(Perhaps) The World’s Oldest Musical Instrument

At least that’s what it says on the pamphlet included in the box.

So… some back story.

This all started with a blog I was checking out called “Stuff To Blow Your Mind” and the episode was called “Ig Nobels 2017: Liquid Cats, Didgeridoos & More”. The Ig Nobels are a series of oddball awards for crazy out there research projects or papers in the scientific community. In this episode, about 36 minutes in, the paper “Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in a randomized control trial” was reviewed. The gist of it was that playing the didgeridoo was helpful in controlling sleep apnea and snoring.

You can listen to the podcast if you want to hear the details, but the point of it was that on a whim I went to Spotify to see if there were any didgeridoo albums to check out.

There was!

The first one I came to was called, you guessed it, “Didgeridoo” by Phillip Glass. Honestly, it blew my mind. It was tribal and mesmerizing and I really loved it. It was perfect as background music and soothing and I found myself searching out more and more. There are traditional and very simple albums, like the Phillip Glass album and more “modern” almost rock albums like those by Ganga Giri.

After listening to this music off and on for several weeks, I ventured into the YouTube world and discovered what I consider to be the perfect demo video for didgeridoo. I was fascinated with how the sounds are produced and the circular breathing and the simplicity and rhythm and tone. It is of David Hudson, sitting in the woods, stream running in the background, demonstrating how to play and giving some history. It seems to be a problem putting in a link here so if you are interested, search YouTube for “Playing a Didgeridoo (David Hudson)”.

From this video I ended up watching many different channels that are about didgeridoo and circular breathing. One in particular that I enjoy is David Yates channel Breathwood. He makes it seem so effortless and I like his style and attitude.

It so happens that he also plays several different kinds of didgeridoo, including “travel” size didgeridoos that are rectangular or round. That led me to wonder how much one cost.

Immediately I discovered you can pay a ridiculous amount to get real a didgeridoo directly from termite hollowed trees from Australia… check out THIS site:

https://www.spiritgallery.com.au/didgeridoo

they are beautiful and authentic and very expensive

or, get one from Guitar Center.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Didgeridoos.gc

Then I discovered that you can buy one on Amazon. They have real wooden didgeridoos and synthetic ones also. I found one synthetic that was 48″ and came with a bag and instructional video, and after much hemming and hawing… ordered it.

Could I play this thing? Was this a crazy thing to buy? I don’t know.

At dinner several nights later, I “confessed” to my wife that I had bought a didgeridoo. I don’t know what I expected but she was cool about it. I told her it was a cheap synthetic didg, but that it would be a chance to see if I had any didg chops or a real interest. She said, “well, it’s not a real didgeridoo, but it will didgeridoo”.  Thanks Cyn.

At any rate, it arrived a few days later, ironically on the same day that I had a tooth extracted. In essence putting a few week delay on even trying it, but it is here.

I have checked out a few YouTube videos on drills to run on prepping your breathing and diaphragm that I can do in the meantime and after a respectable amount of time (per my maxillofacial surgeon) and the removal of my 1 stitch… I’ll try to make my first noise with it.

also there is the DVD to digest in the meantime.

Not sure David Yates would approve of this synthetic job, but if it takes off for me, I might invest in a real wooden didg.

Wish me luck!

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