The Railboard®

19 June '21 - Ricardo Wurmus (Germany), to Emmett:
      The Railboard arrived a few days ago and I’m having a very hard time putting it down. From the announcement I was familiar with your claim to have improved playability compared to previous Stick models, but I did not expect *this* much of a difference. The Grand Stick and the Alto Stick are both already very easy to play, but on the Railboard the action is even lower and incredibly consistent throughout. Playing the bass strings is completely effortless, even though I’m used to light strings and these are medium gauge.
     The Full Baritone tuning is a keeper. I felt right at home. The color is absolutely gorgeous. I’m unusually picky about shades of color and I must say that this tone of plum is right where I want it to be - beautiful! It took me a while to realize that this is the new EMG-based pickup. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how responsive and clear it is without sounding monotonously “metallic” or piercing. It is a rich and complex sound and it doesn’t loose character when processing. What can I say? It sounds excellent. I wouldn’t change a thing. What you wrote in the announcement is all true, and perhaps your choice of words was too modest. The Railboard is an incredible achievement.
      It really "is" inspiring. The Railboard design reduces the remaining cognitive overhead to a point where the translation from thought to action becomes negligible. I can’t wait to start recording again.

21 January '20 - Finbar O'Hanlon (Australia), to Cambria and Emmett @ SE:
      Hi Cambria and Emmett. 2 weeks in practicing and I’m starting to make music. What an amazing invention Emmett. Thank you for your genius,

24 June '19 - Jacob Aremark (Denmark), to Cambria @ SE:
      Railboard arrived last week. I’ve been so busy playing that I haven’t had time to write you. In short, I just f**in’ love it!! Its great fun, very intuitive and not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I mean, it’s hard and all, but i feel like I’m already making music after just a short week.

14 June '19 - Gianni Fallarino (Italy), to Emmett
      Today I received gunmetal gray Railboard #7127 with rusty linear inlays and RMR 10-string tuning. I have no words to describe the level of this instrument. I'm really impressed with its extreme beauty and playability, also its long sustain and superb setup - no words, amazing!

13 June '19 - Jeff Norem (TX), to Stick Enterprises:
      I received shipment on the new Railboard today, and it’s wonderful. Nothing plays like the Railboard. The action is incredibly low, the touch incredibly light – very nice! Thank you for the great setup (and the sweet note on the headstock) I recently purchased a LinnStrument, and have jumped in with both feet (and hands). It’s very Stick like and all the techniques I’ve developed to play The Stick translate directly to the pad matrix – double stopping, pivots, chord forms, melodic patterns. It perfectly complements The Stick, and fully MIDI. The Railboard’s touch and playability is very nearly the same - that’s huge for being able to smoothly transition between the instruments.
      Congrat’s on a truly great instrument Emmett, and big thanks!

24 May '19 - David LaPlante (CA), to Emmett:
      I’ve been playing the new Alto Railboard for a week and I wanted to let you guys know that I absolutely love it! Everything about it is great - the action, the design the construction, and the sound. I won’t say that I love it more than my bamboo and rosewood Sticks, but I’m already very settled in and used to playing it.
      The Railboard almost seems like the inevitable next step for The Stick. The design is fantastic! I love the reversed pickup - the higher melody notes really pop out at the high register and the bass notes are clearer and less boomy. Most of my friends claim that it sounds cooler than the other Sticks, and I say that it is just as cool, but different. The action is surprising and there seems to be a lively kinetic energy that occurs between the fingers, the strings and the aluminum playing surface that encourages faster, more precise playing. The construction is perfect, and the 1/4 inch wider neck makes fingering easy. The frets are smooth and precise. I just love the feel of the whole thing.
      You guys are absolutely fantastic, and my new Railboard has far surpassed my expectations. I’m proud to have been associated with The Stick and Stick Enterprises for 43 years.

2 May '19 - Doug Freeman (Alberta), to Cambria:
     Just picked up my Railboard...LOVE IT!! Everything works perfect and the compliments I'm getting are pretty cool. Thank you again for all the help in getting this custom instrument in my hands. I've been looking at The Stick for decades...finally have the one I want.

