Many didgeridoo enthusiasts use the name `yiḏaki` inaccurately. According to them the term is used to refer to a didgeridoo with superb playing qualities and sound, which is partly fitting. Considering the long history of the yiḏaki, which dates back to thousands of years of craftsmanship, skills and expertise developed since the first yiḏaki was made, these instruments bear the finest qualities – although not every instrument is the same, nor their craftsmen. Strictly speaking, the world ‘yiḏaki’ refers to the traditional didgeridoos, that are made by an Aboriginal person of Northeast Arnhem Land.
It is important to emphasise that the yiḏaki (and its name) is the cultural property of the Yolŋu clan-groups; creating the yiḏaki and playing it in clan songs is limited to the traditional custodians of the instrument only.
The yiḏaki became popular among the non-Indigenous didgeridoo enthusiasts during the last two decades or so. Several people bought the yiḏaki for its artistic and/or cultural value. On the other hand, numerous didgeridoo players would like to get hold of a traditional yiḏaki for its playing qualities, or in preference for their respect towards the tradition of the instrument. Today, the yiḏaki is played and enjoyed worldwide by music lovers and didgeridoo players.
To play the yiḏaki in a traditional style is possibly one of the hardest playing styles to master. To produce the `proper sound` is essential for the yiḏaki to be played in a traditional style, that allows the player to reach the real potential of these instruments.
To learn the technique takes lots of effort even for those who are already familiar with the basics of playing the didgeridoo. As the traditional style of playing differs from the contemporary style, it is vital and essential to learn and master the basics of this particular technique. We strongly recommend, that anyone who wishes to learn about the so called `yiḏaki playing style`, research thoroughly and learn from the traditional custodians of the instrument. There are a very few available teaching materials for those, who are unable to meet the Yolŋu players in person. We have listed some useful and `must read and/or listen` resources below.