Nitrided Steel Handpans vs. Stainless Steel Handpans: The Differences and Similarities (plus Octave-Steel Tongue Drums for comparison)

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In this video we look at the difference between what are often regarded as the two top quality handpan materials: stainless steel and nitrided steel. Stainless steel often renders a gold or copper finish and a bright, rich sound. Nitrided steel, which is probably the most widely used, often renders a gray or blueish hue and the tone is usually seen as a bit darker and moodier. The steel tongue drum was added to the mix in this comparison to give context to the range of instrument styles and pricing. Enjoy the comparison!

Stainless Steel Handpans, Nitrided Steel Handpans, Raw Steel Handpans and Steel Tongue Drums for sale in our store:

One great stainless steel handpan we have in stock and ready to ship:

Facilitate Sound Baths and Sound Healing Sessions with These 20 Instruments

We are all called to sound for different reasons. Some of us seek it out for entertainment, some for relaxation or meditation, some of us because we want to learn something new, and others because we are focused on mastering our craft as an offering. At Didge Project, we’ve curated a selection of sound healing instruments with everyone in mind, and our variety of instruments and courses are intended to be accessible to beginners and recording artists alike. In partnership with our Sound Healer Training organization, Dream Seed, and under the guidance of spiritual teacher Maestro Manuel Rufino, we conduct sound baths and sound healing sessions for groups of people dedicated to awakening their greater consciousness. We have dedicated almost 15 years to traveling the world exploring how sound heals and uplifts, and based on our experience, we have put together this list of instruments that can help you better facilitate sound baths, sound meditations, and other healing work utilizing sound.

Sound healing altar at a Dream Seed Sound Healer Training workshop

In the photo above you can see an overhead shot of a sound healing altar at one of the Dream Seed Sound Healer Training workshops. Notice the variety of instruments and sonic possibilities that are available to the facilitators. In this article we explore many of the instruments that we use to facilitate sound baths and other sound healing experiences.

For you wondering “what is a sound bath?” we highly suggest you check out your local healing center or yoga studio to see if they have one coming up. A sound bath is usually an in-person gathering where participants come to explore states of higher consciousness facilitated by live sound making through instruments and voices. You may see specific types of sound baths, like gong baths, mentioned. As we already said, sound can do miraculous things, often allowing people to relax into deep states of consciousness and allow the body and the mind to do its innate healing work. Without further ado, here are more than 20 instruments to consider using when facilitating sound baths:

Add Drums to your Sound Baths 

Demonstration of using a shamanic frame drum over a participant in a sound bath

An amazingly versatile instrument, the shamanic frame drum is a powerful tool that every sound worker should explore. The pulse of the heartbeat can be played fast, slow, loud or soft, and can on its own hold a very safe sonic container. You can sing with it, play it to accompany other instruments, and add it to almost any sonic environment to bring up the energy or to take the recipients into a deep space.

Frame drums can be played in a variety of ways. Using the beater, a drum functions as a shamanic drum. Using the finger tips, the drum can be utilized as a middle-eastern style frame drum.

In the Native Traditions the drum is related to the energy of the fire, which represents the heart. Therefore the drum as a sound healing instrument deals with matters of love and belonging, relationship, family, community, and self-esteem. Because many drums are made of hide, they naturally connect us to the plane of the earth and physicality. They remind us of sacrifices that are made to protect and cultivate relationship, and with their deep, rich sounds that are both warm and powerful, they encourage strength and gentleness, vitality and relaxation.

Here is a great tutorial on how to play the frame drum in the middle-eastern style:

 

FacilitateSound Baths with Rainsticks, Wave Drums and Rattles 

Having the sound of water, created by tiny beads, or seeds inside a resonating instrument, can be very effective for sound healing work.

Use Rain Sticks at your sound bath

Although it is unclear as to where the rain stick originated, some site Central America with the Aztecs, some South America with the Mapuches, and others in Australia with Aboriginal people, the purpose for the rainstick seems to be unanimous – to call the rain or rain gods and bring rain to crops.

Traditionally made of bamboo or cactus, once the thorns of a dried out cactus were pulled out, they were reversed and then pushed back in. The sound of the rain comes from small pebbles or seeds falling against the wall of thorns on the inside of the rain stick.

Because of its association with water, this instrument can be used by a practitioner in a part of a sound healing where a deep emotional release is either happening or may be beneficial to the recipient or group. It can also be used as a blessing, bringing, fresh, pure water to soothe and bless listeners once energy has moved.

Bring in Wave Drums at your sound bath

Wave Drums, aka Ocean Drums, create the soothing sounds of the ocean, with a great feature: the little steel balls are sealed between two drum heads, one synthetic and the other natural goatskin. This means you can choose between two completely different timbres within the Wave Drum.

The Wave Drum has earned its name since as a marriage between a drum and a rattle, the beads within its frame produce a wavelike effect in sound healing. For this reason, as a practitioner, you can use this specific sound in moments where a marriage of elements is needed- to purify the fire of the heart, to ground an energy or intention, and to empower profound healing.

