Is It Difficult To Play The Didgeridoo? (Explained)

Is It Difficult To Play The Didgeridoo
Written by Corey Morgan

The didgeridoo is a wind instrument that originated in Australia. It is made from a long, hollow piece of bamboo or wood. The player blows into one end of the instrument to make sound. Some people find it difficult to play the didgeridoo because you have to control your breath and use circular breathing techniques. However, with practice, anyone can learn to play this unique and interesting instrument.

Is It Difficult To Play The Didgeridoo?

A didgeridoo is one of the few instruments that you have heard of and are considering learning to play. New didgeridoo players have the most difficulty mastering the art of creating a stable tone and then circular breathing. It’s feasible to learn a number of skills with just 30 days of practice.

Learning to Play the Didgeridoo: Is It Difficult?

Because it just takes about an hour to learn out the fundamentals, the didgeridoo is among the most approachable instruments ever created.

The didgeridoo’s fundamentals are not difficult to learn. However, mastering the didgeridoo takes years of regular practice, as with everything else.

I’ll break down the fundamentals of learning the didgeridoo and grade the difficulty of each step. In this case, we’re presuming that you practice for 30 minutes a day on average.

Because everyone learns at a different rate, it’s perfectly normal if it takes twice as long as I’ve estimated. It’s inevitable that there will be certain things you’re better at than others.

Is it possible for the type didgeridoo to make it easier or harder to learn?

Choosing the appropriate didgeridoo is essential to your learning experience with the instrument. Didgeridoos come in a variety of sizes, weights, and playing qualities.

As an example, my didgeridoo was more of a tourist instrument than one intended for serious performance.

The overtones aren’t very distinct, and no matter what I did, parts of the notes always came out mushy, despite the fact that the instrument itself is gorgeous. The type of didgeridoo can make a tremendous impact in this situation, but your mouth can also play a role.

Some didgeridoos are particularly delicate, and can break during playing or in humid conditions, further disrupting the sound and making it harder to play.

The Most Difficult Aspects of Learning Didgeridoo

There are several methods that are difficult to master, like with any instrument. Circular breathing is a difficult technique for many people to master.

  • Circular Breathing

In circular breathing, you inhale through your nose while simultaneously exhaling air from your cheeks and throat.

If you practice regularly for a few weeks, it’s not too difficult to get the feel of it. At the very least, you’ll be able to play for at least 20 seconds with circular breathing.

It can take weeks or even months of practice for some people to get the hang of this approach. If you’ve never played a wind instrument, you may find it difficult to pace your breath while playing the didgeridoo due to the necessity of doing so.

  • Steady Drone

After some practice, creating a drone sound is quite simple, but maintaining a steady drone sound can take a considerable amount of time. If you have to stop playing and inhale, or if your circular breathing skills are still developing, the drone will cease or sound feeble. This is tied to the skill of circular breathing.

It all comes down to breath control and a term called embouchure.  When playing the didgeridoo (and any other human-air-powered instrument, except bagpipes), the form of your lips and mouth is called the embouchure.

In order to maintain a stable tone and produce crisp vowel sounds, one must have a firm embouchure, which is a learned talent. It’s a process that requires patience and perseverance.

  • The Wobble (Pulse Breathing)

Circular breathing is difficult to master, as previously said. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose at the same time is feasible using the diaphragm.

There is a noticeable difference between breathing out and breathing in when doing circular breathing with your cheeks. The time between exhaling and inhaling is virtually instantaneous with wobble or pulse breathing.

How Long Does It Take to Learn  the Didgeridoo?

The didgeridoo is a musical instrument that I’ve been playing for 30 days, and I’ve made tremendous progress in that time. Although I’m still a beginner, I’ve learned enough to play along with music and have fun with the it.

To reach to that stage, I practiced for an hour every day. Consistent and focused practice is more important to me than the number of hours a person puts in. If you practice for two months at a time for 30 minutes a day, you should be able to achieve basic competency in all of the skills.

How to Become a Better Didgeridoo Player

You can speed up your learning of the didgeridoo by following a few simple tips and tricks:

The first few days of my 30-day practice were a little difficult for me because I tried to learn everything on YouTube. YouTube is amazing, but putting it all together was like fitting together 50 different puzzles’ worth of pieces. The following are a few pointers to help you learn more quickly:

  • Every day, devote some time to practicing circular breathing

You have a limited amount of time to work on this one skill, but it’s critical that you do so. The more you practice circular breathing, the easier it becomes. You’ll get there with regular practice, especially short bursts of circular breathing practice (like 5 minutes).

  • Get a Tutor, a Course, or a Book to Help You Learn

When learning the didgeridoo on YouTube or by simply picking up a didgeridoo and trying to play it, it’s difficult to know where to begin and where to go. An instructor, a book, or even a course can be quite helpful because they are all narrowly focused and can guide you through the steps of learning.

  • Experiment with a variety of musical styles

You might not think of didgeridoos as instruments at first, but that’s exactly what they are! When I started playing the didgeridoo while listening to music, I realized that it had a lot of potential and that it was a lot of fun to play.

Experiment with a variety of musical styles and genres, and you may discover that some of your favorite songs have been missing a didgeridoo accompaniment all along.