

Michael Cummings’ Collection

Here is a shot of my collection. There is a bit of redundancy, but each is a different weight and slightly different balance point or striking tip.

  1. (Top Row) 11″ tipper made from cello bow. Wrapped with hemp cord for grip and additional weight at tip. O-rings added at tip to allow two striking points hard teardrop tip and rubber. Uncertain of wood type.
  2. 11″ cello bow tipper rosewood with hemp cord grip.
  3. 11.25″ violin bow tipper hemp grip.10 in
  4. 10″ cello bow tipper hemp and o-ring grip rosewood.
  5. 10″ violin bow tipper hemp/o-ring grip
  6. 10.25″ tipper which I hand carved taper and tip from an oak timbale stick w/hemp grip.
  7. 10.25″ tipper hand carved from hickory timbale stick
  8. 10.5″ top end tipper from Rich at Top notch tippers. Very well balanced at 25.1 grams.
  9. 10.5″ top notch tipper in cocobolo 35.9 grams.
  10. 10.5″ top notch tipper in rosewood 35.6 grams.
  11. 10.5″ top notch tipper unknown wood type 41.5gm
  12. 10″ rosewood Meinl with assorted grip points
  13. 10″ tipper with padded striking points.
  14. 9″ Kerry style straight tipper.
  15. 8.75″ original goat wacker in rosewood 38.3 grams
  16. 9.5″ Kerry style teardrop end 17.5 grams.
  17. 9″ ball end Kerry tipper in maple,( I think,) 13.4 Gr
  18. 8.5″ ball end Kerry tipper in Oak 28.7 gr.
  19. 8.75″ ball end tipper, Brendan White 24gr.
  20. 9.25″ Ball end Kerry tipper 31.8 gr.
  21. (Horizontal)  21. jazz brush
  22. 8.5″ top notch Kerry style
  23. 7 ” olive wood (I think) Kerry
  24. Nylon Heavy jazz brush
  25. (Bottom Row) 25. 12″ cello bow tipper with a cord affixed to one end for special effect.
  26. 10.25″ homemade bamboo brush with hemp grip and rubber tip at top. Very poppy
  27. 11″ home made hardwood “clicker” with hemp grip and top end striker.
  28. 10.5″ bamboo brush/hot rod B. White.
  29. 10.75″ hot rod made with 1/8 in birch dowels. (Thumper)
  30. 10.5″ mixed hardwood brush (home made)
  31. 9.75″ bamboo brush with rubber/felt end. Special effect.
  32. 9″ bamboo brush with rubber top end.
  33. 9″ clicker made from chop sticks.. One of my personal favs.
  34. 8″ bamboo clicker tipper.
  35. 8″ split end clicker w/ hemp grip Brendan White.
  36. 10.25″ double ended split end clicker by Dave Drager.
  37. 10.5″ rubberized bamboo tipper with felt covered end home made.
  38. 9.5″ corn whisk brush tipper
  39. 10.75″ double ended timpani tipper with flex center shaft
  40. 8.75″ original goat wacker in heartwood 29.5 gr.
  41. 8.25″ teardrop Kerry style tipper in rosewood B. White 21gr.
  42. 9″ teardrop Kerry style 29 gr.
  43. 9″ teardrop Kerry style 41.4 gr.
  44. 9″ teardrop Kerry style 35 gr.
  45. 9″ teardrop Kerry style.