Utilize Shakers and Rattles in your sound bath

how to play rattles and shakersAccording to Maestro Manuel Rufino, “rattles are powerful sound healing tools because they connect us to the energy of the earth. They sound because within the hollow gourd of their body, there are seeds. The seeds are what bring life.” Made by hand, each rattle is a sacred instrument carrying a prayer or intention toward healing that the Shaman or Sound Healing practitioner will use in their work.

 

Shakers make fantastic sound bath instruments, similar to rattles and rain sticks, though often although they may be made of synthetic materials. Their percussive quality draws the awareness of those playing and those listening into the present moment. With their grounding effects, they empower the listener with concentration and empowerment to overcome the distractions that can make reality difficult to navigate.

 

 

Watch this demo of how to play didgeridoo and shaker simultaneously:

 

 

Add Chakapas to yourSound Baths

Hillary using a chakapa and Abuelo Flute to open a sound healing space with personal sound blessings

The chakapa, or leaf bundle, is a very important tool for shamans in the Amazon, as they are used in healing ceremonies. The chakapa’s sound is relaxing, calming, and healing. It has the ability to support deep cleansing of energies and forces in people and in spaces. Shamans say the chakapa can catch bad spirits in the leaves, they then blow it out back into the forest.

Jerry Walsh of Dream Seed using a chakapa for sound healing work

Other traditions use them to mimic the sound of the wind whose breezes rustle through leaves and vines, branches and buds and like the mind, are in a constant state of movement. Thus the chakapa, in this case, is used as an instrument to dispel intrusive or negative thoughts and reset patterns with more clear, natural rhythms.

According to Maestro Manuel Rufino, “the sound of the Chakapa imitates the sound of the rain hitting the leaves in the jungle.” So like a purifying rain, Chakapas can be used for profound emotional healing and clearing. When combined with certain chants, silences or rhythms, this instrument can help relieve pain long held in the emotional body.

Add Flutes to yourSound Baths

bamboo overtone flute
Bamboo Overtone Flute by La Rosa

The oldest known flute in the world is the Neanderthal flute and dates up to 60,000 years ago, this particular flute was fashioned from the thigh bone of a young male bear. This means that almost as soon as early people established food, warmth, and safety, they then turned towards producing art whether through Pictish drawings (cave paintings and other early pre-civilization art forms), pottery, or in this case, sound.

Flutes are very much connected to the mind. Because breath and mind are a unity, the harmonic notes and overtones produced by flutes whether clay, bamboo, hardwood, or other, stimulate a good quality of focus. The focus comes firstly from the sound healer, who through practice discovers the nuances of sound their flute can produce. Then, with good concentration, the sound healer guides the participant through a journey of sound which brings them into states of deep listening. Scientifically, this is state where the flute influences the brain waves from gamma and beta waves which are related to heightened awareness and problem solving to alpha and theta waves associated with meditation, clarity, creativity and relaxation.

Most of the flutes we sell here at Didge Project are made by La Rosa Flutes, a company started by iconic Andean musician Tito La Rosa and his son Omar. Check out Tito playing the Heaven and Earth bamboo drone flute:

See the La Rosa Drone Flutes in action:

In a more traditional use, the flutes can be used to blow negative thoughts away from a person’s mind and aura. Then through the breath of the sound healer, the flute can help re-establish harmony and peace of mind for the recipient. The more time you spend with your flutes, the more they will teach you about themselves and the nature of your own mind.

Incorporate Kalimbas, Mbiras and Sansulas into your sound baths

The Sansula Deluxe is the highest of 3 qualities of Sansula available

Kalimbas and mbiras are thumb pianos of African origin that have been embraced worldwide for their beautiful sound and ease of play. They make great instruments for music therapy, as they can be played with minimal hand strength. For sound baths, kalimbas can add to your sonic offering by creating a light, mood to contrast with stronger sounding instruments like gongs, didgeridoos, crystal bowls, and shruti boxes.

The Sansula by Hokema is an oval shaped kalimba with an amazing sound, due to the shape of its resonant body and the precision crafting of its metal tines (prongs). They are incredibly fun to play and are essential for anyone involved in conducting sound baths, sound healing sessions, sound meditations, shamanic music and other meditative music making. They are also wonderful instruments for children, whether for bed time or the child’s own exploration of sound.

In this video you can hear some of the Sansula scale options that we offer:

The tonal quality of the Sansula is vibrant and bright while at the same time being enchanting and mysterious. Sansulas lend themselves beautifully to solos and can also be paired with percussive instruments on other tuned instruments in the same key or scale. Because they are a perfect stand alone instrument, you can use them to create an ambient backdrop for breathwork, silence, guided meditation journeys, or mantra chanting. 

Add Handpans and Tongue Drums to your Sound Baths

Handpans, Rav Drums and Tongue Drums are also very potent and essential instruments for sound healing. Sonically the handpan is an overtone-rich instrument that has the capacity to create many layers of sound and ethereal effects and works great as a standalone instrument, and can also be combined very well with drone instruments.

The Rav Vast Drum is by far the best selling tongue drum in The Didge Project store its it’s beautiful sounding long sustaining notes, as well as their ease of playability. 

