Didgeridoo How To Choose

 

How To Choose  

Didgeridoo How to choose

When buying a Didgeridoo it is important to know what you would like to do with the instrument. Many didgeridoo for sale but....


On this page you can read all about didgeridoos and their characteristics individually. Please do so before buying! It may help you to find what you need. 
We will start with some general information:

There are many different types of didgeridoo for different playing styles.
Basically, you could call these styles ‘meditative’ playing or ‘rhythmical’ playing.

 
Didgeridoos
For a ‘meditative’ style of playing the lower-tone didgeridoos are more suitable. They give a deep relaxing drone and do not need a lot of pressure and speed to be played. Circular breathing is generally easier except for the extra low tone (G- A- B) didgeridoos. 
Extra low tone didgeridoos need a bit more air and circular breathing needs a little bit more effort to master. But they are still relatively easy to play.
Seventy percent of all beginners start on a low tone didgeridoo!

C#, D and D# tone didgeridoos are generally classified as mid-tone and are suitable for both styles of playing. 

For a rhythmical style of playing, the higher-tone didgeridoos are more suitable. The basic drone is higher in tone and the backpressure of the instrument is a lot stronger. For beginners, circular breathing is more difficult to master on higher-tone didgeridoos like F and G and the tone of the didgeridoo can hardly be described as relaxing. On top of that, these didgeridoos often have a smaller mouthpiece, which can be more difficult for beginners to handle. E tone didgeridoos have this a little less, but are still relatively high in tone with a lot of backpressure.

High-tone didgeridoos are a must-have for anybody who wants to learn either more complex didgeridoo playing techniques or a traditional aboriginal style of playing. These didgeridoos have a larger range of capabilities. Especially when it comes to using trumpet tones or ‘toots’ and the use of the jaw etc. and in traditional didgeridoo playing where the use of the tongue is emphasised. 

Overall, the breathing sequence is a lot faster because of the backpressure of higher tone didgeridoos. This also helps creating a didgeridoo rhythm within the breathing pattern. 

Our advice to beginners: do not buy a high-tone didgeridoo - unless you have a friend or teacher who understands your capabilities and who helps you take you to the next level. For more advanced didgeridoo playing a qualified teacher or friend is very helpful and necessary.

Note: beginners who are used to playing bamboo, cactus, plastic didgeridoos or other extra lightweight didgeridoos are used to playing with a very thin wall in their didgeridoo. These didgeridoos need little effort and give hardly any backpressure.
When first playing on eucalyptus didgeridoos the lungs and diaphragm are not used to the increased backpressure compared to bamboo etc. There is an extra effort needed to keep a eucalyptus didgeridoo going. The lung capacity or pressure will gradually change once you get used to it and then you will not want to play on anything else!

Warning note: We advise beginners not to buy a high-tone didgeridoo as their first instrument. Please be aware of the instruments characteristics!

 
Budget Didgeridoos
 
 
 
 
 
 
This type of didgeridoo usually has a simple, straight cylindrical shape and may be somewhat curved or twisted. Some might have a mild flare or even a minor bell. They usually have slender trunks and measure 1.30 to 1.50 metres. They come in a wide range of keys, from B to F and occasionally G. The mouthpiece on this type of instrument can be small measuring (2.5 to 3.5 cm) or medium sized (3.5 to 5.5 cm). The majority of our budget didges are made from stringy bark eucalypt, bloodwood and occasionally other type of eucalypt wood.
  Budget Didgeridoos  
 
 
Our budget didgeridoos produce a basic, clear sound that, depending on the instrument, varies from a mild dark bass to a sharp higher tone. The label ‘budget’ does in no way imply that these instruments are inferior or useless to serious musicians. It may be difficult to use more complex playing techniques on these instruments, and experienced didgeridoo players might feel limited when using advanced techniques, but for general music making they are very suitable. Of course, a beginner need not necessarily start on a budget didge!


 
 
 
Mid Range Dideridoos
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our mid-range didgeridoos have a much wider variety in shape and sound than our budget didges. Small bells and flares are more common in this category. Their shape is usually more conical, and mouthpieces are generally medium-sized (3.5 to 5.5 cm). These didgeridoos measure about 1.40 to 1.60 metres, and are made from any type of eucalypt, such as stringy bark, bloodwood, boxwood, woolly butt and iron bark. Keys from our mid-range didgeridoos vary from B to D#.
  Mid Range Dideridoos  
 
 
This category of instrument represents an extensive range of tones and sounds. Depending on the type of didgeridoo, a mid-range instrument can produce a much darker, deeper bass or brighter, clearer high tones than our budget didgeridoos. The medium-sized mouthpieces and slight conical shape of these instruments allow a larger variety of sounds and playing techniques. They are just as suitable for beginners, but are often musically much more interesting than the budget range.
 
