Peter Houlahan, of Armagh City in the north of Ireland, has gained a very high reputation as being one of Ireland’s foremost bodhrán players. His unique style, embedded firmly in traditional music, has made Peter sought after by many illustrious names. To date Peter has featured on twelve albums produced by the likes of Sting, Finbar Furey, Brendan Power, Karen Tweed, Paul Bradley and Brian Finnegan. Peter has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes, has toured extensively throughout Europe with various groups and is, at present, concentrating on teaching the bodhrán.


The Irish Drum presents Peter’s ideas and techniques in an accessible and informative manner. Using this book along with the optional recording, there is no doubt that, armed with Peter’s years of knowledge and experience, you could soon be playing the bodhrán with the best of them.




The Book


Foreword from Brian Finnegan



The Drum and Beater

Preparing to Play

Beating the Drum

The Jig

The Basic Jig Beat

The Jig with Triples

The Jig with Rim Shot

The Reel

The Basic Reel Beat

The Reel with Triples

The Reel with Side Work

Varying Beater Positions

The Reel: Rolls Added

Dynamic Sounds from the Skin

More Dynamic Sounds from the Skin

Putting It All Together - The Kesh Jig

Putting It All Together - Saint Anne’s Reel

Putting It All Together - The Jig and Reel

Putting It All Together - The Reel and the Hornpipe

The Hornpipe - Off to California

The Polka - Egan’s Polka

The Slide - The Scattery Island Slide

The March - Napoleon Crossing the Rhine

The Slip Jig - Drops of Brandy

Relax, Enjoy and Participate


The Soundtrack


Opening Jig Set

        The Rose in the Heather

        The Rambler

        Bill Collins’ Jig

Holding the Bodhrán and Beater

Beating the Bodhrán

The Jig Beat Explained

The Kesh Jig - Basic Jig Beat

The Kesh Jig - Triples Added

The Kesh Jig - With Rim Shot

Saint Anne’s Reel - Basic Reel Beat

Saint Anne’s Reel - Triples Added

Saint Anne’s Reel - With Side Work

Saint Anne’s Reel - Varying Beater Positions

Saint Anne’s Reel - Rolls Added

The Kesh Jig - Bodhrán as Notated

The Kesh Jig - Free Style Bodhrán

Saint Anne’s Reel - Bodhrán as Notated

Saint Anne’s Reel - Free Style Bodhrán

The Hornpipe - Off to California

The Polka - Egan’s Polka

The Slide - The Scattery Island Slide

The March - Napoleon Crossing the Rhine

The Slip Jig - Drops of Brandy

Jig Playalong

        Langstrom’s Pony

Jig with Bodhrán Accompaniment

Reel Set Playalong

        The Humours of Scartaglen

        The James Street Reel

        The Monaghan Twig

Reel Set with Bodhrán Accompaniment

Hornpipe Set Playalong

        The Home Ruler

        The Smoky Chimney

Hornpipe Set with Bodhrán Accompaniment

Polka Set Playalong

        Din Tarrant’s Polka

        Seamus Cussen’s Polka

        Munster Bank

Polka Set with Bodhrán Accompaniment

Slide Set Playalong

        Bunratty Boys

        The Lonesome Road to Dingle

        The Clog

Slide Set with Bodhrán Accompaniment

March Set Playalong

        The Centenary March

        The Mountains of Pomeroy

March Set with Bodhrán Accompaniment

Slip Jig Playalong

        The Kid on the Mountain

Slip Jig with Bodhrán Accompaniment

Closing Reel Set

        Sporting Paddy

        Bodhrán Solo

        Foxhunters’ Reel

The Irish Drum An Bodhrán Book and CD - Peter Houlahan and Dave Mallinson

  • An in depth look at playing the bodhrán. Peter Houlahan takes the absolute beginner to professional status in this easy to follow tutorial. All Irish dance rhythms are explained in detail, reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, slides, marches and slip jigs. Both left and right hand techniques are explained. Foreword from Brian Finnegan.

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