Check out our video on how to use the handpan and RAV Drum  for meditation and healing:

 

Use Shruti Boxes and Harmoniums in your Sound Baths

The Shruti Box is an Indian drone instrument that provides a steady tone for a myriad of uses including sound healing, meditation, and chanting. Using a bellows to pump air through free reeds (the same as in a harmonica or a melodica), the shruti box can hold a rich drone sound for an extended period of time and can hold a great deal of sonic space. In Indian Classical Music and much world chant music, this drone is often a foundation upon which singers and melodic instruments can play over.  In many situations, the shruti box takes the place of the tanpura, the traditional drone instrument of Indian Classical Music, due to its more compact shape and size. 

Although the Shruti box has its origins in China, we are most commonly aware of its use in the Indian and Hindu musical traditions where it is used for chanting mantra and devotional music. Because of the steadiness of its tone and the drone quality of its sound, the Shruti box is an excellent companion to Sound Healers or any musicians that are introducing their vocals into their musical landscape. The drone serves as a perfect backdrop for the singer to explore pitch, range, length and the general musicality of the voice. 

Check out the talented Jerry Walsh demonstrating the shruti box with a foot pedal while playing handpan and singing:

 

The harmonium uses the same technology as the shruti box, but adds a keyboard functionality, allowing the player to utilize the same free reed sound, but able to play melodies, chords and anything else you can do with a keyboard layout. Usually the harmonium is pumped with one hand and the keys are played with the other.

 

Facilitate Sound Baths with Metal Resonating Instruments: Mallet Harp, Tuning Forks, Bells, Chimes, Gongs, & Himalayan Singing Bowls

Metal instruments brings rich complex harmonic sound effects that whether low or high pitched, provide a resonant, soothing, and grounding frequency in the sound healing environment. Whether through the deep penetrating sounds of a gong or the twinkling effervescent sound of a small chime, metals vibrate to the frequency of the earth and thus move the energy in our physical bodies.

Use Tuning Forks in Sound Baths
Dream Seed’s Brooke Gillespie using tuning forks at a Dream Seed Sound Healer Training
Demonstration of the Mega Tuning Fork by Earth Tuned being used over the recipient’s heart

Tuning forks can tune the biofield of the human body. Tuning forks are generally made out of metal and operate both as sonic scalpels and celestial tones. They are great instruments to consider whether you walk around a lot for your healing sessions or if you’re stationary. They add to a soundscape just as easily as they independently help to pierce stagnant energy with their vibrational frequency. 

The Mega Tuning Fork by Earth Tuned are precisely tuned sonic tools that have an incredibly long sustain. These instruments are perfect for sound healing, sound baths, meditations, and balancing chakras. The Mega Tuning Fork resonates from head to heart. 

 

 

Use Gongs in Sound Baths

Gongs are another metal instrument that has been used for meditative and medicinal purposes in different cultures dating back around 5,000 years. The long, sonic waves reverberate through the physical body and induce deep relaxation through a somatic experience. The sound of the gong depends on the size, shape, tuning, and build, and will also be influenced largely by the sound healing practitioner, whether you use it as a drum or percussive anchor, or whether it is used as an intuitive backdrop for other sounds.

Use Chimes in Sound Baths
Koshi Chime quad with hanging stand

Chimes are popular for sound meditation, yoga classes and sound healing. Chimes are easy to work with and bring close to the body of the person you are working with, bright and uplifting, sweet, and very elemental. They guide the listener very close to nature with their gentle, peaceful sounds which are perfect as an ambient backdrop or for a guided meditation.

Koshi Chimes are a wonderful compliment to complex musical environments with their brightness, lightness, and whimsy. They provide a warm, rich ambience and are available in four scales associated with the four elements (wind, fire, water, earth). They sound beautiful individually or together. The chimes can be hung and played by the wind or held by hand via the attached string and metal ring. They can just as easily be played independently and their repetitive tones induce a hypnotic relaxation that aids in the sound healing and meditative spaces. 

Listen to all 4 Koshi Chime scales in our video demo:

 

Use Himalayan Bowls (a.k.a. Metal Singing Bowls or Sound Bowls) in Sound Baths
A Dream Seed Sound Healing altar featuring Himalayan and Crystal Singing Bowls in a larger instrumental spread

Himalayan Bowls are tonal and long wave sounds that endure and resonate. You can strike them once and let them ring because they offer a seemingly infinite sustain. Meaning the note never stops as opposed to flutes, where you have to take a breath to create a continuous sound. In this way, Himalayan or Tibetan Singing Bowls are similar to the harmonium or shruti.

Demo of receiving sound vibration from a Himalayan bowl placed directly on the recipient’s body and played with a mallet.

Using Himalayan Bowls in sound healing you can let the resonance of the bowl pass through the auric field of the recipient by washing it over them or actually placing the bowl upon their person and addressing the physical body. Singing bowls can also help open the voice as a sound healing instrument because the long resonance they hold offers a perfect background for the practitioner to vocalize, and depending on the mallets you use, you can also get the bowls to sing.

