Didjeridu Tutorial



   Lesson Objective

   In this lesson, you will be introduced to the area of harmonics. You
   will learn how to modulate the timbre of the didj by controlling the
   harmonics produced.


   Harmonics - all sounds are composed of harmonics. To realize this,
   sing a single note and mouth the vowel sound "E'" then, without
   changing notes, make the vowel sound "O". Although you are on singing
   the same note, the vowel sound "E" emphasizes the upper harmonics and
   sounds quite different from the vowel sound "O".
     * Playing the basic drone, mouth the vowel sound "E" then shape your
       mouth as if your were saying the word "Oh". Notice the harmonic
       fall? As you go from "E" to "O" the harmonics shift or "fall" from
       high to low. Obviously, you can do a harmonic rise by starting
       with the sound "O" and moving to the sound "E" with your mouth.
       This transition can be smoothed out a bit by adding the mouth
       shape "A" between the "E" and "O" sounds.

     * Careful lip shaping can also affect the harmonics of the
       didjeridu. By altering the shape of the opening between your two
       buzzing lips, much as in whistling, you can create a variable
       upper harmonic sound. Likewise, cheek and tongue positioning in
       combination with mouth shaping can add a wide variety of rich
       harmonic tones to the didjeridu. These are worth a great deal of
       attention, as each didjeridu will respond a bit differently to
       these maneuvers.

     * As you can now see, any vowel or consonant sound which you can
       enunciate will affect the harmonics of the didjeridu. It's now a
       small step to articulate syllables. Try mouthing the syllable ,
       "did". Follow that with the syllable, "jer".

     * By taking a word like didjeridu, and breaking it up into distinct
       syllables who's order can be varied, a wide variety of musical
       rhythms can be improvised. For example, "did-did-did-ger-ree,
       did-did-doo" will make a nicely varied little rhythm. A practice
       rhythm which I enjoy comes from a very popular song,

   Common Mistakes

   I can't think of anything you could do wrong here! Just experiment
   freely, and let the sounds that you are producing be your guide.


   Although achieving good control of the harmonics of your instrument
   will take a while, this should be an easy and fun lesson in the art of
   didj playing.

   Hints and Tips

   Getting many and varied sounds out of your didjeridu has a lot to do
   with the harmonics you create, and how you control them. You can build
   a wealth of rhythm by changing the harmonics as you play.

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