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How To Play Didgeridoo For Absolute Beginners with AJ Block

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hi I'm AJ block from digit project and I

want to welcome you to this didgeridoo

class for absolute beginners in this

lesson we're going to learn some basic

breathing techniques and I'm going to

show you how to incorporate different

parts of your body into your play this

is the first out of six classes from our

program the ABCs of didgeridoo which I'm

going to tell you more about after the

class enjoy

so we start with deep breathing just

long deep inhales inhale slow as long as

you can and exhale as long as you can

it's good to do this five minutes before

you actually start playing because this

gets the whole respiratory system going

this helps you really gain awareness so

do this you know five minutes before you

start next we go to the throat and we're

doing open throated breathing especially

on the exhale so inhale the same as

before long exhale you're going to open

your throat and expand again inhale and

exhale open the throat get that warm

breath sound next we go up to the lip

buzz so with this one you're actually

going to flutter your lips getting this

loose buzzing sound like a motorboat


same thing with the breath long inhale

long and then when you exhale when you

start the buzz go as long as you can

it's really recommended to do the lip

buzz 5 or 10 minutes before you actually

play the didge because this is the lips

are the main interface with the

instrument that's where you connect

things and it's just good to be loose

and it just helps you make a better

sound as soon as you bring the

instrument to your mouth so next thing

you're going to do bring the instrument

up start playing just long tones full

straight drone just wah

go all the way till you're out of air so

we're building lung capacity by doing

the same thing with our breath full

duration of our lungs into each exhale

but also now we're trying to get the

best sound possible so I'll play one


next step is to adjust how tight and

loose your lips are and this is what we

call lip buzz with pitch adjustment

because the tighter your lips are the

higher the pitch goes the looser your

lips are the lower the pitch goes

press my lips together tighten pull them

apart to loosen

what this really helps me do is find the

sweet spot on the didge when I'm playing

so actually in practice I'm going to

adjust them much less more like this

here how I'm going a little bit tighter

and a little bit looser

so when I play the didja sweet spot or

where the point where the tone resonates

the best you hear how the tone started

kind of muffled but then got into a much

crisper sound

what I did again just tighten my loose

of tighten my lips a very little bit

until I could actually feel that the

vibration was more spot-on a lot of it

is right here the corners of the mouth

so if you set the corners like this that

really helps to get a good tone

now when I have a good tone you start

hearing the overtones those higher

frequencies that

so how to get that sound well when you

have when you hit the sweet spot you're

going to be right where that sound is

but the next thing to do really is to

start adding your tongue so to add the

tongue basically making vowel shapes we

you with these vowel shapes that affects

the higher frequencies of the didge

so try it singing just like I did we

you you basically take the vowels E and

O and you make a very slow transition

between them each way both from E to E

and from E to E then try that without

the voice try not to move your lips just

move your tongue you can go like this to

make sure you're not moving your lips

once you've got that then you do it on

the ditch and see if you can hear it on

the ditch

the tongue sound is going to come out a

lot better if your cheeks are in so

they're not full of air like this

they're actually in that's where the

corners come in and also if you're

hitting the sweet spot doing what we did

in the step before by adjusting your

lips the tongue sounds are going to come

out a lot easier

okay so that's the overtones now the

next thing we talked about is the

difference between a drone and rhythm so

when you have just a drone which is what

I was just playing you have this long

sound but with rhythm you might have

something like ah ah so I'm really using

my ABS down here to create the rhythm so

see if I can stand so you see that a

little bit ah ah so try that sing that

with me ah ah now try it without the

voice or even better with your lips

tight and then try that on the didge

last thing we talked about in class one

is how to start notes so the best way to

start a sound for me is with a piece on

your lips pressed together and you kind

of open up into this explosion of sound

so I start with my lips together and

then I go pup it's like a pup but you're

not actually sucking your lips in at all

you just start with your lips pressed

already and then as soon as you start

the air you try to get your lips buzzing

as loose as possible right away with the


it's good to really stop the sound as

soon as you get it and start the next

one even take the digit away from your

mouth is really helpful now the next

step for this one is if you can already

do that is to get the e sound right away

so you think now p pu pu take the

digital a reset the lips if you get

lightheaded at all during the practice

make sure you take a minute of just deep

slow breathing to come back you know

don't get too up here because some

people can get headaches especially when

we start getting into a lot of the face

muscle stuff we've never used a lot of

these face muscles if this is our first

time playing

so all these exercises you've seen in

the video really good foundational

practices this is how you are going to

get the fundamentals of the didgeridoo

practice and once you have this you know

and you can nail all these different

things you're ready to move on to the

cheeks and circular breathing I want to

tell you about our program the ABCs of

didgeridoo in this course you will get

access to our complete method on how to

learn all the basic steps to playing

didgeridoo it's really about

establishing the fundamentals these

basic building blocks like you know the

different breathing techniques the abs

the cheeks to throw the tongue

learning these independent systems and

then combining them into one coherent

musical process the course includes six

full length classes an hour and a half

long each that I was teaching live here

in Brooklyn with a group of about 15

digit reduce students you can actually

hear them asking questions and getting

my direct feedback so it's more than

just me sharing my method it's actually

working with people and showing them one

on one how to get past their obstacles

in addition to the six video classes the

course includes six private lessons with

a trained is project instructor the

staff of whom I personally trained and

oversee so not only will you be getting

all the recorded material but you will

also be working in real time with a

teacher from our staff whether in-person

here in New York or online via video

chat anywhere in the world this program

is by far the best way I've seen for

aspiring didgeridoo players to really

learn how to do it because if you're

just watching videos that's great but

with the live feedback the teacher can

show you where you're stuck and help you

to remove that obstacle so again check

out the ABCs of didgeridoo it's a

fantastic program and I really really

highly recommend it to everyone so thank

you again for joining me for this

didgeridoo class for absolute beginners

I can't wait to see where you take the

didgeridoo and what you do with it bye