The Stick makes my life a living nightmare and my band sound really cool. It's played entirely by tapping the strings directly down onto the neck of the instrument, there is no plucking, no strumming, no slapping or popping, or using a pick, it's played, effectively like a keyboard.
Here are some recordings featuring me playing the standard 10 string stick.
These songs feature Chapman stick, guitar and drums, there is no Bass guitar on these recordings. They were recored live with no overdubs. All songs written by me and copyright © 2005, all rights reserved.
It's basically the guitar version of a piano, played by tapping like Eddie VanHalen, or Stanley Jordan, (who should really be playing one of these) one hand plays bass parts and the other hand plays treble parts. It's like having an extra musician in the band. -Except I don't get paid twice as much for thinking and working twice as hard.
It's dynamic range is somewhat limited compared to most stringed instruments, rather like a harpsichord, you can only bang the notes so hard, after that if you need more volume you have to turn up the volume knob, which I do. The note range is about five and a half octaves. Physically it's effortless to play, mentally however it really *%#@$ with your brain, like playing a lefty cello glued onto a righty guitar. Sort of. The heaviest guage strings are in the middle of the neck, unlike any other instrument, and they get thinner as they fan out to the edges. Somewhat inside out really. Although I have a degree in music I have no idea what key I'm playing in when I play this thing, and that's fine with me. I have no interest in playing "normal" music on it, I play only songs that I write on it, although I am starting to use it for some basslines for some of my current band's tunes, composed by my guitarist.
The Stick keeps me on my toes, and I like that, it keeps me from getting into a compositional rut. I also apply stick technique to my bass playing (and other stringed instrument playing), this beastie changed my life irreversibly.
Stick.com Emmett Chapman's website.
you can buy one here or watch a demo video! The guy who plays on that makes me sound like a hack. I really need to practice...
Here are some recordings featuring me playing the standard 10 string stick. These songs feature Chapman stick, guitar and drums, there is no Bass guitar on these recordings. They were recored live with no overdubs. All songs written by me and copyright © 2005, all rights reserved.