Asking the right questions…

I get asked a lot of questions from didgeridoo lovers all over the world.

And sometimes I find it a bit pointless to reply exactly that question. Before you find me to be too arrogant, please read on…

At different stages of our lives we have various understanding of the matter. This of course determines our approach to the very matter. And questions that we ask. Questions we ask often get replied if we are observant. Sometimes it is an answer in the form of words… and sometimes it is an answer in form of an event.


For example, if you ask: what does the didgeridoo that goes 30mm for 30cm then 35mm for 35cm then 40mm for 40cm then 60mm for 60cm sound like? The answer can come in the form of a didgeridoo that you have made. The didgeridoo itself is a complete answer.

So if the questions get replied, why do we keep rolling in our circles? Because such is the nature of our questions. They come from the world of our understanding and most importantly, they almost always imply that some of our assumptions are true!

For example.. “Do you make that sound with your tongue doing T or P?”
But maybe I am not doing that sound at all with my tongue. And maybe if I did, it is irrelevant for the sound. Maybe the pressure is the key…

So how to ask better questions? Well, first of all, do not assume anything. Second, be very observant.

One year ago I had a wonderful weekend workshop in Switzerland. The participants have been writing questions down on a piece of paper. I find some of these questions to be very good, and for some that I can, I will offer short replies below…

  1. How to play without lip vibrations?
  2. How to do the water sound in the flow of the rhythm? (out of the didge)
  3. Can you explain again 4th and 5th principle? with and without lip vibration
  4. How to use voice in a musical way?
  5. How to compose a piece?
  6. Le meilleurs exercise sans didgeridoo?
  7. How to arrange a music set on stage? Which microphone, material you use to have the sound amplified and how can we record it?
  8. Depending on what you play/feel have you any good advice to choose an instrument?
  9. How to manage to play didgeridoo with other instruments/players?
  10. Physical condition? Do you work on that?
  11. Why do you make children?
  12. What is the name of your hairdresser?
  13. Ein Detail zu verbesseren? Welche?
  14. How to practice to reach 2nd, 3rd toot… and so in order to place them in a song?
  15. Do you use special “language” to write your songs?
  16. How can we develop the logical construction for a song?

My short answers…

1) By thickening the sealing of the lips and by “packing” your breath into more separate packages.

4) To be able to sing any note clearly into the didgeridoo and to be able to summon the melody -in the widest sense possible, into your awareness while you play.

5) Either intuitively or logically or with a combination of both 😉

9) By having a good awareness what is your meeting point. You have to find it for each instrument and each type of music.

12) Dubravko Lapaine

16) By being aware how you can remember, control and manipulate your “parts of a song”. You have to establish your own inner system of making your didgeridoo knowledge accessible to you. You start from little blocks, counting one bar. Then making 3,4,5 bar blocks that you remember as one sound “unit”. From there on, your imagination will take you.

Now I would share some of my universal questions to you that might help you progress in your didgeridoo playing…

  1. Do you do at least 3 minutes EVERY DAY?
  2. If you are trying to get the sound of XY player- are you aware where EXACTLY the differences in your sound are? Are you aware of the difference in body movement and instrument of you and XY?
  3.  Do you ever compare your didgeridoos?
  4. Do you ever record yourself?
  5. If you go to a workshop and you can’t do anything there, do you come home and try everything alone and slowly?
  6. Are you aware of the push and pull principle in your body?
  7. Do you know what your weakest links are and do you address them? Do you know somebody who can help you find your weakest links?
  8. Have you read these and these articles?

I hope you find this helpful.




3 comments… add one
  • Omar De la Tejera October 8, 2015, 19:21

    Great advice Du!
    Loved the story of the toots.

    Greetings from México.

    Omar D.

  • pupi October 8, 2015, 20:32

    <3 tnx
    I find this extremely usefull!

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