In my opinion the quality of the skin is the single most important element of any Bodhran I therefore go to a lot of trouble to personally select the skins I use which at present come from two sources :
Lambeg skins ;
Hand produced in Northern Ireland for the famous Lambeg drums and first adapted for use on the Bodhran by the Legendary maker , Seamus O’Kane .
These skins produce very clear individual notes and great top-end , to put it another way they are the perfect skin choice for a player favouring a melodic style with clear top-end “pops” and “run downs ” at the same time the Lambeg skin will also deliver substantial Bass notes. Generally speaking these skins also have more potential volume , when required , than the vellum and are thus very suited to session playing .
Vellum skins ;
Hand produced by one of only two remaining vellum works in the world , Vellum is the ancient art of producing paper from skin , many ancient manuscripts including the famous ” Book of Kells” in Trinity College Dublin are drawn and written on Vellum , the people I deal with also supply Orchestras and Military bands around the world with drum skins . For Bodhran players seeking the ultimate in deep , dark Bass notes and great sustain with beautiful warm mid-range notes and a fair top-end this is the skin choice for you . Tending to be quieter and subtler than the lambeg skins this is a good choice for beginners and also for duet and trio playing .