Inspiration

6 January 16 - David Tipton (CO), to Emmett:
When I started playing the Stick I had no idea it would change my life but it has. I moved from Cleveland, Ohio to a small mountain town in Colorado. I now play music on the Stick for my living, I have great friends, a great community, I love my life! And the Chapman Stick is inexplicably intertwined with my new identity. Wherever I go, I run into people, "Hey, you're that guy who plays that instrument, what's it called?"

7 October 14 - Paul Adelerhof (Netherlands), to Stick Enterprises
I attended Steven Wilson's concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London and it was a life changing experience, seeing The Stick played by none other then Nick Beggs. The sound he created was incredible. It was love at first sight (or sound, if you will). Returning to Holland, I thought about how it would be for me (guitarist/bassist) to play such an instrument so I decided to order a 10-string Stick in satine hardwood.

Dear Cambria sent me the most friendly mails, saying that you were delayed. I thought this must be a very popular instrument. It took almost 8 months before I got your email notification saying, "Your Stick is finished". Long story short, today this beautifull instrument was delivered and when i opened the case, there it was, one of the most beautiful crafted instruments I have ever seen. I own some of the best PRS guitars ever made, but the Chapman Stick is just a piece of art. I will play it with pride (once I have learned the skills). Again thank you very much to all at Stick Enterprises. Keep up the good work!!!

4 November 13 - Andy Prokopyk (ND), to Stickist.com:
Since receiving my Stick, I put all my other instruments in the closet. I took a bass out last weekend and I just did not get the same thrill as I do when playing Stick. It went back in the closet.

You guys did say The Stick sparks something magical. You weren't kidding.

14 November 12 - Mike Kemp (PA), to Stick Enterprises:
I love your instrument. It has enriched my life exponentially!

7 September 12 - Charles Hettinger (Pennsylvania, USA), to Stickist.com:
I have actually not cracked open a book yet but I have just been playing around with the instrument getting a feel for it. Last night before bed I started to actually make a little music... MUSIC I SAY! The concepts and everything I have seen and read magically filtered through my hands and I was playing chords for the first time on the Stick. OK, I know for you long time players you are likely yawning at this but it was a magical moment for me. My brain opened up to what I was doing and I had an irrepressible smile on my face as I fell asleep.

Thanks for all the encouragement from everyone here! I cannot thank everyone enough for how kind they have been to me. This community is unlike any other I have been involved in... people actually helping other people and in an artistic venue... wow.

27 November 11 - Per Boysen (Sweden), to Stickist.com:
As I already play many less versatile instruments (guitar, sax, flute, EWI) I wanted to learn The Stick by "just blasting off". Well, it was a slow take-off. I spent some months figuring out and memorizing where all notes are to be found on the two fret-boards, how you can reach over to layer notes and finally how to tweak a tapped note for expression. But boy was that a rewarding time investment! Now on my second year of Stick playing I must say the instrument gives me the same 3-D feeling as scuba-diving or dreaming (when you fly around instead of walking the ground). To me that's what music is about.

27 December 10 - Walter Caldwell (Arizona) and Eric Knapp (Wisconsin), to Stickist.com:
Whenever I get into the rut of trying to play "guitar and bass" on Stick, the musicality seems to suffer and the whole thing seems less than cool. BUT, when I find myself playing stuff that is strictly "Stick music" or styles that are unique to our instrument... it is way beyond cool. —Walter

Great quote, Walter. I feel the same way and I'm taking some surprising turns from where I thought I'd be going. This is the most fun I've had with music. —Eric

21 December 09 - Pete Beggs (PA), to Stickwire:
Dear Stick Universe, Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. It's an especially nice time for musicians. So many people ask us to play, hire us to play and we get to play songs written hundreds of years ago as well as recently. The Stick just brings Christmas Carols to a whole new sonic place. They truly sound enchanting on the Stick, it seems to lend itself to those songs in such a peculiar way. Working tonight after some family visits, where I'll play also. For those who are working, have a great gig and smile for the work, and the joy you spread. For those with the day off, enjoy it and be thankful for many blessings God has bestowed on you. Christmas emphasizes gift giving and Emmett, you have given the world a true gift that is not limited by language barriers, as my words are. Yuta you have given us the gift of inspiring the inventor, as well as many practical ideas I'm sure we'll never even know about. Thank you both so very much. God ever bless you and a Merry Christmas to you all.

