JT POV 1/21 — The Chapman Stick

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January 21, 2013 by shockboxtv

JTPOV-Logo-v1If you haven’t already heard of the Chapman Stick, you need to poise your clicking

“Bruder Frank”, member of the medieval metal band Saltatio Mortis, playing the Stick onstage in 2009


finger over the links below and get immediately educated.  Invented by Emmett Chapman in 1969, the “Stick” is an electric string instrument that’s usually played with both hands tapping out chords, bass lines and melodies (often all at once.)  I remember seeing the Stick in action a coupla times in live performances in the 90’s but not recently, which is too bad because the thing sounds unique and amazing, yet ultimately familiar.  I found a coupla cool vids to illustrate my point: the first is Leo Gosselin playing a more traditional, Spanish-influenced tune and the second is from this band Stickband that I guess was around during the 80’s (which is when I guess the video is recorded given the artist Bob Culberson’s hairstyle.)  Anyway, a trippier approach to the Stick and gives you a

The NS Stick is a multi-mode version that allows pickin & strumin!

good idea of what this thing can do.

Well, one look on Google showed me that The Chapman Stick is still very much around, thriving in Woodland Hills, Calif.  Check out the website and the FB page and you’ll see tons of info on the history and evolution of this amazing instrument.  Let’s face it– pulling one of these out during a performance is gonna be memorable!  They got 8-, 10- and 12-string models, of course made with all sorts of delicious wood and pickup combinations.  They even got a NS Model (named for co-creator Ned Steinberger, father of the Headless Bass) that allows you to pick and strum the strings as well as 2-hand-tap.  It’ll still cost a coupla super-large to pick up any one of these sticks, but what a fantastic investment and a great centerpiece of any guitar arsenal.  Anybody out there have any experience with the Chapman Stick?  Send me a pic of you playing it and I’ll post it here, james@shockboxtv.com.


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