No one can say exactly how old the didgeridoo is, but indigenous Australians were making and playing this instrument around 1,500 years ago. Its unique sound has kept it alive and well throughout the centuries, and today it can still be heard not only in Australian folk music but in all sorts of other styles—sometimes even as part of an orchestra.
Traditional didgeridoos are made by harvesting trees that have been hollowed out by termites, but modern materials and production techniques make it unnecessary to go to all that trouble. Most of the didgeridoos you'll find here are made from synthetic materials to make them more affordable and durable. There are a range of styles to provide appealing options for any tonal or aesthetic preference, from the beautiful natural wood pattern of the Toca Duro Didgeridoo to the bright, colorful decorations of the Schalloch instruments.
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The Didgeridoo Store models come with instructional CDs, storage bags and long-lasting rubber mouthpieces, which make them a great "first didge" for beginners. Finally, the greatest variety comes from percussion legends Meinl, with wooden and synthetic didgeridoos and a fiberglass artist series model with a long flared shape for warm, enduring tone. They also make a trombone-style didgeridoo, which is built with a slide system that actually allows you to change the instrument's pitch. As well, there is the Meinl Travel Didgeridoo—any musician who's ever had to travel with a didge will appreciate this miniature version of the instrument, which uses a zigzag airway on the inside to extract big sound from a compact package.
No matter which didgeridoo is right for you, this unforgettable instrument will make a big splash. Its distinctive sound makes a great addition to a wide variety of bands, and it's also a great hobby instrument as well as a decorative conversation starter to have around the house.