Irish Spoons and Bones
These instruments are part of the Irish session rhythm section,
along with the bodhrans
See the Irish Music Books Etc page for the Tommy Hayes video which has a brief section on bones and spoons at the end (the rest of this video is on playing the bodhran). We regret that this is the only item we have on how to play the bones and spoons.
old days, these were really made of bone, but now are made of
wood. To play them, you hold them both between the
fingers of one hand and shake your hand to make the bones clack against each other.
takes a bit of practice!) Our current bones
are shaped as shown, and are curved.
Size: about 7 1/2" long.
The woods we currently have are listed below. Please specify which you want. All are $18/pair.
Dark brown with prominent black grain design.
Padouk: Dark red with slight dark grain.
Teak: Medium brown with dark grain design.
Lacewood: Medium brown with dark brown flecks.
Zebra wood: Medium brown with nearly-black straight stripes.
Bubinga: Rich reddish brown with grain.
The bones shown in the photo above are lacewood, but the current lacewood we have looks somewhat different, as this wood can vary in its markings.
In the old days, they played a pair of real spoons from the kitchen, and those spoons were held in a manner similar to the bones (above). That was harder to do; nowadays, you can do it the easy way with these spoons, which are joined at one end. You hold the spoons in one hand and bang them on your other palm, or on your arm, your head or whatever . The Hayes video (see the Irish Music Books Etc page) shows Tommy playing real spoons and doing a few party tricks.
SP1. Shown at left are French-style rosewood spoons with a soft leather-covered knob at the bottom end for a better grip. These can also be reversed, so that you hold the spoons in your hand, and use the knob for beating a drum. 10" long overall. $15.
Our current ones have brown leather on the knob.
These Irish-style spoons are carved from two pieces of wood which are joined at
the end of the handles. They are heavier than the slimmer ones, and the spoons
are turned outwards instead of toward each other. This gives the player more
variety in the sounds that can be achieved. 9" long. Made in Ireland. $34.
We have two pair of these left. They are nice, except that
both pair have a dark stain on one side of one spoon.
SP2B. Our new ones in are dark colored, and are 7 3/4" long. $34
SP3. Bird spoons. These have deep bowls back to back, as in the SP2 above. Where the handles are joined, there is a sort of bird's head. The handles are the long neck, and the spoons are the bird's body. $16.
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