When it’s time to choose a didgeridoo, you need to know that selecting the right one for you is of utmost importance if you want to learn to play aboriginal music. All didgeridoos are not the same and different didgeridoos suit different people.
Choosing The Correct Size
- For a beginner, choose a didgeridoo with a length of between 1.2 and 1.4 meters (or 4 to 4 ½ feet).
- The inner diameter should be around 4.5 to 5 cm (1¾ to 2 inches) approximately at the playing end.
- The diameter at the other end can be the same or larger but the didgeridoo must be eaten out evenly all the way through.
Some people say that a didgeridoo sounds better when it has a large flare, like a trumpet at one end, but in my experience this has not been the case, I have found that the best playing didgeridoos are those that have been properly eaten out by the termites. Larger flared didgeridoos, however, do look the part.
Selecting the Right Mouth Piece
When you choose a didgeridoo, make sure the mouth piece is the right size and shape for your particular mouth.
- If the mouth piece is too large you will have difficulty producing any sound at all, let alone the drone sound that you need to develop as your first step in playing the didgeridoo.
- If the mouth piece is too small you will tend to get a more flatulent sound than the required drone sound.
If there is a wax mouth piece on the didgeridoo you will be able to adjust it to your mouth.
- You will have to heat the wax to a point where it is soft and pliable before you attempt to shape it. Puffing it out in the hot sun is one way of doing this. Other ways are putting it in hot water or heating it with a hair dryer. Be careful you don’t melt the wax however.
- If the wax mouth piece comes off the end of the didgeridoo you will need to get more wax and replace it. Get raw wax from a bee keeper, heat it until it becomes soft, shape it between your hands into a long sausage shape and then apply it around the playing end of your didgeridoo. Shape it to the size of your mouth and then dip it quickly into a tin of molten wax five or six times to make it stick to the timber.