A Popular Didgeridoo Rhythm and How To Play It


In this video for intermediate to advanced level didgeridoo players, we share a popular didgeridoo rhythm found in music all around the world. I use this rhythm in my playing more than almost any other because it flows so naturally on the didgeridoo, djembe, guitar, piano and any other instrument I can get my hands on.

–> Free download: World Rhythms for Didgeridoo (45-minute class): https://www.didgeproject.com/worldrhythmsclass/

Where can I hear this Didgeridoo Rhythm?

Known as the Caribbean Clave, Tresillo, Malfuf and many other names, this bell pattern is essential to Afro-cuban, Afro-Brazilian and Latin music. Originally brought to the Americas by African slaves, this rhythm is found in most traditional African music and most Latin-American styles. This rhythm is fantastic for collaborating with other musicians as well as jamming on your own.

The essence of the tresillo rhythm is accents on beats 1, the & of 2, and 4. If you do not immediately understand what this means in writing, watch the video for a demonstration.

There are two ways to conceptualize the tresillo rhythm:

A.     Use strong exhales (abs) to play notes on beats 1, the “& of 2” and 4. This approach is demonstrated in the very first moment of this video.

B.     Take a pattern of 8 beats and divide it as 3, 3, 2. In other words:

1 2 3  1 2 3  1 2

In terms of breathing patterns, the rhythm looks like this :

Ha in ha Ha in ha Ha in

***Note that Ha represents an exhale and In represents an inhale***

With a metronome you can practice playing this didgeridoo rhythm perfectly in time. This will really help to develop your feel for syncopated rhythms.


Question of the day:

What is a  didgeridoo rhythm you love to play? What are some rhythms you want to learn to play on didgeridoo?

Post your reply in the comments section below. Your response helps us know what content to make next so we can serve you best!


Video Credits:
– Camera: Adrian Dimatteo
– Reggaeton drum loop: https://www.looperman.com/loops/detail/71114/reggaeton-drumbeat-3-by-kristijann-free-95bpm-reggaeton-drum-loop
– Guest musician: Adam Maalouf on Frame Drum. Full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dRtx_LD5Z8

Subscribe To The Didge Project Mailing List to receive the latest Tutorials, Articles, Events and Downloads directly in your inbox:

Previous articleRAV Vast RUS Scale (A Minor) Product Demo: RAV Universal Scale
Next article3-Minute Basic Beatbox Tutorial: Hip-Hop/Rock Beat
AJ Block is the director of Didge Project and is active as a didgeridoo teacher and performer. In addition to didgeridoo, AJ has spent years studying music traditions from all over the world including jazz (trombone and piano), western classical music, Indian Classical Music, guitar and world percussion. AJ has developed a number of programs for Didge Project including The ABCs of Didgeridoo, The Didgeridoo Skills Course, and Circular Breathing Mastery. He is also the author of Didge For Sleep, a didgeridoo learning method designed specifically for people with Sleep Apnea. As a performer AJ is the leader of the Didge Project Music Collective and a member of Dream Seed: A Shamanic Sound Journey. AJ is a founding member of Sacred Arts Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of sacred art traditions through education, ritual and study. As a student of spiritual teacher Maestro Manuel Rufino AJ is an active member of the Golden Drum community.


  1. Hi A.J great seeing you going strong ,im just starting to get back into it ,i havent played much for a few months ,watching you got me inspired again, ,l love blues rock and reggae,,its all good,,

Comments are closed.