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What Is A Chapman Stick?

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posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:27 PM
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I have never heard of this instrument before and came across it by chance on YouTube.This is an amazing instrument in the right hands. I'm sure if I tried, it might sound like a Wildebeest with a hernia. I could listen to this music all day.


The Chapman Stick (The Stick) is an electric musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman in the early 1970s. A member of the guitar family, the Chapman Stick usually has ten or twelve individually tuned strings and has been used on music recordings to play bass lines, melody lines, chords, or textures. Designed as a fully polyphonic chordal instrument, it can also cover several of these musical parts simultaneously. A Stick looks like a wide version of the fretboard of an electric guitar, but with 8, 10 or 12 strings. It is, however, considerably longer and wider than a guitar fretboard. Unlike the electric guitar, it is usually played by tapping or fretting the strings, rather than plucking them. Instead of one hand fretting and the other hand plucking, both hands sound notes by striking the strings against the fingerboard just behind the appropriate frets for the desired notes. For this reason, it can sound many more notes at once than some other stringed instruments, making it more comparable to a keyboard instrument than to other stringed instruments. This arrangement lends itself to playing many lines at once, and many Stick players have mastered performing bass, chords and melody lines simultaneously.[2] Typically, the Chapman Stick is held via a belt-hook and a shoulder strap. The player hooks the instrument onto the belt and places the head and dominant arm through the shoulder strap. The instrument then settles into a position approximately 30 to 40 degrees from vertical, which allows both of the player's hands to naturally and comfortably address the fretboard. The player then hammers onto the strings with the fingertips in the same way that one would strike a piano key. The technique is very similar to that of the piano inasmuch as the player covers both bass and melody notes together with both hands, and each note is struck with one finger of one hand. Typically, one hand plays the melody on the treble strings and the other plays rhythm on the bass strings. In recent years, a seated playing position (which keeps the stick in a similar playing position relative to the player as the standing position) has become somewhat popular wherein a cross-member is laid upon the knees of the seated player and the stick's belthook rests upon the crossmember.


Chapman Stick - Wikipedia


What Is A Chapman Stick?



George Harrison, Beatles song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" performed by Bob Culbertson. This performance includes various expression techniques and improvisation.



What A Wonderful World played by David Tipton



Brain Damage - Pink Floyd played by David Tipton



If anyone can find a video of their favorite song, please post it.
edit on 3/15/2015 by N3k9Ni because: eta




posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:32 PM
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Yeah, it's a sitar without a bottom bit. Seasick Steve makes his own musical instruments but no one gives his instruments the starstruck treatment like this one.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: N3k9Ni
A guy in my old band played one to augment his bass playing. Interesting instrument, can be limiting if you're not schooled. We played drone space rock in the 80's-90's.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 10:55 PM
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That's neat. I can't believe that I've never seen one before. The sound is excellent. It looks like you have to be ambidextrous to be able to play one.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 01:14 AM
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a reply to: ugmold

Yes, it mostly seems to be bass players who take it up. Tony Levin is a master of the instrument:




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