I got a didgeridoo

I’ve always wanted one – I am a musical instrument afficionado. I love the sound they make, I like the fact that it is an unusual instrument, I just think they’re cool. My husband thought he was being sneaky and bought the last one they had at Earthbound this afternoon. They said there was some kind of embargo and they didn’t know if/when they’d get another shipment. This one has been there since before Christmas, but I just wouldn’t justify $40 for a toy for me, you know?

I can make sound, yay me! I need to learn the breathing technique, though. That’s one of the main reasons I wanted one – the breathing technique is good for people with sleep apnea. Or so I have read. I want to learn how to play it, even if I never have a reason or need or chance to show off the skill!

Anyone who knows any hints, tips, or tricks feel free to weigh in here.

Oh, and yeh, when I say I am a musical instrument afficionado…in my house – in working order – I have:
[ul]
[li]A set of bagpipes – it needs reeds, but otherwise is fine[/li][li]an electric guitar[/li][li]an acoustic guitar[/li][li]an electric bass[/li][li]a flute[/li][li]a didgeridoo (YAY!)[/li][li]a drum set – bass, 2 rack toms, 2 cymbals, high hat, snare & 1 floor tom[/li][li]a set of bongos[/li][li]a marching snare[/li][li]a tambourine[/li][li]a pennywhistle[/li][li]various and sundry recorders, kazoos and harmonicas[/li][li]a set of pan pipes[/li][li]an electric keyboard[/li][/ul]
In non-working order, I have an antique (wooden) flute and a violin handmade in Vienna, Austria in the early 1800’s. I think this is one of those “I collect odd things but not on purpose” things like my camera thing. Anyways, mundane, pointless and shared.

We have a four foot one in my classroom at school, and my 13-year old can play it wonderfully. He plays the baritone, and they say that if you play a brass instrument, you have the armiture (sp??) for it. I know that even if he’s not trying to play loudly, that sucker will reverberate all over the school.

Embouchure

If I recall the lyrics to Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, one does not “play” the didjeridoo. Rather, you must “ply” the didjeridoo. Blue.

As a child, I didn’t realize the didjeridoo was a musical instrument; based on the song lyrics, I simply assumed it was just another variety of freaked-out Australian animal, along with the kangaroo, platypus and koala. I didn’t know how a person would go about “plying” such a beast, but then I wasn’t really clear on why the kangaroo had to be tied down either.

Actually, if you want to be really antsy about it, women are not permitted to play the thing at all. But the OP will probably get away with it. I won’t say anything if you guys don’t. :smiley:

And Terrifel, don’t worry - Australians have NFI about the lyrics to Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport either.

Huh. That’s pretty damn cool.

I think we should meet. Just so I can tell my friends I know someone who owns a didgeridoo!

i’ve had a digi for few years. i still have not gotten the breathing thing down. although i attribute it to my complete in ability to play anything but the radio…

it is fun to break it out at random social events at our house to see if anyone can get a sound out of it.

Two things to try:

  1. This one only works if it’s a PVC didge or you know for sure it’s well-sealed! Fill a pot with about 4 inches of water and stick the didge in and play. It takes a LOT of lung power, but it’s a really trippy sound! (A friend of mine who’s a travelling hippie type uses an old fashioned metal bedpan which doubles as, well, a bedpan, when he’s not playing into it!) You can also play into an empty dry pot for some really cool effects.

  2. If you want to knock people’s socks off, have them sit in front of you or lay on the floor while you didge into their hair and around their head while they close their eyes. Who needs LSD, anyway? :smiley:

WhyNot both excellent suggestions. Since I got it at a so-so imports store, I can’t assume it’s sealed and it’s most definitely wood, so I won’t try the first. As for the second, are you kidding? Of course we have all taken turns using it to blow in each others’ faces, hair, etc.

wouldn’t you like to know – we all (even my 8 year old) got sound right away – do people have trouble with that? I’m not being snarky, it just seemed so easy…

Gorgon Heap, next time you’re around Nashville, lemme know. Funny side note – my daughter’s not-boyfriend has been coming here for almost a year now. He hangs out here like nightly and the other night, he just randomly bursts out “Ohmygosh, wow!” We were all more than a little confused and asked what he was on about – turns out, he’d never noticed the bagpipes that are sitting in plain view in the living room. Weirdo. One of my daughter’s other friends noted “I like coming over here, it’s like a museum – you have stuff nobody else does!” Meh. Ok.

TheLoadedDog I think I’d heard that before – probably plays into why I want to learn to play it so badly! Go figure, right?

Pierides way cool! I love the sound of a caliope. You made me think though – Sam Ash has a bunch of accordians all of a sudden (don’t ask how I got to those from caliope) and that would be a fun instrument to play, too!

schnuckiputzi mine’s probably about 4’ too. It sure can be loud! Your son would fit in nicely in this house! It does seem to be the same basic principle (except for the circular breathing) as playing a brass instrument, so it makes sense he picked it up so easily.

