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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:19 PM
Original message
Build your own didgeridoo for $5
My girlfriend and I went to this cool free concert at Tennessee Technological University last night. Tom Heasley ( http://www.tomheasley.com ) plays ambient stuff using a tuba, a didgeridoo, an echo unit, and a loop machine. Don't think tuba, think whale songs. Ethereal, majestic and beautiful.

Anyway, after the show, I was talking to the artist, and I noticed his nice black shiny didgeridoo was ABS plastic. I asked him about it and with the details he provided I built my own for less than $5 with stuff from Lowe's today.

Get a 4-foot length of ABS or PVC, 1-1/2 inches in diameter. For a mouthpiece, get a female trap adapter (also available in the plumbing department - it will be near the ABS and PVC) - again, 1-1/2 inches in diameter. The ABS will slide into the adapter on the side opposite the threads.

Lastly, take a great big lungful of air and BLOW LIKE HELL! I have to say, it ain't easy to play (my background as a tuba player came in handy here - same technique). I can only play one note so far, but god is it beautiful. Tom is making professional quality recordings with one of these. He's so happy with it that he declined to use a genuine wooden didgeridoo from Australia that was provided for his use.

If you're into ambient, I recommend Tom's two albums. Great for meditation. Very, very peaceful and sonorous. :)
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. His website's down
Damn that John Ashcroft!

--bkl
And the same goes for Mr. Howard
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. His site is working fine for me
Hmmmm....
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wait til you get the circular breathing going
Check out Craicmore, an Irish/alternative group that features a Home Depot digiridoo and other unusual ethnic instruments in their Celtic/based repertoire:

http://www.craicmore.com
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I just found a great page on how to play
And as Alfredo said, a wax mouthpiece helps:

http://www.didgeridoostore.com/howtoplay.html

Evidently, this baby will be much easier to play if I narrow the mouthpiece aperture.
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Circular Breathing Explained!
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 11:35 PM by Hardhead
From the site:
While circular breathing is great to know it is NOT a requirement to be able to play and enjoy this instrument. You can build breathing into rhythms you create when you snatch air between beats.

It is best to master the other techniques of playing first and learn circular breathing last.

Circular breathing is what allows players to perform continuously without stopping for breath. Many great wind instrument players such as Miles Davis and Kenny G (AAUGH!) use circular breathing.
Practice these exercises to learn how to circular breathe!

Exercise 1: Fill your mouth with water and push a stream of water out using only your tongue and cheek muscles. Make sure not to use any pressure from the lungs to help. Stay relaxed and breathe in and out with your nose while making the stream. Keep trying until it feels very comfortable. This is a good exercise to do in the shower!

Exercise 2: Get a straw and a cup of water. Twist the end of the straw so that almost no air can come out. Push air through the straw and into the water creating bubbles. Breathe in and out with your nose while doing this as in exercise 1. Keep the pressure even and the flow of bubbles smooth.

Exercise 3: Slowly transition to just breathing in with your nose and keep the bubbles going nonstop. Master this until the muscle contractions you are using feel totally comfortable and the bubbles are flowing smoothly.

Exercise 4: You are now circular breathing. Keep your cup and straw right next to you. Try to play your didge and circular breathe (it is just a bigger straw). You will find this difficult so go right back to the straw and water to practice again. Then, try on the didge again. Keep going back and forth between the cup and water and the didge until you can successfully do it on your didge. Take a look at the diagrams on the next page for a visual explanation of circular breathing.
----------
Sounds pretty tricky.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. I made mine from bamboo and
wax. I used wax for the mouthpiece. I melted it, then dipped the end in the wax, letting it build up. Love the didgeridoo.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. 79-cent golf bag tubes from Target work, too....
Or have the mail clerk at work scout you some mailing tubes...I made one from PVC tubing, polished it and made the fittings look less "Home Depot-ish". Wonder what it would look like scrimshawed? It kinda looks like ivory...
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. I love my didj
It's made of agave. I can get a decent tone, but have just not been able to manage the circular breathing. I've been trying for 2 years, and not getting any better.

Here's a great didj site:

http://didjshop.com/shop1/index.php

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FDRrocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
9. I've never played a didg...
but I took tribal drum lessons from a guy who made them out of wood.

I can see the PVC and the mouth adapter and such. He would make wood pipes with contoured ends. But he also said that you need to texture the inside with beeswax or such to get the right noise of it.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
10. A Basque Didge?
The Alboka.

It's a kind of double clarinet or flute, so it has holes for fingering different tones, but I understand that it's blown like a didgeridoo.

If you want to hear them used in modern music, check out some of Kepa Junkera's stuff.

Like the didge, it's an ancient instrument, as most Basque wind instruments are. (A very authentic single-tube flute -- a txistu -- was found in a cave near Isturitz and dated to 25,000 BCE.)

Here's a link to the website of an albokari named Aitor Koteron. In English, Spanish, and Basque -- just in case you want to brush up:

http://audio.ya.com/ibon-koteron /

Koteron also shows you how to make your own alboka. I don't think the ancient Basques had Lowes' or Builder's Emporiums (maybe just Rickels), but a PVC version shouldn't be much more difficult to make. And think how astounded an archeologist in the year 27000 will be to find an ancient Basque instrument in North America -- made from PVC pipe, no less.

--bkl
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