What didgeridoo to start with?

Learning to play didgeridoo is an adventure! But you are soon faced with questions, in particular: “By the way … what didgeridoo shall I buy to start with?“ and you’ll soon find yourself surfing the web only to come up against a huge range of materials and prices. How are you going to find your way through this jungle? Let me be your guide; I’ve cleared the way so you can avoid the pitfalls and traps! (Don’t miss: Watch out for inexpensive didgeridoos!)

PVC Pipe

Simple didgeridoo in PVC

It certainly isn’t the stuff of dreams … But the right length and diameter of PVC pipe can be the ideal solution if you want to try didgeridoo without breaking the bank. I recommend this type of didgeridoo to all my beginner students. Remember: any didgeridoo is just a tube! So why not in PVC? This type of instrument has two major advantages:

  • Unbeatable price : € 3.5 maximum (!)
  • Availability. You’ll find one in any DIY store, wherever you are in the world.

The ideal dimensions are a diameter of 30/32mm and a length between 1 meter and 1 meter 20. Once you find the right diameter, the length you cut it to determines the pitch of the instrument: the longer the pipe, the lower the pitch, and the shorter the pipe, the higher the pitch. If you go shorter or longer than the recommendation, you may have a pitch that is too extreme for a beginner.

Once you have purchased your pipe and cut it to an appropriate length, simply file and/or sand one end to round off the sharp edges. That will make playing more comfortable on your lips … And that’s it! Your didgeridoo is now ready. Too easy! 🙂
A little tip: choose a high-pressure PVC pipe, typically a dark gray color.

The greater thickness will provide better sound than a thin-walled PVC pipe.

A plastic didgeridoo

Plastic Didgeridoo with decoration

If you are not thrilled by the idea of blowing into something that looks like a PVC drain pipe, don’t worry, all is not lost yet! There is another type of plastic didgeridoo which has the advantage of a nicer appearance. The price is a bit higher (35€), but it is still a very affordable option to start learning didgeridoo. This is in my opinion the most motivating didgeridoo, as it gives you the feeling of having more of a real instrument, yet still at an affordable cost. Moreover, the sound quality is much better than with PVC. However, this type of instrument has one small weakness: the plastic mouthpiece is very thin and susceptible to breaking. So you have to be very careful when handling it. Beyond that, I think it’s the best quality/price ratio on the market for entry-level instruments.

You can find this kind of didgeridoo at these websites (sorry both are in French but with a google search you’ll be able to find a shop website in English) :

A bamboo didgeridoo

Artisanal Bamboo Didgeridoo

We now turn from plastics towards more natural didgeridoos … So it’s goodbye oil-based materials, hello nature! But be careful, there is another trap. There are two kinds of bamboo didgeridoos: industrial and handmade. The first type is found in most music stores, I do not advise you to buy one of those, because they tend to weaken with time and end up splitting. The second type is made by artisans and is of much better quality. The sound is good and, above all, they are stable didgeridoos that do not crack. Artisanal bamboo is a good way to get one’s hands on a quality didgeridoo made of quality materials for an affordable price (60€). However, this sort of didgeridoo is difficult to find. You will have to knock on the right doors, like David Desfois’, who produces in Brittany (shipping throughout France).

An agave didgeridoo

Agave didgeridoo

Agave americana is a cactus from North America that can today be found on the Mediterranean coast and, in general, on all continents. Each year it produces a flower stalk that can reach 4 meters high! You can imagine that it did not take didgeridoo enthusiasts long to transform this flower stalk into cheerful instruments!

The porous interior can be removed easily and once finished, the remaining tube becomes a very lightweight digeridoo. The light weight provides a very comfortable grip. This type of didgeridoo is more expensive than the others mentioned above, but the level of quality matches the price. It will cost you about 400 €. It is surely a price well above the rest, but agaves open the door to the high-end instruments. Again beware, agave didgeridoos are manufactured all over the world, but not all of them are good!

Here are some places where you can order safely:

Above all, love your instrument!

As you can see, there are many didgeridoos (and I’ve only touched on what’s out there!) However, beyond these criteria, keep in mind that the most important thing is to have fun when playing. We can too easily forget this important rule. I started playing in 2001 with a teak didgeridoo that my dear parents had given me for Christmas. I loved this instrument with its incredible harmonics, and so I could not understand why absolutely nobody at the Thursday didgeridoo club would play it … It took me quite a while to understand that it was just a poor instrument! But at the time it was the love of my life, and that’s all that mattered. It enabled me to get a good start and let me discover my passion for didgeridoo. What more can one ask for?

What sort of didgeridoo do you play? What kind of instrument did you start with? Feel free to share your experiences or to ask questions in the comments!

About the Author

Gauthier Aubé

Gauthier Aubé

Hello didgeridoo friends! My name is Gauthier Aubé and I am the founder of Wakademy, the French didgeridoo school. If you're wondering how Wakademy can help you progress on the didgeridoo, I invite you to visit this page. Until then, long live the music! ?

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2 years ago

Hey, brother! If you don’t mind me posting this, I sell Agave Didgeridoos in the US as well.

Loving your site. Great resource here.



Reply to  Gauthier Aubé
2 years ago

Yes! I know. I just built the site out so it can start getting search engine traction. Photos coming when I have a camera worth its salt. My phone camera doesn’t do it justice.

Thanks, man!

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