Sober vibes. One of the first things you notice, especially having been predominantly a home drinker is the amount of spare time you suddenly have after quitting alcohol, of course the time has always been there it’s just that before it was filled with downing glasses of wine or murdering a crate of beer. There is no getting away from the fact that when you used to be drinking time would pass by quite quickly and now that a new, alcohol free window has opened up what do you with it?
Becoming a better parent, getting more productive and creative, getting outdoors and all that good stuff is a great idea but what about those moments at home, those short 15 minutes that all of a sudden you don’t know what to do with? Having a couple of ‘gap fillers’ for us, was something that we had just for those moments and they were 1] guitar 2] didgeridoo.
The didgeridoo is the oldest instrument in the world, Aboriginal in origin and something on the more unusual side, it takes a great amount of practice to get ‘good’ and master circular breathing but once you grasp it it’s like riding a bike. The sound is fantastic and playing this instrument is a real joy – once you start you can’t stop and can literally spend hours creating new rhythms, before you know it the time as well as any thoughts of cracking open a beer have disappeared.
A good didg from Australia will set you back anything from €100 to €2000 upwards, each is unique and the majority made from eucalyptus hollowed out by termites, the master craftsmen then creates the instrument in his own personal way, it’s a complex process but worth finding out about if you’re interested in this traditional instrument. Unlike photography which is another passion of ours the didg can be played at any time, just grab it off the wall, sit down and start playing, no planning involved.
“Hypnotic waves of sound the didgeridoo helps you focus on self improvement and heightened consciousness”
On a normal day I play in indoors, a didgeridoo is known for its relaxing, healing and almost hypnotic sound and it is my weapon of choice when I need to chill out just a little bit… On other occasions the didg might come with us on a shoot or a drive in the country, sit on top of a mountain at sunset playing the didg and you realise how much time and money you wasted throwing alcohol down your neck on the sofa or down the pub – there is no comparison.
We are also using the didgeridoo to help us quit smoking [another evil we are set on conquering] breathing is the main component in playing the didgeridoo and not just normal breathing, playing improves respiratory performance so in our view is one the best hobbies and instruments to learn in order the kick the tobacco.
The didgeridoo is a therapeutic instrument, playing the didg promotes deeper breathing and once you become comfortable playing for a longer length of time it becomes tremendously relaxing, once finished you can also experienced a heighted state of awareness as well as being calm and less stressed.
One of the reasons we chose the didgeridoo to assist in quitting smoking was the health benefits, ok, there are significant health benefits stopping smoking just on its own but introduce the didge and you give yourself a mild cardio workout too, by no means exertive to play the didg does promote increased lung capacity and general improvement in breathing through increased oxygen to the blood supply.
Sleep apnea and snoring can be helped by playing the didgeridoo, a lot of heavy drinkers tend to snore at night and while this may subside after stopping drinking in some cases it may not, playing the didg helps strengthen the muscles in the upper airway reducing snoring and sleep apnea, for the latter a study was conducted in Zurich where the results were quite surprising and later published in the British medical journal in 2006.
If you’re thinking that the didgeridoo is a bit of an oddball when it comes to instruments then to a certain extent you’d be right, however it’s not just about chilling out, the didg is increasing in popularity and is finding its way into a variety of music genres – including rock, don’t believe us? Take a listen to ‘Like a Storm‘ who use the didg in their music.
sober Vibes – Didgeridoo and Sobriety
So does the didgeridoo actually help in sobriety? Well it won’t for everyone, if you are not musically inclined then no instrument will, for us it did and we ended up importing four with the money we saved on beer [took just under 6 weeks] – even if they were never played we have something tangible, instruments for the wall instead of a succession of hangovers. It does not matter what you choose as your ‘gap filler’, you’ll have the spare time you have otherwise used for drinking and what you do with that time is up to you, the point is that you will inevitably be better off with health, creativity, productivity and much more – all the benefits that come with being sober.