Important aspects pushing your playing forward.
Well, it wonders me if you haven't heared that stuff yet from prefesional players, teachers or didgeridoo prodigies, you was probably attending a workshop before or you was listening to their best tracks in the internet.
This article is intended for players who are already part of the didgeridoo journey and who want to evolve their playing to the "next level". But where is the "next level"? You may conclude your own answer when finnished reading this blog.
As I started playing, I wanted to level fast. I wanted to learn all that wonderful playing techniques, shown on youtube, I was focussed of keeping up with the "best". So, I started to practice, every day, many hours (from 1 to 5h a day) and I wasn't satisfied. I listened to the video again and again, tried to match the sound, the rhythm, everything and I was shocked that it sounds completely different from that I wanted to. This might be normal when you start a new technique on a completely different instrument, but it leads to wrong assumptions I believed in in my first playing years. One fatal was like "Iam not good enough" or "why the heck is the artist that good?". In my doubt, I uploaded some videos of my playing to dfiscard that believing by gaining some "likes". I was blended by saying "the more likes you have, the better player you are." Well, this lead to frustration and I played more and more, hoping getting better in short time.
Nowadays I know, my thoughts were wrong, because I concentrated only on playing techniques, not on the emotional side of blowing the didgeridoo.
Simply said, I said too much without meaning! Its like writing a novel. The wrong words on the wrong page can destroy the feeling you want to create on the reader's mind. You may speak many words without content. So the result is jabbering around without specific point. What means that in the Didgeridoo world? Playing only loud, fast rhythms is like saying non understandable things to your audience. Its without substance.
How I came to this? Its simply busking. Busking has two positive aspects for you: The one is, you become self-confident by performing in a public place, to overcome your fears and to learn how different emotions inside you have an immediate effect on the bypassing audience. Well, its nothing personal, when nobody stops and you're alone, this doesn't mean you're bad! Is like a stream. One day its better, another one its worse. This fact very important to learn.
The second good thing is, you learn performing like communicating with people. Imagine a public speaker who is telling interesting stuff. People are only listening to him if he speaks in simple, clear, understandable words.
Doing too much can disturb somebody, so never give "100 percent"!
I say if you want to become a good didgeridoo player, you have to go busking or play in public. Its the most honest appreciaction of your training effort and its the approach making really awesome music. Try several rhythms, use percussions, drums, shakers, etc. Experiment with different playing styles to get a clear picture "where" you are. But: don't make the mistake of thinking how much money is in your pot in the end of the day. Money, in general, should be a secondary thing, so if you haven't to live from your didgeridoo playing, just do it for yourself!
This is what I did since my beginnings. I played on public stages and did still lots of busking. This made me aware of my true playing nature and I developed more self confidence, doing my stuff in my way.
So: While playing on the streets you should exchange with other didgeridoo people. Learn from artists who play longer than you, gather their knowledge, go to workshops and let you inspired by other playing styles and other rhythms. Long time, I thought "I have to be as good as...", but this is insubstantial and leads to unneccessary woriies. There is no competition and you don't have to be better than others! You have to evolve your way of playing and your way expressing yourself.
So, for you whats the point here? Think about these aspects I showed beside your playing skills.
- Beside learning new playing styles / techniques, concentrate on WHAT you are playing / saying and which feelings does it affect.
- Go outside busking and play on public places to gather new self-confidence and to improve your playing by communicating with people
- Attend workshops, listen to others, see it as inspiration, Go to festivals, and always keep in touch with other players.
- And the most imprtant thing is: Keep playing and don't stop!
Every player has his or her own story. That mentioned aspects pushed me to a higher level. If you have similar or a completly different story let me know!
I hope I could inspire you a bit to work on these things, to reach more people with this magic tube! The didgeridoo universe is rather small and it has to be expanded by new thoughts, stories and emotions, expressed through the instrument.