Chapman Stick

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MikeyFingers, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Does anyone here play a stick? I've been listening to a lot of Tony Levin's stuff lately and I'm falling in love with this instrument. The funny thing is, I know nothing about it. Does it use regular bass strings? I've seen them with up to 12 strings, so where the hell do you get all those strings? Also Levin seems to be tapping it ALL THE TIME, is that the standard way to play a stick or is it just Tony's method? Any info on this instrument is welcome.
  2. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
  3. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    The 12 stringers play a lot like a piano - treble and bass strings, and you get to play your own accompaniment! And yes, the stick is played via tapping.

    Check out - there are some seriously impressive demos, and also a listing of the range of products.

    Oh, and never owned one, but had a friend that was seriously tempted, so got to look at them in person a couple of times . . .

    - Tim
  4. 8guy


    Jun 19, 2005
    Madison WI
    Wow, Look at that and I did a search for a thread and bam there it was.
    I Guess no one here plays one, but if your curios I did spend half a day with one(borowed) and is indeed a odd but powerlful insturment, But if you play Just bass there is the option of the 8 string bass chapman stick.

    But Ill add on a note That if you new, That little search button can save you a lot of time. :bag:
  5. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    An interesting thing about Tony...he's got that 12-string Grand Stick, but when I saw him play a few weeks ago he only played the bass side of it.
  6. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Here's Long Island NY's own Steve Adelson[​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Well, I play Stick. I own a 10-string Chapman Stick that is made from some polycarbon fibre. It has a very punchy tone, especially on the bass side. I am not so good with two-sided playing yet, but playing bass lines is going pretty nicely.

    Yesterday I went to some Stick-meeting, where some 20 players exchanged ideas on the instrument. We also got to see Ron Baggerman play.. and I will be glad if I one day will have one fifth of his chops :D
  8. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Ron's not human dude :D .
  9. threshar


    Jul 30, 2002
    Greg Howard is another guy you shouldn't pay attention to if you're learning the stick.

    I saw him & michael manring a couple years back. that show blew my mind. Both of those guys fall into the "Do not pay attention to while learning said instrument" category :)

    on side thing about manring: Normally I can watch someone play bass and figure out how they are doing what they are doing, with manring you can't. I then felt better with myself after accepting he isn't human so he is allowed to do that sort of thing.
  10. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I used to play Stick, owned two of them, but I couldn't get to the piano-like "bass and treble playing separately" level, much as I tried.

    Talkbassers Jonesy4fnk and PaloMorado are also Stick guys. I played Jonesy's 7-string StickBass (older model) and briefly owned PM's SB8 before I gave up altogether - PM now plays a 12-string Grand IIRC.

    And yes, Greg Howard IS the man. He's beyond even TLev in some realms on that thing. Wow.
  11. duckbutter


    Mar 30, 2005
    I would love to get one of those.
  12. Check out the "Double Bass Forum", and go to the "Electric Upright Bass" threads. Might have more info. ;)
  13. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    You're thinking of something else.
  14. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I have to post, just to get subscribed to this thread.

    I have had an early Stick for many years. I try to get the hang of it but I continue to suck. My theory is that Emmett Chapman invented it as a prank. Mine is an old ironwood 10-string from 1981 or so.

    I keep getting fed up, deciding to sell it, getting re-inspired, deciding to finally get good on it, trying again, discovering I just can't seem to get it, getting fed up, deciding to sell it...and the cycle continues.
  15. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Mine's on loan to a friend. I don't like the playing position much, and there's nothing you can really do about that. I like the tone on the bass side, but the tone on the melody side gets old really fast.

    As an aside, I just found that I can get a very Stick-like tone from my 6-string bass.
  16. bassisten


    Sep 15, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Hi boys!

    Well, I'm an ex-stickist too, had a 12-string Grand Stick with midi-pickup.

    I couldn't really cope with the bass in inverted fifths, maybe I'm too much a bass-player to be able to get it right.
    Anyway, it learned me a lot about chords, which I didn't know much about before I bought the Stick.

    You can also visit:

    - where there's a "used items for sale" forum.

    N.B.: Stick are actually quite expensive at the time, ranging up to 3,000$ 2nd hand! Maybe a Warr-guitar is a good alternative?
  17. bassisten


    Sep 15, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
  18. Oops. I guess so. Sorry. :bag:
  19. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I have a purpleheart 10 string Stick. Hasn't seen much use since I started playing upright bass a couple years ago. I'm focusing on being the best bassist I can right now, but I'd love to get back to it. I've been to a number of Stick gatherings over the years, and have met some great players: Ron Baggerman, Virna Splendore, Bob Culbertson, Steve Adelson, Steve Hahn. The one who really does it for me, though is Greg Howard: he's a master musician, compelling performer, and all-around good guy.
  20. I think that's because he uses so many whack tunings if you didn't know.