- Didgeridoo maintenance
- Most frequent questions
- Technical questions and help
- Useful tips before purchase
Most of the didgeridoo players prefer to buy a didgeridoo in person to be able to play it, test it and hold it in the hands. Beside the sound and playability, there are a few other factors that play a part when someone is choosing a didgeridoo, such as the appearance of the instrument, its shape and decoration, the quality of the craftsmanship, the maker and background history of the particular piece, or other subjective, sometimes emotional factors.
With the growing number of the online shops, the shopping habits started to change, which opened up the worldwide market and made instruments available for everyone regardless of the location of the buyer or the item to be sold. Unfortunately, this process hands over the customer for the sellers who are selling fake, low quality instruments accompanied by false and misleading information. It damages not only the customer`s trust, but the online market and the whole network as well.
If you decide to buy a didgeridoo online, make sure the seller has a well established background, knowledge of the instrument, also a viable source from where he/she is getting the product. The seller needs to be able to provide background information about the didgeridoo he/she sells, the maker, the place of origin of the instrument, its material, and be able to answer the buyer’s questions in detail. If there is not adequate information available from the seller, better to consider the purchase.
We have put together a few points that is worth to remember when you approach a seller to purchase a didgeridoo online:
- You need to have a clear picture what you would like to buy; a few things to consider: the tone of the sound, the keys of the basic drone and the first tooth (at least), the size of the mouthpiece that fits you, prefered makers, the type of the instrument you are looking for.
- Check whether all the information available that you need to know about the didgeridoo you are about to purchase, so you can make a decision to buy it. There must be a detailed description of the instrument, photos, sound sample or video.
- If you have any unusual questions, do not hesitate to ask, especially if it supports your commitment to buy the instrument. If you know others who has a knowledge of the didgeridoo, ask them – it is not so hard nowadays, the social media is one of the best places to chat with others.
- Do your own research before you lock in your enquiry, make sure you have a good understanding of the background information about the didgeridoo as a musical instrument as well as a cultural object.
- Take your time, if you are not sure of your decision ask the seller to hold the item, so you can think it through. It is not always accepted, but give it a go if it is needed.
- Make sure you understand the seller’s Terms and Conditions before you pay for the item, also you need to know what is included in the price (door to door delivery price, additional costs, duties, whether there is return policy, etc).
Buying a didgeridoo online is always a risky business, but if you have a clear picture what you want to get, also you establish a relationship with the seller to be able to know him/her, you can’t go wrong.
The backpressure is one of the most important terms when you are talking about didgeridoo playing, for many it is the priority when choosing a didgeridoo. The backpressure influences the playability of the instrument, therefore it is vital to understand how it works and what affects it.
As per Wikipedia, the ‘backpressure refers to a pressure opposed to the desired flow of gases in confined places such as a pipe… Because of air resistance, friction between molecules, the term backpressure is misleading as the pressure remains and causes flow in the same direction, but the flow is reduced due to resistance.` When you blow air into the didgeridoo, you are forcing the air column inside the tube towards the distal end; as you are keep on playing, you are maintaining the flow of the air through the instrument.
As Newton stated, ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object’. The two interacting object is the air you blow into the didgeridoo opposed to the air that is already inside the instrument. As the air column inside the tube is within a confined space, the force that is acting against the air you are pumping into the didgeridoo is affected by the internal diameter of the aperture and its shape along the body. The smaller the aperture, the bigger the backpressure.
The physical characteristics of the didgeridoo define, and most of the cases limit the volume of the back pressure. Longer instruments with bigger aperture have low backpressure, it feels like the air gets lost as you play it. Some say those instruments have no backpressure, that is not the case, it is just too small to feel it. Shorter didgeridoos bear with high back pressure, it feels like you need to pump the air harder, and the instrument requires more air to be able to maintain the sound. The conical shape usually supports an optimal backpressure, with tighter internal aperture at the top part of the tube opening up towards the distal end.
It would be nearly impossible to describe the optimal backpressure for didgeridoo playing, especially because it gives the feel to the playing, thus the ‘optimal’ depends on the personal taste and preferences of the player. Some likes high backpressure as it supports to play fast rhythms, others would like to play on a medium range to be able to play longer in a more relaxed style. We encourage everybody to keep a few different didgeridoos in the collection, explore the characteristics and differences between them, and learn about the backpressure by focusing on the dynamics inside the tube while playing. It is a long process to fully understand what the backpressure is, what it means for a didgeridoo player, and what is your preferred amount of pressure inside an instrument.
If you find some letters that you are unfamiliar with, do not be confused. On this website, we try to follow the correct written form of the Aboriginal languages in order to learn to pronounce the words and names properly. Here is a brief overview of some of the different written sounds used by Yolŋu languages of Norteast Arnhem Land, that can be unusual for an English speaker. Go to our Pronunciation guide to learn about the different letters, and how to say them properly.
Alternatively, for the full list of phonemes see our Resources link.
First of all, please make sure you read and understand our Terms and Conditions. We sent you a link before the purchase.
After you unpacked your instrument please have a look on it carefully, look for cracks or damages. If you find any, contact us as soon as possible!
The second step is to read through this section.