Well, there you have it. Best Regards, Michael Cummings 

Hobart, Tasmania

Jeremy Sibson’s Collections

Most Used Tippers Left to Right:
  1. Hedwitschak dowel’hot-rod’ bundle
  2. Cormac Byrne ‘BodhRod’
  3. Makassar Ebony Hedwitschak top end
  4. Hedwitschak snakewood top end
  5. Seamus O’Kane split tipper
  6. Seamus O’Kane straight tipper with metal core

    Other Tippers Left to Right:

  1. Hedwitschak thin dowel ‘hot-rod’ bundle
  2. Mike Maddock short top end ‘hot-rod’ bundle
  3. Hedwitschak snakewood tipper (my first pro tipper)
  4. Simon Garth marbo wood tipper
  5. Blue Gum homemade tipper
  6. Walton’s tipper
  7. Mike Maddock top end heavy tipper
  8. Mike Maddock O’Kane copy
  9. Walton’s heavy tipper


London, Ontaria, Canada

Jim Dwyer’s Collection


I do not yet have any tippers that feel good to me.  Here is my collection:

The one that came with the bodhran that I purchased and two that I made myself from broken drum sticks.

Jim Dwyer – London, Ontario, Canada

Chicago, USA

Tim Jedlicka’s Collecton

Attached is my collection on top of my Albert Alfonso drum. I usually have 3-5 of these first 5 tippers next to me on the table. Depends on what sound I’m after for a particular tune:

  1. My favorite. A David Draeger e-notch tipper.
  2. My heaviest tipper (other than number 10 – but I’m not sure how that thing is supposed to be used)
  3. My other favorite – homemade. I stained the rod and left the knobs natural. I like the contrast.
  4. Another homemade simple tipper. Feels faster so I use it for hornpipes. Gives a nice pop attack.
  5. Homemade bamboo brush tipper, I really like this sound. I use the other end with blue fabric if I just want a bass drum beat. Sometimes if there is more than one bodhran player at a session I can lay down a basic beat like a kick drum.
  6. These stay at home or in my case most of the time:   6. Homemade – a complete failure! The rubber tips are horrible.
  7. Somewhat heavy. Came in a pack of 4 tippers (7,8,9,10)
  8. Nice tipper but I don’t use it. It has most of the weight at the ends – a different kind of balance.
  9. Just too light and boring for my tastes.
  10. The club. Still trying to figure out how one is supposed to use this thing.
  11. Very light 8″ tipper.
  12. A slightly thinner and longer version of my favorite brush tipper (number 5).

Tim Jedlicka from Chicago. My daughter plays fiddle so I get to play with her at sessions – we both have so much fun. And if there are ever too many bodhran players, I can just sit back with a Guinness and enjoy her playing.

Tim Jedlicka – Chicago, USA



Søren Jensen’s Collection

I use to had two other tippers, but they got lost :). Then I just make myself a new one.

Here is my description (Left to Right):

1. I made this tipper before I got my bodhran back in August 2011. On a tracking trip with two of my friends I found these fine piece of Danish Ashwood, which was telling me to make a tipper out of it. It is hand cut and quite big, but has a soft, round sound to it.

2. This tipper was brougt back from Paraguay summer 2012 by my girlfriend. Originally this was a cocking tool used in the kitchen in Paraguay, but we found that the wood smelled funny and I made a tipper out of it. I have put a small piece of choth on this one to make a soft sound.

3. This is a samba drum stick. It is a bit too big, but I’m trying new techniques and playing with this tipper.

Søren Jensen – Denmark

Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Canada

Randy Feener’s Collection

1-8: My own multi Rod design of hardwood and bamboo dowels soaked in Linseed oil. Carefully sanded, and grip wrapped with sponge wrapping. O-Rings adjustable for amount of desired snap and click
9-10: Brand new Christian Hedwitschak “ Hedrods” HR3-bold and HR5-bold
11: Ralf Seipmann multirod
12: Christian Hedwitschak EF7
13: Christian Hedwitschak EF11
13-A: Christian Hedwitschak EF1
14:Christian Hedwitschak N-EF-8 Dynamic click type (very cool!!!)
15: Falconwood FW 02 LS slim… (Really cool!!!)
16: Christian Hedwitschak Snakewood SWA
17: Christian Hedwitschak Snakewood SW3 (lightning stick….so fast, Super cool!!!)
18: Los Cobos Sean McCann “Great Big Sea edition” beech tipper
19: Alan Collinson EF10 Gattling Beater
20: Christian Hedwitschak N-EF-5 brush. (Super sexy sound…beautiful soft brush with some thump)
21: Christian Hedwitschak Makassar Ebony ME5
22-23: Vator Poly Brush, retractable brush heads that can be adjusted for amount of brush exposed (Endless sound capabilities)

