What is the Stick?
The Chapman Stick is a musical instrument developed by Emmett Chapman that consists of 10 strings on a guitar-like fret board; five strings are bass and five are treble. The stick uses a piano technique applied directly onto the strings. It is played by tapping the strings with the fingers of both hands. The right hand plays melody while the left hand simultaneously plays the bass line. It sustains notes longer than a guitar, even though the attack is extremely percussive. The Stick has 25 frets and covers a 5.25 octave range.
Why Do I Play the Stick?
I play the stick because of the treble-bass separation and performance independence it provides. My right hand plays through a guitar amp and my left hand through a bass amp. This enables me to play guitar and bass at the same time, thus creating a full sound and an illusion of a two-piece band.
It's also a great tool for song writing because it gives me instant validation when shaping and developing ideas.