here to learn the basic tongue positions
I only wished that when I was learning
to play traditional yidaki, that there was a tutorial like
this available. All I needed was to just see my Wawa (brother)
Winiwini for two minutes to see how in the world he was
making the sounds that he was in the Djalu Teaches CD's.
I just needed to look at his face. Was his cheeks bulged
out? Was he breathing like a steam train? Was his face getting
red? I just needed to know where the beat is. Where does
the song begin and end? What is the first 2 seconds of each
rhythm all about? Am I to copy that two? WHAT? HOW? WHAT?
HOW? .. that's all I was thinking. MAN!! What is the tongue
supposed to do? I only needed an x-ray video of Winiwini
playing yidaki so that I could see what the tongue is supposed
to do. Well, after listening a million times to the Djalu
Teaches CD's, I practiced and practiced. I would call Jeremy
Cloake and as him "Dude, what am I to do...?"
He would say "JUST MIMIC!".. MIMIC WHAT? i would
think in my head.. how am I supposed to mimic this, when
I don't even know when to breath, let alone where the tongue
goes. Anyways, to make the long story short, I met Djalu
at the 4th annual Joshua Tree Didgeridoo festival, and as
soon as Djalu set his toe on the sand that one morning,
I first hugged him, and then asked him a million questions...
How, how, how, how!!! Poor man.. I just opened up and was
allll Eyes and Ears..
What surprised me was how he
right away did nothing but focus on me and my learning.
I mean, i felt like he didn't want to do anything but to
teach his knowledge to this crazy, afro-headed, bearded,
energetic dude called Omid. And so he started pointing to
his finger, counting "dit drrit drrit, dit drrit drrit,
grr grr grr, dit drrit drrit drrit, dit drrit dit".
He would also point to his tongue, and I would take a microscopic
look at his tongue trying to finally see what's going on.
Then he would use the Bilma "clapsticks" to set
the rhythm. "Tongue always following Bilma" he
My experience during this festival
was absolutely magic. It was the start of my spiritual journey.
I mean, I couldn't believe that the voice that I had been
listening to for months was live in front of me in the same
space and time. WOW!! heeh.. this was what dreams and life
all about.. having deep passion for the simplest things,
and meeting the people that have the same passion for many
many years beyond yours, and the steps that they have walked
on, you follow.
Djalu and family were SOoooo kind
to share with me their energy, spirit, and knowledge. Before
I left the festival, I promised Djalu that the next time
I would see him, that I would play his style, and some rhythms.
I went back to Austin Texas, where I would drive my X-girlfriend
crazy by practicing everyday, and listening to the CD's
I was sooo lucky man!! I had the opportunity
to call my adopted brother Winiwini and ask him over the
phone: "ARghgh! How do you play this wawa? How do you
play Dip dhrrit dhrrit? He would reply "Wawa, it's
like walking :)" ..... ----> "ARGHGHG!"
I would say.. what walking? what do you mean? He would laugh
and just play over the phone.. then I would talk to the
others and say goodbyes.
So, it's now one year later.. I have
just come back from visiting Djalu and family in Arnhemland
where I experience the most magical life experiences ever.
And so, with much energy and love of this didge culture,
I've started to make little teaching multimedia for you
all. Keep in mind that I'm still learning. Always humbling
to learn more.
Djalu knows how much I love his culture
and style of yidaki playing. He trusts me, and has permitted
me to teach what I know at my current level. So, keep in
mind again that I'm not a Guru, and am still learning...
I have much much to learn and that is what makes my life
spicy and fun.
- Keep your cheeks in, and use your
diaphragm (don't look like a frog when you play)
- Follow the Bilma like shadow
- Use the front part of your tongue
- Switch from the side of your mouth
to the middle
- When playing yidaki have an imaginary
animation on top of your head of what your tongue is doing
- Relax your lips, and cheeks.