You need to know, that your instrument is coming from a completely different climate – unless you are living in Northern Australia. The climate change can be a physical stress to your didgeridoo that can cause pretty big issues like small or even bigger cracks. Most of the traditional didgeridoos are sealed on the outside with timber glue and/or acrylic/ochre paint (we inform you otherwise). The inside of the instrument is not sealed most of the cases. It can be a benefit to seal the inside, but before you do so, you need to know that any type of sealant you are going to use might affect the characteristic of the sound. If you choose to seal it, please read through the next section, and/or ask our opinion.
Finishing off the outside
As we mentioned above, most of the instruments are sealed on the outside. The makers usually use timber glue after they finished with the sanding, then they paint it. If you would like to protect the painting, we recommend to use clear oil or water based matt or gloss varnish.
Finishing off the inside
Most of the cases the inside of the instruments is not sealed, however some makers use timber glue to finish off the inside. To protect you didgeridoo and avoid cracks in the future, we recommend you to think about some kind of solution.
Glue: you can use water proof timber glue as a sealant. We recommend to mix it with water to get a thin liquid, than pour the mixture through the instrument, make sure it is sealed properly. When you finished your job, leave the instrument in a vertical position the let the excess glue out.
Oil: there are many different type of oils to treat and seal timber. One of the cheapest and easiest option is linseed oil (we suggest to use the anti-mould option), you can buy it at your nearest hardware store. The tung oil absorbs to the timber the best, it is more expensive and harder to source.
Pour the oil through the instrument into a bucket. During you are oiling your didgeridoo, make sure every parts of the inside of the instrument is sealed – you can repeat the process to make sure there is enough oil in the inside to get a better result. When you finished, leave the didgeridoo in vertical position to let the excess oil out.
If you use your didgeridoo a lot, we recommend to repeat the oiling every second year or so.
As we mentioned above, any kind of sealant can change the characteristic of the sound, therefore many didgeridoo players choose not to use any sealant at all. If you prefer to do it, keep it in mind, that the timber needs to breath, so do not use excessive amount of glue or oil to build up a water resistant film in the inside of your instrument. It is important to keep in mind, that every timber didgeridoo sounds their best when it is warmed up, and the timber gets wet in the inside. It adds ‘life’ to the sound, helps to bring out a richer and vivid tone.
A few tips to keep in your mind
- Do not play your new didgeridoo longer than 5-10 minutes at a time during the first two weeks after the purchase. Your new instrument has not been played a lot before, so it needs to get used to its new home, owner, the fluctuation of the internal air density, moisture and temperature. After two weeks you can start to play it longer, but take it easy! We know it can be really annoying to stop playing it after short periods, but believe us, it is worth it!
- Make sure you keep your instrument on a proper spot – not too hot, not too cold, definitely avoid the direct sun and the big temperature changes!
- Keep your eye on any appearing or existing cracks. If you find a new one, we suggest not to touch it for a while, let the internal tensions of the timber do their job. After the crack stopped, you can seal it (please ask us if you are not sure `how` and `when`).
- Clean the inside of your didge with clean water every now and then, keep it nice and tidy.
- If you take your didgeridoo with you anywhere, make sure you protect your instrument, especially if the outside temperature is low. Look for proper cases and use them! Do not take it outside immediately after playing if there is cold out there, not even in a case!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, we are always here to help!
Enjoy your didgeridoo, and leave us any feedback!
Our available didgeridoos, CDs or other resources are in three different categories – ‘Traditional didgeridoos’, ‘CD’ or ‘Resources’. By selecting one of the categories, you can see the available items listed, than you can see the details, rating and photos of each by clicking on the Learn more button. If you wish to purchase, please check the actual location and the description of the item.
Send us an email with the order number of the item you are interested in and your address. We confirm your order and inform you about the payment options, the additional freight charges, shipping methods and the estimated delivery time. Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully before you purchase.
Terms and conditions
These terms and conditions apply to the sale of any didgeridoos offered on this web site. The purchaser agrees to accept these terms and conditions by placing his/her order.
Hollow Log Didgeridoos (HLD) guarantees that the quality and condition of our didgeridoos are in a good order. Any existing cracks or damages are mentioned in the description of the actual instrument, also our customer is going to be informed about these defects before the purchase. There might be, however, repairs made on instruments by the makers that considered as part of the traditional making process, and not recognised as damage or defect by us, therefore these might not be mentioned in the description. HLD is not able to offer warranty on any timber didgeridoos available on this website although we offer a free repair (extra shipping costs must be paid by the customer) or advice in case of any problems with cracks or other damages on the material. All items are sold on a no refund basis.
All freight charges will be paid by the customer. HLD do not accept any responsibility for goods lost or damaged in transit. All freight charges include a basic insurance that must cover any damages or lost items.
All prices quoted are in Australian dollars. Overseas orders will use the exchange rate on the day the order has been placed. The linked currency converter is to be used as general guideline only and can vary to the actual exchange rate used on the day of the order.
Customs (importation duty) laws varies from country to country. Our customers may required to pay customs or importation duty after the purchase and before the delivery of the item. HLD does not accept responsibility for payment of customs duty.