24 Aug 08 - Bengan Jonasson (Sweden), to Stick Enterprises:
      I've had the Stick for one week now and it has been one of the best weeks of my life. What an inspiring instrument!

13 June 07 - Olivier Vuille (Switzerland), to Stickist.com:
       2002: Mission accomplished - I order a graphite stick and receive it four months later. To make things short, the next five years had me:
1. Attend numerous and equally interesting Stick seminars in Rome, Amsterdam and Valls.
2. Organize a Stick Seminar.
3. Bring my old 1979 Stick to Emmett in LA to have it refurbished.
4. Organize a gig for Greg Howard in Switzerland.
5. Order and get (one year later this time) a bamboo Stick.
6. Arrange and sweat through 60 songs by the Beatles, Emmylou Harris, Tom Jobim, Sting, Jacques Brel, to name a few.
7. Write, sing and record some of my own songs.
Today: Looking forward to have more fun with this great instrument!

12 June 07 - JohnFredC, to Stickist.com:
       As soon as you pick up a Stick and "randomly" drum your fingers on the strings, you'll get "it". If you have music inside you that wants out, wants to be free, and you really like the feel of vibrating strings against your fingers (oh, and have access to electricity, too!), the Stick is just the ticket.

02 February 07 - Steve Adelson (NY), to Stickwire:
       Have no reservations whatsoever. Have faith that the mysterious Chapman Stick is a fantastic invention and it will offer you a universe of musical expression. The super logical setup and layout is mind boggling. If George Van Epps is your style, you're in for a treat. The Stick is user friendly for any genre. My recent sessions with some of the world's great guitarists proved to me that the Stick can stand side by side and be as expressive and more orchestral than established instruments. Emmett's a true genius and visionary. Really.

08 September 06 - Mike Baran (OH), to Stickwire:
       The Stick is pure Zen and the art is in the playing. I have never had so much fun and pure inspiration from an instument in a long time. To split the lobes and then bring them back togehter is a rush like no other instrument can give you. The bass tuning has so much to offer and I say to new players, give it time. I don't agree with the three-finger method on the melody side as the pinky has a lot to offer and is very strong when worked. Thanks Emmett and I believe you have been to "Area 51".

30 September 04 - John Edmonds (AK), to StickWire:
       I have a bone to pick with Stick Enterprises. Nowhere in the fine print was I warned that my Stick would come with a lifetime guarantee of insatiable adventure. Let me explain. Soon I will be 30,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, bound for a new life in new mountains. Saturday night I leave Alaska, frozen land of my dreams, where for seven magical years the deep cold has filled my veins like alien blood. Sometime last year, I awoke from the numbing effects of corporate servitude and perennial repetitive stress to the notion of trying something more exciting, something more creative - something more with strings and wood and sound and time. That notion became a yearning, which became a plan. I sold my house and car, quit my corporate job, ditched all claims to any pension plan, opted out of further 401(k) benefits, abandoned my company health insurance, and booked a one-way flight to freedom. What's that we often say about less is more? I will eventually come to rest in a small cabin perched more than 9000 feet high in the mountains of southcentral New Mexico. I'll be making ends meet as a freelance book editor, and maybe, just maybe, I will finally make the time to get serious about this crazy beast we all call our instrument. As I fly through air, Grand Stick #1890 will travel over land and sea with my meager other possessions in rugged wooden crates. Wish us well and stay tuned for oxygen-deprived sounds from, as the locals say, "9000 feet above stress level".

20 May 04 - Irene Orleanski (Israel), to StickWire:
       I've had my Stick for 4 months now, and it's been the most prolific period in my musical life. The Stick inspires and gives incredible possibilities for musical expression. There is no money that will be enough to buy that, so thank you again and again!

3 April 04 - Harold Thomson (OK), to StickWire:
       I think one of the reasons I and many others have been drawn to the Stick as an instrument is that it offers a great deal of expression and you can sort of choose how much you step out front with it. It also has a certain acoustic quality that is not found in other electric instruments. I think the full potential is still out there [notice how I avoided the obvious pun ;-)].

25 March 04 - Matt Rogers (TX), to StickWire:
       I was a dedicated guitarist of 20 years before I became a Stickist. I just can't believe how little I play the guitar these days. I still teach, so I just do a few exercises every day to keep my chops up to par. But as far as creating music goes, that's where The Stick takes over. There are certain things that can only be accomplished on the guitar, but I don't miss them at all. My old licks don't work on the Stick, and that's just as well. I took on a completely new character when I started playing Emmett's technique. Has anyone else out there completely (or almost) given up their main instrument as a result of playing the Stick?

