How to play the duduk?
Learn to Play

How to play the duduk?

Duduk is an ancient Armenian wind musical instrument resembling a flute. Its appearance is a pipe made of hardwood, but instruments made of apricot wood reproduce a particularly enchanting sound. There are 8 holes on the case (there are models that have 7 or 9 of them) on the playing side and 1 hole (or 2) on the reverse side.

How to play the duduk?

Playing the duduk cannot be called simple, since it has its own difficulties and peculiarities, just like other musical instruments. Before you start playing, you need to learn the basics of technology.


When playing the duduk, all fingers of both hands are used. The index, middle, ring and little fingers are needed to close and open the holes on the playing side of the instrument. Moreover, the fingers of the right hand are responsible for the 4 lower holes, and the left hand – the upper ones.

The thumb of the right hand is entrusted with the function of support for the instrument and the hand of the duduk player. The thumb of the left hand clamps the back hole in the upper part of the instrument. If there are 2 dorsal openings, then the lower one is either pressed against the chest, or closed with a special valve, if necessary.

The fingering of the instrument is absolutely the same for any tuning of the instrument, only its scale differs. The musical notation is also the same, but the duduk system must be indicated.

How to play the duduk?

How to breathe correctly?

Breathing for a duduk performer is of particular importance. A novice musician will need preparation to learn how to breathe properly while playing.

In connection with the difficulties in matters of proper breathing, it is better to turn to an experienced duduk player for help to solve the problem.

The breathing technique of the performer on this instrument is considered quite difficult: one should learn to synchronize the respiratory system with the cavities of the cheeks. This can be compared to two communicating reservoirs, where from the first air is forced into the second by shocks, and from the second the air flow comes out evenly.

I must say that breathing exercises can take a lot of time. There are special exercises that will help develop breathing. They are performed without tools.

  1. Calmly inhale air through the nose and corners of the mouth, and exhale through the mouth. In this case, it is necessary to observe the processes of inhalation and exhalation, as well as the condition of the muscles involved in them. Exhalation should be controlled – it should be carried out evenly with the same force. Later, the exercise is performed in different rhythmic segments for inhalation and exhalation.
  2. Inhale air quickly, hold your breath for 8 seconds, exhale slowly for the same 8 seconds. Inhale air for 8 seconds, exhale for 1 second, hold your breath for 8 seconds. Repeat a quick inhale, hold the breath, and slowly exhale.
  3. Training for the development of three types of breathing: chest, diaphragmatic (abdominal) and mixed (chest-abdominal). But it is better to start with the latter, which gives a softer sound when playing and allows you to achieve ease of performance.
How to play the duduk?

How to hold duduk?

The instrument is supported by the thumbs of both hands and, of course, by the playing fingers. It can be in a horizontal position or inclined, depending on the style of the performer or duduk model. In some cases, it can even be placed almost vertically if you want to cover the lower rear channel. The mouthpiece of the instrument is inserted from the side of the upper end of the body tube, so the most convenient position for the duduk is at a slight slope (within 45-60° to the vertical) .

You can not cross your legs, and keep your elbows elevated for freedom of breathing. When playing in a standing position, the right foot is usually set slightly forward for stability.

How to play the duduk?

Game technique

Those who wish to master the technique of playing the duduk must at least undergo initial training with a teacher. Lessons with a professional will help you learn:

  1. breathe correctly;
  2. place your fingers on the playing holes;
  3. place the mouthpiece in the mouthpiece;
  4. tune the instrument to the desired key;
  5. learn the first tune.

After that, you can buy a tutorial and use it to continue to study on your own. The whole technique of the game consists in breathing and closing or opening a certain number of playing holes.

Important: on this tool, the holes are clamped not with fingertips, but with whole phalanges.

True, there are still features with the energy of the air blown through the mouthpiece: the stronger the flow, the higher the sound.

All this affects the quality and accuracy of the reproduced melody.

It is worth listening to how the music sounds on the duduk in the video below.

Дудук-Море .Восход Солнца

Leave a Reply