15 March '19 - Andrei Popa (Romania), to Cambria:
     I finally received my Railboard and I am amazed by the craftsmanship and how great this instrument feels, plays and sounds. I couldn’t have imagined such a great sound on the bass side. The "free hands" technique is very liberating from an artistic point of view. I am grateful for having the opportunity to own this Stick! Thank you Emmett Chapman for inventing and perfecting this instrument.

4 July '18 - Jeremy Cubert (MD), to Emmett:
     Even though I have been lucky to receive multiple Sticks from you over the years, I always feel like a little kid on his birthday when opening the case for the first time and this time was no different. I love the instrument and the setup is perfect. I also love the "Raised Matched Reciprocal" tuning - I think the string gauges and sound are a perfect match for the Railboard. The gold tuners look fantastic against the plum body color.
     I am looking forward to taking it out for my next gig! Thank you and thanks to Cambria for taking me through the process!

9 May '18 - Neil Bettencourt (CA), to Stick Enterprises:
     I received my Grand Railboard safely today. It is spectacular! I'll be using it to accompany my students all day. Initial impression is outstanding! Thank you Emmett, for your wonderful and clever inventions! The Grand Railboard makes so much sense, the "perfect" Stick, so easy to play! Grace and Cambria, thanks for all your help getting me this new instrument in trade for my 10-string Railboard. You folks all rock!

10 Dec. '17 André Wirths (Germany), to Emmett:
     So now to my first impressions about the Railboard. What a step, unbelievable. The through-neck beam with the Rails in combination with the low string heights and the wider string spacing is so nice to play. Fingerings have never been that easy. What an evolution in every way. The sound is incredible. In comparison to the wooden Stick, it sounds quite different, more like an acoustic steel string guitar. That added with the possibilities of the R-Block, wonderful. It looks fantastic, and yes, like an aircraft carrier.
     It is difficult to express with words how much I thank you for creating and building these wonderful instruments. They are for me the ultimate tools..

7 Nov '17 - David Butler (NY), to Emmett:
     I want to thank you for creating the Railboard! I thought I would touch base and let you know that I find it to be a magnificent instrument and more expressive than I had ever imagined. As I suspected, I am able to use my classical piano training to fire away (with control and ease) on The Stick and come up with great things. I've jammed for hours over the past 6 months with friends, falling into their fusion grooves really well. I also am composing an Etude that I will send your way when it is finished.
     My friend, who is a poet and photographer, periodically holds fine arts encounters or symposiums. She asked if I would do a Stick presentation. I will discuss the Stick, and its history. Then play my Etude along with some tracks. After that I will play one of my piano pieces "McCrae Lake", that demonstrates a similar rapid tapping technique.

10 Aug '17 - Bertram Guibert (Germany), to Emmett:
     I am already riding the waves...... well, not really, still swallowing a lot of water, but it is pure pleasure to encounter The Stick as an absolute beginner, I love this feeling of getting into something completely new. The Railboard really is an instrument in its own league. Thank you very much for inventing it!
     Best regards also to Grace and Cambria, they were very kind and helpful.

7 Nov '16 - Matthias Saathoff (Bremen, Germany), to Cambria at Stick Enterprises:
I did actually have the chance to touch an original SE instrument (Railboard) and I must say, the difference in playability and sound (and any other aspect you can imagine) between my "replica" and an original is huge. I am amazed how much thought (and I assume heart and soul as well) has gone into the design of the instrument.

8 May '16 - Jim Reilly (Alberta) to Emmett
My Railboard arrived safe, sound and in all its golden brilliance. I won't be able to do my thoughts justice in words, it's simply outstanding. I tweaked the pickup a little to balance the mono signal, since that's mostly what I play in. It took only about an hour or two to get used to the wider spacing and higher (RMR tuning. The thinner board was no issue at all. Bottom line, I knew it would be good, but I didn't think it would be as good as it is. The sound, feel, response, every aspect really, is a huge step forward. You've built a better Stick!!!

