What is a didgeridoo (the droning Aboriginal Australian wind instrument)?


The didgeridoo is a wind instrument made from hollow wood. The first didgeridoos, played by aboriginal peoples in northern Australia an estimated 40,000 years ago, were made from fallen eucalyptus branches that had been naturally hollowed out by termites. It is also known that the mayan people of Central America had a similar instrument made of yucca or agave and today referred to as “la trompeta maya” (the mayan trumpet).

Modern didgeridoos are commonly made from eucalyptus, bamboo, and agave. In theory, any enclosed column of air, such as a PVC pipe can be made into a didgeridoo by blowing through it.

The didgeridoo is both a pitched instrument and a percussion instrument. Each didge has one fundamental tone as well as a series of overtones that can be altered by the lips of the player. The didge can also played rhythmically, serving as both a bass and a time keeping instrument.

Check out aboriginal didgeridoo master David Blanasi showing how to make didgeridoos in this video:

Modern didgeridoos are used in many world music applications including beatboxing, dance music and meditation. Check out our list of Didgeridoo Players You Should Know.

For a thorough history of the didgeridoo, visit ididjaustralia’s Didgeridoo History.

Didgeridoo Lessons from Didge Project:

Welcome to your first lesson on how to play didgeridoo. In this video class you will learn some basic breathing techniques, how to use the different parts of your body required for playing, and some simple practices that you...
In this didgeridoo beatbox tutorial video, Didge Project's Jerry Walsh demonstrates how to play 3 basic beatboxing rhythms for the didgeridoo. What's great about these rhythms is that they do not require circular breathing, so even if you haven't...
In this video you will learn some of the best breathing exercises for wind instrument players. The biggest key is I have found is engaging the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm. Some call this diaphragmatic breathing, and others refer...
Playing didgeridoo in repeating cycles of 3 or 6 beats creates some unique rhythmic opportunities. By learning these cycles, you will have a lot more options to play with, especially when you begin to combine them with other didgeridoo...
In this open question and answer session AJ Block took questions on didgeridoo-related topics. Recorded with a live online audience on November 18, 2017. Questions asked in this session: 01:59 What are the keys of didgeridoo most used by professionals? 04:44 What...
In this video we reveal the tongue rhythms for didgeridoo that will give you more playing options as you explore the instrument. Once you learn the different tongue sounds, you can start adding your voice to create an additional...

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