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You are here:  Home ::  Didgeridoo  :: Playing :: Learning to Play :: Quick Guide to Playing

Quick Guide to Playing

Playing the didge is easy and fun, you just need some practice.

A quick guide on how to play the didgeridoo. Nothing fancy, that's for the other pages in this section, this is just the basics on how to get going playing the didge.

This is a brief introduction into playing the didgeridoo. There any many styles of playing and many types of didgeridoos, however they all work on the same principle - blowing air down a tube.

Before You Begin

When playing it is important to have good posture which will make playing easier, last longer and above all, more fun. Try to keep your airways clear with a straight back and neck. Standing or sitting, choose what is most comfortable for you. Relax, the harder you try, the harder it is.

Making a Sound

It is important to get the shape of the mouth right in order to make a successful drone. Without the didge, try to pucker your lips as if you are making an exaggerated kiss then blow gently. Your lips should vibrate and make a raspberry sound. Repeat this with the didgeridoo against your lips making sure no air escapes when you blow. You should now be playing a drone. Don't worry about how it sounds, it is a starting point. Once you have successfully made a drone, repeat the exercise.

Relax - it you blow to hard, lips are to tight you will not get a drone but may get what is called a toot or overtone. This is where the air in the didge is at a higher pressure and therefore plays a higher note - much like playing the bugle.

Each time you play the drone try to make the sound smoother (relaxed even breathing and blowing will achieve this). Try to make it last longer, as you become more familiar with the sound you will find it easier and easier. Keep your tongue in the same place - normally the neutral position (where you tongue is normally when at rest).

Note about breathing - your lungs do not need to be full, too much air is as bad as to little air. Most didge players will normally have theirs lungs working at about half to three quarters full.

Changing the Sound

Well done for making a drone with the didgeridoo.

You may have found that moving your tongue changes the sound. In fact any change/movement with your tongue, cheeks, jaw, diaphragm will change the sound, even adding noise from your vocal chords.

Experiment moving all these parts of your body and the sound will change. Move from one sound to another, trying to make the sound, sound even and smooth. Once you have done this you have played your first rhythm on the didgeridoo - well done!

The different sounds and techniques can be very complex and there is not space here to go into them. However challenge your self to make as many different sounds as possible - see what you can come up with - go for it and have fun :-)

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