19 March 04 - Paul Walters (VA), to StickWire:
       For me, it will be 10 years this May. I still marvel at how much this instrument - this medium - has permeated every aspect of my life. It also helps me define myself (and I heartily eschew definitions of any sort). One may ask me what I do for work (to earn money, etc. ...) and I can tell them what my occupation is. But, when one asks me what I do for a living - I tell them that I play the Stick. This is not vanity or hubris - it speaks of where I live. Once more, Thank You Emmett, Yuta and clan for all that you do!

3 March 04 - Greg Howard (VA), to StickWire:
       For me, the struggle is always to bring the consciousness and intent that I would put into a written or spoken phrase into my musical ones. For me, "the zone" has nothing to do with the groove or the pocket at all, it has to do with the exhilaration of enhanced expression that playing these instruments allows over keyboards (a holdover from my saxophone-playing youth) while at the same time being able to create a powerful and fluid context for that expression. The dance becomes one between the hands, at one moment tightly interlocked and then the next spinning off in different directions. And back again. This is my personal definition of mind-body unity.

3 November 03 - Ben Weber (MN), to StickWire:
       I am a 20 year old Stick player. At this point I am totally absorbed in practicing and playing. I have realized that Stick playing is so different from any other instruments I've played. I think that The Stick demands a lot of focus but the payoffs are much higher. Whenever I write a new part it inspires me to go further into the exploration. I really like to play in the interlocked/weaving notes style. I feel like its a realm unique to Stick players. Stick rules!

3 October 03 - Virna Splendore (Italy), to StickWire:
       Something that makes me fly half feet off the ground... After a great Swiss Seminar I come back home in Rome and I found the best surprise I could expect: Tony Levin has recorded a beautiful Stick melody track on a piece of my new CD "Different Things"! I am so happy and proud and astonished. Maybe these are not the right words to express what I feel in English but I wanted to say it to the Stick world! Music has been a big challenge for me, in all my life, and with the Stick I made giant steps, yes, the Stick helped me a lot to reach points I could have never expect! Thanks Tony! Many many thanks! Thanks Emmett for inventing the Stick!

22 June 03 - Juan Leon (FL), to Stickist.com:
       I pick up my basses on the premise that it is familiar territory. It's an old friend. I pick up The Stick because I have to. It's new and fresh. I have a long journey ahead of me. An artistic venture into realms that my basses have not been able to provide but The Stick was made for. What tapping was "discovered" for.
      Every Stickist understands this. A family of artists who share the same brush and share the same fire to create in a totally fresh way. Everyday we paint the canvas anew with hues and tones unique to our art. We are stuck. It is a part of us and the only way to quench the fire is to fan it. Fan it and feed it with the Oxygen of the Muse. Reach out and Touch someone indeed.....

16 June 03 - Douglas Johnson (IL), to Stickwire:
       I had the pleasure of taking them (my kids) to the Wells Street Festival in Chicago yesterday to hear and see Bob Culbertson play. I asked them what they thot - my son said it was very cool (I bought the DVD and we enjoyed that tonite)...my daughter said, "Well, it's no big deal cuz you've been playing one since I can remember." Heh... I enjoyed meeting Bob very much and was able to speak with him briefly. He played almost non-stop for hours. His technique is impressive to say the least. I have again been inspired...

5 June 03 - Patrick O'Hearn (TN), to Emmett:
       My new rosewood 10-string is aesthetically beautiful and musically brilliant. As a man whose principal axe is bass and has played cello and plays keyboards, The Stick to me is indeed an inspirational gift. You are a meister, and I am a happy camper.

12 May 03 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
       Just a public Kudos to Glenn Poorman, for an outstanding job with the layout and constant updates to the SE web-site. I'm always happy to see all the news and ever increasing seminars and events along with the latest advancements in "Stickology"! It wouldn't be fair to exclude the folks at SE, so hat's off to Emmett, Yuta and all at SE. I'm really looking forward to the second half of this year and beyond! Emmett's continuous strive for improvements and embellishments is a real motivation for me. Makes me want to get in high gear, so to speak. "The Stick" is on a roll!!

