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Didgeridoo: the best traditional and modern didgeridoos

Didyeridús Thomann

Eucalyptus-130-140-200
Eucalyptus 130-140

Didyeridú Meinl

TSDDG1-BK-Trombone-200
TSDDG1-BK Trombone

Meinl Compact Didyeridús

DDG-BOX-Travel-200
DDG-BOX Travel

Which didgeridoo to buy? Comparison of the best traditional and modern didgeridoos

The didgeridoo is a musical instrument that has gained space within contemporary music and is becoming increasingly popular. The reason for its success lies in the inclusion and development of the new age style, as well as the incorporation of keys for meditation in the new compositions. In addition, over the years, many composers, such as Yanni Chryssomallis, have seen in music a way to rescue ancestral cultures through the inclusion of their musical instruments.

In the words of Peter Sculthorpe “the didgeridoo has given a new air to chamber compositions and taken their musicality to more spiritual places”. And many other composers of the academy have seen the diyeridu as a primarily spiritual musical instrument.

In this article we will focus on describing the didyeridú. Although it is quite simple, it is often somewhat complicated to play. That is why we will teach you the best techniques to get the best notes out of this instrument. We have also made a comparison of the best didgeridoos on the market so you can choose the one that suits you best. Let’s get to it!

What is the didgeridoo

For Australian Aborigines and academia, the didjeridu is an aerophonic or wind musical instrument belonging to the trumpet family. The sound is achieved by blowing through one of its ends, which serves as a mouthpiece. In this way, the air is displaced inside it and when it leaves it is converted into a distinguishable musical sound.

Origin of the didgeridoo

The didgeridoo was created by the ancestral tribes of Australia. It is considered to be about 2,000 years old, although Australian Aboriginal tribes claim it goes back some 40,000 years in the past. Traditionally it is built using a type of eucalyptus that is hollow inside due to the natural action of termites that feed on it.

However, the Aborigines of Arnhem Land do not refer to it as didgeridoo. This is an onomatopoeic name with which the British baptized these instruments of Oceania, but the Australian tribes know it as yidaki. Likewise, the terms “diyeridú” and “didyeridú” represent the Castilianization of the Anglo-Saxon term. It is also known by the beautiful term “rainbow snake”.

Composition of diyeridú

This aerophone from Australia has a basic construction. This is because, to build it, the aborigines use pieces of trees that termites gnaw naturally. However, some manufacturers now use other techniques that do not rely on these small insects, such as the use of a lathe.

How to make a handmade didgeridoo

If you want to make an instrument like this, this is the process:

  1. Look for a developed bamboo branch.
  2. Check that everything inside is hollow. Although bamboo naturally has hollow parts, it has knots that have a closed diaphragm inside. This closed part is devoured by termites and is when it becomes totally hollow.
  3. Once you have verified that this natural bamboo branch is the habitat of these macroinvertebrates, proceed to cut it to the size you want.
  4. You can fumigate it to rid it of these insects, as Thomann does. But you can also leave the terminations, in the Australian native way.
  5. If you wish, you can apply a varnish or an artistic finish.

How to play the didgeridoo

To reach a good level in didjeridu, the most important thing is to develop good breathing. That is why we will give you several tips to learn a breathing technique created by the Australian Aborigines to play this instrument.

Circular breathing

This is a technique created by the aborigines who played wind instruments. Its usefulness lies in the fact that it does not appear to interrupt the air column. However, it was perfected by professional musicians from the academy over the years. It consists of two parts:

  1. Storing air in the mouth.
  2. Expel it as long as inhalation through the nose is not interrupted.

To achieve this, it is necessary to follow these steps:

  1. We inhale and store air in our lungs.
  2. We exhale until we expel a part of this air deposited in the lungs.
  3. With the small portion of air that has remained in our lungs, we resist while inhaling to create a reservoir of air in the mouth and expel it.
  4. While the air is still circulating inside the aerophone, we very briefly cut our exhalation to start from step one.

