Didgeridoo (Yidaki) Care
A Didgeridoo is a piece of wood that evolved into a unique musical and meditation instrument. This change of evolution gives a strong spiritual â€˜auraâ€™ to your instrument. Please follow some basic care rules about your â€˜Yidakiâ€™.
GENERAL DIDGERIDOO CARE
As a wood object a Yidaki is sensitive to heat and water shock, so avoid any extreme environment like prolonged full sun exposure, hot car, prolonged exposure to very dry or wet environment, central heating or air-conditioning.
To protect and nourish the wood there is a wax based protective finish on the outside of the Yidaki and a linseed oil coating in the inside.
It is a good idea to apply more linseed oil to the inside every year. To do so you will need two ice cream containers, a cup of linseed oil and a funnel. Place theYidaki in one of the containers with the mouth piece facing up; pour the linseed oil down the funnel into the opening. IMPORTANT CAUTION: Linseed oil prevents bees wax from sticking to the wood, so keep the mouth piece area free from oil, and repeat the operation three or four times. Let the oil drain out until you see that there is no more seepage (maybe 3 to 4 hours) and your Yidaki will be â€˜happyâ€™.
The outside finish is waterproof and doesnâ€™t need any special care.
The mouthpiece is really important for the full enjoyment of your Yidaki.
There are three types of mouthpieces:
1) mouthpiece carved directly in the wood when the hole is suitable
2) wooden mouthpiece inserted and
3) bees wax mouthpiece
The first two can be adjusted using simple woodworking techniques.
DIDGERIDOO BEES WAX MOUTHPIECE
Few Didgeâ€™s have a suitable existing wooden mouth piece to play. Hereâ€™s what you can do.
1) When the hole is too big, you need to shape a new mouth piece with natural bees wax
2) Soften the wax in direct sunlight or under a lamp.
3) Take out a plum sized lump and roll it between the palms of your hands forming it into a doughnut shape the length of the diameter of your didge.
4) Gently press the soft doughnut shape onto the tube, making sure it seals on both the inside and outside of the Yidaki.
5) Form a smooth round cap and shape it to the form suitable for your lips, which is usually oval. Finding the right size of this oval (by increasing or decreasing) is essential to produce the right sound and discover the potential of your Didge.
6) You can further enhance the look and the strength of your mouthpiece by dipping it in melted wax.
Didgeridoos are tuned, when possible, to the base note that best matches the individual instruments natural resonance.
Here is some professional advice on how to tune your Didgeridoo but letâ€™s start with a word of caution: any wood removed from your Didge is gone forever so donâ€™t rush and think before acting.
1) Donâ€™t try to tune a Didge freshly cut as the sound will change with the seasoning of the timber.
2) Shape the non playing end of your Didge first.
3) Make sure the inside of your Didge is clean and free from any obstruction. (Looking in your Didge toward the sun can help to detect some obstructions)
4) Make sure your Didge doesnâ€™t leak air, (check for cracks or holes by filling your Didge with water with one end plugged.)
5) With the help of a chromatic tuner check the base note of your Didgeridoo.
6) By carefully cutting slices out of your Didge you will move the base note up.