27 February 03 - Juan Leon (FL), to Stick Enterprises:
       I was in the lobby of a large motel somewhere in Southern California. The hotel had lost our reservations and we needed a place for our youth group to stay. Everything in town was booked! The hotel manager apologized for the mix up and offered to let us stay in the lobby area. The hotel would provide cots and sleeping bags. They would even treat us to breakfast! I discussed it with some of the other chaperones and we agreed that it was a good idea. Besides, where else could we go? As the kids bedded down for the night, I was approached by one of the teen boys. He had a strange looking instrument in his hands. As he handed it to me he said: "Juan, you're a bass player, right? Can you tune this for me?" I took the instrument from his hands and studied it in amazement. I had never seen anything like it. Ever. I held it close to my body and started to tune it up as I felt the notes vibrate through my chest. To my amazement, I found that not only did I know how to tune this beautiful instrument, but I knew how to play it as well! I was immersed in the beauty of the experience. Then I awoke...
      A few days later, I was watching Peter Gabriel's video "Secret World" and was glued to the image of Tony Levin playing the instrument I dreamed about. True story. I am a Mexican of Yaqui Indian blood. Visions can be very powerful? My wife and I have agreed that I should get a Stick this year. Could you put me on your waiting list for a used Stick? A 10 or 12 will do. I am not too picky as to the wood. I just want to hold one in my hands!

28 January 03 - Trevor Stewart (KS), to Stick Enterprises:
       I've been playing in this Latin group and we had a guy come to watch us practice. The band member said he was bar-none the best Mexican guitarist in Wichita. He was incredibly curious about The Stick so I demoed for a few minutes and his reply was, "God! That's not an instrument. That's a religion!"

19 September 02 - Darrell Havard (MS), to Stick Enterprises:
       This month marks my first year as a Stick player, and you are largely responsible for that. THANK YOU!! After a couple of years of frustration trying to play like Joe Pass, Tuck Andress, and Charlie Hunter on guitar, I saw your article in the "Final Bar" section of Downbeat Magazine (1998, I think). It described an instrument that would allow me to do all the stuff I had been trying to do on guitar but maybe better. It took a few more years to actually get a Stick, but it was worth the wait. My first year as a Stick player has been an exciting and eventful one. I'm trying to keep it short here, I just wanted to show my appreciation. By the way, I just picked up "Sailing down the River Sane", it just kicked up my drive to practice another notch, so I guess, THANKS AGAIN!!

4 September 01 - Jim Reilly (Canada), interview of John Edmonds (AK), for Talking Sticks:
       JR: Jason found it very healing to just to play the instrument. Have you found a similar thing with your tendonitis? Has playing The Stick gotten the blood to the muscles that it needed to get to and aided in your rehabilitation?
      JE: Absolutely. For me there have been two levels of healing: spiritual and physical. The Stick has helped with both. The ergonomics we discussed earlier obviously have helped heal my tendons and nerves. I once had a discussion with a friend of mine about the name of The Stick. He said that the name is just so plain, there has got to be a better name for that instrument. I didn't think too much about it at the time but now I'm think something like 'Lightening Rod For Inspiration.'
      It feels, when I'm holding it or playing it, that things come out of me through The Stick that I didn't know were there. It's like standing out in a golf course in the middle of a storm holding this thing up. Some of that might be me just rediscovering music but there really is something special about The Stick. As you can hear I'm having trouble putting it definitively into words but it's there and I feel it and I'm just going with it for now.
      This of course is theoretical, it's only what I can feel, I can't prove it. But I really do feel just the physical sensation of playing The Stick is healing spiritually because it has given me a voice that I thought I was going to lose. That's something that's hard to put into words, which is why I made the CD.

28 August 02 - John Edmonds (AK), to Stickwire:
       Re Greg's recent comment about making music while practicing rather than just running through scales: Amen. I call my project a Stick album because there is lots of Stick on it. But really it's a musical idea expressed largely through The Stick. Had I not injured my wrists and become unable to play guitar, I might have used guitars and bass instead. The Stick became simply a different medium for my musical voice. I think what has surprised me most is how much I still sound just like me even on a new instrument. This has been my most beautiful discovery: how easily The Stick seems to read my mind and give it voice. It even led me to things I did not know I had to say. So a huge thanks to Emmett and SE for a great instrument. Thanks also to this list and to my seminar teachers (Greg H., Tom G., Jim R. and fellow attendees) for a year of invaluable lessons, encouragement and inspiration.

