Maintenance of your Didgeridoo…

You have just acquired your  ” baby “, I mean your didgeridoo !  A question naturally arises :

“What should I do or not do to make my didgeridoo last a long time ? “

Have a look on our Didgeridoos

Maintenance of your Didgeridoo

1. The mouthpiece

a. Mouthpiece in beeswax :

Clean your mouth with 90° alcohol after you have lent your didgeridoo, as small, benign diseases can become quickly annoying. Like erpes, which is transmitted by saliva.

You broke the mouthpiece. Remodel it with wax purchased from a beekeeper. Buy a very small saucepan and 1 kilo of beeswax that you gently melt in the pan for the 1st time entirely. Let it harden.

And it’s only the next day that you can repair your mouth by heating the pan again over low heat. Watch your wax because in melting, the liquid wax will cover the block that will gradually melt, to form a kind of cake that will thin gradually. Take a spatula and plunge it into the pan to remove the wax cake when it is reduced to about 1/2 cm thick.

Then cut a piece of hot slab and roll it to make a fairly homogeneous pudding and a diameter of 1 to 2 cm of regular roundness. And put the hot pudding on your didgeridoo giving it the shape and diameter you want.

In general, the diameter is 28 to 32 mm for a normal mouthpiece. Up to you.

In summer, do not leave your instrument in full sun or in your car in full heat. Otherwise, you will be surprised to see that your mouth has melted. Something like this happened to me personally.

b. Wooden mouthpiece or other material :

Protect your mouth well with a thick “cap”, so that it resists any shocks during handling on your trips. There are different materials such as beverage protectors for beer cans that can be recycled, and which are usually made of polystyrene or neoprene. You can also make a mouthpiece cap with “bubble wrap”.

2. The temperature

Know that your instrument (especially a true Eucalyptus) remains an organic material, which was alive before it became your didgeridoo. Which means that at home, a temperature of 20 to 24° is desirable to avoid the risk of cracks due to the heat of your own air (32 to 34°) when you blow in it.

Protect your didgeridoo well in a thick case or in a case of your choice that you will protect well, when you change house because, once again, your instrument will undergo changes in temperature. At the other place, leave it in its cover for 1 hour. The time that adapts to the ambient temperature of its new place.

Once your game session is over, do not forget to ventilate your instrument in the open air for a good half hour. So that the saliva does not impregnate too much the wood inside your instrument. This would increase the risk of cracking.

3. The cracks

Do not panic ! The crack is due, in general because of 2 phenomena :

– A temperature change that is too great due to the manipulation of one house to another (see article 2 above)

– Too much pressure when you’re playing in it. This is a fairly common case, do not worry too much. We are on the same principle as a garden hose, if you give it more pressure than it can accept, it will burst.

How to repair the cracks of your didgeridoo :

Take an epoxy glue + hardener (Araldite, light red tube + white tube) and make the mixture indicated on the instructions for use. In general it is of the order of half half (50/50). Then soak the crack until slightly overflow. Let it dry, sand it. A little re-varnishing and you’ve done it !

Play only the next day for safety, as the glue will have time to dry well during the night, and you will be less exposed to unpleasant surprises.

Cracks, broken mouthpiece or any doubt about the health of your Didgeridoo… well, do not hesitate to contact Raphael Didjaman to make a review !

RAPHAËL DIDJAMAN

Didgeridoo Artist / Maker & Producer.