Stick Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by netvampire, May 20, 2004.

  1. netvampire


    Apr 22, 2004
    :) this week been downloading audio and vids of the chapman stick, some of the sounds these things produce has got me wanting one, anyone around here own/played or tried one. if so what are they like. :bassist:
  2. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I had a StickBass for a year or two. It's, in a word, AWESOME. My only problem was I had trouble finding a place to fit it into straight-ahead "rock" music, and I wasn't able to do the whole playing-2-diff-things-with-2-hands thing myself. (see Greg Howard for amazing mastery of this technique)

    As a textural instrument and as a solo instrument it was incredible - with all 8 of your fingers on the fretboard you're twice as fast as a guitarist from the outset, plus the chordal possibilities are astounding as well.

    I've seen and heard it used in the typical places like King Crimson and such, but what really got me was Blue Man Group's backing band on The Complex tour, using the Stick with a touch of overdrive and maybe wah, made it sound like a didjeridoo! (see track "Your Attention Please" where it's used throughout - until i saw the concert I didn't know it was a Stick doing that!)
  3. Hey, I have a didgeridoo. It's pretty cool. Don't have a Stick though. I think I'd be totally lost with that.
  4. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I have an ADG.. Made by the same company who makes Warr guitars, but it's in essence a Stick... Same string layout, tuning, etc.. Neat instrument. I'm still working with it as it's definitely a different animal than what I'm used to.

  5. Pretty unique. So no strumming or anything like that? Just double fret-work? :confused:
  6. supermonkey


    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    The Stick is certainly a bad-azzz instrument.
    Jammadave called it w/ the King Crimson ref. And I might add that Tony Levin's stick work is nothing short of awesome (e.g. Peter Gabriel's solo catalog). Such a great new range of possible approaches to bass parts. Plus the MIDI possibilities.... sheesh!

    I've been interested in them for a long time, but I question the true utility. Unless I came across one super-cheap, it would be hard to justify. It IS a very different animal, as Mark and Dave both said.

    I have a pretty strong keyboard background, so the two-handed opposition thing isn't what puts me off actually getting one. But it would still take a while of geting used to before I could do anything with it, I'm sure. Plus, there's the stereo amplification issue to deal with.

    And, while I think it would be equally cool, why would one get a stick bass as opposed to a standard 10-string stick?
  7. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    The ADGs are relative cheap compared... Might want to check with Stick Enterprises. Lots of times they have used ones available that have been traded in on new ones...
  8. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Well, for me it was the fact that a 10-string stick has the lowest strings in the middle of the board (the lowest bass string and the lowest melody string in the center and both ranges go up from there out to the sides) - while the 8-string StickBass is all straight across low to high in 4ths like a big ol' Conklin. That means no relearning of the fretboard.

    Oh, one more Stick thing in general: You also do start to miss playing open strings pretty quick =0)
  9. The NS/Stick solves both problems. I'd love to get my hands on one of those...

  10. i play the Stick Bass in a HEAVY band and have no problem whatsover making it fit.

    i spent a few weeks deciding if i should bring it in or not but once i did the band keeps having me play it on more and more songs!

    i took notes as i practiced with it in a band situation and kept changing the stringing and tuning until i found the perfect set-up for what i'm doing.

    i set the 1st 5 strings like a normal 10 string and then i started ascending in fourths from the middle string up. essentially i have a standard 4 string bass starting on a low C and also the "normal" bass side of the Stick as well (and that goes up to the 15th fret of the high E string on guitar...PRETTY D@MN HIGH!!!).

    i personally did not miss the open strings because i always avoided them anyway.

    as for the stereo amplification thing mine has the Villex PASV4 pickup which allows for multiple combinations and has a STEREO/MONO switch.
    i run it in mono.

    i have generally been playing the bass parts with my left hand like normal and using my right hand to add a few extra guitar parts or to "sing harmony" with the vocalist...very cool effect!

    it also lets you play some very cool two-handed bass parts!

    i honestly can't reccomend it enough.

    here's a pick of it with the old tuning: 1
  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    i hear this from time to time and find it curious.

  12. well,
    i don't like the sound of the open strings because once you hit it the note sits there...not as much control over the sound/vibrato as you do with your finger. plus you are going to get a different sound then the other notes because of the nut material being different then the fret material (this is a non-issue on zero-fret boards.)

    so i always tried to avoid open strings when i was playing lines just to keep more control over the sound.

    of course there are always times when pulling off to open strings or some of the droning tricks are great...that's for the jazz bass!!!
  13. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Well I've got one and it's the bane of my existence. I love the possibilties of the instrument. But I just seem to have no gift for it. And since I am hurting for money currenly, I may have to sell mine.