30 March '16 - John Hoffman (CA) to Cambria at Stick Enterprises
Wow, this is awesome!! If I wasn't holding it I wouldn't believe it!! Truly the finest instrument I've ever held. This is one of only two instruments I've ever had that didn't require additional setup right out of the box. The other was a Fender Tele. This is in a class by itself!!

4 July '15 - Deepak Ariga, (IN) to Cambria and Emmett at Stick Enterprises
I received Railboard 6614. She looks and sounds beautiful. The Free Hands book is a wonderful read and inspiration. The setup is precise and The Stick was in perfect tune. I look forward to using this amazing instrument as an accompaniment in my band as well as a means to try my own compositions. Thank you.

24 May '15 - Adrian Magler, (Germany) to Cambria at Stick Enterprises
Hello Cambria, I would like to thank everyone at Stick Enterprises, especially you and Emmett, for great customer service and for giving me the best musical instrument I have ever played (without any doubt)! If I would mention every detail that impresses me much, it would take a long time to read, but there is one big thing that helps me a lot: the Railboard enables me to play every note while relaxing my fingers and my whole arm. A dream has come true. Thank you very very much for creating this great instrument. This will not be the last Stick for me.

21 April '15 - Allison Heinrichs, (Arizona) to Cambria at Stick Enterprises
Dear Cambria, the Railboard arrived in great condition. What a wonderful, beautiful instrument - I am thrilled. I am amazed how intuitive it is. I was able to play the melody of Greensleeves fairly quickly and will work on playing arpeggio chords with the tune. I am quickly picking up the technique of tapping and there definitely is less stress in my wrists compared to a guitar. I love the tone with the Matched Reciprocal tuning.

It was wonderful meeting Mr. Chapman and I really enjoyed the (MIM) concert Monday night. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

11 November '14 - Luc Bergeron, (Maine) to Emmett at Stick Enterprises
I am totally in love with my Railboard. Greg gave the truss a tweaking during the N.E. Stick seminar, and between that and the GORGEOUS tone of the R-Block, I've never sounded better. LOL! Seriously, though, the Railboard just FITS ME. I'm really comfy with it. Thanks very much!

4 September '14 - Bill Biersach, (California) to Emmett at Stick Enterprises
I wanted to ask you if you're going to be making the Railboard-type pickup available on the Grand Sticks. I would seriously consider such an upgrade to my two Grand Sticks if that were available. I really like this pickup. I can't praise the new Railboard enough.

1 February 14 - Mauricio Sotelo, (Mexico) to Stick Enterprises
I'm amazed by the powerful sound of the R-Block in active mode, also by the sustain, the touch and the beautiful harmonics after the tapped attack. Actually, I can narrow it down to just three words - comfort, precision and timbre. Otherwise, I could not list enough adjectives to describe this huge step into The Stick's future.

31 January 14 - Jem Godfrey, (UK) to Stick Enterprises
Hi Cambria, wow! Just wanted to say that the Railboard arrived safe and sound and, dear Lord, it is THE MOST beautiful instrument I've ever owed. Emmett's setup is incredible, the action is millimeter perfect, especially considering my outlandish tuning requirements!! It plays like a dream as you would expect - so smooth and fluid AND it looks otherworldly to boot. It is, without doubt, the most beautiful musical instrument I've ever owned. Every single person who's been to the studio since last week has seen it and said "Whoa! What is THAT?!". Please pass on my heartfelt thanks to Emmett and everyone at Stick Enterprises for conceiving and delivering such a fabulous instrument, and thank you too for being so chilled and utterly helpful throughout. If only every company were as much of a pleasure to dealwith as you guys are.