21 August 02 - Piotr Gucia (France), to Stick Enterprises:
       (Nadia, an Opera singer living in Paris, prompts Piotr to write to Stick).
      Nadia asks a question: Is there something about the instrument you didn't expect?
      Piotr: It's not comparable to an instrument. It's everything. I can find so many other things in the music I didn't find playing another instrument. After 20 years I have been able to express myself in a new way as never before.
      N: Did you find something unexpected in harmony or expressiveness?
      P: It comes so naturally. I love using it to explore Indian and Asian riffs, it makes interesting resonance's blending Western and Asian. Thanks to Chapman for carrying on such a great tradition.

9 August 02 - Winston Berger (CA), to Stickwire:
       Getting a Stick last year has really inspired me and opened my ears like nothing before. My working knowledge of real-time harmony and my rhythmic awareness have significantly improved, and my pleasure in listening to music of all sorts has increased. As a result the works of the great composers and arrangers is starting to make sense to me-Claude Debussy in particular has been a real revelation

6 August 02 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
       The feeling I get from the whole event is that we're finally approaching critical mass, and that the explosion for which Emmett lit the fuse 33 years ago is really about to happen. I'd say "keep your eyes and ears open", but I don't think you'll miss it.

20 May 02 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
       Andrew, I think you really nailed it with this one. I've played guitar for almost 23 years and I think I've written maybe 10 instrumentals in all those years and most of them I don't even remember anymore. I've had my Stick now for almost 2 years and so far I have about 6 original pieces (some more developed than others, in fact I'm counting one that is just the head of a tune). Anyway not comparing to anyone else, but for me this is a big break-thru for creativity I didn't know existed.

21 February 02 - Chris Astier (NM), to Stickwire:
       The Stick has gotten a fire back into me that I'm not sure another instrument would have done. The past couple of weeks have suddenly gotten good with Stick. A month ago I was playing double stops on the bass side (and mainly 5ths) for accompaniment. In the past couple weeks I'd noticed that the "name" players on the list seem to be able to play amazing bass lines, so I've been experimenting more with this. I thought my hand wasn't fluid enough to do this. How wrong I was! New doors opening as we speak folks! I didn't think I was "good enough" to do it, so I tried it and proved myself wrong. ;) Last night I had such a great time playing 'til something past 2AM that I e-mailed Stick Enterprises before I went to bed to thank them. I can't imagine someone e-mailing "Brand X Guitar Works" for the same reason I did, which was to thank them for providing something that inspires me like nothing before it!

21 February 02 - Chris Astier (NM), to Stick Enterprises:
       I just felt the need to email you all and tell you that the progress I'm making with your creation is amazing me. I'm sure that smarter, more musically inclined students of The Stick would have made more progress than I have to this point, but I can't care less about that as I'm starting to hear the language of music and feel it flowing through me.
       I'm immensely enjoying making music now! I'm not quite coming up with full-blown compositions, but it seems each night I come home and play my Stick into the wee hours. I just finished playing for about three hours straight. Most of that time I was working on two simple little bits, but I sat and worked on making them sound perfect. I played with all aspects of them; going so far as to change the meter of one of the parts I'd come up with. The sound of the dry, unprocessed Stick can sound everything from mellow to ballsy just by the way my fingers work the touchboard. I could probably go on about how utterly happy I am with my Stick, but I'll bet you've heard plenty of folks congratulate you to no end for what Emmett's creation has done for them.

4 February 02 - Tim Richards, Palm Guitars (CT), to Stick Enterprises:
       What interests me most about The Stick is my firm belief that history will one day view it as a new branch in the family tree of musical instruments. My only hope is that we both live long enough to see even a tiny glimpse of how important your creation will be to the future of musical expression. I'm just completely blown away by it's potential as a canvas for music composition and performance. True innovation, in almost any industry, doesn't occur often.
       Innovation requires breakthroughs - like you mentioned, the "woofer" is the barrier in speaker innovation. To me, The Stick represents the kind of major leap forward that still hasn't yet caught the major wave. Perhaps if it had first hit the market as a new type of ergonomic computer keyboard, and then was discovered for its musical potential, they'd be in every home by now. (Frankly, that may not be a bad idea??).
       Nevertheless, alongside the violin, the guitar, and the pedal steel guitar, The Stick will one day occupy a place of honor in history as a truly innovative method of musical expression. It makes so much sense that it is simply incredible to me that no one thought of it years and years ago. So I'm honored to know the guy (and the wife!) that had the courage and tenacity to invent it.

