Drop Octave and Multi Drone History
The Drop Octave –Dropping the Drone One Octave Below
To learn this technique one must first understand that it is based 100% on lip control. It is common to confuse the technique with other pitch bending techniques such as dropping the jaw but believing this will slow down the road to mastery. With that said, you may find some sort of movement with your face that helps you achieve the dropped pitch in the first place (this may involve dropping the jaw or using more of the bottom lip) but once you are comfortable it will become as easy as playing the regular drone. Your top and bottom lips will be doing equal work and your jaw will actually close a little bit. If you watch the videos of me playing you will see that my head nods down whenever I play the drop octave. This lowering is actually a closing of the jaw because my lower jaw stays in exactly the same space while my upper jaw closes down on top of it. This movement naturally makes the lips protrude a little more outward which allows for a looser flapping. None of this jaw talk is important for learning the technique, i am simply stating what is so in relation to the jaw to save any confusion as i am commonly asked that question. The Bigger the mouth piece the better for learning. Once the technique is achieved you may find yourself able to play it on smaller mouthpieces. So why is it easier to learn on a bigger mouthpiece?
Imagine you are creating the note with your lip vibration and you don’t even need a didgeridoo to play the note. Try humming the note of the didgeridoo you are attempting to play it through and then recreate the same pitch by flapping your lips. You’ll notice if you start with a really loose flapping of the lips (sounds like a horse) and then begin to smile, the pitch and speed of your lips will increase. Try starting with a big smile before you start vibrating your lips and then once vibrating, release the smile and listen to the speed and pitch drop. this will give you an idea of what is meant by “lip control”. Creating different pitches with your lips. if you can develop a little it of control with creating vibration without the didgeridoo it will be easier to find the sweet spot where the actual drop octave note sits. It’s like learning to play didgeridoo all over again and for this reason may be more frustrating for experienced players. Please email me with any questions, I will be making videos on the subject soon.