Use Mallet Harps, Xylophones, and other melodic metal percussion in Sound Baths
Dream Seed’s Naku Kiwanuka using a mallet harp during a sound bath

At Didge Project, we feature three different types of mallet harps. They are fun, easy to play instrument for all ages. The mallet harp brings the joy of music to beginners and experienced musicians alike. With numerous applications, the mallet harp is ideal for music therapy, stress relief, sound healing, childhood development, emotional health and overall wellness. The pentatonic scales create beautiful melodies and harmonies, no matter what sequence the notes are played in. This makes it so that the player does not need to know music theory or even what notes they are playing at any given moment to make great sounds. 

Learn some playing techniques for the mallet harp here:

There are many other types of melodic percussion instruments available that play similarly to the mallet harps. Some to explore are wooden tongue drums, metal tongue drums, glockenspiels, xylophones, metallophones, vibraphones, and marimbas.

 

Use Didgeridoos for Facilitating Sound Baths

Dream Seed’s Jerry Walsh using a didgeridoo in a sound bath

People come to the didgeridoo for many reasons, most of which are connected to healing. Players benefit from the many therapeutic benefits of the instrument: deeper breathing, expanded lung capacity, greater sense of rhythm. Listeners have access to a whole dimension of sound that is not often provided in our modern world.

Didgeridoo is where we started Didge Project and we have lots of great video tutorials showing you how to play the didgeridoo in many different ways. Check out our didgeridoo tutorials playlist with over 30 instructional videos:

The ancient vibrations that come through even the most modern versions of the didgeridoo often help listeners enter deep states of relaxation or trance. These deeper states of consciousness, not commonly accessed by us on a day-to-day basis, are truly beneficial to those who enter them with intention.

Facilitate Sound Baths with Crystal Singing Bowls and other Crystal Instruments

 

Crystal Instruments such as crystal harps/lyres, crystal bowls, crystal pyramids, and even the silent presence of gems and stones bring a very special vibration into sound baths and conscious sound practices. Crystals are known for their ability to store memory, and can be utilized when a person needs to activate recent or ancient memory. Silicon valley gets its name from the silica in crystals, which are highly organized structures that can sustain sound for a long time. The tones of crystal instruments are bright, clear, and even.

Crystal bowls, pyramids and harps produce an angelic sound with very high frequency vibrations. In sound healing, these tones activate the ears, third eye, and the heart, and often times help to disperse energies accumulated in the physical body. They are all very easy and intuitive to play. Crystal instruments generally have long sustain in their sound, so you can play them periodically and let them resonate acoustically while also working with other instruments.

 

Crystal bowls penetrate very deeply with a beautiful and omnipresent sound, they resonate and activate all kinds of activity in the brain and body. Each bowl is tuned to one tone, but you can get different overtones to come out of it by playing it in different ways, tapping on various points and using singing bowl friction wands to create long drones. Essentially there’s no way to play a wrong note on a crystal bowl.

Combine and layer multiple instruments in sound baths

A group of students gather around a Dream Seed Sound Healing Training altar featuring many of the sound healing instruments featured in this article.

One of the questions we get most often about many of our instruments is “will this instrument work with another instrument I have?” There is really no right or wrong answer to this question, but at its simplest, you can almost always put two fixed pitched instruments in the same key together, i.e. an A crystal bowl with an A flute. There’s a lot more to be said on this subject and if you’d like to find out more about instrument combinations, please post your questions here in the comments section of this article.

Check out this sound journey which combines many of the instruments featured in this article, as well as representatives of the string family of sound bath instruments: the monolina and the charango:

 

We hope this information will help to broaden and deepen your sound healing practice and offering. As with anything, it’s nice to introduce instruments intentionally, especially if you are constructing your sound. It’s always great for each of your instruments to be able to sound alone, but magical things begin happening when we layer the sounds, so please consider this as you expand your toolbox. And no matter where you are with your musical experience, remember that there is always so much to learn from a new instrument. 

Looking for more guidance on facilitating sound baths and sound healing work?

Our ensemble, Dream Seed, conducts sound healer training workshops throughout the year at our community center, Golden Drum, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (NYC), and most of these workshops are also broadcasted live and recorded for remote participants. Check out the Dream Seed and Golden Drum websites for the lates information on our 9-month Sound Healer Training Program, as well as individual workshops which can be attended throughout the year. We also have a number of video courses available from our in-person training sessions, which are available here.

 

 

Professional Handsfree Didgeridoo Stands now available in the US and Worldwide

Play it standing or sitting, free your hands to play other instruments, mount it on stage, or bring it to a drum circle: anywhere you bring the professional handsfree didgeridoo stand by Meinl you will experience a sense of ease with your didgeridoo setup.

Learn African Rhythms with It’s All About Rhythm’s Kevin Nathaniel

In this rhythm tutorial we show you everything you need to level up your rhythm by learning syncopated rhythms known as claves. What is a clave? A clave is a short rhythmic pattern which get repeated and lends itself to many other rhythmic variations.

This video is from It’s All About Rhythm, a course for musicians at any level. It is the best rhythm tutorial you can take if you are struggling to keep the beat or play with other musicians. Check it out at didgeproject.com/rhythm.

