I’ve been playing didge in a style over the past 15 years which I personally call break beat. The reason is due to the fact that I deliberately stop and start the drone, making as many different punchy noises as I can think of.
It makes the sound of the didge very percussive and can be used in all sorts of modern music such as drum and bass, techno, hip hop and many more. I have many examples of this on my CD ‘raspberry ripple’ such as ‘base’, ‘tttraackadiggapoopa’ and ‘troublesome trucks’.
It can also be used in conjunction with more fluent rhythms such as ‘warm wilma’, chopping and changing between styles, whilst keeping the same rhythm. Anyway, this is what I do…
Practice stopping and starting very suddenly after a breath.
Then repeat it lots of times until you get used to it. Try making your drone as short as possible whilst still getting enough air in through your nose.
The best way to do this is to start with pressure from your lungs, but holding your tongue in the way of your mouth, to stop the air flow with the tip in the position to pronounce the letter D.
Then quickly drop your tongue out of the way to allow a short burst of air past making your lips vibrate into your didge, and then stopping the air short into the M position with your lips.
The intake of air happens quite late in the burst. I say quite late but remember I’m only talking 1/4 of a second.
The whole process we can describe as pronouncing the word ‘DOM‘.
The next part is even shorter and sharper.
Starting with your tongue in the T or D position, aggressively flick the tip downwards to land in a K or G position pronouncing TIK, DIG, TIG or DIK.
It is worth while knowing that when pronouncing letters that a D is really just a soft T and a T is just an aggressive D and on the same note a G is a soft K and a K is an aggressive G (although any body with any knowledge of phonetics may be screaming abuse at me for this statement, it is for the sake of learning didgeridoo only).
When you are playing slowly you can pronounce TIK but when you speed up you will be pronouncing DIG on top of that you can deliberately chop and change between the two to create artistic differences.
Also sometimes you will find you will not be able to fully pronouns the G or K but it should be treated in much the same way as a cockney dropping his Ts such as WAtER or MAtE etc.
The other way to make differences in your sound is to replace the I in TIK to another vowel sound A, E, I, O, or U;
TAK, TEK, TIK, TOK, TUK or DAG, DEG, DIG, DOG, DUG.
When doing all of this your aim is to let as little air out as possible whilst still making a split second drone. Sounds complicated on paper but it’s actually quite simple when on your didge.
So remembering that the breath is being described as DOM put the two techniques together to create a very simple rhythm, DOM-TIK-DOM-TIK-DOM-TIK, etc.
Next instead of just TIK pronounce TATIK the rhythm becoming;
Then if you add an A on the end you get DOM- TATIKA-DOM -TATIKA…
You could also do a double breath to make DOM-DOM-TATIKA…
Now with all the variations there are countless rhythms you could come up with. As an example I could come up with something ridiculous off the to of my head like;
DOM-DOM-DADIK-DEDOK-DEDIK-DOM-TAKA-DIK-DOK-TIK-TATOK- DOM-DOM and could probably make it work.
On top of all that there are plenty of other things to vary these tunes.
Low and high vocals; toots; trills; elongating the DOM into DOOOM; or elongating the TIK into TIIOK; and I’m sure if I think about it long enough I could come up with plenty more.
Give it a go; it’s easier than I’ve made it sound!!!