In Australia, the aborigines who developed this technique perfected it to give the impression that the air circulates for an unlimited period of time. In reality, however, this is impossible. This breath is only used for relatively long tempos. While there is still air circulating in the didjeridu, the musician takes another breath of air to continue.

The secret lies in:

  1. Practice diaphragmatic intercostal breathing for a long time and long enough to inhale faster and exhale longer than usual.
  2. Practice the creation of the air reservoir in the mouth so that the sound emission lasts a little longer.
  3. Make it possible for the new inhalation to be so fast that we can perform it before the circulating air inside the instrument is finished.

The best interpreters of didgeridoos

Despite the popularity of this instrument, not many important musicians play it or include it in their set. But we can find the most important names in the industry, for example:

  • Pedro Eustache: is currently the greatest multi-instrumentalist musician in the world. He has the ability not only to play various instruments, but to create them from objects as ordinary as a pen. He includes the yidaki in Yanni’s Tribute album and specifically the song “Rainmaker”.
  • Ondřej Smeykal: is a Czech musician who has devoted much of his career to creating spiritual music.
  • Dubravko Lapaine: of Croatian nationality, he is a specialist in wind instruments. Among them yidaki, to which he devotes all his time.
  • Ahs Dargan: he is the most prolific and leading interpreter of the didyeridu. He is from Australia and to date has created almost thirty albums and combined yidaki with genres such as jazz, flamenco, blues and fusion.
  • Xavier Rudd: he is from Australia and is known as the Chris Hemsworth of the didgeridoo, in addition to being a great surfer. All of his compositions revolve around the guitar and the didgeridoo instrument.
  • Mitchell Cullen: he is a musical prodigy who specializes in composition by combining multiple genres and aerophones such as the yidaki.
  • Zalem Delarbre: this Frenchman has used diyeridu to promote the New Age style almost all over the world.

The best brands of Yidaki

  • Thomann: many of its didjeridu are handcrafted. That is, they allow them to be eaten by termites so that they naturally create the hole inside the bamboo.
  • Meinl: this manufacturer has sought to create proposals with different materials such as ABS and fiberglass. This aboriginal instrument is no exception and has had great success despite not being traditionally treated with termites.

The best Thomann didyeridús:

  1. Thomann Bambus Beflam
  2. Thomann Teak130cm Bemalt
  3. Thomann Eucalyptus 130-140
  4. Thomann Pocketdidge Cis

Meinl’s best didgeridoos:

  1. Meinl didjeridu DDG-BOX Travel
  2. Meinl didgeridoo TSDDG1-BK Trombone

The best Thomann didyeridus

Bambus Beflam

Fotografía Thomann Didgerido Eucalyptus 130-140
Pros

It has good acoustics and aesthetic finish.

Cons

It is not tuned.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: bamboo.
  • Size: 120 cm.
  • Sound: 7 out of 10.
Material and design:

It is made of natural bamboo to build it in the Aboriginal Australian way, except that termites have been eliminated. This is one of the most commonly used botanicals because almost all of them have a naturally hollow interior. In addition, because the weave of this timber is linear and very compact, the impact resistance is quite high.

Aesthetically, its shape was not modified even on the inside, but had already been corroded by termites. In fact, the only treatment it had was to prevent these insects from continuing to devour it, and the exterior design was made using the traditional aboriginal technique: pyrography. It has a length of 120 cm but it can vary because when the bamboo dries it compresses and reduces its size.

Sound:

The sound of this didjeridu has a powerful volume considering that it is made of bamboo. It is also poorly resonant and unstable in vibrations. The response towards low frequencies is very good but no musical notes are sustained. This is the only drawback we find because when left in its natural state, it has no settings for accurate tuning. This is why it is so cheap.

