30 July 2012 - JRJ (California), to Stick Enterprises
Emmett! I hope you don't think that I am remiss. I have just been letting it sink in. Sometimes I don't believe it and I put it away but it beckons my imagination. And then, there it is again; fully formed phrases, building into completely new songs that use all of my old songs and ideas as food, to springboard into new territory. And did I mention that the instrument is beautiful? Beguiling is more correct; as though you conjure magical spells as well.
Really, I keep trying to resist the idea that out of all the Sticks I have gotten over the years that this is finally the one. The Stick Guitar, it is really different, and what I am most smitten by aside from the beauty, is that there seems to be new music, new ideas and new approaches to the sound. It just keeps going deeper and deeper.
So, very happy with this one. Thank you for your great work.
21 Nov 2010 - Eric Knapp (Wisconsin), to stickist.com
There are many lists of differences between the two scale lengths. I think I'll just comment on my experience and feelings on both.
I have a 12-string Grand and an SG12. While I love both of them, I'm favoring the SG now. Some of this has to do with my musical background. I was a guitar player and I never played bass. I came to the Stick because I was frustrated with the harmonic limitations of the guitar. I also wanted to have a few more notes that were lower. The original 10-string Sticks weren't exactly what I was looking for, but it was the closest thing I'd seen.
The SG12 is the perfect Stick for me and might be for other guitar players as well. I spent a very long time on guitar and the fret spacing on the SG just feels right to me. When I reach for notes I just land on them far more often on the SG. I think that the largest group in the Stick community started as bass players. The scale length and size of the long scale instrument probably just feels right to them.
All stringed instruments have a set of string and fret combinations that are considered the sweet spot. To me, that's the big difference between the grand and the SG12. The sweet spot area on the SG seems bigger overall. I am playing motes all the way down on fret 1 and they sound good. The notes way up on the highest frets are still very usable and musical. I'm using medium gauge strings which help create a more consistent tone across strings, too.
The Chapman Stick isn't just one instrument any more. it's more like the saxophone family of instruments. Many sax players have one instrument that's their main axe, but they frequently also have one or two others as well. Stick players have these choices now too, and it's a great sign of the healthy evolution of this great new instrument family.
Your first Stick won't be your last one. The key is to keep playing and see where the music takes you. I'm really surprised at where I am after 3.5 years on the Stick. I never would have predicted that I would be playing the music I'm playing on an SG12. The choice of an instrument and music is extremely personal and you just have start someplace and go forward.
If there were still only the 10-string 34 inch scale Sticks, I'd still have one and and I would be loving it. The new options are great, but it's the concept of the Stick that's the inovation.
Many thanks to Emmett for his invention!