Conicals (low tone)
 
 
 
 
 
 
These instruments are conically shaped didgeridoos, which means that the diameter of the didgeridoo gradually widens. The low tone variant measures 1.45 to 1.60 metres on average, which is longer than the average cylindrical didgeridoo in the same key. They are often very straight in shape, although a slight overall curve may occur among those from bloodwood. All low tone conicals have medium-sized mouthpieces and are usually made of stringy bark, bloodwood or woolly butt, but can just as well be made of boxwood or ironbark. Keys range from B to D.
  Conicals (low tone)  
 
 
Conically shaped didgeridoos can be distinguished from other types of didgeridoo by their superior sound. Conical instruments have a wider range of sound; a deeper, fuller bass and clearer, more pronounced high tones. The gradual shape of the inner column amplifies and harmonizes the sound of the didgeridoo, which has a positive effect on playing techniques using vocal and throat sounds. Furthermore, conicals produce a larger amount of trumpet tones with less effort. Because the inner column of conicals give more back pressure, circular breathing becomes easier to uphold. Therefore, more complex breathing patterns and more advanced playing techniques are easier to accomplish.
 
Conicals (high tone)
 
 
 
 
 
 
High tone conicals not only differ in key from low tone conicals, they are usually a little shorter (1.35 to 1.45 metres). Keys vary from D# to F#, with an occasional G, G# or A. Mouth pieces are small to medium-size, and the instruments are made of all type of eucalypt wood, but they usually have a slightly larger flare or bell compared to the low tone range.
  Conicals (high tone)  
 
 
In general, high tone conicals are a little smaller in size than the low tone variety. Because of a shorter column inside the instrument, these didgeridoos give a lot more back pressure than other type of didgeridoos. This leads to experiencing a larger amount of pressure on the lungs when playing and may require a more skilful player when performing advanced breathing and playing techniques. Trumpet tones appear to be higher in tone and can be harder to produce. Nevertheless, this type of instrument is very popular among our customers for its fast playing style and its profound unique sound.
 
Extended Conicals (low tone)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extended conicals are longer versions of our conical didgeridoos. A didgeridoo from this category can easily measure between 1.60 and 1.80 metres and appear in all kinds of eucalypt wood, although boxwood and ironbark are less common. This type of didgeridoo is always very straight, and compared to the regular low tone conicals the diameter of the bottom end of the instrument will usually be a little wider. Mouthpieces are small to medium-sized, and keys range from B-D.
  Extended Conicals (low tone)  
 
 
Because of its larger size, extended conicals have a more voluminous inner column. This results in having a larger sound box, which produces a deeper, warmer sound compared to normal conicals. Due to the extra length and the gradual increase of diameter of the inner column, extended conicals will have more trumpet tones than any other type of didgeridoo. These trumpet tones are usually very easy to produce, are close to the ground tone of the instrument, and the primary trumpet tone will sometimes even match the key of the instrument.
 
Extended Conicals (high tone)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our high tone extended conicals are currently the most popular instruments among professional musicians. On average, they are a little shorter compared to their extended low tone counterparts (1.50 to 1.75 metres), and usually have small mouthpieces (2.5 – 3.5 cm).They have a slender, straight shape with hardly any curves or twists. Most of these didgeridoos are made from stringy bark, but they can appear in all the other wood types as well. Keys vary from D# to G.
  Extended Conicals (high tone)  
 
 
Like the low tone extended conicals, this instrument benefits in several ways from its long conical inner column. Sounds are warmer, deeper and more pronounced, and trumpet tones are plentiful, easy to produce and are close to, or will even match the instrument’s ground tone. The small mouthpiece combined with the long but slim inner column allows virtually any kind of playing style and technique. It supports faster rhythms, tongue movements and complex mouth, jaw and throat techniques are easier to achieve. Its musical capabilities make the high tone extended conical the instrument of choice for mastering traditional playing styles. Inexperienced didgeridoo players may find the small mouthpiece and the slightly increased amount of back pressure of the instrument difficult to cope with, but in time will appreciate its possibilities.
 
