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How to take care of your didgeridoo

Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 in Articles, News by Posted by

Fortunately the didgeridoo is one musical instrument that requires very little maintenance. Having said this, there are a couple of important things that you need to be aware of to keep your beloved didgeridoo in its current condition.

If your didgeridoo is made out of timber, the biggest risk to your instrument is heat and moisture. As timber gets warmer it expands. Where possible avoid leaving your didgeridoo in your car, especially on a warm day. Your car will heat up, as will your didgeridoo, and nasty cracks may form. Cracks may leak air and severely reduce the instruments quality of sound. If this does happen, don’t panic, we describe how you can fix this in Repairing Didgeridoos.

Similarly where you keep your didgeridoo in your home is important. Do not keep it near a fireplace or air-conditioning duct as again the sudden changes in temperature and moisture can cause cracking.

Now, if you have a didgeridoo that can stand upright on its own… be warned! We have seen on several occasions, the slightest gust of wind, random flying tennis ball or some other totally unpredictable event, topple some precious didgeridoos over. Heart breaking for sure! Get yourself a didgeridoo stand if you want to display your didgeridoo.

We recommend keeping and transporting your didgeridoo in a didgeridoo bag. It is very easy to bump the instrument, which can damage any artwork or the timber finish. Didgeridoos are generally coated in a finish to keep the moisture out as this is what amplifies movement and cracking. Any damage or penetration of this finish will increase the chance of cracking.

If your didgeridoo has a beeswax mouthpiece then you will find that over time it will tend to get quite dirty. As beeswax is slightly soft and sticky, thing like hair, fluff, carpet, wall paint and sand just love sticking to it. This not only looks unpleasant but may feel less comfortable when playing. Replacing your beeswax mouthpiece is very simple. You can purchase mouthpiece kit online and read instructions on how to apply it.

The bell end of your didgeridoo is also something to be careful of. Depending on the instrument, the wall thickness on the bell end is generally thinner. This is also the end that gets placed on the ground. Be sure to place your didgeridoo gently on the ground and also avoid scraping it, as this will wear away the finish and some of the timber. Although this won’t affect the sound, it increases the chance of cracks emerging.

By keeping your didgeridoo in a stable climate, handling it gently and keeping your mouthpiece clean and comfortable, it is possible that your didgeridoo can out-live you!