24: Regal Tip Stationary brush head. Great for using in shuffle beats and mixes

Geez…don’t show my missus……….. Keep Calm and Drum ON…… Randy Feener 

Indiana, USA

Robert Kirkman’s Collection

Over a time of 18+ years I have made or had made and then modified most of these. I use the straight beater on the left most days. Occasionally I will use the click stick. Rarely do I find a quiet location I can use the brush stick.

Robert Kirkman 

New Hampshire, USA

Robin Weisburger Collection
Here’s mine!
From left to right:
  1. Glenn Stout special
  2. From a Montreal music shop
  3. Skewer stick from Saratoga
  4. Top end from the New England fall week-end compliments of Laurileen
  5. Stick that came with my drum
  6. Brush stick from Babs, aka BJ
Robin Weisburger – New Hampshire, USA

Texas, USA

Sherri Rhein’s Collcetion

The only tipper I bought without playing it was the Hedwitschak Ebony ME1. All the others- I played them before buying. My favorite and currently the one I use the most  ***ebony 9″ Maker: Albert Alfonso. My first tipper **Rosewood Tear drop 6.25″

Starting at the far left —

  1. Pine 5″ teardrop shaped – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  2. Oak 5.5″ barrel ended – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  3. Oak 5.5″ barrel ended – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  4. Rosewood 6 barrel ended – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  5. Rosewood 6 with center ring barrel ended – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  6. Pine with center groove 6 – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  7. Cocobolo 5.6 – Maker: family friend
  8. Ebony 6.5″ Maker: Albert Alfonso
  9. Laminate 6.5″ Maker: Albert Alfonso
  10. ***Ebony 9″ Maker: Albert Alfonso
  11. Hedwitschak Ebony ME1
  12. Dark Oak Ball end 6″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  13. Oak Ball end 6.25″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  14. Rosewood Ball end 6″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  15. Pine wood Ball end 6″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  16. Rosewood Tear drop 6.5″ (these were my favorites when learning triplets)
  17. Oak Tear drop 6.5″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  18. **Rosewood Tear drop 6.25″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  19. Rosewood Tear drop 6.25″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  20. Light Oak Tear drop 5.5″ – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival
  21. Rosewood 5.5 – Drum store in Austin, TEXAS
  22. Light Oak Ball end 5.0 – music store at Texas Renaissance Festival

Sherri Rhein – Texas, USA


Colorado, USA

Stan Hill Collection

Left to right:

1-6   — snakewood, various shapes/weights, hand turned by Emery Hutchins (nice!)

7      — 9″ off-center knob tipper from Roosebeck

8      — 9” knob tipper from Roosebeck

9-13 — experimental bundles

Stan Hill – Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA (Jan. ’13)

To view Part 1 of the Bodhran Tippers Of The World Collection Click Here

To view Part 2 Click Here

To view Part 4 Click Here

To view Part 5 Click Here

If you have any of the tippers featured in the collections or want to share insight that might be useful to your fellow drummers please leave a comment below.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Madigan August 20, 2013 at 7:33 am

I see some RUBBER coated tippers. Where do you find the Rubber to put on your tippers? I would like to try that.

Thanks for you help.



Rick August 21, 2013 at 12:04 am

Fun to see all the different tipper types and modifications. Thanks for sharing.

Mac August 22, 2013 at 10:49 am

These are amazing, lots of ideas for a beginner like me, I have tried covering a Belgarth teardrop tipper with a high quality Chamois leather. This gives a really lovely deep soft tone all I have to do is learn to play properly, drumming on!!!


Morisson August 25, 2013 at 4:45 am

I use rubber for tennis racket to put on my tippers ; it’s cheaper and efficient

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