Blowing on the Didgeridoo
Expert and Musician Phillip Jackson Discusses the Instrument that is Taking Over the World of Music
 More of this Feature
• Part 4: How the Didgeridoo Got Its Name
  Related Resources
• Didgeridoo
• Australian Music
 Elsewhere on the Web
• (A didgeridoo resource center with lots of music and instructional material)

Paula: When did you take up the didgeridoo and how long did it take for your to become proficient?

Phillip: I first taught myself to play in January 1993, and if my memory serves me, I was confident enough to start street performing with it within a few months. It's amazing how food (or lack of a way to regularly procure it) can motivate the learning of a new skill!

Paula: How can someone outside of Australia get a hold of an instrument? An authentic one, I mean, there are manufacturers in other parts of the World that make knock-offs.

Phillip: Sadly, there are an increasing number of shops world-wide who are importing "didgeridoos" which have been made on the cheap elsewhere, and have had them painted them up in a Aboriginal style and are flogging them as the real thing. What I feel is most important is that people support Aboriginal craftsmen by buying from ethical dealers. Although you might be paying a bit more, at least some of your money will eventually make its way back to the maker. There are quite a few shops that carry authentic eucalyptus didgeridoos in the UK and in Australia in the links section of my Web site. I particularly recommend a shop called Aboriginalia in the UK. They can be contacted care of Joy Rainey I'm also in the process of working out a way for people to buy direct from didge makers in Arnhemland (the heart of didge country in Australia). As soon as that's all happening, I'll put a note up on my Web site. For distributors in North America, there is a Web site run by a mob called Joyous Noise who appear to have a strong ethical policy.

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