Rhythms featured in this video:
  • The Carribbean Clave, found throughout the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America
  • The Son Clave, also known as the “salsa” clave
  • The African 6/8 clave, found in African music, funk music, and others

Why learn from a rhythm tutorial video?

No matter what instrument you play, or even if you are a vocalist, learning clave patterns will help you bring your music to the next level. By practicing these relatively simple patterns, you will gain a better rhythmic feel and improve your sense of musical timing.

A clave is a short rhythm that actually tells you how a whole rhythm structure moves. Often times, when you hear rhythm, you hear it as moving but you don’t quite know how it moves. The clave tells you how it moves.

Again, if you are looking for a great rhythm tutorial, It’s All About Rhythm is a wonderful study tool that can help you take your playing to a higher level. Check it out at:

didgeproject.com/rhythm

Dream Seed Sound Healer Training Program 2023-2024: A 9-Month Intensive In-Person in NYC and Online Worldwide

A 9-Month, 130 Hour In-Person and Online Training

October 2023 to June 2024

All events in-person at Golden Drum except the Shamanic Sound Practitioner’s Weekend with Maestro Manuel Rufino in April 2024.

The Dream Seed Sound Healer Training Program is an immersive multi-cultural/inter-tribal course designed to give people a hands-on approach to facilitating sound healing sessions. By bridging the fields of sacred music, energy work, and healing traditions, participants will strengthen their capacity as sound workers and will walk away with the skills and knowledge to be able to incorporate sound into healing sessions and meditative environments. Participants who meet the attendance requirements will receive a certification of course completion.

Images from Dream Seed’s previous sound healer trainings:

The training course will include a weekend intensive in upstate New York with Maestro Manuel, Taino Elder and visionary founder of Golden Drum, where participants will go deep into traditional healing practices from around the globe. Other guest teachers will be featured from the African and Indian musical traditions during various weekend modules.

Class Sessions included in this program:

  • Oct 13-14, 2023: Sound Healer Training Opening Weekend
  • Nov 10-11, 2023: Overtone-emitting instruments
  • Dec 8-9, 2023: Drum Journey Weekend and Drum Making Workshop
  • Jan 26-27, 2023: Wind Instruments
  • Feb 2024 date tbd (Friday evening and Saturday full day): Freeing The Voice
  • Mar 8-9, 2024: African Song and Rhythm
  • April 2024 date tbd (full weekend: Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday): Maestro Manuel Rufino – Shamanic Sound Practitioners Intensive Weekend in The Catskills, NY
  • May date tbd (Friday evening and Saturday full day): Indian music weekend
  • June 7-8: Practices for Sound Healers

Additionally this training includes:

  • One group zoom meeting per month (90-minutes each)
  • Three 1-on-1 phone check-ins with the program facilitators
  • Admission to two additional Dream Seed sound baths at Golden Drum (2 hours each)
  • *Note: program is subject to change

What is sound healing and what is it used for?

Sound is our essence. We are vibration. Sound is one of the prominent medicines of the Aquarian Age. The world is waking up to “new age” therapies rooted in sound and vibration that are in fact ancient. Sound rituals have been an integral part of indigenous and spiritual traditions and cultures worldwide for thousands of years. In every indigenous culture, it is deeply understood that sound is an essential element of creation and well-being. Today, science is catching up to this understanding and sound is growing as a mainstream therapeutic practice for consciousness, healing, and wellbeing.

Classes will be broadcast and recorded via Zoom. Participants (both In-Person and Online) will receive near-immediate access to these recordings and will be able to access them for up to 3 months after the end of the program.

Full Program Details and Registration at goldendrum.org

Demonstration of 29 Aboriginal-Made Eucalyptus Didgeridoos

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Didge Project was blessed to have access to an amazing lot of aboriginal made didgeridoos. Check them out in this video!

These didgeridoos are all currently for sale at https://didgeproject.com/product/aboriginal-made-eucalyptus-didgeridoos where you can also find dimensions, maker info and other notable details. Enjoy!

Didgeridoo Players You Should Know (Top Ten)

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didgeridoo players beatbox aboriginal

This is the first article in a 2-part series on The Didgeridoo Players You Should Know. Click here for Part II.

This list of didgeridoo players is by no means complete but it is an overview of those who have most influenced me and the Didge Project community. Every person on this list has done a great deal to spread the awareness of the didgeridoo and Didge Project would not be what it is without their contributions.

Without further ado we present Didgeridoo Players You Should Know:

1Djalu Gurruwiwi

Custodian of the yirdaki (didgeridoo) amongst the Yolngu people of Northern Australia, Djalu Gurruwiwi is perhaps the best known elder of the didgeridoo world. Djalu and his family are greatly responsible for bridging aboriginal culture with the western world. As didgeridoo maker for the first internationally touring aboriginal band, Yothu-Yindi, interest in Djalu’s instruments grew. With the rise of internet communications, it became well known amongst didgeridoo players that a Djalu-made instrument is one of the finest instruments you can get.

