Note: It is normal for the MellowBell to “shed” bristles over the first few weeks of use. This will warm up the sound even further. Take care when storing the stick as the hammered end is delicate.
This brand new stick adds a subtle and really cool voice to the BellRod series of rod Tippers. The MellowBell is the same length at 10.25 inches as the other sticks in the series, and features the same texturized, cushioned rubber grip, this time in a bright mellow yellow! The MellowBell gets its unique sound from 19 bamboo dowels that are soaked and hammered on the bottom playing end. This technique produces a really fine, bristle-like end, which provides a huge bass response, but also a very articulate swishy kind of subtle attack. You’ll notice that this hammering technique is only applied to the bottom of the stick, so you’ll be able to keep it in your stickcase or wrapper with no issues. The solid glued top of the stick is more articulate for double-ended ornaments as well.
You can think of the MellowBell as a Tipper that has the swish of a brush, but gets a very pure and bassy sound out of the drum. This is a great stick for sensitive accompaniment, and it’s also a really good stick for lower volume practicing. At around 32 grams, the MellowBell is an ideal stick for warming up before a gig, and its overall lower volume is really good if I’m backstage and want to get in some playing time without driving the other musicians crazy. Mic-ed up, this Tipper is fantastic for playing bass-lines and slower groove-based ideas.
About the BellRods
The BellRods are my signature series of Bodhrán Tippers, designed by me, and made by Stevie Moises of Drechslerei-Moises in Bavaria. All four tippers in the BellRod family are 26cm, or 10.2 inches long. I find that this is the ideal length for me to be able to play single or double-ended styles and to get the combination of power and control that I need.
All of the BellRods feature a unique cushioned rubber grip which is placed at the upper third of the tipper, leaving just over an inch of the tipper above the top of the grip. I worked with Stevie to develop a cushioned grip that was comfortable to play and had just enough tackiness that it wouldn’t slip out of my hand. This grip placement works for single or double ended playing, and works perfectly for the baby grip that I use, or a more traditional tipper grip. The cushioned grip itself is six inches long, so you can hold the tipper toward the very top, or closer to its midpoint depending on your style of playing.
Each model of BellRod is constructed of combinations of bamboo, beech, or walnut rods in different configurations, giving each model a different sound, but a similar enough feel that you can switch between models without having to adjust your playing style.
The TriBell, NutBell, and BambooBell all feature a triangular shape, and are light and fast, weighing between 22 and 24 grams. All three have a similar feel to a straight stick, but most definitely have the sound of a rod tipper, which was the idea behind this series. The JazzBell has a more rounded grip because of its 33 rods, and has a nice, thicker feel in the handle.
All of the BellRod models have different colors of handles in order to be easily identified in your tipper bag or bodhrán case.
BellRods feature either two or three rubber O-rings below the handle, giving you the ability to tailor the feel and sound of the tipper to your individual preference.
I have always loved playing the bodhrán with rod-style tippers, but I hadn’t been able to find one that perfectly fit my style, and sounded great on synthetic or natural heads. So naturally, Stevie and I came up with four that fit the bill! I hope you enjoy playing the BellRods as much as we enjoyed designing them!