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"Tips and Tricks"
Laying Trackerbar Tubing

Reference Materials

Hey John...
Sorry to bother you once again...
One big question I forgot to ask in the last email : 

How do the upper and lower rows of tubes coming from 
the tracker bar, correspond to the three rows of tubes 
going into the stack ??? I would guess there is of course 
a pattern for each key, but from looking at the existing 
tubes I can't seem to tell a pattern...

Please don't laugh at me too much here John, this is the 
first time I have ever really look close at a player...

Thanks for your help...

Best regards.....Rick


Hi Rich,

"When in doubt, mark it out!"

I use tooth picks to make sure I keep the numerical 
sequence straight. First note hole on the trackerbar 
equals the first playing note on the stack. But I 
always (and I mean ALWAYS) start from the center of 
the trackerbar (hole 44 from the left and hole 44 
front the right) and work my way out to the ends. 
Going back and forth on the right, then the left. 
That makes developing the 'pattern' (as it were) for 
the tubing quite easy. Naturally, you have to count 
the number of playing notes on the stack and mark 
them the same way you did the trackerbar. (If you have 
less than an 88-note stack*-see Note 1) I have even 
written the note numbers near where the tube gets 
connected to the stack to avoid confusion.

Always (and again I mean ALWAYS) double-check yourself. 
After you're certain you have one end of the tube 
connected to the right nipple on the tracker bar, pre-
size and cut the tubing to the desired length (where it 
will connect to the stack -and leaving an extra inch 
or so to make slight adjustments). Then try to blow air 
through the tube. If the tooth pick is in the right hole 
on the trackerbar, air flow will be greatly restricted. 
Then connect the tube to the stack -making any final 
adjustments in the length so that the tubing follows a 
pattern that is as close to the original pattern as 

To hold the tubing in position as it makes the odd turns 
to the left or right, I use a hot melt glue gun with the 
synthetic glue sticks and tack the underside of the tube 
to the wood. Also, try to let the tubing follow its most 
natural bend. This requires that you think about which 
direction the tubing will be headed when you cut it off 
the roll. Then, when you put the tubing onto the trackerbar, 
be conscious of which direction it wants to lay. If it's 
laying in the wrong direction, twist it right or left on 
the trackerbar nipple until it's laying the right way. 
(Or, take it off and try again....)

Note 1: If you have less than 88playing notes on the stack, 
you have to figure out where Middle C is one the stack, 
and clearly mark it. To insure that the correct nipple 
(on the trackerbar) gets connected to Middle C, remember 
that Middle C is always the 40th hole from the left on 
an 88-note trackerbar.

If I can think of any other helpful hints, they will be at: 


John A Tuttle

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This page was last revised February 18, 2008 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
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