Friday, December 23, 2011


Batik didgeridoo

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I would like my didgeridoo to have a Malaysian taste on it. Yes, it’s batik motif. Batik is well known in the region such as Indonesia, Malaysia and some neighboring countries. Malaysian and Indonesian batik can be easily distinguished by its motif and colour. Well, I am not a right person to elaborate more on batik. I just want to do some experiments, painting batik motif on didgeridoo. There has been discussion on the net on pro and con of Aborigines motif being done by people outside Australia. I may agree with some facts and I prefer to be on the safe site, come out with your own motif, and that will save you all the trouble.

Making background colours

A didgeridoo is a didgeridoo. No matter how it is painted, it is still a didgeridoo. A didgeridoo is a work of art, so, it will be better to produce a didgeridoo with your own motif and be known by the identity. 

Painting the motif and redo  background tones

A strip of batik motif on the didgeridoo is called ‘bunga pucuk rebung’ which means, bamboo shoot flowers. I never know that a bamboo shoot produces flowers at a very early stage. Has someone seen a bamboo shoot flowers before? My first try on making the motif does not look like a real batik at all. Anyway, I am satisfied with it for this is the best effort that could be done. The next didgeridoo produced will be painted with a better batik motif and hope to get assistance from local batik designer.

A batik motif on didgeridoo, is it batik?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Didgeridoo Physics

Didgeridoo making is not as simple as you might think. You need to know some basics in physics to ease the process of fabricating a playable didgeridoo. OK, look at the process of building a simple PVC didgeridoo, just cut a piece of  PVC tube, smooth the edges and that's it.  No, it's not that simple, a playable didgeridoo is an instrument which is blown with a certain musical key and this is what music is all about. Bear in mind that didgeridoo making is not a just cut and paint process.

To make a didgeridoo from hollow materials such as PVC or plastic tube, the most important  thing to consider is the length of the tube to be cut. A certain length of the tube will produce a specific musical key. It is easy to calculate the length of the tube to produce a  musical key because the tube has an even thickness throughout the length of the tube. In my reading, there are some discussions on choosing a preferable size of the tube (inside diameter) for making a PVC didgeridoo. I could understand that it is not really a matter how big or how small is the tube, the length is the main concern. The explanation is, the width or the size will not affect the musical key but it just amplifying the sound produced when blowing through the tube. The theory does not apply to the genuine didgeridoos produced by the Australian Aborigines where the didgeridoo possesses an irregular inside diameter because it has been naturally hollowed by termites. This  makes the original termite-eaten didgeridoo so unique and produces very interesting sound characteristics.

Well, I am not an expert on physics and I may not be able to elaborate much on this subject. I would suggest  you to visit any site on the net that explains in details about didgeridoo physics. As in my case, I tuned the newly made didgeridoo by using a tuner which is available in any music stores. I welcome any comments on  this subject, especially from Mr. Rob, Australia.