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What is a Didgeridoo

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The didgeridoo is believed to be the worlds oldest wind instrument, dating back thousands of years. It originates as a musical instrument of the North Australian Aborigine.

The didgeridoo is traditionally played accompanied with clap sticks and/or the clapping together of boomerangs in Corroborees (ceremonial dances). Players can also tap out rhythms on the side of the didgeridoo using fingers or sticks.

A didgeridoo is traditionally made from one of many species of Eucalyptus branches or saplings. Species of Eucalyptus number in the hundreds but only about a dozen species are used for didgeridoo making. The Eucalyptus is naturally hollowed out by termites whose nests abound in the millions in Australia. It takes at least a year for the termites to hollow a tree out. Harvesting has to be timed so that the wall thickness of the instrument is not too thin or not too thick. It has to be "just right". Making for the perfect instrument!

The varying length of the wood that is sawed off and its thickness and shape will determine which key the instrument will be in. Shorter lengths yield higher pitches where as longer lengths yield lower pitches. Didgeridoos generally range in keys from a high "G" to a low "A". A common "C" didgeridoo will be two octaves below middle "C" of a piano. The keys of C and D are the easiest keys to learn how to play on the didgeridoo.  To hear sound clips and the different keys of a didgeridoo click here.

Bark is usually stripped from the outside and the termites removed. A rim of beeswax can then be applied to reduce the diameter of a large opening down to more playable sized aperture. About an inch and a quarter, similar to a tuba sized mouthpiece. Wax also creates a good airtight seal for the mouth and makes it more comfortable to play. The instrument can then be decorated with ochre paintings that symbolize a tribes food and/or totems.


We have an awesome selection of didgeridoos available for you to choose from, starting at just $25. Didgeridoos can be made from a wide variety of materials. Click here to see our selection.