Wait a second - you got a 4’ long digeridoo for $40? I was in Australia recently and I never once saw one of any size for less than about $100, except for the little toy ones that you aren’t actually supposed to play, just stick up on a wall or something. What’s the deal with that?

*I wasn’t on a digeridoo mission or anything, but I did see a lot of them.

We got ours (more than $40, but not bad) from these people: http://www.drumzrguruven.com/ when they came to the monstrous street fair we like to call the Decatur Celebration. They were very nice and let my son and husband mouth every didge they had, and worked with them til they found the perfect ones for them.

Litoris - here’s a suggestion for when it comes time to learn circular breathing. Circular breathing means you puff your cheeks out to fill them with air, and breathe in through your nose while you sustain the note with the air in your mouth. A fun party trick for many other wind instruments, absolutely essential for didge’ playing. So, in the bath, fill your mouth with water (from whatever source seems appropriate - tap, glass, bathwater, whatever) and breathe in through your nose. When you get that one down pat, then advance to gently spitting the water out in a slow, steady stream while breathing in through the nose. You will probably choke more than once, it’s okay, that’s why you’re in the bathtub to do this. After a couple of weeks of doing this in the bath, circular breathing is much easier. The biggest hurdle to now overcome is getting the airflow steady and eliminating the ‘bumps’ that happen when you first fill your cheeks, when you start to use your cheeks to support the column of air, and when your lungs kick back in. Good clean fun, and easily applied to your flute, recorders, harmonicas, etc. Sadly, it doesn’t work for singing or kazoos - the sound source is in the wrong place.

Have a blast with it…

OK, now I’m going to have to bust mine out. Mine cost a lot more, I think it was about $175 in 2002, but I bought it in Alice Springs and I know who the craftsperson is who made it. There’s pretty much no hope for me to figure out the circular breathing thing, I’m lucky to get a feeble bleat out of the thing.

I’m another instrument collector–mostly various types of wind instruments, though I have a few other kinds as well. I’ve had a didge for a couple of years, but haven’t made a concerted effort at learning circular breathing yet. I’m trying to learn to play my Celtic harp currently, but I will be keeping Ministre’s tips in mind.

I’d love to have a calliope. I haven’t the faintest idea where I’d put it, or whether or not I would ever actually play it, but I’d love to have one.

Music… Are you close to Bonnaroo? If so, will you come visit me if I go there in June? :slight_smile:

Yeah, I’ve never seen them anywhere like that cheap, either. But then, wouldn’t be the first time you can buy Aussie stuff cheaper overseas than you can here! (I’m still ticked about how cheap our wine is in the States, compared to here.)

I love my didjeridoo, although I never really learned that mouth-breathing technique. Thanks for the tip Le Ministre de l’au-delà, I’ll try that.

My favorite story about the didjeridoo:

**I **have no Flipping Idea of what NFI means. Pretty sure it’s not National Fish Institute. Acronym Finder has 28 definitions.

I’m also the proud owner of a didgeridoo I brought from (where else) Australia, but never mastered the breathing technique.

I also have a valiha from Madagascar (a bamboo with strings along and around it).

And I still enjoy occasionally Tie me kangaroo down.

I have a didgeridoo. I can just about do the circular breathing, but have no other technique apart from yelling into it while making it make the noise.

I also have a piano accordian, a violin, a guitar, a banjolele, a mandola and three Jew’s harps.

jjimm no joke, I almost bought a jew’s harp last night. I’ve never had one, even as cheap as they are, but the sound gives me a good giggle.

Santo Rugger we never go to Bonnoroo. I wanted to last year, but I just can’t justify paying that much to get filthy and be surrounded by people who only bathe when the moon is purple, ya know? Last year’s lineup was orgasmic for me, but aside from not having the vacation time to take off – just wasn’t something we could afford.

Le Ministre de l’au-delà thanks for the tips. I actually read something about the water trick online – but you made me laugh out loud – “You will probably choke more than once, it’s okay, that’s why you’re in the bathtub to do this.” So, uhm, if I choke, it’s ok because I am in a place where I can just go ahead and drown? :smiley: I will try the technique – I have unbelieveable lung capacity/breath control, but I just can’t figure out the “fill your mouth with air without stopping the sound” part. I will get it, though, I promise.

For everyone wanting to know how I got one so cheap – rest assured it is very likely not the quality of the one you have. I got it here. It was $39.99 plus tax. This is one of those little mall import stores – what they call a “sari” is what I call a “curtain.” I don’t suspect my didge is much more than the kind of thing you might find in a tourist trap but I likes it.