Documentary on Djalu:

Check out Djalu’s official website

2Ondrej Smeykal

A one-man didgeridoo orchestra is perhaps the best way of describing the extraordinary music of Ondrej Smeykal. His highly original style of playing is the result of a life completely devoted to his instrument. For well over two decades and with ever increasing intensity, Ondrej has been developing and redefining his own unique approach to the didgeridoo. Each composition, or song, as he refers to it, is very different in style, ranging from break-beat and organic Didgeridoo techno, to trance, ambient and anything in between.

In the last years Ondrej has shared and taught his contemporary Didgeridoo style and philosophy at festivals all around the world. His tours have brought him regularly out of his homeland of Prague in the Czech Republic to Japan, Australia, Canada, USA, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine. Ondrej is known to experiment with materials to make didgeridoos with. He has been noted for his use of glass and metal instruments and has developed a series of crystal didgeridoos, which he created together with traditional Czech glass masters.

This is one of my favorite didge videos ever:

Visit Ondrej Smeykal’s Official Website

3Ganga Giri

 

Australian born Ganga Giri followed a childhood dream of being one of the top didgeridoo players and now tours the world performing as the leader of his own band. Ganga creates a modern sound by mixing indigenous Australian music with funky rhythms and dance beats. Deeply inspired by the sacredness of Australia’s land and how that feeling can be expressed through the didgeridoo, he has become an ambassador for his country, offering a reflection of contemporary multicultural Australia to a world-wide audience.

Visit Ganga Giri’s Official Website

4David Hudson

David Hudson’s life reflects his love and belief in Aboriginal culture and he is widely known as the Cultural Journeyman of Australia. David comes from the Ewamin (oo-rah-min)/Western Yalangi (people of the north east coast of Australia) and has made a career as a didgeridoo player and performing artist. 

David has traveled extensively throughout Australia and the World, including Europe, Asia, Oceania and the USA as both a solo artist and with world renowned dance troupe, “Tjapukai”, which he co-founded with Greek composer Yanni. He promotes awareness of Aboriginal culture and tradition wherever he travels. This video shows David Hudson in many of his public appearances over a long career in the arts:

Visit David Hudson’s Official Website

5Mark Atkins

 

Mark Atkins is an Australian Aboriginal musician known for his skill on the didgeridoo and is also a storyteller, songwriter, composer and painter. He descends from the Yamatji people of Western Australia. He has worked with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Hothouse Flowers, Philip Glass, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. In 2001 he collaborated with Wurundjeri elder Joy Murphy Wandin and composer Philip Glass in the concert work Voices, performed at the Melbourne Town Hall and New York’s Lincoln Center. The composition was commissioned by the City of Melbourne to relaunch the Melbourne Town Hall Organ. This video exemplifies Mark’s storytelling, composition and didgeridoo talents:

Visit Mark Atkins’ Official Website

6Xavier Rudd

 

One of Australia’s most prolific touring artists, Xavier Rudd has built a worldwide following by combining the didgeridoo with his expert guitar and percussion work in a full band setting. Equally talented as a singer and songwriter, Xavier has a number of popular songs in Australia and Canada and he is actively building a catalog of recordings, music videos and festival appearances. Check out his one-man-band action in this spectacular performance (around the 3 minute mark):

Visit Xavier Rudd’s Official Website

7William Thoren

A man of many talents, William Thoren is a didgeridoo performer and craftsman best known for inventing the Multi Drone didgeridoo and pioneering it’s playing technique. This new breed of didgeridoo makes it possible to play an expanded dynamic range and opens up a new world of possibility for didgeridoo players to collaborate with western instruments. William runs wetdidgeridoo.com which includes instructional videos and information about the Multi Drone technique and other advanced contemporary didgeridoo techniques. He tours extensively teaching workshops on didgeridoo and performing both as a solo artist and with the band Gorangutang. William is also a prolific photographer and traveled extensively to develop his “Didgeridoo World” photo gallery at http://www.williamthoren.com/.

This video explains the Multi Drone technique and shows the instrument in action

Visit William Thoren’s Official Site

8Shibaten

A self-proclaimed busker who has a prolific video catalog of performances around the world, Japan’s Shibaten has redefined what it means to be a traveling minstrel. Shibaten has been seen playing djembe, guitar, gongs, bells and many other world instruments simultaneously with the didgeridoo, during his live performances. His music ranges from deep meditative sound baths to high-energy get-the-crowd-dancing music. Watch and see what he’s like when he really gets going:


Visit Shibaten’s Official Website

9Zalem Delarbre

French artist Zalem is one of my favorite didgeridoo players because he is equally talented at playing fast complex rhythms, beat-boxing and playing other unique styles. Zalem began to play the didgeridoo in 2001 and first started with a wobble-based style of playing and progressively developed his own style with his rock and electro-rock influences. He has been a part of many successful collaborations including the band JMPZ (rock/electro/tribal), Wadhom (hang drum, violin and dance), Tribal Dance (acoustic trance from Israel), Vibration Visuelle (a duet with Bertox, magician/juggler), Zalyshar (duet with Yshar, tribal fusion dancer) and Milanga, an electro-ethnic band with sitar, heavy beats, singing and dance. In 2010 Zalem released his first solo didgeridoo album entirely acoustic. His constant research for didgeridoo possibilities led him to a new style which he calls “Didgstep”. This video exemplifies Zalem’s many talents:

Visit Zalem’s Official Website

10Stephen Kent

Didgeridoo veteran Stephen Kent has lived all over the world and became a didgeridoo player when living in Australia and scoring music for Circus Oz. He has since relocated to San Francisco, CA and is very active as a recording artist and performer with over twenty two album credits to his name. Stephen is a member of international touring group Baraka Moon, a mix of Sufi chant, trance grooves, didge and drums.

