20 Best Bodhran Reviews 2020 (Best Frame Drums)

Best Bodhran, Best Frame Drum & Best Bodhran Brands

Best Bodhran, Best Frame Drum & Best Bodhran Brands

The Celtic bodhran is a great drum design that every drummer loves to have. But finding the best and reliable one isn’t like a walk a in the park. If you are out looking for a bodhran for sale online, you have come to the right place.

In this buyers guide, we will take you through the process of finding the right drum. The laminated rosewood and cross braces of this musical instrument offer great support to its goatskin cover. Playing the bodhran is playing a fun instrument, even for those who are just learning to play the instrument.

What are the Best Bodhran/Frame Drum to Buy?

2) Remo HD-8514-00 Fiberskyn Frame Drum

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Quality Design
  • Weather-resistant

1) Meinl (FD14IBO) Percussion Irish Bodhran

  • High Quality
  • Reputable Brand
  • Deep Shell
  • Wonderful Design

3) Remo KD-0500-01 Kids Percussion

  • Great for Kids
  • Great Price Value
  • Attractive Design
  • Comfortable Playing

Choosing the right bodhran—Types of bodhran

When choosing a bodhran in the market, there are several different factors to consider. Choosing a bodhran means deciding first if what you want is a tunable version or a tacked version of the same.

A bodhran designed to be a tunable version is the type that comes with its head firmly held in place by a metal hardware that allows the player to tighten or loosen the instrument for the purpose of changing the sound and frequency of beat. On the other hand, a tacked bodhran is the type whose head is held together with solid tacks so it cannot be tuned.

Materials design

Another thing to consider while choosing a bodhran is the material used in making it. Some of bodhran’s drumheads are made from natural goatskin while some others are made from synthetic materials.

Bodhran with natural goatskin drumheads provide players with a deeper sound. They also need to be oiled regularly, compared to synthetic drumheads.

Bodhran sizes

Another important aspect of a bodhran is its size. Bodhrans comes in different sizes. While they come in the range of 10 to 26 inches, most of today’s professional musicians preferred bodhrans that are in the 14 to 18 inches category. Kids and children can take pleasure in playing on small-sized bodhrans, including musicians that have little stature, and who might find it difficult to hold and play a large variation of the historic Celtic instrument.

Purchasing a Tipper

A tipper refers to short stick that is used for playing the bodhran. This tipper is usually shaped with a narrow center, and it can be double headed or single headed. However, both heads often come rounded.

You can produce the desired sound by rolling or striking the tipper on the surface of the drum. Another way to get sound variations when using the tipper is to tighten or loosen the skin of the drumhead. The bottom head is the type that’s also used to produce rhythmic beats even as the top head of the tipper produces ornamentations and rolls when used in playing Kerry style music.

That said; let’s take a look at some of the best bodhrans in the market.

20 Best Bodhran Reviews and the Best Frame Drums

1) Meinl (FD14IBO) Percussion Irish Bodhran

The Meinl is one of the most classic and top-notch bodhrans in the drum market. You can take your drumming skills to a higher level and perfect it as well using this wonderful design. The brand comes in two different designs: a Celtic design with a crossbar and an Irish design boasting extra deep frame, including a dampening layer on the head.

Measuring 14 x 14 x 6 inches in dimensions, the Irish bodhran features a decent length with an extra deep shell that enhances a rich and full sound. At 3.5 pounds, the Meinl Percussion Bodhran is a lightweight piece that can be taken anywhere. It comes with a rim that has extra dampening layer, and which reduces the effect of overtones.

This version comes with no conventional cross brace, which was strategically removed to allow straightforward hand-pressure on the head for innovating pitch-bending techniques. The head of the drum features Meinl hand selected goatskin which provides warm tones, with excellently balanced sustain. The design is beautiful and the extra rim provides low-end and musical sound.

2) Remo HD-8514-00 Fiberskyn Frame Drum

Everyone seems to be talking about Remo, and this one isn’t much different from the rest but with top-notch quality design around the frame.

The frame of the HD-8514-00 features a fiberskin design while the drumhead and the frame feature the famous pre-tune technology for which Remo is widely celebrated. The frame’s body also consists of the acoustic wood shell design that has featured prominently in most of Remo’s bodhrans. The frame appears in a black paint, and the design further makes it look like a rosewood was involved in the construction, but is not.

