How to Play the Didgeridoo
How to vibrate your lips and get a note
To create the right sound from your didgeridoo, you need to place your lips against the mouthpiece and ensure they are perfectly sealed, i.e. all air and sound that you make must go through the didgeridoo and only come out of the bottom end.
Now blow softly, while keeping your lips loose so they can vibrate. Also, placing your lips against the mouthpiece at different angles and experimenting with different lip positions, e.g., front on, side of mouth, bottom lip over top etc. and even moistening your lips can help you improve your technique. As with anything new, your lips and brain will need time to 'coordinate'. Also the time you spend practicing will build up the muscles in your lips. This is a perfectly normal phase. Not only do you need to vibrate your lips by exhaling air from your lungs, but you also must be able to vibrate them while emptying only the content of the air inside your mouth. The tongue blocks off the throat in the same way it does when you are sucking a drink through a straw. Instead of sucking, try pushing the air in the opposite direction, out of your mouth. Filling your mouth with water instead of air, and pushing it out between your lips is also a good way to practice this action. You will notice that the back part of your tongue actually slides against the back of your throat as you suck or push water in and out of your mouth.
Now with your throat blocked, puff your cheeks and force the air through your closed lips. When you can do this, try it on your didgeridoo.
How to 'circular breathe' or blow out your mouth continuously
Puff your cheeks out but this time hold the air inside them and just breathe normally through your nose. Now force the air out of your cheeks while inhaling through your nose at the same time. Once again this can be practiced with water if you find that easier at first.
When you are able to get a note on the didgeridoo and take a breath in at the same time, you have the circular breathing method working for you.
Practice extending the time it takes for you to hold a note while expelling only one mouthful of air as you play.
Now blow your didgeridoo and combine the two skills you have learnt: blowing and circular breathing to produce a continuous note.
Once you have achieved mastery of these two skills, you are well on your way to becoming a proficient didgeridoo player, and remember that practice is the key to success!
Check out our video tutorials!
Learn to Play the Australian Didgeridoo