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