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Archive for the ‘Info & Education’ Category

Tuning a Didge

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 in Articles, Info & Education
“Tuning a Didge”
ellswood by the fire

ellswood by the fire

 

 

We often get asked here at Didgeridoo Breath – “Lads… what do you mean the didge has a key??” So let’s break it down once and for all now…

 

Key, in musical terms, is another way to describe a note. It could be the Key Signature of a written piece of music – a particular note that becomes the basis from which other notes progress in relation to, and usually come back to. You may have heard a jazz band calling out amongst themselves which “key” they will play the song in this time. They are speaking about a foundation key, also called “the tonic”.

 

In the Didge World, we are dealing with drone instruments that (with the exception of sliding multi-key didgeridoos) by and large have one note/pitch at which they drone…. this note is the key of the didgeridoo!

 

We would love to say that there was an easy formula to guarantee the note of a didgeridoo, but due to a variety of organic factors it can be tricky to pick just by looking at the instrument. For example, if all didgeridoos were made out of uniform PVC tubing, the same width and thickness all the way through, we could easily say that the longer the didgeridoo – the deeper the note. However, an authentic didgeridoo is a Eucalyptus tree hollowed out by termites as it grows over numerous years in the various climates and regions of the continent of Australia.  It could be a Bloodwood tree from the tropics of the Cape, or a Mallee from the rainforests of Queensland.  It could be a Salmongum from the dry wheatbelts of Western Australia or a Stringybark from Arnhemland.  Each of these growing conditions will have an effect on the consistency  & density of the instrument wood. This has much to do with affecting the “timbre” of the overall sound as well as the final key.

 

Still, shape is by far the swaying factor when it comes to the key of a particular didge. Here at Didgeridoo Breath we have didgeridoos as small as they come (just under 1 metre) that may be in the key of F#, for example. We also have huge and heavy didges on the professional wall that may be 1.4 metres long and ALSO in the key of F#.  Although the reasoning behind this is still a bit of a mystery to us (and we like it that way!), we can say however that a large F# will always overpower a small F# when it comes to volume, clarity, and general vibrational juiciness. Let this be a Rule of Thumb for you should you come across a decision between two same-key didgeridoos of different shapes. It is within the first 1/3rd or so of the length of the didgeridoo that the majority of the Key is determined. The remaining portion and shape being the resonator for that note. This is handy information for anyone out there interested in making his or her own didgeridoo. Cut a slice of wood off the top of a didge and witness the key change reasonably dramatically, yet cut the same size piece off from the base of a didge and the key change will be minimal.

 

A didgeridoo maker, once they have cut their tree using ethical & sustainable practices will go about their drying process for the wood. This may take anywhere from a few days to a few years, and can be approached from many angles. Some traditional methods include burying the didgeridoo tree in earth & lighting a fire above, placing it in a flowing river to wash out tannins, soaking it in the salt water of the sea, or air drying over time. For a long-lasting & high quality didgeridoo, we suggest that the longer/slower the drying process – the better and more reliably durable the wood will be.

 

Once dry, further woodwork is done including thinning the walls and widening the interior of the bell beyond the termite tunnel to improve resonance. Thinning back the walls of the instrument will raise the key slightly, or rather; prevent a “muddy” sound.

 

Some didgeridoo makers, once satisfied with their woodwork, will leave the didgeridoo length as is, and let the didge simply speak for itself. Others will “Tune their Didge” as this stage by cutting slices from the mouthpiece to raise the key to an appropriate note. It is important to check closely at this stage because you cannot UNCUT a piece of your didge of course!

 

Assuming the wood is well dried and sealed, the didge length is set, and a mouthpiece is affixed – the boys at Didgeridoo Breath would consider the key SET. You may notice that some didgeridoos on our website will show the Key of the instrument and some numbers next to the Key. For example: D (444Hz), or F (440Hz). This is to say that when we have put our frequency tuner near the didge to measure the key, we have either set it to Common Tuning (A=440Hz), or a more traditional tuning method such as the old Solfeggio (more on that in a later post ya’ll!). Certain climatic extremes may effect the Key of your didgeridoo in the way that they effect the conditions of wood in general. If you own a didgeridoo and are playing in the heat or frost – keep it in your insulated Oilskin bag as much as possible to avoid the wood shrinking/expanding.

 

Before too long, you will be able to develop an ear for the key of a didgeridoo and know what is what. Beyond this you may find that you also develop a greater understanding of which key will work for you or a particular mood at any one time. Everything has a resonant frequency (a frequency at which a substance begins to resonate and come “alive with energy”). Certain keys resonate in our bodies in different parts, and correspond to the major chakras and their match in the colour spectrum in terms of frequency.

 

If you have any interest in these subjects – feel free to write to us and get a dialogue going, or create a post in the www.didgehq.com forums. We are all enjoying working towards a greater understanding of our art and how vibrations effect the nature of all things.

 

– Benni Böötz

Our new eBook has launched on iTunes!

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 in Info & Education, New Products

Our new Didgeridoo Dojo Beginner Sessions ebook has launched on iTunes!

