Didgeridoo Care and Repair
Right out of the box
Pictured at right is Jorge (pronounced Hor-hay). He's the fella that usually answers the phone when you call us, answers your questions, and packs up your didgeridoo. Here's some valuable info from Jorge about how to care for your new didgeridoo once it arrives...
A eucalyptus didgeridoo needs to acclimate a bit to its new environment before being played over long peridos of time. So when your new didgeridoo arrives, take your time getting to know it, and give the instrument a chance to adjust to the local humidity, or lack thereof, in its new home.
For the first 3 days after receiving your new didgeridoo try to limit your playing to about 20 minutes at a time, allowing the inside of the bore to dry before going at it again. You can play your new didgeridoo several times in a single day, no dramas, but keep each session to 20 minutes or less.
As a wooden musical instrument a didgeridoo is sensitive to thermic shock, so avoid extremes like long periods of exposure to direct sunlight. Keep the instrument insulated while making transitions from cold, wet weather to a dry, warm house. It's natural wood, so common sense goes a long way in protecting it from stress. When you travel with your didgeridoo, be sure to keep it insulated in a carry bag or wrap it up in a beach towel or blanket.
Repairing leaks or cracks
Playing a didgeridoo causes moisture from your breath to dampen the inside of the bore. If there is any tension in the wood along the internal neck of the instrument, this extra moisture may cause a fracture and allow air to escape. While one or two hairline fractures may occur from time to time in eucalyptus didgeridoos, they will sometimes close up tight on their own in a few days. If you have a permanent fracture that you feel is leaking air there are options for sealing the wood:
Beeswax - The quick and efficient Aboriginal way to fix a leaky didgeridoo.
Super Glue - The wet, runny super glue (not the gel kind) is great for pinhole leaks or cracks smaller than what a business card edge could fit into.
1. Let the wood drink some of it, sit for 30 seconds, then clean off the excess quickly with a paper towel. Lightly sand the area to fill in the gap. Use 100 or higher grit sandpaper. Wipe clean again.
2. See if the crack will take any more super glue. If it does just repeat the process a final time.
3. Apply a new finish over the area (or the whole didge) to get the color and protection back. I use Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane in semi-gloss, but any quality poly or varnish will work. This is a really good and usually permanent repair technique. Just remember to play the didge for short sessions (20 min. max in one sitting) for a few days after the repair.
For larger cracks let the pros fix it up. If you bought your didgeridoo from us we'll repair it or replace it for free if it cracks. If you have a badly cracked didgeridoo that you bought somewhere else we'll gladly have a look at it, and most repairs cost only about twenty to forty dollars, depending upon the work involved.Modern didgeridoos like those crafted from plastic, leather and glass are more forgiving when it comes to temperature changes and travel. Bamboo and agave didgeridoos (if they are resin coated like ours) are the same way. Most of these types of didgeridoos will only need to be wiped clean with a dry cloth from time to time, no worries.Making or replacing a beeswax mouthpieceAlmost every eucalyptus didgeridoo has a mouthpiece made from a ring of beeswax. This serves to create a good seal with your lips, and makes adjusting the size of the opening, or embouchure, easy to do.To adjust the size and shape of your beeswax mouthpiece simply heat up the wax on your didgeridoo by playing for a few minutes, or blow a heat gun or hair dryer evenly over the wax for about 20 seconds. Don't let the wax melt, just heat it up enough to make it more malleable. You can then pinch, pull, flatten or resize the embouchure to perfectly fit your lips. The shape and size of the mouthpiece will determine just how easily the didgeridoo will respond to you playing it.
Getting it right: Take your time, experiment, and find the right size and shape that suits you. Watch the YouTube video above to see how it's done. Just click on the "play" arrow.The funky aromaIf you play your didgeridoo often you may notice a smell developing inside the instrument that you don't like. This is caused by moisture from your breath coating the interior and, over time, getting a bit funky to the nose. The fix is really quite simple. Place a mixture of 1 part Tea Tree oil to 3 parts distilled water in a spritzer bottle and spray a few times (no more than 4 squeezes) down the inside of the mouthpiece end. Don't want to bother making your own? Then add a bottle of Didgeri-Clean™ to your order...Our Didgeri-Clean™ product is a combination of Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils in a hydrosol suspension to kill germs, bacteria and viruses on any didgeridoo mouthpiece. Works on beeswax, wood, plastic, epoxy or rubber mouthpieces, no worries. Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and also anti-fungal, so a few pumps of spray on the inside of your didgeridoo will eliminate any funky odors that build up from heaps of playing. Lavender oil is added for a fresh, clean and calming scent.