Praise Whistlers Abroad

What is a tweak?
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Author:  Jorg [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  What is a tweak?

What is a tweak?

I have a general idea about what it is, but I can't find any formal definitions, approaches, etc.

Are there reversible tweaks, because alot sound a little destructive.

I also wonder if tweaking may help me with my Susato Low D.

(I finally got in some playing time last night, sitting in my closet--I like to call my Fortress of Solitude--didn't want to sit in the garage. Took about a halfhour to get the stiffness out of my fingers, but it was such a blessing. I usually worry about waking my kids, so it's hard to find the time or the place.)

Thanks in advance,

Author:  jrc [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:39 pm ]
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I'll give you a hint ... they're not for WABBITS. :P

It's really something folks do to a whistle to improve it. All manner of diabolical, frankenstein-like things sometimes, changing parts for other parts, one maker for another, or something as easy as pulling part of the opening a bit with you thumb. Sometimes the fipples are filled with something, to smooth the airflow. There's some pix of different tweaks over on the blue boards, some are under the review of a particular whistle.

I have zero experience with them to be honest. other than reading about them. But there's someone here that'll chime in shortly, I'm sure that does.

blessings -


Author:  Adrian [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:32 pm ]
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Tweaks are most commonly performed on mass produced cheapies. I'm not sure what you would want to tweak on a Susato low D. The tone is good, it's in tune and it is quite an easy player. Do you have a specific problem you want to rectify?

You said your fingers were sore. Were you using normal fingering, piper fingering, or semi piper?

Author:  khl [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:34 pm ]
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Follow this link and scroll down. You'll find one person's method of tweaking a Susato: ... c&start=15

Author:  Adrian [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:35 pm ]
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jrc wrote:
I'll give you a hint ... they're not for WABBITS. :P

:lol: :lol: :lol: That made me laugh till I was coughing! :D

Author:  khl [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:40 pm ]
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I wanna tweak of wootbeew.

Author:  RonKiley [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:43 pm ]
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There are many tweaks as has been stated. One common tweak for a cheapie is to fill the cavity under the windway with "sticky tack". I find this to be for the most part unnecessary. Some involve taking about 1/1000 of the blade. I have used it. For a Susato most tweaks involve removing the blade completely and replacing it with a blade made from a thin Tortex guitar pick. I have never done this. You have to really hate the sound of a Susato to do this. I like the Susato just the way it is. One tweak I do like is to replace the Oak head with whitecap from Mack. The worst you can do is ruin a few $6.00 whistles. You might even improve one to exactly what you want. You pays your money and takes your chances. See Chiff & Fipple tweak thread.

Author:  Jorg [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:52 am ]
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Be veeehhhwwy quiet,........I'm tweaking........

jrc, Elmer Fudd is one of my favorite cartoon characters! (West and Wewaxation at Wast!!)

Thanks everyone for the insight. I was mostly curious, but I'd love to hear some before/after clips on a whistle that was tweaked, just to see what the hoo-hah is all about.

Ron, first off, Happy Birthday, and thanks for the insight.

Adrian, I think my problems with the Susato are mostly not enough play time. I find certain songs, as a I play them, I can't hit the low D note--I get just air. And I still have trouble getting a good seal on my fingers, I do a modified piper grip, because I have long fingers. I'm alot better than when I started with it--I love the sound when I get it right. But for now, I'll limit my peformances on it to the closet. Still too many squawks.

God Bless,

Author:  jrc [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:18 pm ]
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Relaxing the hands was a big step for me. "Reaching" or pressing too hard was causing my fingers to get out of place, causing squawks and squeaks.

It's supposed to be fun - relax and enjoy.

Just an idea ...


Author:  Adrian [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:28 pm ]
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Sounds like you are on track and with time and practice you'll soon be playing it as it you had it all your life.

I agree with jrc about relaxing the hands. Also DON'T keep playing if your hands hurt.

Do you like jazz? Try singing through it as if it was a flute! The Susato low D gives a great sound. I'm no expert but it is great fun.

Author:  Jorg [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:54 pm ]
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Jazz? I think the last jazz song I heard was "Put Down the Duckie" from Sesame Street. (From which I learned that you need to put down the Duckie if you want to play the saxaphone.)

Sing? My wife only likes when I sing tenor (ten or twelve miles away...)

I think you and jrc are right about the relaxing the fingers. It's hard going from a regular whistle to the low. Seems to take a half hour until I stop missing so many notes.

Author:  RonKiley [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:51 pm ]
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Try a little moisturizing cream on your fingers and hands. I keep a jar of bigelows in my music case (it used to be a brief case). Most of the squeaks and squawks are because of a poor seal. I am an expert on this since I have a terrible time with low whistles. The same thing applies to flutes.

Author:  markbell [ Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:30 pm ]
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I've been known to put lip balm on my fingers when I can't find lotion! Burt's Bees is always in my pocket, so it's handy!

Author:  jrc [ Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:37 pm ]
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Author:  markbell [ Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:39 pm ]
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Har, har! :roll:

Author:  jrc [ Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:58 pm ]
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I know ... I felt bad. :oops:

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