How to Make a Didgeridoo

How to make a didgeridoo?

Ever wondered how to make a didgeridoo? Or what techniques did Australian Aboriginal People use making a didgeridoo?

Here is how they did it, and what species of eucalyptus or other trees were used to make this great indigenous musical instrument.

Hand Painted Didgeridoos, Aboriginal Musical Instrument, Australia
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Didgeridoo History and Didgeridoo Eucalyptus

Although didgeridoo is today associated with all Aboriginal People, traditionally it was found in Arnhem Land in the top end of Northern Territory. It is probably the oldest musical instrument in the world. It is believed that the first didgeridoos were made of bamboos (Bambusa arnhemica and Bambusa moreheadiana). They can however be made out of any trees that have a hollow inside, cleaned out by termites. Some classic eucalyptus species used for making didgeridoos are Stringy Bark (Eucalyptus tetrodonta), River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Woolybutt (Eucalyptus miniata). They have also been made of palm trees such as Livistona humilis.

Traditional Hand Painted Colourful Didgeridoos, Australia
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Didgeridoo Making Techniques

The main thing is to find a tree the centre of which has been eaten out by termites. Aboriginal People used to knock on trees to hear if it was hollow. If it was, the tree was chopped down using stone axis. Then the tree trunk was cleaned in and outside, by soaking it in water. Coals were often used to clean the hollow out inside, and outside, bark was pulled off. Then it was cut to the desired length, usually 1-3 metres. Bee wax was used to make the mouth piece smoother. Then it was ready to be painted and used. It is quite quick and not too hard to make it, if only you find a hollow tree.

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