8th Jul 2014

The Elegant Eucalyptus Didgeridoo

The eucalyptus didgeridoo is thought to be one of the oldest instruments found throughout history. Experts think that is has been played for over 40,000 years. In drawings found in many caves, the didgeridoo is shown being played by the cavemen. A lot of Aborigines around Australia used the eucalyptus didgeridoo in ceremonies for many years, in times of trouble and happiness. They believe that by playing this instrument, they can more easily induce a calm and relaxed state. This state would then help them get in touch with their shamanistic beliefs.

The original didgeridoo was made out of eucalyptus branches, and the ones that were used were already hollowed out by termites. Since this could take a year or more, the process of making a didgeridoo was long and drawn out. Anyone skilled in the making of this instrument would be able to tell if the log was thick enough just by tapping on it. There is a reason why the instrument was required to be a certain thickness. The walls have to be just right in order to get the right sounds. The length of the eucalyptus didgeridoo helps determine the specific key that the instrument will be in. Shorter lengths make the pitches higher when played, and longer lengths made the pitches lower.

The legend behind the instrument is interesting. The story goes that three men were at a campfire on a cold night, and they needed to put more wood on the dwindling fire. One man picked up a eucalyptus log to throw into the fire, which he realized was quite light, but stopped when he saw that it had termites all through it. He did not want to hurt the bugs, but the others complained of being cold. To solve the problem, the man scooped out the termites and put them into the hollow log. He then blew all the termites out with his mouth, and legend has it that they became the stars, and the very first eucalyptus didgeridoo was born.

Since termites are not necessary to create a didgeridoo today, many other materials have been used to make this instrument. Very mature bamboo is one of the most popular choices for the making of the didgeridoo. Teak and PVC didgeridoos also work very well, and can give the instrument an excellent sound. With the many varieties of eucalyptus didgeridoos available, many people are learning to play them.