Warr/Chapman Stick players: tunings and string gauges?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I just scored an 8 string Warr last week, and I'm looking to change the tuning from BEADGCFBb to ADGCCGDA. The left hand side (while playing) will be the bass side, and right hand will be two octaves above that, mirroring the bass side. Anybody else using a tuning similar to this? What string gauges are you using?

    Feel free to post your tuning and string gauges, even if you don't tune anywhere close to what I am planning. It might give me (and others) some ideas.
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    I play a 10 string Chapman Stick with medium-gauge Matched Reciprocal tuning (bass side from middle-CGDAE up in fifths; treble side from middle-EADGC up in fourths).

    It might be fun to have those 2 C's in the middle of the neck for fast octave runs. I think if I had an 8 string I'd probably tune it in fourths up from B like yours was when you got it to have a "super bass".

    I think the split tunings like you're contemplating work particularly well on instruments with at least 10 strings so you can get more overlapping range between the two hands, for close-voiced chords and parts that repeat the same note on different strings for a fingerpicking-guitar kind of feel. I also prefer fourth tuning on the treble side-I find that lines and scales fit very well under my hand in the higher parts of the neck.

    I really like the musical possibilities available on these tapping instruments in different tunings. Have fun experimenting and keep us posted!
  3. Sean_Malone


    Aug 29, 2003
    I've always favored the original, "standard" tuning for Stick, both on a 10- or 12-string. I've been using the 12-string Grand for about 7 years now, and I still prefer this tuning.

    However, I went to what I call a "double treble" tuning but all I did was bring the bass up an octave - still standard tuning - just a different register. Depending on what role your Stick/Warr plays in your ensemble, your tuning might vary, that's why I switched; I wanted to keep the bass register free and it created an amazing number of voicings for chords that were previously unavailable.

    Currently I have a Grand with the 5+7 double treble, and a Grand 6+6 with a lowered fourth on the top bass string. It's essentially standard tuning, with the exception of the last string.

    Sean Malone

    P.S. For both I use heavy gauge strings - a little more effort is needed to generate the sound, but for me, the tone is incredible.
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