At 14 inches, this bodhran isn’t a problem for beginners and advanced players. In fact, the size is just perfect for all categories of players, especially for people who are not too short-handed or long-handled.

The fiberskin design used for the drumhead made it look like a traditional drum, especially when you consider that its design also incorporates special processes that give it the look of an animal skin.

If you are looking for a practice instrument, this one will do. It’s just the perfect size to have nice practical lessons.

3) Remo KD-0500-01 Kids Percussion

Why should adult alone play the bodhran? Here comes a version for the kids in your home and for the children in the neighborhood. It’s time to play and dance to the rhythm using this drum that features Remo’s fiberskin.

The drum comes with 3 head designs at the top—something that’s mostly associated with most professional drum designs.

From a distance, any child would fall for this drum due to its amazing and attractive design. The drum weighs a little above 3 pounds, which might appear a bit too large or heavy for kids. But that is really not the case. Children can easily handle it and dance to the music it offers.

Your kid can even make use of regular drumsticks in playing this drum. It is sturdy and does what it is designed to do.

4) BTN8BT Tunable Rosebeck Bodhran

Do you love Irish and Celtic musical style? This bodhran is designed to give you a feel of that beat. Weighing less than 4 pounds, the Rosebeck is a lightweight option for every class of player. It comes with a drumhead that features natural goatskin design, meaning you will have access to warmth and good natural tone that’s typical of the acoustic drum.

The fact that this bodhran is tunable makes it a top choice for most bodhran players. The drum passes well for a beginner drum. The material design is durable and will last for a long time. The built is well made, and the frame consists of an elegant lacquered wood body.

The entire piece comes well set up, and we like the quality of the construction. In fact, everything about this drum is just perfect.

However, one thing we noticed is that the skin on the drumhead isn’t the greatest in the market. But notwithstanding, it does everything that it’s supposed to do. So you can rely on it.

5) Irish Natural Trinity College Bodhran

The TB-4 reminds us of the free gift of nature to mankind. Anyway, this one isn’t for free though, but you’ve got to appreciate the all-around natural design of this bodhran. It features a laminated traditional wood that measures 18 inches in diameter, which is supported by a twin crossbar—making it the foundational fulcrum of the best of Irish traditional music.

The Trinity College (I wonder if this bodhran is going to take you to school) comes with a natural goatskin head secured in place with tacks. These give the drum a solid look, durable feel and authentic sound that define the best of a bodhran.

As it is with every Trinity College design, this model, the TB-4, also comes with a wood tipper that is well polished and highly reliable. It also features a natural blonde rim, and with its 8-inch long tipper, you can feel comfortable using this Pakistani designed bodhran. If you love the high-pitch tone, this is your drum.

6) Rosewood T-bar 16 x 3.5 Bodhran

If you are a musician or a band player who want something to compliment your aspiring musical drive, this bodhran will do just fine.

The bodhran features exquisite design and a charming appearance that compels even the worst critique of bodhrans to have a second look. The materials used in the design of this bodhran are authentic.

When first order this piece, it came nicely assembled and the materials are well in place. A good band instrument should be tunable, and this one excels well in that regard.

The good-skin design surface gives it a natural look, and with that, you can expect a deep, warm tone. However, the surface of the hide may not appeal to you (we all are different in taste, you know), so you may want to take out the logo and smoothen the surface to your taste.

All the same, this bodhran does what it is meant to do. The fact that it measures 15 x 17 x 17 inches in dimensions while weighing just 0.16 ounces, means you have a convenient piece to play.

7) 10 Inch HD—8510-00 Fiberskin Frame Drum

Another bodhran with a Remo drumhead on its frame; the HD—8510-00 is a durable option for long-term drummers. This one comes with a pre-tuned innovative design. It resonates with warmth and excellent projection when played with bare hands or using a mallet.

The body features a durable acoustic shell design that adds to the beat it generates. The drumhead is also made of pre-tuned fiberskin and it produces an interesting low-pitch-tune and projection that resembles that of a traditional drum shell.

This size is perfect for small-handed players and also for kids. So if you are looking for a bodhran with a drumhead that comes pre-tuned, this one will do just fine. You might think that this drum is a traditional one, except that it doesn’t come with rings and dangling metals.