Bark Bottoms
 
 
 
 
 
 
As you can see in the picture below, bark bottoms are didgeridoos with the tree bark still on the bell. This organic, earthy appearance is purely aesthetic and does not improve the sound of the didge in any way. Bark bottoms are always made from iron bark eucalypt, a wood type that usually has cylindrical-shaped inner columns. This makes them less interesting for more advanced musicians. The density of the wood and the added bark on the bell usually makes these instruments a little heavier than bark-less didgeridoos.
  Bark Bottoms  
 
 
Most of our bark bottoms can be qualified as mid-range didgeridoos, although other qualities may appear in our new collections. Keys vary from B to F.
 
Bell Bottoms
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bell bottoms are didgeridoos where the lower part of the instrument is dramatically wider. It is basically a didgeridoo with an added sound box. The instruments in this category have medium bells that are about 15 to 25 cm in diameter and usually between 1.40 to 1.60 metres long. They can appear in virtually any musical quality, key or wood type, although the majority comes in bloodwood.
  Bell Bottoms  
 
 
The main advantage of a bell is the amplification it generates, allowing you to produce more voluminous sound with less effort. Bass notes and lower tones particularly benefit from this, and playing techniques using voices and roars come out stronger.
Top - Budget - Mid Range - Conicals (low) - Conicals (high) - Ext Conicals (low) - Ext Conicals (high)
Bark Bottoms - Bell Bottoms - Big Bells - Monster Trunks - Painted - Collector's Items - Imitation - How To Order
 
 
Big Bells
 
 
 
 
 
 
Big bells do not just have a larger bell, but are also a little larger overall than the smaller bell variety, with a wider inner column. These instruments measure 1.50 to 1.80 metres on average, and bells can be anywhere between 25 to 40 cm in diameter. Like the smaller bells, they appear in all regular keys, and can be made out of any type of eucalypt wood, although bloodwood is the most common.
  Big Bells  
 
 
Because of the size of the bell, these particular instruments will resonate even more, allowing very loud sounds with minimal effort, and highly emphasized bass and low tones.
 
Monster Trunks
 
 
 
 
 
 
Monster trunks are enormous didgeridoos, often very long and heavy, with large inner columns and huge bells that vary from 30 to 45 cm in diameter. Mouthpieces are usually medium to large and the instruments measure about 1.50 to 1.80 meters. Some of them come with inserts in order to fine tune the key of the instrument and to reduce the size of the mouthpiece so that less air is needed when playing.
  Monster Trunks  
 
 
The main feature of monster trunks is the incredible amount of bass and volume they produce. Very loud drones can be easily achieved, although fast playing styles and more complex playing techniques may be difficult to master.
 
Painted Didgeridoos
 
 
 
 
 
 
The majority of our current collection of painted instruments can be classified as mid-range didgeridoos. Before these instruments are painted they are subjected to a thorough inspection in order to guarantee their durability and musical quality. Once the instrument is approved, it is treated with protective layers of coating before it is decorated. During our journeys across Australia we have made contact with several aboriginal artists who continue to provide us with both traditional and contemporary aboriginal art designs for our didgeridoos.
  Painted Didgeridoos  
 
 
Currently we have only a small collection of painted didgeridoos in stock as our policy is to select didgeridoos for their musical quality rather than their appearance. We have found that many ‘ready made’ painted didgeridoos we have come across recently can unfortunately only be classified as souvenirs rather than instruments. However, we intend to import a larger amount of High Quality painted didgeridoos in the future, depending on our clients’ demands.
 
Collector's Items
 
 
 
 
 
 
Didgeridoos in our collector's range are all exceptionally rare instruments of various sorts and kinds. In this category you will find extremely long conicals (above 1.80 metres), beautifully painted, carved or burned didgeridoos, extremely large monster trunks or big bells, exceptionally beautiful bell-bottoms, extreme low key (low G or A) didgeridoos and double or even triple didgeridoos; instruments that have one shared bell with two or three pipes.
  Collector's Items  
 
 
Some of these instruments, like the triple didgeridoos, are visually and aesthetically interesting but lack certain musical qualities. Others, like the extremely long high tone conicals, have a similarly striking appearance but they also have musical qualities that will gratify even the most demanding musician.
  Collector's Items  
 
Imitation Didgeridoos
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Imitation Didgeridoos