Visit Stephen Kent’s Official Website

Honorable Mentions

I hope to write more on the many talented didge players who are out there. Until then, here are some more great players worth checking out:

Dubravko Lapaine (Croatia)
Tyler Spencer (Oregon, USA)
Joseph Carringer (New Hampshire, USA)
Jeremy Cloake (New Zealand)
Jeremy Donovan (Australia)
William Barton (Australia)
Chad Butler (Oregon, USA)
Lewis Walker (Australia)
Gauthier (France)
Termite (Russia)
Mack Yidaki (Chile)
Si Mullumby (Wild Marmalade, Australia)
Ash Dargan (Australia)
Ian Hesford (Telesma, Maryland, USA)
Blake Noble (Australia)
Dan Flynn (USA)

Is someone missing from this list? Email us and let us know.

Photos by William Thoren

Sound Healer Training: Working with the Sounds of the Four Elements – Live in NYC and Online, June 2-4, 2023

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Join Dream Seed for an intensive journey into using sound for transformation and healing with a special focus on working with the sounds of the four elements: air, fire, water and earth. At this weekend-long workshop we will study what each element represents, its connection with the cycles of life, its associations with the mind, heart, soul and body, and how to use sound and music to evoke the elemental powers. Participants will gain hands-on experience in using sound for healing and well-being, receive training in a variety of sound healing modalities and will walk away with the skills and knowledge to be able to incorporate sound into healing sessions and meditative environments.

Photos from our last Sound Healer Training:

We will work with instruments, the voice and sounds from around the world to develop a relationship with sound as a practice for developing consciousness, meditation, deep relaxation, healing, and prayer. Throughout the course of this training, we will focus on various exercises to learn more about sound healing through intention setting, listening, giving, receiving, and developing our intuition in relationship to sound.

Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the course.

 

Event Details

Location: Golden Drum, 97 Green St. #G1, Brooklyn, NY 12428

Time/Date:

Friday, June 2, 7:30-9:30pm Opening & Sound Journey with Dream Seed

Saturday, June 3, 10-5pm Sound Healer Training workshop

Sunday, June 4, 10-5pm Sound Healer Training workshop

Online Participants: Broadcast Available via Zoom Meeting

Registration and more info here

What is sound healing and what is it used for?

 

Sound is our essence. We are vibration. Sound is one of the prominent medicines of the Aquarian Age. The world is waking up to “new age” therapies rooted in sound and vibration that are in fact ancient. Sound rituals have been an integral part of indigenous and spiritual traditions and cultures worldwide for thousands of years. In every indigenous culture, it is deeply understood that sound is an essential element of creation and well-being. Today, science is catching up to this understanding and sound is growing as a mainstream therapeutic practice for consciousness, healing, and wellbeing.

About Dream Seed

 

Dream Seed is a sound healing collective created by members of Golden Drum, Sacred Arts Research Foundation, and Didge Project. As students of Maestro Manuel Rufino, the members of Dream Seed are dedicated to the study and preservation of the sacred traditions of humanity and the continued exploration of sound as a healing modality of the Aquarian Age. Dream Seed studies and works with indigenous and traditional elders, continuously seeking to expand their knowledge of sound and healing as universal methods of cultivating harmony, peace, and well-being.

 

Members of Dream Seed conducting the Sound Healer Training include Brooke Gillespie, AJ Block, Matt Canale, Xango Shola, Jerry Walsh, Ixchel Prisma, Nicole Adriana Casanova, Mateusz Bazgier, Michael Fisher & Hannah Apollonia. Visit Dream Seed on the web at: http://dreamseedsound.com/

Didgeridoo Rhythm Training: Live in Brooklyn, NY, April 21-22

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Join Didge Project’s AJ Block and Jerry Walsh and the host of It’s All About Rhythm, Kevin Nathaniel, for an intensive journey into didgeridoo playing, rhythm, sound healing and music. The didgeridoo is a world music instrument that can be used in a number of contexts, including dance, meditation, sound healing, and more! In this training you will learn many ways to use the didgeridoo with a special focus on learning rhythms that can induce trance and can be played with other musicians. The Didgeridoo Rhythm Training is an in-person event with a live broadcast option for remote participants.

