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Didgeridoo FAQs and Information

Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 in Info & Education by Posted by

•    Will my Didgeridoo Crack?
•    How Do I Repair a Cracked Didgeridoo?
•    Can I learn to play the Didgeridoo?
•    Is it hard to learn to play the Didgeridoo?
•    Am I Dealing With Experts?
•    Does Didgeridoo length make a difference?
•    Does Didgeridoo weight make a difference?
•    What about the musical key of the Didgeridoo?
•    How much should I pay for a Didgeridoo?
•    What about Germs?

Will my Didgeridoo Crack?

For one reason or another is not uncommon for Didgeridoos to develop occasional minor surface or larger cracks. Climatic conditions, termite grooves and timber knots can also leave weaknesses that may result in cracks. The GOOD news is that cracks are generally very simple to fix. Whatever the cause here is one easy to follow way of fixing Didgeridoo cracks.

How Do I Repair a Cracked Didgeridoo?

The GOOD news is that cracks are generally very simple to fix. Whatever the cause, here is one easy to follow way of fixing Didgeridoo cracks.

PLEASE NOTE: We recommend not filling any cracks with beeswax. This will make a later repair much harder. Only fill cracks with beeswax in an emergency! (like mid concert, with no back up didgeridoo in sight and 2000 paying fans watching)

Click here to read the easy steps to crack repair.

Following these steps you should quickly and easily be able to get your Didgeridoo back on the playing as good as ever.

Can I learn to play the Didgeridoo?

To be honest it’s as simple as this, if you can fog up a mirror when you breathe on it, you can learn to play the didgeridoo.
There are no age, sex, height, weight, colour, language, ability, musical experience, taste or style restrictions to qualify to play the didgeridoo. Grab yourself a good beginner didgeridoo or an incredible didgeridoo, you wont be disappointed. Get hold of the Playing The Didgeridoo instructional CD series or DVD and your into it.


Is it hard to learn to play the Didgeridoo?

The fact is, once you can make the drone on a didgeridoo it doesn’t really matter what size it is, the same technique makes them all work! We have a number of children us young as 3 ½  years old, coming into the store making the biggest didgeridoos absolutely rip.

Are you dealing with experts?

Wherever you do decide to get your didgeridoo from, first things first, let the shop know that you are after an instrument quality Didgeridoo not just a souvenir. Even if the purpose of your didgeridoo is to only be played occasionally to amuse your friends, your didgeridoo should be a good playing and sounding instrument. You want to shop in a specialist instrument shop with a genuine care for quality. At Didgeridoo Breath we area all experienced players and teachers of the Didgeridoo. We only select the highest quality Didgeridoos from each category to go into the online store. We are connected to, support and promote a large number of  Australia’s most talented Didgeridoo Makers and Artists. Your purchase from Didgeridoo Breath directly supports these talented individuals, their families and the wider community.

Does Didgeridoo length make a difference?

As a beginner, the didgeridoo you are after is from 100cm (40inches), or even better 120cm (47inches) to 140cm (56inches) in length. There is a big relationship between length and key. Basically the longer the didgeridoo the deeper the sound it produces. That’s a general rule and often proven wrong (darn termites always breaking the rules). You can definitely play a 100cm, didgeridoo for fun and the learning. It will be high pitched and need a fast tight vibration of the lips, good fun but it will restrict your sound range. Some of the shorter plastic Didgeridoos are great playing and sounding; they tend to be skinnier in the bore so they will play will like a shorter instrument.

Does Didgeridoo weight make a difference?

As a beginner it is probably best to keep your Didgeridoo weight under 5 kilograms or it will end up being a hassle to drag out to practice on. There are many incredible instruments which are much heavier than this, when it comes time to select a high quality instrument even as a beginner, don’t be afraid of the weight.

Do Flared or Bell Ends Make any Difference?

Besides looking fantastic the belled ends do make a big difference to your Didgeridoo sound. The main difference will be the volume of the instrument you are playing. Whatever the key and sound of your Didgeridoo, add a bell end and you will hear it soooo much louder! The bell end may add some echo type qualities, a little reverb but generally bell ends will up the levels all round.

So if you are wanting to entertain without an amplifier, at home or busking, or in demonstrations, teaching, performing, or you just want to be able to hear yourself better, then bell ends are the way to go.

On top of that, bell/flared ended Didgeridoos somehow just have that extra glow about them, for players and spectators. They just look fuller. Big bells are attention grabbers’ and beautiful features. Of course big, big, bells can also possibly be impractical, too large to fit into standard bags, difficult to display or store, harder to travel with. Then again big, big, bell ends can show off the stunning burls and tight grains found often only in the bell ends of these instruments.

In saying all of this, in most cases, straight-ended Didgeridoos are incredible projectors of sound also. Belled didgeridoos are an option, not an essential.

All in all it comes down to personal preference, here at Didgeridoo Breath you have plenty of choice, you can see videos and hear sound files as well as read detailed descriptions about so many didgeridoos, it wont take long for you to find the didgeridoo meant for you!

What about the musical key of the didgeridoo?

The drone of a didgeridoo actually plays at a particular key, depending on the dimensions of the inside, outside, the finish, bell etc of the instrument. As every didgeridoo is different, didgeridoos will produce different keys. Basically didgeridoos generally range in key from low A, very deep sound, to high A ,little screamers. The key range looks like this:
Very Low        Nominal                   Very High
A, A#, B,        C, C#, D, Eb, E,        F, F#, G, G#, A

The best keys we have found to learn with are anywhere between and including the key of C and E. Don’t panic, all of our didgeridoos have the key written next to them. You can listen to the sound files

The A’s high and low are extremes and rarely played. Low key B didgeridoos are known as Devil Didgeridoos because of their incredibly low bone rattling drone, they also tend to take too much air for beginners to be able to keep up with. High key F and G didgeridoos are great for faster rhythms but if you’re just beginning you probably don’t need to go there yet either.

How much should I pay for a Didgeridoo?

You should be able to pick up a great termite hollowed, Australian eucalyptus, and beginners’ didgeridoo from around $160 AUD. You will also be able to spend up to $5000 AUD and pick up an incredible didgeridoo. You will generally pay more for recognized makers and artists’ artwork. There are unscrupulous stores around who charge crazy amounts of money for below standard instruments. You need to deal only with people who have a long-term reputation as specialists with the didgeridoo. At Didgeridoo Breath we always select the best didgeridoos for you to display on our website. As you can’t sit here with us making your selection, we do that for you to ensure your satisfaction when you buy your didgeridoo from us.

What about Germs?

It’s a fair question to ask! After speaking to those in the know in the medical field, we discovered that the only way to contract a virus by playing a didgeridoo would be to pass the mouthpiece from a person with a local, lip or mouth, viral infection to someone else while the mouthpiece surface is still wet. Viruses can only live for a matter of seconds without a living host, so viruses are no issue unless you play on the wet mouthpiece of an infected person. If you are sharing a didgeridoo with somebody, simply dry the mouthpiece or wait for it to dry, or clean it first. Some germs and antigens may be present, about as present as they are on the end of your pencil before you stick that in your mouth. In about 100 years of combined didgeridoo playing between all of us here at Didgeridoo Breath, none of us has ever been sick from anything didgeridoo related. You can have peace of mind that all of our didgeridoos are safe to play and play and play!