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We can usually supply didgeridoo players ALL OVER THE UK for your school. event, workshops etc Workshops for schools, colleges, events, festivals, team building etc Workshops for schools, colleges, events, festivals, team building etc Workshops for schools, colleges, events, festivals, team building etc

Easily learn to circular breathe on your own


This section is for the beginner

Useful tips and tricks to help you learn to play.

Can you keep the karma flowing and play a didge like you have always heard it being played?  If not then start here!

Step 1

Fill your mouth full of air, puffing your cheeks. Hold the air. Breathe in and out through your nose. Still holding the air in your cheeks, empty your lungs through your nose. I refer to this as part A or "breathe out, cheeks puffed."

Now slowly breathe in through your nose and simultaneously start pushing the air out of your mouth with your cheeks. Just as if the air in your cheeks was actually water, it helps to imagine that it is water. Continue this until you can do it comfortably and you can with confidence breathe in through your nose while pushing air out from your mouth. I call this part B or "in nose, push cheeks."

Step 2

Breathe out of your mouth puffing your cheeks the whole time, stop anytime, but keep your cheeks PUFFED. (Part A)
Now do part 4 of the above technique, that is, breathe in through your nose, pushing air out from your cheeks. (Part B)
Breathe out, cheeks puffed
In nose, push cheeks
Continue this cycle until it's continuous. If you have problems go back a few steps, the most important step is part 4 of the first section: breathe in through nose pushing air out of cheeks. If you can't do this comfortably without thinking about it you will have great difficulty.
You should be able to hold you hand in front of your mouth and feel a continuous flow of air, granted the pressure may fluctuate, but you must have a continuous flow of air, otherwise you are not doing it yet.

Step 3 (To the didgeridoo)

The most important factor in circular breathing on the didgeridoo is to first have a good sound. It should be a full bodied sound so that you not only feel your Didge vibrate, but you can feel the air around your Didge vibrate. This should take very little air, but does require a good amount of pressure from your stomach. You should not at any time hear any air coming through the Didge, if you do, you are wasting air and must learn to play with less.
Get a good sound on the Didge and then start to apply the circular breathing techniques, (A) breathe out puffing cheeks and (B) breathe in nose, push cheeks. At first there will probably be a gap between the two parts, not to worry, this is normal.
Sit in front of the TV with a movie or something that will grab your attention. Play your Didge doing the circular breathing techniques. It is important that you continually do the circular breathing techniques although you feel uncomfortable with them or there is still a gap. Watch TV and play constantly, ignore your playing just play and watch TV. The reason I say this is because your brain is you enemy here, if you are constantly criticising yourself, it will take years to circular breath. This is a body thing not a mind thing and the more you think about it the less it works. TV as we all know, numbs the mind, so it is an effective tool in learning Didge.
You may find that going through all the steps daily will increase your confidence and understanding of this process.
You may also find that all of a sudden it works! You did it and then it disappears, and you can't find it again. It disappears because you are looking for it. Don't look, just do.
Again as you start getting the circular breathing on the Didge, there may be a drop in pressure, this also is normal, the more you practice it the smaller this drop becomes, and if you really work at it, it can disappear altogether, if you want.
Your breath points now become an important percussive element in playing, and with practice you will discover that there is a back beat to your breath, that is also used extensively. Some people refer to this as a kind of bounce, although there are many types of bounces and back beats.

Now learn some drones

Step 1 Basic Drone

This is the root tone of the Didge. Put your lips against the mouth piece and blow a ''raspberry'' - motorboat noises like you do in the bathtub when nobody else is home.

If it seems too embarrassing to make funny noises with your mouth, consider taking up the guitar.

Important things to remember:

Do not blow too hard
Keep your lips relaxed

This is a wood instrument, not a brass instrument like a trumpet. Unlike the 'pursed lips' used to play a brass instrument, the lips are very relaxed when blowing the raspberry into the didgeridoo.
Beginners often blow too hard and produce a wonderfully funny noise and expression to match. This is sometimes referred to as "over blowing" and actually may produce a drone note that is a full octave above the fundamental tone. It may sound like a buzzing bee or something. If your lips are pursed too tightly, it may sound like the trumpet of an elephant. These are perfectly valid sounds, but don't do this yet. We need to learn control first.
While blowing raspberries actually uses more breath then actual playing, it effectively demonstrates the basics. The amount of air used is about what it takes to cause a candle flame to bend but not be blown out at a distance of 4-6 inches from the mouth. Try it yourself on a candle to get a sense of the right amount of air. Then try to keep a steady air flow going, blow softly and continuously onto the flame to hold the flame in a bent position.

Now go back to the didgeridoo and try the raspberry again - slowly and steadily, as with the candle. Do you have a something that sounds like this? (well, maybe not this good yet)

The major action takes place using the tongue and throat. Experiment a little with the shape of your lips (still blowing a raspberry) and try to get different sound textures.

Step 2 Basic Sounds

OK, now you are ''droning right along" and feel fairly comfortable with the basic drone. Hopefully, you've got past the drones and are now ready to expand the sound variations you can make.

Take a deep breath, relax, and exhale. Note the shape of the mouth and lips. The lips should be lightly parted and the jaw relaxed. Not slack, just relaxed.

Now say "didgeridoo" out loud with out moving the jaw or lips (do this WHILE you are playing!). You should feel a vibration in your body (especially in your head) as you say it. The tongue does most of the work and the sound seems to come by itself from deeper in your body. Just to make sure you are moving your lips or jaw, look at your reflection in a mirror while you do this.

O, U and E Sounds

Using the same techniques (we are always using the basics), now say "oooo" (like ''oh'', but longer) and note the tongue position. The tongue is toward the bottom of the mouth and forward. Do not focus on the location of the tip of the tongue but on the wider middle part of it.

Now say "oooooh" or "u" (like the "u" sound in ''tooth'') and note the position of the tongue. The tip of the tongue is pressed against the front bottom teeth, or close to it. The sound resonates in the head especially somewhere in the sinuses and/or ears.

Now say "eeeee" and note the position of the tongue. The wide middle part of the top of the tongue is pressed against the roof of the mouth. The sound also resonates in the head especially somewhere in the sinuses and/or ears.

Practice alternating between the three sounds in the same breath.

Again remember:

Do not blow too hard
Keep your lips relaxed

Step 3

Get out there and buy some wood and try and make your own didge, you will be surprised with your results. It is an excellent way to learn a new art.

 

You can always book a workshop?


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