Pressure is often underestimated by didgeridoo players. What a pity! Because it is one of the pillars of your sound and neglecting it would be like building a house without foundations. In this video, I propose to take a closer look at what pressure is, what it brings to your sound and finally I give you an exercise to allow you to quickly find the right pressure!
What is pressure on didgeridoo?
Pressure is the result of two factors:
– the air you blow out with your lungs
– and the air you hold inside by pinching your lips more or less.
The pressure is therefore the meeting of these two forces. These are the two adjustment knobs to increase or decrease the pressure.
What does the pressure bring to the didgeridoo?
Well, we could say… everything! Indeed, everything starts from the pressure: a good drone, good harmonics, frank attacks, but also a sound that fills the room. A sound that has no pressure will be poor and will have little presence.
To see if you have good pressure, remember the following:
– If your sound has too much bass then you certainly lack pressure. Pinch your lips a little more and blow a little harder, this should help.
– If your sound sounds narrow and nasal, you are probably pinching your lips too much or not blowing hard enough.
Remember, pressure is a balance between the air you blow (breath dynamics) and the air you hold (lip pursing). If you understand that, you’ve got it!
An exercise to find the right pressure on your didgeridoo
To get the right pressure and therefore a good sound, follow these steps:
start with your basic sound as usual.
Then increase the volume by blowing progressively harder. Let your lips vibrate and settle. Again, the goal is to find the right balance without overdoing it.
When you start to hear the tongue movements (the harmonics) in your sound then you will know you are on the right track. Your pressure will then match the note of your instrument! Good for you!
The lower the didgeridoo, the more relaxed you have to play, the higher the didgeridoo, the more you have to pinch your lips and blow harder.