Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Digeridoo

Brian Jacobs suncrush@lycos.com
Sat, 19 Apr 2003 09:58:56 +1200

On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 14:42:26  
 Randy Van Vliet wrote:
>Question for Musicians out there:
>I don't have any musical ability (other than to hit
>"Play").  My children, on the other hand do.  They all
>play piano as well as several other instruments
>(thanks to their mother).  They have been intrigued
>with the sound of the Digeridoo.  So I have played
>around with getting them one.  I have a few questions.
>Is it very hard to learn how to play?  


>Once you learn the basics is very hard to get "good"?

Like any instrument it takes practice.  You'll need at least a book that tells you how to make sounds, and a cd so you have sounds to try to mimic.  Circle breathing is the hardest part, but it's manageable.

>Since they are not man made, are there variations
>between instruments?  As a follow up, is it worth it
>to get a more expensive one?

Yes, there are variations.  They all sound different, and will have different tones.  It's best to buy one you have played.  Get a wooden one, not one made of bamboo.  Beyond that, the price difference is often more to do with the art than with the instrument.  Though not always.  Just get one that sounds good to you.

>Does size matter?  (Musically speaking, people.  Get
>your minds out of the gutter!)

SIze determines pitch.  Most good didgeridoos are tuned.  Mine is E-flat which is great for playing with bands, and lousy for playing with guitarists.  Also, shorter didges are more responsive.  You can play them more quickly.  On the other hand, the longer ones are darker, which I prefer.  Mouthpiece size is also an issue.  Many didges have very large mouthpieces, which can be difficult, especially for kids.  You can modify the mouthpiece with beeswax though, so that's not so much an issue.

>MOC:  What actually happened at Maralinga?  And is Tin
>Legs realted to Maralinga at all?  I only ask because
>the songs flow so well together.  

Maralinga was an atomic bomb test site used by the British.

Hope that helps,

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