What didgeridoo must one start with ?

In Didgeridoo beginners by Gauthier AubéLeave a Comment

Wanting to learn to play didgeridoo is a great adventure ! But this choice quickly generates questions, one in particular : “By the way … What didgeridoo must i buy to start with ? “. You then quickly surf through the web and come against a huge range of materials and prices. How can one make a choice in this jungle of pieces of wood? Beyond clichés and misconceptions, follow the guide, I cleared out the way for you ! (Read also : Watch out for inexpensive didgeridoos!)

PVC Tube

A pipe of PVC to make a didgeridoo

It certainly does not make one dream … But it’s the ideal solution if you want to try didgeridoo without breaking the bank. I advise this type of didgeridoo to all my beginner students. Remember: a didgeridoo is just a tube! So why not in PVC? This type of instrument has two major advantages:
# Its price. It is unbeatable : € 3.5 maximum (!)
# Availability. You’ll find one in any DIY store, wherever you are in the world.
The ideal dimensions are a diameter of 30 / 32mm and a length between 1 meter and 1 meter 20. This last criterion has an influence on the pitch of the note: the longer the tube will be, the more the tone will be low. The shorter it will be, the more the sound will be high. If you go beyond these dimensions you may have a note much too extreme to start with.

Once you have purchased your tube, simply grind either end to round out the angles to avoid hurting yourself while playing … And that’s it! Your didgeridoo is now ready. Easy, isn’t it ? 🙂
A little tip: favor a high-pressure PVC tube in a dark gray color. Its thickness will give a more sustained sound in regards to a conventional PVC one.

A plastic didgeridoo

If you are not thrilled by the idea of blowing into a PVC tube that looks like a drain pipe, do not worry, all is not lost yet! There is another type of plastic didgeridoo which has the advantage of being decorated. Its price is a bit higher (35 €) but it is still very affordable to start learning didgeridoo with. This is, in my opinion, the most motivating didgeridoo as it gives the feeling of having a (more) elaborated instrument for an affordable cost. Moreover, the quality of the sound is much better than with PVC. However, this instrument has one small weakness: the plastic mouthpiece is very thin and susceptible to shocks. One must be very careful when handling it. Beyond that, it’s, in my opinion the best quality / price ratio on the market for entry-level instruments.
You can find that kind of didgeridoo in (sorry both are in french but with a google research you can find some shop in English) :

A bamboo didgeridoo

We now put aside synthetic products to get to more natural didgeridoos … Goodbye oil, hello nature! But be careful, there is another trap. There are two kinds of bamboos: industrial and handmade ones. The first one is found in most music stores, I do not advise you to buy one of those, because they tend to weaken with time and end up splitting. The second one is made by enthusiasts and is of much better quality. Their sound is good and, above all, they are stable didgeridoos that do not crack. Artisanal bamboo is a good way to get one’s hands on a quality didgeridoo, made with noble material, for an affordable price (60 €). However, it is difficult to find. You will have to knock on the right doors like on David Desfois’ one, who produces in Brittany (shipping throughout France).

An agave didgeridoo

Agave americana is a cactus from North America that can today be found on the Mediterranean coast and, in general, on all continents. Each year it produces a flower that can reach 4 meters high! You can imagine that it did not take didgeridoo enthusiasts long to transform this flower in cheerful bagpipes!

The porous interior can be removed easily and offers true lightness once the instrument is finished. This lightweight provides a very comfortable grip. This type of didgeridoo is more expensive than the others mentioned above but the quality goes with it. It will cost you about 400 €. It is surely a price well above the rest, but agaves make the hinge of high-end instruments. Again beware, didgeridoos made with agaves are manufactured all over the world, but they are not all good! Here are some places where you can order safely:

Above all, love your instrument!

As you can see, many didgeridoos exist (and there are many others!). However, beyond these criteria, keep in mind that the most important thing is to have fun when playing. Its a classic, but it is quickly forgotten. I started playing in 2001 with a teak didgeridoo that my dear parents had given me for Christmas. I loved this instrument. I found its harmonics incredible and I did not understand why, every Thursday night, when I took it to the didgeridoo association, absolutely nobody would played it … It took me time to understand that it was just a bad one! But, at the time, it was the best one in my eyes and that was the main thing. It enabled me to progress and gave me the passion of didgeridoo, what more can one ask for?

And you, what do you play with? What kind of instrument did you start with? Feel free to share your experiences or to ask questions in the comments!

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