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

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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 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...
In this video we share 3 didgeridoo playing tips that answer the questions: "what do you do if you can’t get the didgeridoo to make a drone?", "how do you start the sound most effectively?", and "how do you ensure...
Bounce breathing is one of the didgeridoo circular breathing basics all players should learn. In this approach, the cheeks appear to be full the whole time. The quick pace of this exercise is the key.  The emphasis here is...
This is AJ Block, director of Didge Project, writing to personally invite you to the Didgeridoo Skills Course, a six-class journey into rhythm, breathing techniques, and musicality. In this program you will learn the tools needed to develop music...
Many people try to learn to circular breathe without having the proper foundation in place. The exercises presented in this video show you how to develop the individual components that go into circular breathing, particularly the abdominal muscles (abs)...

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