Conclusión

For those who want a natural and handcrafted instrument, this is a great proposal. The finish of its design is very good and evokes the treatment of the first cultures. At the same time, sound has no additives, it is just nature expressing itself. Find the best price at Thomann.

Thomann Teak130cm Bemalt

Fotografía Thomann Didgeridoo Teak130cm Bemalt
Pros

It has a good sound and stability.

Cons

It is not tuned.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: teak.
  • Measurement: 130 cm.
  • Sound: 7 out of 10.
Material and design:

It is made of teak wood(Tectona grandis), an excellent choice in terms of durability. Users say they are satisfied because it is quite robust. It also has a very good elasticity, so it offers greater stability than bamboo proposals.

This didgeridoo was treated, the lathe finish is excellent and no termites were used. It has been well cared for and drying is good, although some humidity is noticeable. However, this does not detract from the quality of the botanical. Its length is about 130 cm and will not change because teak does not shrink with drying.

Sound:

Its sound is quite stable, like the traditional aboriginal sound, unlike those made of bamboo. It also has better response and loudness in the mid frequencies. However, low notes are not his forte and this is something that meditation practitioners should consider. That is, it is believed that low frequencies are better for mantra chanting as they harmonize the spirit.

Another aspect we like is in the harmonics, because the teak makes them much more audible. Although it does not reach the quality of the sounds produced by eucalyptus.

Conclusión

We find that it goes very well with musicians who want to complement their percussion set. It is an instrument with an almost natural sound of the Australian Aborigines that gives it variety and a very attractive exotic touch. Its quality/price ratio is phenomenal and without a doubt, it is an instrument that should be part of every set. If you are a percussionist, we recommend you to buy this didgeridoo. Find the best Thomann price on this link.

You also have another great option in the Thomann Teak130-150cm Natur, which has a more natural sound and better low frequency response.

Thomann Eucalyptus 130-140

Fotografía Thomann Didgerido Eucalyptus 130-140
Pros

The sound is excellent.

Cons

The resistance of this wood is not the best.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: eucalyptus .
  • Size: 130 cm to 140 cm.
  • Sound: 9 out of 10.
Material and Design:

This yidaki has been created from eucalyptus. This is the traditional botanical used by the Aborigines of Australia for its manufacture. It offers the necessary elasticity to obtain the ideal acoustic response for meditation, although it does not perform as well in terms of resistance.

The makers have shaped it artisanally and entirely by hand like the Australian Aboriginal instrument, but without termites. This makes the botanist’s treatment produce a better response to acoustic waves. In addition, it has a wooden mouthpiece that has been inlaid and provides greater stability to vibrations. Its length may vary depending on the artisan and the drying process.

Sound:

The eucalyptus didjeridu produces the best sound and that is why it is the most sought after and popular on the market. The lower frequencies are richer in harmonics and the volume has greater power like the aboriginal native. Also, resonance creates more meaningful vibrations that are sought for meditation.

Conclusión

This is probably the best Thomann didjeridu because it combines a traditional design with eucalyptus wood. In addition, it achieves the sound with the best response towards low frequencies. For this reason we recommend it mainly for meditation practitioners. Interested? Find the best price at thomann.

Thomann Pocketdidge Cis didgeridoo

Thomann Pocketdidge Cis
Pros

It is compact and its sound is great.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: cedar.
  • Size: 25 cm.
  • Sound: 9 out of 10.
Material and design:

This didgeridoo is made from cedar botanicals, without the intervention of termites like traditional Australian instruments. Due to its medium density, it offers excellent elasticity and durability. But what is most surprising is its compact design of 25 cm in length that does not affect the sound response that the didjeridu should have. Internally, it has a zigzag shape that reaches a length of 70 cm.

Sound:

It has a tuning set in C#, one of its best features. Due to its small size, many may think that it does not have a good sound performance, but nothing could be further from the truth. Its low frequency response is not quite what you are looking for, but it does achieve good depth. However, its greatest capacity is in the medium sounds.

