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Handstriking

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A playing style using the bare hand to strike the bodhran

Two methods of playing with the hand are:

1. using the back of the knuckles. Marcus Walsh was filmed with Packie Russell (Concertina) in Doolin in 1973 is a fine example

2. striking the skin by oscillating the forearm while keeping the wrist straight will allow the thumb to strike the skin while moving downward and when the 'pinky' finger or the old digitus mínimus mánus is moving upward it also strikes the skin. The later technique is often more easily executed with the bodhrán resting on the same thigh as the hand with which the player strikes the drum: right hand, right thigh, left hand, left thigh. This method rarely uses pitch variation as it is almost impossible to apply pressure to the inside of the skin with the drum in this position. John Skelton, formerly of the House Band uses this particular hand style when he plays the bodhrán and Steáfán Hannigan offers examples of this hand style in his tutorial CD.

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