19 Jun How should I tension the skin on my bodhrán?
The way I do it, is to tension the drum as low as you can and then play it a little , if it feels like you are doing all the work , i.e. the skin is not sufficiently bouncing the stick back to you after each strike , tune up all the tuners a half turn and try again, keep going until you find a happy medium between maximum bass and ease of playing , this is how I tune a drum but then I favour a style of playing with a lot of bass . If however you are ,what is referred too as, a top-end player you might tighten your drum up further to allow your stick to skip across the surface more readily when you are doing “single-end” triplets and rolls.
Once you have found the tension that suits your playing , at the end of any use of the Bodhran you should de-tension all the tuners by at least a full turn before packing it away , then when you take it out again, theoretically, all you should need do is tighten it up a full turn to return it to perfect playing condition !! Of course in real life it’s never that easy as all the permutations of humidity and temperature will have had their subtle effects !
I have found that some skins seem to need a lot of tuning initially but settle down after some time and stabilise but all skins will frustrate and delight at different times during your long relationship with them .
Remember it’s goats we’re dealing with and goats as we all know can be stubborn , wilful , rebellious and tough at times but they don’t half give us great cheese !
Good luck !