With the fiberskin drumhead design, everything about this bodhran looks so realistic. It is just like a replica of a traditional piece. We didn’t find anything wrong with this design at all, and you too might just find it interesting.

8) Waltons 18” Pro Deluxe Bodhran

There is a bodhran for everyone and this Waltons 18-Inch Pro Deluxe Bodhran has confirmed that. The drum measures 18 inches in diameter and it comes with excellent features that qualify it as a considerable item. The bodhran is strictly designed to meet the playing needs of the beginner drummer. It is well suited to generate a traditional straightforward sound. The drum is well built and reliable for beginners.

The Waltons 18” Pro Deluxe Bodhran comes with a quality hardwood beater. The head of the instrument is made of goatskin and the company has undergone much improvement over the years. The skinhead of this bodhran features a ply 2 goatskin, which provides amazing sound and deep rhythmic beat.

The head of the Waltons Pro Deluxe Bodhran comes tightened, but you must understand that the head is also affected by humidity and temperature levels, which is normal for this type of design. The crossbar that comes with the drum is perfect for holding it. It is one of the drum that will need a bit of care during its lifespan. But there is nothing wrong with investing in this drum.

9) 18 x 4-inch Rosewood Bodhran-Single

All eyes on this bodhran that comes with extended length for larger hand. Players with large hands and experience in playing the bodhran shouldn’t have anything to worry about this one.

But, it is something that a beginner can also play as well. However, if you have smaller hands, this is not for you. At 7 x 20 x 20 inches in dimensions, you know this is a large size. It comes with a single crossbar that is removable. And at a weight of 0.16 ounces, this shouldn’t be a difficult problem for a larger handed player.

The head of this bodhran features the typical goatskin design—one that is so beautiful that you might be tempted to pull it off and cook it, lol. The frame of the bodhran features a beautiful rosewood design, which adds crisp and commanding taste to the tone and sound.

With such a gorgeous look and a nice tipper, this is one bodhran you can give as a Christmas or birthday gift.

10) SKYNDEEP Remo Tar Frame Bodhran

We have an extra large size bodhran that can cause even spirits to dance and gyrate in glory. At 22 inches, you know this is a monster bodhran design for the most ardent drummer. It is perfect for regular drumming using your two hands. It comes with a great feeling especially at the surface and the goatskin design simply makes you feel you are playing a traditional natural drum.

One remarkable thing about this Remo drum is the sound it projects. The natural goatskin head drum design gives you excellent resonance while staying tuned all through the play. The only problem with these types of drums is that if you are much of a traveler, they might be affected by changes in climate and weather conditions.

But not to be undone, this is one of the best Remo bodhrans you can get in the market. The brown goatskin finish adds allure to the overall appearance. The drum also produces the right amount of overtones, thanks to its natural feel and lightly textured finish.

11) Mulberry Sngl 14 x 3.5 Tune Bodhran

Here is another elegant looking bodhran from a strange but quality-oriented manufacturer. This one comes with the tuning bolt hidden on the internal layer of the frame. It weighs 4 pounds, which is not bad for a beginner or a professional either.

At 14 inches, this is the right size bodhran for you, if you are just learning how to play this old school instrument. The knob tipper that comes with it may appear a bit too big for some hands, but overall, the bodhran is in good quality.

In appearance, the drum is a beautiful piece. The skin is lovely and the tones are like those designed by aliens from Mars (just kidding). The frame is made of mulberry wood, and you can easily adjust it at the back to suit your purpose. With the quality of this drum, it should fall between beginner and intermediate player level.

12) T-bar Cedar Bodhran Drum 16 Inches

There seem to be something unique with bodhrans that comes with hidden bolt tuning on the inside of the drum’s frame. That is exactly what this drum is about.

The body of the bodhran features a red cedar wood frame design that is known to last for ages. Although the instrument is large, considering the 16 inches size ratio, the wooden design makes it relatively lightweight, especially when you compare it to models like the Sheesham ones.

Well, one might ask; can any good thing come from Pakistan? Yes, it can, and this bodhran says it all. The native red cedar and the wonderfully attractive solid wood shell combine to provide effective long hours of fun-filled play.

The tuning wrench and the tipper that comes with this Pakistani crafted piece enable you to derive the best from the goatskin head surface. It’s time to take your bodhran game to the next level.

