Grand Stick®

10 February 15 - Robb Rudd (Florida), to Stick Enterprises:
Just wanted to say thank you, Mr. Chapman, for this wonderful instrument! It has absolutely given my life new direction. It's amazing to feel this excited about learning and experiencing new things on an instrument, which I haven't felt since I was a wee tike learning bass and guitar. I've actually had it for a couple of years but it's a new adventure everyday! I'll be debuting my band using The Stick in front of a few thousand folks, opening for Heart on the 27th this month in Panama City, Florida. Needless to say, I'm very excited, and a bit nervous. Much gratitude to you Sir!

10 April 08 - Michael Schwarz (Germany), to Stick Enterprises:
I'm still very satisfied with my Grand Stick which has greatly expanded possibilities in my band. I can put a much bigger share in our music. The Grand's sound and playability has helped me feel more self confident and made it easier to fill up the music without "fighting" for every note.

Also with the Midi-Pickup and the Roland VG-88 I'm able to add some "spice" or color to the music. The other instruments in the band are acoustic guitar, cajon and mandolin, so I'm the one responsible for different colors. This works very well! We had some exciting and successful gigs last year.

In conclusion, the magic of playing Stick is still there. I'm still very, very satisfied. The Stick is a kind of commitment for me to continue my way as a learning musician.

14 January 04 - Scott Andrew (WA), on his weblog:
I walked into a little club on 45th last night to drop off a CD and standing there on the stage was this guy playing a Chapman Grand Stick. I've only seen a few Stick players actually playing their instrument (the most well-known being Trey Gunn, ex-King Crimson, and Tony Levin, also ex-King Crimson and currently Peter Gabriel) and this was the first time I'd been able to watch one up close. It's an amazing instrument, and watching this guy rip through some improvised jazz/samba stuff only confirmed what I had long suspected: the Stick is an instrument for grown-ups. It's one of those instruments that demands study and discipline before it will allow you to rock out.
STICK: I am the magical talking Chapman Stick! You must answer a question before you can play me. What is the diatonic chord on the fifth of a C-mixolydian scale?
SCOTT: I dunno, but I'm pretty sure my fingers will make a little triangle on the fretboard when I play it.
STICK: Sorry ::turns to dust::

4 March 03 - Vance Gloster (CA), to Stickwire:
I switched from a standard tuning 10-string to a Grand Stick with the Matched Reciprocal tuning with a fourth on top of the bass side. This is the tuning that Emmett had set up on the instrument when I picked it up (with no input from me), but I have been extremely happy with it. The switch was not hard. The strings are almost imperceptibly closer together on the Grand, but after a day or two of playing it, this difference was completely invisible to me. The neck is also almost imperceptibly wider, but when you play it the neck does not feel wider. Switching over was about as painless as it gets.

10 December 02 - Louis Hesselt-van-Dinter (WA), to Stickwire:
After a long wait, I have received my Graphite Grand Chapman Stick, with MIDI. It is everything the 10 string Graphite players have been saying about it, except my Stick has two more strings.

3 December 02 - Kent Rytting (UT), to Stickwire:
I started on a 10 string, and moved to 12 (standard tuning). I love being able to get the extra range on the 5ths side, soloing with two hands to capture 4 notes of a scale on each string, and being able to stay in the same fret range. I love being able to create "clustered" chords with higher frequencies by using the outer strings on both sides. I love being able to have higher voiced chords on the 5ths side when another bass player is playing, it seems easier to stay in an appropriate range.

30 June 01 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
Having greater range is a big plus in arranging, but how many people in the music world add strings to their instrument? The basic technique is the same whether you add strings or not. The greatest hurdle for most new Stick players is the technique, not the tuning. If you think you could be happy learning on a 10-string, perhaps that's all you need. Just my two cents. Happy tapping, Greg (almost 16 years of happily tapping on a 10-string before switching to a 12 this year, which is almost exclusively the only instrument I play now) Howard.

6 November 00 - Brian Wong (Canada), to Stick Enterprises:
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my great pleasure in my new Grand Stick. It is everything I had hoped for and much more. Emmett has done more than come up with a great invention, this is an absolutely top quality instrument and every detail of the product is superb. The sound is incredible, everyone I play with is struck with the beautiful tone and creative potential of this instrument. The more I play it the more I realize the amount of thought that Emmett has put into his creation. Some of the other musicians who I have exposed it to are coming around to my views of the importance of The Stick as an instrument.

31 August 00 - Richard Gunn (UK), to Stickwire:
The overlap on the Grand does allow you to create very complex two-handed chords which can make magic arpeggiation sequences.

20 August 00 - Joe McCollam (CA), to Stickwire:
I've read everyone's responses (so far) and as usual, they're right on the money. To me the bottom line is ergonomics. The 10-string Stick is perfectly comfortable to me, but since I have large hands, so is the 12-string. And with the 12-string, you get more: combined Standard and Baritone tuning (or combined Matched Reciprocal and Deep Baritone tuning, if you prefer), and that extra high string on the "bass" side, which I absolutely love. (I like to tune it to either a fourth or a fifth above the lower string, depending on the song). In fact, that's pretty much what I bought the 12-string for; while arranging for my 10-string, my mind kept obsessing over the possibilities of that extra "bass" string.

17 August 00 - Jeff Norem (TX), to Stickwire:
I love my new Grand Stick. It's lighter (made from cherry wood) and plays great. Emmett does such a phenomenal job on these instruments that I want to get another Grand and keep the one I have. Just like you, I had a really hard time parting with #1409, but I'm glad its life goes on in good hands.

8 May 00 - Jim Speer (PA), to Sticknews:
My main reason for going to the 12 was to have a decent overlap of bass notes on both the bass and melody sides. My melody strings go quite low, making 2-handed bass tapping a possibility. Boy, does that work well!! Anyone who's interested in the idea of complex left-right-back-and-forth bass figures, I highly recommend that you look into the double-bass configuration, or the deep-baritone tuning -- something that will allow low notes in the same range to be played on each hand's side.