My Bodhran Has Arrived!

Yesterday my bodhran was delivered to my front door, and it was agony not being able to play it for more than thirty minutes. I’m working on the April newsletter for my writers’ organization, Hampton Roads Writers, and the first draft needs to be finished by the end of the week. I have at least two more days of hard work before I can really take the time to enjoy playing my drum.

My bodhran is just the newest in a group of instruments I own and play poorly, unlike my children and daughter-in-law who are excellent musicians and play at least one instrument very well, and in most cases, several instruments very well. I can confidently say I play more instruments than they do…but not one of them well. Ask me if I care. Well, yeah, a little. Maybe with my bodhran I can at least rise to mediocrity.

I was  excited at the prospect of getting my violin repaired and learning some Irish fiddle tunes, but I got the bad news this weekend when we took it to a master violin maker/repairman that it basically wasn’t worth the money to repair it. It would have cost nearly as much as I paid for it, and it isn’t a great violin to begin with, though it was a decent one for someone like me who used to play with my students in our middle school orchestra. I bought a new E-string anyway, just in case I can get it in tune again with the ill-fitting pegs and play it before the sound post crack gets any worse. Someday maybe I’ll save enough money for another violin, if I’m not in The Home already. Would hate to never play again.


imageAs you can see, I have a passion for making music. These are the instruments that I own now: A gorgeous Yamaha piano, my violin, my pennywhistle, soprano and alto recorders, my baritone ukelele, and my bodhran. I also have a practice chanter for Scottish bagpipes, but I need a reed and I can’t find the mouthpiece. I own a guitar, but my brother is still borrowing it, and I like to think of him playing his music, too. He used to have a group when he was in high school called the Cap-Sized Three. He was quite good. Hey, we should play together sometime, Brother! Anyway, if I’ve been absent from my blogging for awhile, it’s because of the newsletter and now my new drum. After so many years of working, I’m enjoying indulging my creative side. I have a lot of time to make up for. After I master this bodhran, I wonder what I’ll think of next. What about the uilleann pipes? How hard can they be?

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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36 Responses to My Bodhran Has Arrived!

  1. Robin says:

    I am so jealous. I would love to have a bodhran. Never mind that I have no rhythm. It would go well with the pennywhistle I don’t play well. (I do a rousing rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, though.)

  2. oldereyes says:

    Nice to see someone with a greater assortment of musical toys than I have. I’d suggest adding a native American flute to your collection. Very peaceful sound and easy to play once you get used to the pentonic (five note scale) which is what gives it its plaintive sound.

    • Coming East says:

      I actually saw one played on the Cherokee Indian reservation near Asheville, N.C. last year and talked to the Indian who was playing it. It was gorgeous, but the are expensive. I lusted after one. Maybe someday.

  3. I much admire anyone who can make music, regardless of their proficiency. Tunefulness has never been synonymous with me, unfortunately. 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    Wow, Susan! How many instruments do you play…?
    Btw, the sun has turned to the side that my deck is facing three, four big oak trees, so I haven’t been able to take a sunset picture for you. I was prepared to take some photos last weekend, guess what, it was cloudy then rained on Sunday (we need so bad.). Will get it for you…

    • Coming East says:

      It’s the time change, Amy. I’m hoping that in a few weeks, when we are driving up the Eastern Shore to Boston, we will be able to time it right and watch the sun rise from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. What an incredible sight that is!

  5. Lenore Diane says:

    Keep on indulging your creative side, Susan. I’d love listening to you play each and every instrument, regardless of the skill level. Our boys love music. I hope to get them involved in various classes within the next year or so. Music does wonders for the soul.

    • Coming East says:

      It does, indeed, LD. What instruments are your boys interested in? If you are interested in a study “abroad” program, send them here and we can drum and whistle together.

      • Lenore Diane says:

        Oh don’t tempt and tease me, Susan. I think you’d be a wonderful guide from whom they could learn.
        They love all things musical – when they see the orchestra in person or on television they are mesmerized. If they are around a ‘rock’ band – they are equally mesmerized. Their Great Aunt is a piano teacher, and she advised us to wait until the boys were 8 before teaching them piano. Now that Joe is 8, we may start there.

      • Coming East says:

        Piano is always a great choice, LD. Once you’ve learned that, you can move on to other instruments, as I did. By the way, I was a really fun teacher when I was teaching. Your boys would like me.

  6. Huffygirl says:

    I bet you are better than you let on Susan, and it sounds like you can read music, which is light years ahead of me. I play guitar by ear and have a piano that I should be learning to play but am not. Maybe someday we’ll all be in a senior citizens blogger garage band!

    • Coming East says:

      Love the image of us in our senior citizens’ blogger garage band, HG. Yes, I actually am fairly decent at reading music. It’s the playing of it that I’m not so good at.

  7. pattisj says:

    You truly have a musicians heart. I had to check out some YouTube videos to see what you are learning. 🙂 Sorry to hear about your violin.

  8. let the drumming commence!!! Yay! Doing a jig for your new arrival, and no it is not a pretty sight.

    • Coming East says:

      Haha, DAF. I’m a mess, though, because now I’m not only playing my drum, I’m trying to get my Iris whistle up to speed for the pub. Aaarrgggghhhh! I’ve GOT to do that newsletter!

  9. Please give me enough notice of your “one woman band” concert so I can drive from Maine to VA to attend! Good luck in finishing up the newsletter so that you can absorb yourself in your bodhran!

  10. What a great post… what fun to try new instruments….I can actually picture you in The Home playing your violin before the evening meal….. lol 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Your comment made me hoot out loud, LWTTD. What a picture! Me in The Home, playing that violin with its three strings. People there might even think I was good. What would they know? If we’re in The Home, our minds are gone anyway. Hey, I might even think I was good!

  11. Dianna says:

    Good luck with it; hope you get time to play soon!

  12. winsomebella says:

    Now if you can figure out how to do and post an audio podcast for us, we can join in the fun. I miss my piano and keep thinking it’s about time to replace the one I left behind. This post just moved me further in that direction. Play on, Susan!

  13. Val says:

    I’ve never heard of a baritone ukelele, so I had a look on youtube. I have two guitars, neither of which I play now because I always hurt my back when I do. Apart from a bit of blues I’ve pretty much forgotten how to play guitar. My husband’s a musician so he ‘minds’ my electric guitar and the acoustic sadly sits and gets dusty.

    I’d love a bodhran… I adore percussion.

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