DIY Didgeridoo

Crab and I have been wanting to make some didgeridoos for a while now. Memories of “Rocko’s Modern Life” filled my head…as well as my dreams of visiting Australia 🙂 Either way, it seems like a pretty simple instrument, and the history behind them are really cool. They are one of the oldest wind instruments in human history! Usually made from certain tree branches or bamboo, we found a modern twist on this ancient instrument and discovered we could easily make one (or several) with PVC pipe and for only a few dollars! Below are the only items I had to buy from Home Depot because we had the tools required.

The Materials for PVC Digeridoo Making

The Materials for PVC Digeridoo Making.

The top piece will be the mouthpiece and was only $1.80 or so, and the PVC pipe underneath it was $5.47 for 10′. With that, we were able to make two out of one pipe and just had to pick up the extra mouth piece. So, I bought 3 pipes, lol.

What You Need:

-Heat Gun ($20 from amazon)
-Various wine bottles for making the Bell (flare) at the end
-5′-6′ of 1 1/2 inch PVC
-Mouthpiece- 1 1/2″ to 1 1/4″ PVC Piece (see pic above for description)
-Bucket of Water

-Ventilation Mask (heating plastics can cause toxins)

-Spray paint, if you want to get a base coat.

The Work Station

The Work Station

Different Angle of the Work Station

Different Angle of the Work Station

The Didgeridoo’s and the Didgeridont’s of Didgeridooing:

*Slowly rotate the PVC (keep heat gun a few inches away) in the same spot until you feel it give.

*If it is too close to the heat gun, it will turn brown and eventually crack 😦

Crab starting to heat the first (practice piece) PVC pipe. He slowly turned it in front of the heat gun (blowing on high) to ensure there was a consistent heat on all sides. Once this is flimsy enough, you can slowly twist it. BE CAREFUL NOT TO DO IT TOO HARD! It will cause a hole.

Crab starting to heat the first (practice piece) PVC pipe. He slowly turned it in front of the heat gun (blowing on high) to ensure there was a consistent heat on all sides. Once this is flimsy enough, you can slowly twist it. BE CAREFUL NOT TO DO IT TOO HARD! It will cause a hole.

Getting flimsier!

Getting flimsier! Be careful not to sit on one spot too long and keep a constant rotation. It may cause the pipe to turn brown, and that will lead to holes.

Twisting the hot PVC Section.

Twisting the hot PVC Section.

*As soon as you have twisted it how you want it, hold it there and have another person pour cold water on it continuously for a few seconds until it is cool to touch.

*Do as many twists as you want!! Every twist and bend provides a different pitch and sound! Make it yours!

I made mine with some cool bends and twists. As we added each bend/twist we tested it to see how the pitches and tones changed. Really awesome learning experience of a modern twist on such an ancient instrument.

I made mine with some cool bends and twists. As we added each bend/twist we tested it to see how the pitches and tones changed. Really awesome learning experience of a modern twist on such an ancient instrument.

I had a tiny hole in one of my twists, so I used some polyurethane (2 in 1 Premium LocTite Polyurethane) I had laying around and sealed the hole.

I had a tiny hole in one of my twists, so I used some polyurethane (2 in 1 Premium LocTite Polyurethane) I had laying around and sealed the hole.

My Digeridoo with a few twists front and back.

My Digeridoo with a few twists front and back.

*Don’t forget to add the flare at the bottom to make it really boom! Use a Moscato bottle for this! We tried red wine and a vodka bottle, but the moscato just did better. Heat the bottom like you did for the twists, then place it over the top of the bottle and push down. Then dip it in a bucket of cool water.

The flared bottom. I used a Moscato Wine bottle for this flare. Crab helped me press it down and he ended up giving it a bigger flare on one side, which really helps with the projection of sound!

The flared bottom. I used a Moscato Wine bottle for this flare. Crab helped me press it down and he ended up giving it a bigger flare on one side, which really helps with the projection of sound!

The Mouthpiece attached. It just slips on and off. We added some bees wax to the top of it to make it fit more snug around our mouths. Just heat it up until its tacky, then mold it on the top rim.

The Mouthpiece attached. It just slips on and off. We added some bees wax to the top of it to make it fit more snug around our mouths. Just heat it up until its tacky, then mold it on the top rim.

*Do be creative! Color it, make it look like a wooden one if you want!

*Do have some beeswax on hand if you find the mouthpiece too uncomfortable. We melted a small amount and each person either left their mouth piece on and put some beeswax on the edge to make it softer on their face, or they did not even use the mouth piece and just put beeswax on the pipe. It really is whatever is most comfortable for you.

*Don’t get frustrated with trying to figure out how to do circular breathing! I suck at it. BUt practive makes perfect! And you can find some awesome videos on YouTube on how to circular breathe and how to get the awesome sounds of the didgeridoo we all have heard.

*Don’t be embarrassed how it sounds! We all decided we sounded better screaming in them and sounding like jungle animals, lol. They really do make excellent elephant calls. HAHA!

Me blowing my digeridoo...or trying to. I need a lot of practice!

Me blowing my digeridoo…or trying to. I need a lot of practice!

My oldest Crab daughter looking all aboriginal! She had two twists on her hers, each in a different direction. We painted the girls' black so they can get all artsy on them later.

My oldest Crab daughter looking all aboriginal! She had two twists on her hers, each in a different direction. We painted the girls’ black so they can get all artsy on them later.

All of the digeridoos we made that day.

All of the digeridoos we made that day.

I hope this encouraged you to try your own didgeridoo project! It was fun for sure! Happy Didgeridoo’ing!!

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