11 November 01 - Steve Adelson (NY), to Stickwire:
       Clifton, your two week discovery will last for 100 years. You don't transfer to The Stick, The Stick transfers you. You will find new ideas, concepts and vocabulary constantly. Play angular, linear, and 3 dimensional. It all works. No jive, The Stick is the most inspiring musical instrument I've ever played!

5 October 01 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
       Tomorrow is October 6th. In my little world, that means it'll be two years to the day since my Stick arrived, I tapped for the first time, and changed my life. At age 39, I've had a drive in my musical life over the last two years that I haven't had since I was in my early 20s. And amazingly enough, that drive hasn't wavered which has me a bit astonished. Aside from the great community of players I've had the privilege of gabbing with here on Stickwire and Sticknews, I've also been amazed at he approachability of Emmett and Yuta and players like Greg Howard and Steve Adelson. You folks have always been able to correct wrong turns and keep us going forward and I've made it one of my ambitions to try and return that favor to the next wave of new players.

23 August 01 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
       I sure don't consider myself an awesome guitar player, but I will say that I'm an experienced guitar player. I think it was also my frustrations on the guitar that led me to The Stick because it really has been as Jerry mentioned "rejuvenating". It is such an awesome instrument and I can't thank Emmett enough for his contribution to the music community!

6 August 01 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
       A Stick is gonna change your life, man. Plain and simple. I guarantee you won't regret it.

5 August 01 - Steve Adelson (NY), to Stickwire:
       We talk at length about amps and gear. Computer stuff is always on the agenda. Who's our faves and what we like is a common discussion. What about The Stick and the technique and the tuning and what we've discovered musically? I would love to see this list tap into these issues a little more often. Only my opinion, but when I connect with a tune, a progression or an improvisational moment, that's what it's all about. The Stick opens up so many truly unique possibilities. "An amp is just an amp." - from "Casablanca"

16 May 01 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
       The funny thing is, since I started playing Stick I also enjoy playing bass more than I used to. The other interesting thing to note is that I started on Stick with the intention of adding it to my arsenal of instruments. Today though, I neglect everything else (except bass) and really can't imagine calling anything else my "main instrument".

16 May 01 - Art Durkee (MN), to Stickwire:
       I suspect the "difference factor" might be more generally true than we have ourselves acknowledged. If one thinks about it, The Stick is fundamentally a new paradigm - a brand new way of playing. I'm not only referring to Emmett's tapping technique that led to the invention of his first prototypes - I'm also referring to what the instrument has grown into: something that has not found it's cliche yet because it is still too young to have developed a niche. That so many Stickistas play in prog-rock formats is a sign that a niche might be forming there - but so many of us don't play prog, so I doubt that will become a permanent niche the way electric guitar has become permanently associated with rock & roll. I think it will take a century before we can say what cliches Stick players have, if any. It's like trying to define cliches for piano: you can define cliches for a period of music, a composer and performer - but not for the instrument itself, which is versatile enough to transcend genre.

4 May 01 - Art Durkee (MN), to Stickwire:
       My point is, the reason The Stick has become my principal instrument lately is that it, as a single instrument, is able to fulfill several of my musical interests - even some of the altered-tuning ideas from other musical cultures, thanks to string-bends, etc. (Someday I'd love to have a full-fretless NS/Stick?) But none of those musical interests involve tunes per se - rather, original tunes but no covers, per se. That's one reason I love my Stick: it's flexibility as a sound-making device. As flexible in it's own way as a piano - or is the flexibility all in the mental paradigm? The mindset? Breaking out of habits, and out of the frame? Where do habitual patterns reside? In the hands, or the mind - or both?

27 April 01 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
       In my experience so far, audiences are extremely receptive to Stick performances. The inquiring few who get a description don't even seem to grasp the full spectrum of what you can do until they actually hear it. Then you can see in their faces that they've seen the light, so to speak.