Featuring more than 20 beginner didgeridoo lessons with full videos and lesson descriptions as well as the full didgeridoo circular breathing lesson set, the Beginner Sessions is a fantastic way to get started on your didgeridoo journey.

We’ve included some screenshots of the book as well as the tablet of contents below.

Its live right now so head over to iTunes to download a copy. You can also download a sample of the book from iTunes for free too.

*Note that you’ll need an iPad, iPhone or iPod that supports Apple iBooks to access the book.

Didgeridoo Dojo Beginner Sessions Ebook screenshots

Didgeridoo Dojo Beginner Sessions Ebook screenshots

Didgeridoo Dojo Beginner Sessions Ebook screenshots

Didgeridoo Dojo Beginner Sessions Ebook screenshots

Didgeridoo Dojo Beginner Sessions Ebook screenshots

How to clean a didgeridoo – Didgeridoo Tips

Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012 in Info & Education

We’ve been getting heaps of questions lately about cleaning your didgeridoo so we decided to make this quick video.

Hit the play button and Sanshi will explain what to do – you can use Eucalyptus Oil or Orange Oil. Be careful with eucalyptus oil, its extremely strong and is not something you should be ingesting, its important that you dilute it in water when cleaning you didgeridoo.

Benefits of Didgeridoo for Sleep

Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2012 in Info & Education

What is Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder in which one repeatedly stops breathing during the night. These events last 10 seconds or longer, and may occur hundreds of times per night. Someone with sleep apnea may experience loud snoring, brief pauses in breathing, and intermittent gasping. During apnea events, the oxygen level of the blood drops, the heart rate increases, and sleep becomes disrupted as the affected person wakes up to resume breathing. This can have significant consequences on one’s health.

Sub-Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a generic term that includes any disorder that causes pauses in breathing during sleep. It may affect someone at any age, but the prevalence of sleep apnea peaks at middle age. There are a few major sub-types, including:

Sleep apnea is not the only problem that can lead to difficulties breathing during sleep. There are a few other problems that do not cause a complete pause in the breathing but may still be problematic, such as:

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Aside from the pauses in breathing which are typical of the disorder, there are many other common symptoms in sleep apnea. These symptoms may include:

  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Choking or gasping during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headache
  • Memory or learning problems
  • Feeling irritable

 

Can Didgeridoo help in the treatment of Sleep Apnea?

Yes!!!!!

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes pausing during breathing while the afflicted person is asleep. This is often due to the upper airway collapsing, and it can lead to major medical problems. It is most often treated by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, but this is not always tolerated. In fact, compliance is a major hurdle in treatment that sometimes cannot be overcome. One proposed alternative to CPAP is learning to play an aboriginal instrument called the didgeridoo

Regular playing of a didgeridoo reduces daytime sleepiness and snoring in people with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and also improves the sleep quality of partners. We at Didgeridoo Breath have personal experience with numbers of customers and partners personally reporting to us, the positive impact didgeridoo playing has had in their lives, sleep and relationships!

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome are common sleep disorders caused by the collapse of the upper airways. Regular didgeridoo playing reduces snoring and daytime sleepiness, finds a study published by the British Medical Journal.

 ‘In one person, the apnoea-hypopnoea index decreased from 17 to 2’… ‘In conclusion, didgeridoo playing improved daytime sleepiness in patients with moderate snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea and reduced sleep disturbance in their partners. Larger trials are needed to confirm our preliminary findings, but our results may give hope to the many people with moderate obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and snoring, as well as to their partners.’ British Medical Journal 

Information for this article was sourced from Brandon Peters, M .D. “Learning to Play the Didgeridoo May Alternatively Treat Sleep Apnea” http://sleepdisorders.about.com/od/sleepdisorderstreatment/a/Didgeridoo.htm

How do I get started?


We all know that half the battle to starting anything is finding the right people, product and service. So this very second, start celebrating, your battle is over, you are in victory lane! At Didgeridoo Breath we know exactly what you are talking about and exactly which didgeridoo and lessons will get you started and playing the Didgeridoo!

Join the thousands of people around the world who we have taught, encouraged and celebrated with. Learning to play the Didgeridoo is simple and FUN!
Lets start by answering a few common questions, then we can help you choose a Didgeridoo that’s right for you and sort out the simplest most effective online video lessons to get you going. It’s proven to be worth trying, let’s do it together and get some results.

Medical Disclaimer: Here at Didgeridoo Breath, our specialty is in the field of Didgeridoo, with over 100 years of combined experience between us. We are not medical experts or professionals. Our claims are based totally on the published results in the British Medical Journal.  These claims regarding obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and snoring include didgeridoo playing can improve these disorders. Didgeridoo playing may only be considered a supplement to the advice of your medical professional.

Didgeridoo Breath Tshirt Photo Competition 2012 – Win a $1500 Didgeridoo

Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 in Info & Education

Didgeridoo Breath Tshirt Photo Competition Youtube
Hey Didgeridoo Breath CREW!!!!

We are jumping out of our skins in excitement!!!

