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Old 08-05-2023, 01:07 AM
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tinnitus tinnitus is offline
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Default Didgeridoo Questions

Anybody here play the didgeridoo?

When I used to travel, I bought my dad a small didgeridoo in Australia, probably 30" long and maybe 1" inside diameter (kind of a decorative souvenir I suppose). I figured the high notes it produced were due to its small size.

When Dad passed on, he left me what seems to be a full-size didgeridoo, which I assumed would have a much deeper tone than it actually does. I was hoping to hear/feel that wonderful deep rumble, but it sounds more like a distressed calf calling for its mommy when I play it.

This one in the pic is 60" in length with a 1.25" inside diameter up top (and a legit beeswax mouthpiece), flaring to 2" inside diameter at the bell end.

Is this big enough to deliver that wonderful deep tone I was hoping for? Perhaps it's my technique/embouchure? (I did play trumpet as a child.) I'm willing to try different things and practice if there's any hope that I might drop down a couple octaves and get that classic, hypnotic Aboriginal sound with this instrument.

Tips and leads appreciated. Ta!
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Last edited by tinnitus; 08-05-2023 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 08-05-2023, 08:12 PM
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some will say just "didgeri-DON'T"

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Old 08-05-2023, 08:37 PM
Pine Cone Pine Cone is offline
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Have you looked videos for help?
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Old 08-06-2023, 11:10 AM
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David Hudson is great Pine Cone! Thank you. It occurred to me after I went to bed last night that YouTube might have something - they seem to for everything else. This vid is just what I was hoping for.

I'll work with his basic technique outside the instrument until I get the right "lip buzz." Starting inside (with lips pursed tightly like a trumpet player) was my biggest problem, creating an unpleasant high-pitched note. He addressed that almost immediately, and I believe that was my primary problem.

Thanks again for the video!

(Already trying it while I type this reply, and now I have to wipe off my laptop screen.)
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Old 08-06-2023, 01:12 PM
Pine Cone Pine Cone is offline
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Glad it helped! I spent some time in Oz back in the early 1980's. Got to hear a bit of didgeridoo playing here and there and saw plenty for sale. Never learned to play one, but saw them demo-ed with a discussion similar the the David Hudson video.
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Old 10-30-2023, 05:17 AM
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Don't know if you're aware of this, but there are studies showing that playing the didgeridoo aids in mitigating obstructive sleep apnea. I read your post, realized I had always liked the sound, and went on line to order one. Whether or not I'll get that deep sound (it arrives on Wednesday) is up in the air, but I know the key both for playing and apnea is learning how to do circular breathing (out through nose and mouth at the same time). Those in the most quoted study practiced 6 hours a day for 25 minutes for some weeks. I think it will be quite meditative. Thanks for sending me down this rabbit hole. I just couldn't stand the thought of a C Pap machine.
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Old 10-30-2023, 06:44 AM
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Play your didgeridoo, Blue
Play your didgeridoo
Ah, like, keep playin' 'til I shoot through, Blue
Play your didgeridoo.
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Old 10-30-2023, 02:29 PM
TobyB TobyB is offline
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If you've been blowing like a trumpeter you'll have a much smaller and tighter embochure than most would use for a larger dig' ... a slacker broader mouth like you might blow a raspberry in disgust or contempt might be something to be trying?
But your trumpet tones will be something others aspire to ... so keep that.
I jave never practiced enough to get the hang of circular breathing... which is essential for proper drones.
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Old 11-07-2023, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Don't know if you're aware of this, but there are studies showing that playing the didgeridoo aids in mitigating obstructive sleep apnea.
That was my first awareness some dozen/15 years ago.