Conclusión

It is the ideal didjeridu for the itinerant traveler in search of new places to meditate. It is also an indispensable aerophone in every musician’s set because it has a reduced design and its sound does not disappoint. Interested? Check it out at the best price at Thomann.

The best Meinl didgeridoos

Meinl didjeridu DDG-BOX Travel

Didgeridoo Meinl DDG-BOX Travel Yidaki
Pros

It has the best low-frequency performance.

Cons

None.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: mahogany.
  • Size: 22 cm.
  • Sound: 10 out of 10.
Material and design:

We love this didjeridu because it is made of mahogany and without termite intervention. It is not the traditional eucalyptus wood, but it does have a much greater durability and the elasticity is undoubtedly excellent. It is smaller than the Thomann Pocketdidge Cis, because it is only 22 cm long. In addition, the zigzag design inside emulates a length of 80 cm.

Sound:

The mahogany wood produces a much better low frequency response than the Thomann Pocketdidge Cis didjeridu. It presents better harmonics and greater stability to achieve sounds with great vibrato. In addition, the experienced musician can tune some musical notes and this is a great benefit for professional musicians.

Conclusión

This didjeridu has what every traveler, yoga practitioner or new age lover needs. It is also ideal for the professional musician looking for a solid sound to complement his traditional aerophone set. Find the best price at Thomann.

Meinl didgeridoo TSDDG1-BK Trombone

Meinl TSDDG1-BK Trombone Didgeridoo
Pros

It is tuned and allows a scale to be made.

Cons

It is not easy to find the right tuning.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Materials: fiberglass.
  • Size: 81 cm – 157 cm.
  • Sound: 10 out of 10.
Material and design:

This unconventional didjeridu is made of fiberglass, one of the best materials at the moment to replace botanicals. This material does not comply with traditional aboriginal construction but it is much more resonant and durable than any wood used for wind instruments. In addition, natural agents such as termites are not involved in its design.

The Meinl didgeridoo features an extendable arm that allows you to extend its length from 81 cm to 157 cm. This is vital in order to be able to play a five-note scale within the natural scale. The only drawback is that it is somewhat difficult to play the whole scale with its respective sharps. This may be due to the sliding part not moving well, not having the right length, or simply to the lack of experience of the interpreter.

Sound:

The sounds are warm, rich in nuances and differentiated harmonics thanks to its extensible scale. This encompasses an augmented fifth in the C major scale along with all the sharps, but in descending order: G#, G, F#, F, E, D, D, C#, C#, C. It is true that some of the buyers report how difficult it is to interpret the scale. But, in our experience, the problem is mainly due to a technical deficiency rather than a product deficiency.

Conclusión

We think it is the best didgeridoo for professionals on the market. Here musicians have everything they need to explore their creativity: 1. maximum durability, 2. sound with excellent nuances and 3. a musical scale. You don’t need anything more than to develop a solid technique. Have you got your teeth set on edge? Find the best price at Thomann.

Now, if you want something more traditional, Meinl has the SDDG1-SI which is bamboo and does not have the extensive scale. You may also be interested in the Meinl SDDG1-BK made of plastic and with an excellent finish.

Finally, remember that on culturasonora you can find other reviews and comparisons on all kinds of instruments, such as a harmonica, recorder, flamenco cajon, bassoon, banjos, trumpets, accordions and much more.

Technical characteristics Didgeridoo

MODELOS

MaterialesMedidaSonido
Thomann Bambus Beflambambú120 cm7 de 10
Thomann Teak130cm Bemaltteca130 cm7 de 10
Thomann Eucalyptus 130-140 eucalipto130 cm a 140 cm 9 de 10
Thomann Pocketdidge Cis didgeridoocedro25 cm 9 de 10
Meinl didjeridu DDG-BOX Travel caoba22 cm10 de 10
Meinl TSDDG1-BK Trombone fibra de vidrio 81 cm – 157 cm10 de 10

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