13) 14 Inch Frame Drum with Interior Tuning

14 Inch Frame Drum with Interior Tuning

The skilled crafters in Pakistan return with yet another frame drum that excels in quality and value. Made by Mid-East drum crafters, this Shaman bodhran measures 8 x 14 x 14 inches in dimension; making it a perfect choice for the medium-to-big handed player.

It has similar features with its 12-inch sister frame drum version. It weighs 0.16 ounces—a decent weight for everyone that loves playing a bodhran.

The drum is tunable and the quality of the sound is surprisingly amazing for such a price tag. The soft and reliable round bearing edges of this bodhran makes it possible for you to have the most excellent inducing tone. Just hit the side of the drum and enjoy the sound.

Being lightweight also means you can do quick shaking techniques without wearing out so quickly.

14) Remo Renaissance 14 Inch Bodhran

This one comes with a super drum head that quickly adapts to any environmental condition. Truly renaissance, this bodhran offers excellent depth in pitch and vibration. The drum measures 10 x 10 x 10 inches in dimension, making it a medium size for both beginners and intermediate players.

Considering its 10 pounds, the Remo Renaissance bodhran isn’t the choice for children. The thing that makes the drum outstanding from the pack is its ability to withstand and thrive under all forms of weather conditions.

The drum sounds pretty good and the pitch can be controlled by loosening or tightening of the straps that are within the frame.

The drumhead is natural, and it’s the type that won’t make your hands feel sticky or distorted during play.

Although the drum is available in other sizes such as 12, 16 and 22 inches, this 14-inch size is just perfect for both beginners and advanced players.

The drum comes already tuned, although you may want to have your sound depth and pitch preference.

15) 12 Inch Frame Bodhran with Beater

As the name implies, this drum is made and framed for people with medium size hands. At 12 inches, the drum isn’t for folks with extremely large hands. The entire dimensions of the drum measure 8 x 14 x 14 inches, which is an appropriate design for a small and medium-size player.

At a weight of 3 pounds, this Shaman made drum isn’t the heavy piece you will struggle to carry about. This one comes with a leather beater, meaning you won’t be spending another buck on a separate beater.

The frame features a rosewood design, which adds depth to its tone. The goatskin head is fixed, and the straps at the back of the drum allow you to control the pitch that comes from it.

The drum has an excellent sound, and no one should be struggling to play this simple drum.

Maybe Pakistan has a knack for simplicity.

16) 10 Inch Frame Drum with Beater

Similar to the 12 and 14 inches frame bodhrans discussed earlier, this 10-inch bodhran is a yet another simple drum for a small hand size player. Just as like its 12-inch sister version, you can also control the pitch through the straps that are at the back of the frame.

Made by Dobani, this frame drum comes with a goatskin head for deep and rich sound. The beater that comes with it saves you from investing in a separate beater that would have cost you additional expenses.

This drum is suitable for a beginner. The price and quality at such price make it even more attractive as an option. The sound you get from this one is like a piercing bullet, as the pitch is very high.

However, if you are looking for something with more vibrato, look elsewhere. And one more thing; though the natural goatskin head appears sturdy, it is designed to last till the alien takeover of Earth is complete. But that should serve its purpose considering the price.

17) Waltons WM1953-Inch Celtic Cross Bodhran

If you are out looking for a Bodhran drum that is handcrafted from the finest wood material, this should be one of them. The Waltons WM1953 comes with excellent drumheads that are made from original goatskin. This design provides deeper sound and soft-touch rhythmic beat generation by virtue of the surface design.

Measuring 10.8 x 13.8 x 2.1 inches in dimension, this bodhran is designed to be played by beginners and advanced players. It is the type of drum that you will needs when striving to introduce a beat. It also provides a conversational rhythmic flow and the look isn’t bad at all. In fact, the Waltons WM1953 is a beautiful drum design that you can give out as a perfect Christmas or birthday gift.

Carrying the drum is easy. It comes with a carrying box that allows you to take it to anywhere with remarkable ease. It is also accompanied by a hardwood beater, and with this Celtic drum, you can achieve the best in playability from such a lightweight drum weighing 0.32 ounces.

In a nutshell, there is nothing wrong with this drum, which offers quality and affordability. It is a world class and elegant drum that deserves the consideration when you are out looking for the best bodhran.