It’s that time of year again to take part in our annual T-shirt Photo Competition and this
year is super special, as you could WIN A $1500 STIX DIDGERIDOO!!!!

HOW TO ENTER!!!!

1. If you haven’t already, click here to grab yourself a Didgeridoo Breath T-Shirt


2. Take a photo of yourself or of a friend wearing a Didgeridoo Breath T-shirt. (small hint: ….An Iconic place can add more power to your photo!)

3. Send us your creative didgin photo entry to:

[email protected]

4. We will upload your photo to the Didgeridoo Breath Facebook Page

5.The photo that gets the most Facebook “likes” by the 14th September 2012 wins (so tell everybody!!!)

What are you waiting for, click here to grab your Didge Breath T-Shirt, get the camera out and start clicking!

We will upload your photo as soon as we receive it so the sooner the better.

The winner will receive a brand new Stix didgeridoo!!, as an extra bonus, this year we also have a super cool special prize for the Runner Up!

Go, Go, Go… and good luck!

Conditions: one entry per person, no offensive material, nudity or sexual content

Playing Didgeridoo with Eggshakers

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 in Info & Education, Videos

Check out this lesson from the premium members are at Didgeridoo Dojo – here Sanshi demonstrates how to work eggshakers into your didgeridoo playing.

Lesson goals

  • Get comfortable with shaking the egg shaker to keep an even rhythm
  • Be able to accent the main beat in the egg shaker sound
  • Play the didgeridoo rhythm “dida (B) dida (B)” while keeping the rhythm on your shaker

Training tips

  • This is a new co-ordination so it’s ok if it feels very difficult to begin with
  • Be sure to practice just with the shaker to get comfortable before adding your didgeridoo playing
  • Keep your arm really relaxed to make shaking easier and feel more comfortable
  • Experiment with the speed of the playing & shaking to find what speed feels to easiest to practice
  • Try and lock into the accented beat. Focus matching up your didgeridoo timing with the main beats

How to Play the Didgeridoo – Circular Breathing

Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 in Info & Education

 

Didgeridoo Dojo is our new website and the most comprehensive Learn How to Play the Didgeridoo resource on the planet!

Here’s lessons 1, 2 and 3 of the five lesson Circular Breathing on the Didgeridoo Lesson series on the Didge Dojo. The first half of the series is completely free. You can get access to the second half at http://www.didgeridoodojo.com/circular-breathing

EDIT:

The circular breathing series at Didgeridoo Dojo is now free to access forever. Lessons 1, 2 & 3 are available to access without logging in. To access the other lessons in this series just log in with your free account – no paid membership required.

About Circular Breathing

Circular breathing is undoubtedly the most sought after didgeridoo technique. It’s what every beginner didgeridoo player wants to be able to do… NOW!

Some people think it is a mystical technique that you can be blessed with, others think that it is something that naturally comes after you have been playing for a long time. Neither of these are true.

The fact is, circular breathing is a series of simple physical actions that anyone can learn.
In these lessons, we break the circular breathing down into small steps. Be sure to practice each step until it’s easy, then move onto the next. This is the fastest way to learn the circular breathing technique.

It might take an hour to get it… a day… or even a month. If you persist and follow our steps, you WILL be circular breathing!

How to Play the Didgeridoo – Didgeridoo Circular Breathing Introduction

How to Play the Didgeridoo – Didgeridoo Circular Breathing Part 1

How to Play the Didgeridoo – Didgeridoo Circular Breathing Part 2

How to Play the Didgeridoo – Didgeridoo Circular Breathing Part 3

Didgeridoo Dojo – A huge thankyou!

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 in Didge Workshops, Info & Education, Other


A huge thank you to everyone who signed up to be a Didgeridoo Dojo test subject.

We were wondering if we’d actually get 25 people to sign up for the testing phase and we’ve had nearly 300 people apply! Better than we could have ever imagined!

We’re still a couple of weeks away from being ready to unleash the site on our randomly selected testing group of 25 people. We’ll keep you up to date via email, the blog and our Facebook page with new developments so make sure you check in regularly.

What is Didgeridoo Dojo?

Didge Dojo is a project we’ve been working on for a while and is a completely new way to learn the Didgeridoo online. To stay up to date with the Didge Dojo launch schedule, head to DidgeridooDojo.com and enter your email address in the box on the right hand side of the site.

We’re also putting the finishing touches on the new Didge Dojo logo and would love to know what you think of it.

We’ll be releasing a sample of the Didge Dojo stuff over the next few weeks so look out for that too!

Didgeridoo Dojo – a sneak peak at the logo

Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 in Info & Education, Other

Here’s a sneak peak at the new Didgeridoo Dojo logo. Click on the image above to see an enlarged version.

We’d love your feedback on what you think of the logo and suggestions on improvements – post in the comments below.

Didgeridoo cheek training at the beach! 2 new videos for you

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 in Info & Education, Videos

Today we take you down to our local beach to show you a great practice technique to build up your didgeridoo playing strength and stamina.

You can try this in the ocean, in a bucket of water or in your bathtub. Have fun!