26 April 01 - Brandon McPherson (Canada), to Stickwire:
       This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, musically and spiritually. And if my wife sees this post, I'm a dead man. :) I'm sure at least some of you guys know what I mean when I say that when I put it on, I get this strange, good feeling. It's like I lost an arm at birth and I'm getting one put on now, ya know? Emmett and Yuta - you rule! Greg - thank you for exposing me to this. Everyone else - thanks for showing me what an awesome instrument this is, and how great this sense of community is! Gosh, I'm all verklempt. I need rest!

10 April 01 - Art Durkee (MN), to Stickwire:
       In my opinion, one of the best things about The Stick is that, in reality, there is nothing we can't do with a Stick, in any genre of music. It's as open-ended a musical instrument as a piano. What I get from Tom's comments above is a reminder that the stylistic limitations that we discover in our playing lie primarily within our minds.

10 April 01 - Steve Morgan (SD), to Stickwire:
       I'm learning some baroque lute pieces that sound really nice; I'm also learning some old hymns and Beatles tunes that are coming along well also. That's the nice thing about The Stick; there are no real corners that you are backed into. The sky is the limit.

18 December 00 - Rob Howiler (SC), to Stickwire:
       Every single time I pick it up, it just blows me away. It just feels so right to hold it. It might sound sort of funny to say it, but the thing really takes my breath away. When I see someone post about getting their new one, it makes me want to leave work immediately and run home to grab mine. It just reminds me of the happiness I feel when I play. Happy Holidays everybody - good luck with your Tarara Grand, John. May it bring as much happiness to you as my 10-string Rosewood has brought to me!

5 November 00 - Douglas Johnson (IL), to Stickwire:
       One of the greatest things about The Stick, to me, is the way it bridges the gap between classical, jazz, rock, and other styles of music. It sits like a cello on the drumstick that rests in my lap, allowing me to be one with it. I have the option to stand with it on my belt when I want to rock. Jazz and other styles sit nicely on it at almost any angle. That's one of the best things about The Stick: it's variability! This allows me to explore my music and the music of others in ways I wouldn't do otherwise?it totally fits my personality, which is always changing, rearranging, evolving, revolving, solving. Thanks again, Emmett, for jumping off the cliff with such a beautiful parachute. You're not just another lemming!

15 October 00 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
       I must agree with Toshio, who said what you refer to. I have found Stick players everywhere to be among the least competitive and most supportive musicians out there, and the phenomenon of The Stick does transcend the business of building and selling instruments, as well as the "business" of making music. To me it is about being a part of something truly new that is worthwhile and creative, and is not derivative or exploitative, as so much of our consumer culture seems to be these days.

30 September 00 - Steve Morgan (SD), to Stickwire:
       Thank God for The Stick. It has inspired many a frustrated musician to forget the standard way of doing things; to me it's a breath of fresh air.

28 August 00 - Trevor Stewart (KS), to Stick Enterprises:
       The Stick was the direction my music was waiting for. Thank you so much for providing me with the tool needed to achieve the goals I wanted to accomplish. There are not enough lines on this page (or any other for that matter) to express how important and wonderful I think the instrument is and so I will leave it at that.

Spring/Summer 00 - Greg Howard (VA), interview with Sean Malone for Progression Magazine:
       Malone: "My first recollection of the instrument was seeing Tony Levin playing it on the King Crimson "Live in Japan&guot; video in the 1980's," recalls Malone. "As with most of us, it was love at first sight. 'What was that thing?' 'Is that a guitar or a bass?' You know, all the usual questions that come up upon first seeing the instrument. Very soon afterward, and quite by coincidence, I saw one used at a local music store. There was no question about it, I had to buy it, even though I had no idea what I'd be able to do with it. However, what I did know was that the instrument embodied an utter and total sense of 'possibility' and the 'future.' The Stick represented a complete removal of any boundary. And perhaps harnessed by that sense of freedom and creativity, it fostered a creative component to my writing that I would not have otherwise tapped into. That's not to say that a guitar or bass doesn't have the same degree of freedom, though one inherits a tremendous legacy when you decide to play either one. With The Stick, most of the book has yet to be written. I've always believed that one of the most important qualities of progressive rock is the constant push toward the future, and the willingness of its audience to be challenged."

24 February 00 - Robert Howiler (SC), - to Stickwire:
       I am still intensely excited about learning to play Stick. It's the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night and the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning. I even named my Stick. It's really stupid I suppose, but I haven't ENJOYED playing an instrument this much in my life! I'm not going to let anything stop me from feeling that...even all the stuff that's been on the list here. I'm glad there is such a thing as the Stick and I'm extra glad I *HAVE* one!!!