18) Small Scottish Thistle (Irish) 12 Inch Bodhran

1to1MusicUSA rolls out this baby with a commanding design that catches your attention from afar off. The surface of this bodhran features an elegant design as such that even Santa Claus might prefer to keep it to himself.

At 12 inches, the size shows that this bodhran is specifically made for people with smaller hands, especially for beginners. Your kids can jam away comfortably on this one without mincing words or beat.

Upon arrival, the package seems to be well cared for, as everything is rightly tight and in the exact place. No scratches or rough surface on this one. In fact, the instrument is great and we can rightly say those who crafted it knew exactly what they were doing.

We like the fact that it comes with a beater, and as you or your little one jam away at the richly designed surface, the glorious surface will give more reasons to play this piece.

19) Waltons WM1956 8-Inch Trinity Design Bodhran

This is yet another Waltons great design that excels in quality and craftsmanship. The surface is well designed and every bit of the drum is neatly fit and constructed. This version weighs 7 ounces, meaning it is not something that would be difficult to carry. The body features a reliable hardwood design which will last for a long time. The head is made of goatskin which gives it a deeper sound when played with a tipper.

The tonal variation is interesting in the sense that it is designed as such that both beginner and professional drummers can use it. Regarding measurement, the Waltons WM1956 measures 10.8 x 13.8 x 2.1 inches, which is one of the lightest and most portable bodhrans in the market.

Although the design looks great in all respect, it isn’t the best of the best. However, it is one bodhran that’s worth the consideration, especially if you are on a budget. A perfect gift choice, and is suitable for playing lullabies, and thanks to the included limericks.

20) Paraic McNeela Professional Bodhran with Bag

Have you in your life come across this brand before? Well, the name isn’t the center of focus here, but what it offers. And believe it, this bodhran is a great one among many. The drum comes with a one-of-a-kind rim that measures 4.1 /2 inches, featuring an additional layer of wood which enhances extra strength for better playability.

The body of the instrument features a black color design, with the surface appearing in white rounded about by a black circle. This gives the bodhran a superb and catchy look. It makes the Paraic McNeela a very beautiful piece of a drum to behold.

In terms of performance, the tone the bodhran produces is quite fascinating. It is designed to give a rich, deep tone, and it is the type of drum that doesn’t intrude into your play during a session play. It comes with the bulbus beater made of hardwood, and the tone it project is amazingly beautiful for such a compact instrument that weighs 14 inches in size.

Choosing the Best Bodhran from the Best Frame Drum Brands

Bodhran is less or more like conventional drums, depending on what you want to do with them. If you are on the market for a frame drum, you don’t have to rush but take your time to buy what is good. Bodhrans, just like any other musical percussion instruments, are designed to suit different variety.

2) Remo HD-8514-00 Fiberskyn Frame Drum

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Quality Design
  • Weather-resistant

1) Meinl (FD14IBO) Percussion Irish Bodhran

  • High Quality
  • Reputable Brand
  • Deep Shell
  • Wonderful Design

3) Remo KD-0500-01 Kids Percussion

  • Great for Kids
  • Great Price Value
  • Attractive Design
  • Comfortable Playing

For instance, when buying your bodhran, you will have to consider some important aspects like appearance, durability, rhythm accompaniments, the sound quality and uniqueness and versatility of the sound instrument. This is the reason why you need to read the reviews above until you are satisfied that you are buying the right bodhran.

There are many quality brands on the market that can provide you with what you are looking for. For instance, Remo is popular for its pre-tune technology that accompanies most of it’s latest bodhrans.

Another thing you must also consider when buying your bodhran is its ability to satisfy the purpose why you are buying it. If you are just starting out as a player, then you don’t need to spend too much on a costly model. Look for a cheap but decent bodhran that will help you practice and develop your skills. If you are already a good player, you don’t need a cheap and not too quality model as it will hamper your playing skills. This will mean you will have to consider the price of your bodhran because the lesser the price the lesser the quality.

However, price, on the other hand, isn’t a strict determinant of quality. Some cheap models can perform like expensive models. In some cases, a cheap but quality bodhran can surpass even the most costly model.

Therefore, consider these reviews and others like this before placing your money on any bodhran.

The best bodhran drums are those that meet the expectation of the player in terms of sound projection reliability. If you are looking for the best, the above bodhrans have the capacity to meet your needs.