Clive Quinn has been making bodhrans under the trade name DEADRAT for over 20 years. 

His commitment to top quality materials and standards of construction has earned him the highest praise among folk musicians and bodhran players. 


Deadrat bodhran rims are constructed by hand using a lamination process which bonds an outer layer of Victorian Ash to a multi-ply core. This technique ensures complete stability of the rim and prevents warpage, often a cause of premature skin failure on cheap bodhrans. This inherent stability allows the replacement of the usual crossed struts with a single strut, giving easy access to the entire inner surface of the skin.  The player is now able not only to modify the tone of the skin, but also to alter its pitch over a much broader range.  The rim is finished in a special impact resistant varnish for those who like playing on the rim.


The natural goatskin is fitted to the rim with the same attention to detail, first with steel staples, then a decorative band and finally with heavy brassed studs ensuring consistent tension across the skin.  A newly fitted skin usually has a hard tone with lots of sustain. This is quite normal. The tone will moderate as the skin is “played in”.


When a natural drumskin is cold or damp it becomes slack and unplayable. When this happens the application of gentle heat will restore it to the correct tension. Simply taking the bodhran into normal room temperature is usually enough. The most common cause of skin failure is excessive heat. This is really important so it’s worth repeating. THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF SKIN FAILURE IS EXCESSIVE HEAT. Do not expose your bodhran skin to hairdryers, open fires, blowtorches (honestly) or any other source of fierce heat (including the sun). Don’t leave it in your car, especially if, like me, you live in Western Australia!  Remember, top quality drumskins are really expensive.

If the tension of your bodhran becomes so tight that the sound is harsh and ringing, the application of a little clean water will reduce it. A small spray bottle is handy for this. Please don’t put beer on the skin. 

If consistent skin tension is a priority for you, consider a DEADRAT TUNABLE bodhran.

Look after your DEADRAT bodhran as you would any fine instrument and it will reward you with many years of pleasure.   HAPPY DRUMMING!