18 November 99 - Kevin Genus (VA), to Stickwire:
       There is one thing that does not cease to amaze me. Every time one of my friends that writes code for a living walks into the living room and sees the Stick, they go crazy... especially if it is for the first time.. "Man, where'd you get a balliset? You gotta play it for me!" They must have the Dune bible at home. Anyway, they are calling me Dr. Balliset at work, I'm tired of people tapping their midsections/chests while starting a John Travolta type strut whenever I walk into a room or by them down the hallway... THERE'S THE HIDDEN CULTURE.

14 May 97 - Kevin Muir (Canada), to Stick Enterprises:
       BTW, my Grand still sounds amazing. Always a pleasure to play; it's interesting how an electric instrument that is such a cerebral "workout" can at the same time be so relaxing and organic.

18 April 97 - Linda Rogers (TX), to Stickwire:
       My son says a "lurker" is someone who wants a Stick badly, will have a Stick one day soon, but for the time being, hangs out on the Web listening and learning on the Stickwire· "lurking" is his term for watching, waiting, learning. He has played guitar 4 - 5 hours every day for the last twelve years. The last year he has been "tapping" and has worn frets down on a couple of guitars (while he saves for his Stick). I believe that there are those of you that were born simply to play this instrument, and that most of what you've done thus far in life has been in preparation for that. I thought it was only my obsessed son, but I see all of your e-mails, etc., and I realize that this Stick thing is a MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION!"

25 March 97 - Scott Wedel (WA), to Stick Enterprises:
       The other day, Darrell Dally came by my place. He has apparently ordered a Stick but still had yet to actually play a viable instrument. To watch the unbridled joy and discovery in a person's eyes when they pick up The Stick for the first time is a wonderful thing! I got a note from him the next day saying that he had "slept about three hours that night" because he was thinking of all the possibilities.

17 March 97 - Steve Murrell (MI), to Stick Enterprises:
       Emmett, I have been playing some type of musical instrument since I was seven years old (I'm 33 now). I started with the banjo, then the recorder, violin, trumpet, tuba, upright bass, cello, trombone, euphonium, sousaphone, various percussion, guitar, and electric bass (standard, fretless and five-string). If I were to squeeze from each of these instruments the pleasure that I derived from them over the years, the sum total would not fill a thimble when compared to the enjoyment I have received from playing The Stick during the past nine months. I sincerely thank you for bringing to the world such a gift.

6 February 97 - Peter Fernandez (MA), to Stickwire:
       I've been playing The Stick now for less than four months and I think I'm experiencing the awakening and joy that many of you must have felt in first receiving your instruments. Every time I have the thing in my hands I feel I'm living in vibrant color, like turning the saturation up from high on your TV. I am hooked.

5 January 97 - David Crawford (CA), to Stickwire:
       I started on keyboards/synths, the whole computer thing. I craved something more acoustic. I then tried bass, then guitar, and finally The Stick. I've never been happier with an instrument. I ponder the different tunings from time to time, but have stuck with half-baritone. The more I play the less I know about this instrument. In other words, the possibilities are endless. I feel the pricing on new and used Sticks are very low for what you are getting. If one buys a used Stick they can sell for the same amount a few years later, so there is not much to lose, but a world to gain. My only regret is that I waited so long in buying this amazing instrument. If you do buy one, try to find a good teacher, or get a hold of Bob's upcoming videos.

3 January 97 - Chris Crofford (CA), to Stick Enterprises:
       In regards to my new Grand Stick, I just want to let you know I LOVE this instrument. It is beautiful to look at and a pure, unadulterated pleasure to play. I really appreciate you folks working with me to make this happen; you have been nothing but a joy to work with every step of the way.

3 October 96 - Bill Biersach (CA), to Stick Enterprises:
       Emmett, you yourself as well as your fretted offspring have had a profound impact on my life. The eighteen minutes of music on this tape is hardly a worthy tribute to all that you have done for me, both personally and musically, but it is my way of saying 'thank you.'

9 April 95 - Beau Bolle (CA), to Stickwire:
       So, I guess this is kinda a roundabout way of saying thanks to all of you out there in Stickwire-land. You convinced me to take the plunge and get this thing, and I'm grateful. I can't even quite say how happy and blown away I am by the instrument, probably because I'm suffering from sleep deprivation. Been playing too much.