Any Stick players around?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    OK, does anybody here play a Chapman Stick, a NS/Stick, or a Warr?

    I was vaguely aware of them, up until last night. I went to see John Paul Jones and King Crimson. JPJ's Stick player, Nick Beggs, made my jaw hit the floor (from his playing, not from his kilt flapping around :eek: ) and it stayed there all the way through the KC show with Trey Gunn on Warr.

    These touch instruments are fascinating! I see that Stick is making an eight-string bass version that's tuned in fourths. Anyone ever gotten their hands on one?

    I'm too intimidated to consider playing one, but want to learn more!
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Nick Beggs now plays with JPJ?

    Wow, he definitely came a long way since he played with Kajagoogoo :D
  3. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Yo! What do you want to know? The web site ( has a heck of a lot. The Stick Bass is 8 strings, and the standard tuning is fourths B,E,A,D,G,C,F,Bb. But, like all Sticks and Warrs, custom tunings abound.

    I've got a 12-string Grand with 7 melody strings and 5 bass. Right now the bass is tuned (inside to outside, low to high) CGDAE and the melody (likewise) G#,C#,F#,B,E,A,D. I tried out Trey's old Stick tuning for a while (same bass, melody in fifths Bb,F,C,G,D,A,C,D) too.

    I started tapping on bass, listening to Les and Vic Wooten, later trying some Tony Levin stuff. When I'd play guitar I'd usually tap, so I figured a Stick was for me. I found the Stick a *lot* easier to tap on than bass or guitar (makes sense :) ). The Grand was a bit much at first, so many notes! and my small hands have a hard time reaching the highest bass strings. The upside-down/fifths bass also took a little getting used to, but it is good. The sound (with the classic Stick pickups, two other options are now available) was very crisp and clean - makes it hard to get a good "distortion" tone on the melody side with out some pre-EQ to take out the treble though. I liked the clean sound, almost like a harpsichord. The bass side of course has that sharp Stick attack.

    I've been splitting my time between bass and acoustic guitar the past year, so the Stick has taken a back seat. But it is still a lot of fun to play.
  4. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    P.S. the JPJ show is awesome. Last time through it was just JPJ, Nick, and the drummer. With JPJ playing 10- and 12-string (octave) basses, slide guitar (and bass!), and keyboards, and Nick on Stick with the occasional MIDI, they had it all covered! They played "No Quarter" and JPJ did the keyboard and vocal parts on keyboard, with Nick playing bass and lead, it was cool.

    King Crimson is pretty good too. . . :)