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Like didgeridoos, ocarinas are ancient wind instruments that many people enjoy playing as a hobby or when they are a part of a band. Whether you are a beginner who wants to learn how to play one or you already have experience with this small instrument, you should take multiple factors into account before buying one. Consider the type of ocarina, the material it is made of, its size, and pitch range.


Ocarinas are available in multiple types, and each is suitable for a particular type of playing. The most popular type is the transverse one that features a rounded shape and requires holding with both hands. The number of holes varies between 10 and 12. Other types include small and portable pendant ocarinas with four to six holes and multi-chambered designs for harmonic playing.


Common materials used to create ocarinas include plastic, ceramic, and porcelain. Plastic ocarinas are affordable and durable at the same time, which makes them a perfect choice for children and beginners. On the other hand, if you want a more resonating sound, opt for ceramic ocarinas, which are usually handcrafted to feature indicate designs and detailing. Finally, porcelain ocarinas offer the best sound and are geared toward professionals and performances in concert halls.


The size of your ocarina is important because it determines whether the pitch is high or low. Smaller ones are also known as soprano ocarinas, while bigger ones are tenor ocarinas. Keep in mind the former have smaller holes that are easier for children and beginners to handle.

Pitch Range

The pitch range refers to the number of notes you can play. To be able to play any song you want, you need a double or triple ocarina. However, if you are a beginner, start with a 12-hole ocarina that is easier to play because it uses linear fingering that you can remember more easily.

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