Sample didgeridoo rhythm training video from Didge Project’s AJ Block:

Sample rhythm training video from It’s All About Rhythm with Kevin Nathaniel (try clapping along):

Participants will learn how to:

  • Use the didgeridoo in a sound healing context
  • Play rhythmically with other musicians
  • Apply rhythms from Africa, Latin America and the Middle-East to the didgeridoo and other instruments
  • Play in different meters (e.g., 3, 4 and 6 beat patterns).
  • Make the basic sounds on didgeridoo and combine them into different rhythm patterns
  • Circular breathe on didgeridoo in a rhythmic way
  • Utilize the drone as a musical element
  • Utilize the voice within the didgeridoo sound
  • Hold a steady beat that can bring listeners into states of trance or deep relaxation
  • Beatbox with the didgeridoo

Included in the Didgeridoo Rhythm Training (all events at Golden Drum):

  • Admission to the Didgeridoo-Infused Sound Bath on Friday, April 21
  • Admission to the full day of workshops with AJ Block (6 hours) and Kevin Nathaniel (2 hours) on Saturday, April 22
  • Video recordings of all workshops on Saturday, April 22
  • Lifetime access to the Didgeridoo Skills Course for Intermediate Level Players, a 9-hour video course published by Didge Project ($67 value)
  • Lifetime access to the It’s All About Rhythm video course with Kevin Nathaniel ($67 value)For remote participants: livestream access to all workshops with AJ Block and Kevin Nathaniel on Saturday, April 22

This class is available in-person at Golden Drum in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, via live streaming video from anywhere around the world, and as a video course recording (excluding the Friday night sound bath) with indefinite replay.

Didgeridoos will be available for use and didgeridoos and other instruments will be available for sale.

Register at goldendrum.org

Schedule:

Friday, April 21

  • 7:30 to 9:30pm: Didgeridoo-Infused Sound Bath

Saturday, April 22

  • 10am to 1pm: Didgeridoo Workshop with AJ Block and Jerry Walsh
  • Lunch break
  • 2:30 to 4:30pm: Rhythm Workshop with Kevin Nathaniel
  • 5pm to 8pm: Didgeridoo Workshop with AJ Block and Jerry Walsh

Suggested donation:

  • $250 in-person (no one turned away for lack of funds)
  • $180 online broadcast (does not include sound bath on Friday night)

*Note: The Didgeridoo-Infused Sound Bath and the Rhythm Workshop with Kevin Nathaniel are also open to participants who do not attend the full Didgeridoo Rhythm Training. See goldendrum.org for the individual event listings.

Location: Golden Drum, 97 Green St., Brooklyn, NY 11222

Sound Healer Training in NYC with Dream Seed, March 25, 2023

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The Sound Healer Training with Dream Seed will provide participants with hands-on experience using sound for healing and well-being. Participants will receive training in a variety of sound healing modalities and will walk away with the skills and knowledge to be able to incorporate sound into healing sessions and meditative environments. We will work with instruments, the voice and sounds from around the world to develop a relationship with sound as a practice for developing consciousness, meditation, deep relaxation, healing, and prayer.

 

Throughout the course of this training, we will focus on various exercises to learn more about sound healing through intention setting, listening, giving, receiving, and developing our intuition in relationship to sound. Participants are encouraged but not required to bring their own sound healing instruments. Tibetan and crystal bowls, gongs, shakers, chimes, shamanic drums, and other instruments from around the world will be available for participants to utilize and a variety of sound-healing instruments will also be available for sale.

 

 

Event Details

Location: Golden Drum, 97 Green St. #G1, Brooklyn, NY 12428

Time/Date: Saturday, March 25, 10am-8pm. (Optional sound bath the night of Friday, March 24 is not included with registration).

Registration and more info: https://www.goldendrum.org/calendar-1/dreamseed-january102023-27gs9-778s9

What is sound healing and what is it used for?

Souned is our essence. We are vibration. Sound is one of the prominent medicines of the Aquarian Age. The world is waking up to “new age” therapies rooted in sound and vibration that are in fact ancient. Sound rituals have been an integral part of indigenous and spiritual traditions and cultures worldwide for thousands of years. In every indigenous culture, it is deeply understood that sound is an essential element of creation and well-being. Today, science is catching up to this understanding and sound is growing as a mainstream therapeutic practice for consciousness, healing, and wellbeing.

About Dream Seed

 

Dream Seed is a sound healing collective created by members of Golden Drum, Sacred Arts Research Foundation, and Didge Project. As students of Maestro Manuel Rufino, the members of Dream Seed are dedicated to the study and preservation of the sacred traditions of humanity and the continued exploration of sound as a healing modality of the Aquarian Age. Dream Seed studies and works with indigenous and traditional elders, continuously seeking to expand their knowledge of sound and healing as universal methods of cultivating harmony, peace, and well-being.

 

Members of Dream Seed conducting the Sound Healer Training include Brooke Gillespie, AJ Block, Matt Canale, Xango Shola, Jerry Walsh, Ixchel Prisma, Nicole Adriana Casanova, Mateusz Bazgier, Michael Fisher & Hannah Apollonia. Visit Dream Seed on the web at: http://dreamseedsound.com/
Learn to play didgeridoo and master the technique of CIRCULAR BREATHING
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Learn to play didgeridoo and master the technique of CIRCULAR BREATHING

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