I've been asked by a lot of guys how do you play these calls and what needs to be done to them? This pic will give you the break down of the tongue areas that you use to play these calls with.
The tones in these calls are controlled by the player, the more pressure you apply to your striker the higher pitched the call gets, the less pressure, the deeper more raspier the call gets. You can also pinch your striker, the same as you do on a pot call, and that will also change the tone of the call.
You can play them just like you play a pot call where you move your striker in small circles.
You can also hold your striker at a slight angle completely still and move the call with your other hand across the striker, just like you play a box call, where the call becomes the lid and the striker is the rail on the box. That's how you get a box call sound out of them, and it will give you a completely different sound to your yelps.
Thumbing the tongue, what your doing here is, you lay your thumb of your hand that your holding the call with across the bottom section of the tongue, just like you'd do on the sides of a box call to tone it down. The more you press down with your thumb the flatter the call gets, you can take the rasp completely out of the call by applying some pressure down on the tongue with your thumb. It works great for getting a wingbone or mouth call sound out of the call, and when you run purrs, it deadens the sound of the call and keeps your purrs at a soft tone.
Your highest volume and the deep raspy tones come from playing closer to the hole in the tongue. The farther you get away from the hole the softer less raspier the call plays.
The GREEN area. That is used for running your lost Kee Kees, it's gives you a loud high pitch whistle with no rasp.
The RED area. Is where you get your loudest volume out of the call and the most rasp that the call can produce.
The YELLOW area. This is the where you do most of your calling, it give you a nice clean sound with a little rasp for your yelps, kee kees, cutts, clucks, ect.
The BLUE area. Is where you do a lot of your young birds calls, it gives you a softer clean high pitch sound with very little rasp.
As far as what needs to be done to them. I use a fingernail file to keep the call playing good, the ones that have 2 different grits on them (brown/white files), you can lightly sand the tongue with both sides of the file, the white side is a finer grit for the higher pitched areas and the brown side has a couser grit for the other playing areas. You have to surface these calls the same as you do a pot call to keep them playing good, otherwise they start to get glazed and your striker won't grab and play right. Then once you surface them just apply chalk and the call will perform great for you.
I hope this will help you guys understand where and how to play these calls. These calls are controlled by the pressure you put down on the tongue with your striker and with your thumb, and sometimes both at the same time.
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WI Youth & LTH Mentor
Dodge Co. NWTF