21 January 14 - Greg Turner, (Indonesia,) to
Subject: Adrift video, from Greg's "Stick Figures", on the Railboard
Absolutely lush tone with lush compositional ideas that just work great especially up to the first modulation. Brings the stick up to the level of a serious concert instrument like Segovia did for classical guitar. Don't want people focused on the fact it's a relatively new invention with people saying you have to SEE this thing. You want people saying you have to HEAR this song and the tone. It sounds great and that's what will make people want to have a recording or their very own Stick not because it makes the audience say "Hodad!" when they see it. The Stick has definitely arrived as an unquestioned professional instrument. The jury can no longer be out as to whether the stick as an experiment is a success or not. This performance, composition and tone exceeds audience expectations for musical and instrumental quality.

06 December 13 - Wayne Gardner, (California,) to
;Emmett Chapman is truly brilliant, and so is his Railboard. After what seemed forever, UPS (now forgiven) delivered my Railboard in perfect condition. For all of those who are waiting, it's worth every second. This instrument simply looks and sounds beautiful, powerful, versatile, unique. In a word, the Railboard is genius. Thank you to all involved with getting this inspired creation into my anxious little mitts. And an extra big thank you to Cambria. Emmett Chapman is truly brilliant, and so is his Railboard.

30 November 13 - Rich Little, (California,) to Stick Enterprises
Hello Emmett and Yuta, Rich Little from Sonoma, CA, here! I cannot begin to tell you about the fun I am having with the new Railboard. I am proud to own and play one of the finest instruments I have ever come across. I'm excited about the ease of use and how I'm inspired to compose freely. My new Railboard CD is the funnest project I've done so far and the depth of sound of the instrument is unbelievable.

17 November 13 - Derek Dallenger (Japan), to Stick Enterprises:
Just to say that I've received the Railboard and already love it ! This is a very different animal than my other Sticks, but I just played it for an hour and it felt perfectly natural to play, no hurdles of having to get used to anything really, the Rails on this one play just fine for me and there's really not much difference at all in feel to the filed and crowned ones on my other instruments - very smooth, slides and glisses no problem. The pickup sounds great, a much more powerful bass than I've been used to - which will be useful - and the melody strings have a remarkable clarity all of their own - sounds almost as if it's been processed in some way, but I guess it's just the 'ring' from the aluminium construction - now I know what you meant by "bell-like" - especially right up the top end. And that's just plugging it straight into my rig with no adjustments. I'll be writing some new patches for my FX especially for the R-Block over the next day or so, as opposed to the Stickup ones I've just been using to try out the instrument, and I have no doubt whatever that then it'll be sounding even better. Then, with the other stuff I've recently acquired (MacBook, Logic, new(er) Dynacord Powermate and Akai EIE Pro) it's gonna be recording time. Definitely.

26 July 13 - Sean Malone (WA), to Stick Enterprises:
Hi Emmett - I just saw the second video on the Railboard. What a stunning instrument this is! I love your comparison to an aircraft carrier. That sparked multiple images in that part of me that creates Stick graphics. Coming from a musical and tech background I am profoundly impressed by the simplicity of design, attention to detail and the orchestration of the 7 parts fitted to the beam. Multitudes of winged melodies and chords from Stickists around the globe will be taking off from this flight deck in the years to come.

20 July 13 - Gene Perry (California) and Olivier Vuille (Switzerland), to
GENE: You might notice that you are "railing" a little more too, it's irresistible - the way the instrument grabs and holds the note you are playing.

OLIVIER: You nailed it, Gene. Railing technique is fun (and cheap - you save on stompboxes). The slower the better. I spent one hour yesterday selecting the songs of my repertoire which are benefiting from "railing". Quiet ballads definitely are.

29 June 13 - David Cobb (Australia), to
I can feel the addiction kicking in already.

05 June 13 - Sean Malone (MO), to Stick Enterprises:
The Railboard is an instrument that takes all of the best things we have come to appreciate about The Stick, and expresses them in an even more streamlined and unified design. And if history is any guide, this new design isn't an arrival — it's just the beginning.

30 April 13 - Kevin Keith (CA), to
Playing a Railboard feels like someone handed you the keys to a Ferrari convertible at the top of a winding, mountain road. Railboards are Hot Rods! It's the Stick on steroids!