Quote:
Is this big enough to deliver that wonderful deep tone I was hoping for?
My original (& still only) is a 52" length of 1-1/2" sched 40 pvc pipe, with a reducer on one end. It is what looked likely based on descriptions, and was handy in the scrap plumbing storage. The length was what was there, but i have since perceived that it is probably easiest to get started with a long length (4'+) as it is easier to get it reverberating. If my goals were more musical, i might explore tuning the length, and probably a larger diameter. However, per your Q, mine gets low notes similar to the video. Though my repertoire is not expansive, mostly just a steady drone of circular breathing. maybe some stuff to annoy the cat if she happens to be nearby. I have played only a couple other smallish actual didgerido's where other people had picked them up and kept, but didn't know how to get going.

From a non-professional/non musical background, a longer tube (as yours certainly is), and not too much diameter, with a reducer for your lips, is probably the easiest to get started with.
The reducer still has to be big enough that your lips are flapping around (vibrating) inside, moreso than a trumpet.

Last edited by Aviacs; 11-07-2023 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 11-08-2023, 05:40 AM
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Reread my my old post, six days a week for 25 minutes a day, not six hours a day. That would probably put me on a ventilator. I'm working on it. Circular breathing is pretty complex, and as one of the YouTubers explains, it's not really circular breathing. Actually having a ball trying to get it down. Glad I ordered a traditional one made of eucalyptus with a beeswax mouthpiece.
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Old 11-08-2023, 09:07 AM
Aviacs Aviacs is offline
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Quote:
Those in the most quoted study practiced 6 hours a day for 25 minutes for some weeks.
When i first read it, that seemed brilliant!
Planned to work on such an awesome capability for my next goal!
Even if i was too old to attain mastery at 6 hours, the promise of maybe getting at least, say 4 or 5 hours every 25 minutes and working to extend that capability to all sorts of life tasks seemed exhilarating!

Now you say it's not so
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Old 11-10-2023, 07:50 AM
Aviacs Aviacs is offline
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Quote:
Circular breathing is pretty complex, and as one of the YouTubers explains, it's not really circular breathing. Actually having a ball trying to get it down
Yeah, i never understood where that term came from, except that it is succinct.

Start out with the understanding that a didgeridoo is a primitive but complex bagpipe chanter. Primitive only in the sense that it does not have all the components eventually compiled in modern bagpipe families: Your lips are the reed. Perhaps more distinctively, your cheeks are the bag.

Breathing in through your nose, the task is to keep your cheeks inflated while pushing enough air through your lips at the same time to vibrate the reed (lips) and make any extra sounds being pushed through the pipe. So at steady intervals, the lungs are intaking while the cheeks are simultaneously expelling through the lips. Whatever neuro-pathways & muscles/structure in the throat that act as a valve to rather abnormally separate the 2 actions get exercised.
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Old 11-10-2023, 01:12 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinnitus View Post
Anybody here play the didgeridoo?

When I used to travel, I bought my dad a small didgeridoo in Australia, probably 30" long and maybe 1" inside diameter (kind of a decorative souvenir I suppose). I figured the high notes it produced were due to its small size.

When Dad passed on, he left me what seems to be a full-size didgeridoo, which I assumed would have a much deeper tone than it actually does. I was hoping to hear/feel that wonderful deep rumble, but it sounds more like a distressed calf calling for its mommy when I play it.

This one in the pic is 60" in length with a 1.25" inside diameter up top (and a legit beeswax mouthpiece), flaring to 2" inside diameter at the bell end.

Is this big enough to deliver that wonderful deep tone I was hoping for? Perhaps it's my technique/embouchure? (I did play trumpet as a child.) I'm willing to try different things and practice if there's any hope that I might drop down a couple octaves and get that classic, hypnotic Aboriginal sound with this instrument.

Tips and leads appreciated. Ta!
I have a Didg (I'm originally from Perth.) And I can play it poorly for about 10 seconds at a time

But I can get that deep tone you're looking for. Your Didg can get it too.

Embouchure is hard to describe, but yours is probably too tight and too 'full into the opening of the Didg' if you're getting higher pitch. A looser flappier embouchure is your friend with some of it being off the hole, or to the side of the hole. Less air and less pressure than you might think.

See how that goes.

As to the animal noises, that is my current challenge.
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