29 May 17 - George Baldwin (UK), to Emmett:
I'm based in the UK and do a lot of solo shows here. The Stick has been part of what I do for years now and I couldn't gig without it. I'm always amazed how it totally changes the way you think about a part within a band, or harmonically within a composition.
I try to add it in wherever possible and am working on a project with Ray Russell and Gary Husband which will all be based around Stick parts and will be released on Cuniform records at some point in the future.
12 November 14 - Olivier Vuille (Switzerland), to Stickist.com:
I was playing my November residency gig at the Blue Bead restaurant in Sint-Eustatius (Statia - Dutch Caribbean) last night and ended my first set with "I shot the sheriff". One of the waitresses burst into laughter, comes to me and says "See these guys at the table on the left? It's the local police chief (the sheriff) and his lieutenant."
Said sheriff waves me to come by, says he loves the music, asks about the instrument and offers a beer. I play another set and here comes the lieutenant, who asks how much I charge for a private party he's organising at his house next saturday. We close a deal subito, and here I have anothe gig on my favorite island.
11 June 14 - Dave Brosky (Pennsylvania), to Stick Enterprises:
;I really wanted to share this - I am having a blast at Cafe IO with more control over dynamics, choice of material, and just concentrating on using alternate fingering and letting go improvising and comping! I can't ever thank you enough for this wonderful instrument that truly does it all!
12 Nov 13 - Greg Howard (virginia), to Stickist.com:
The Stick is a "high-speed idea conduit", an improviser's dream axe, or as I believe Bill T. Miller coined the phrase for his track on the Tappistry, Volume 1 compilation CD... "an orchestra on a 2x4"
05 Oct 10 - Silvio Paredes (Chile), to Stick Enterprises:
I am proud to send you the picture album of my concert openning Adrian Belew's concert last august 6 2010 in Santiago de Chile. The concert was in a theatre for 1000 people (Teatro Nescafè de las Artes) completly sold out and full of Adrian's Power trio fans. I played 30 minutes and the audience was amazing, receptive and warm. I am still so happy that I need to share it with you!!!! Here I send a link with nice pictures of the concert!! Cheers!!
Every day I love more my beautiful Chapman Stick. (Check out Silvio's pictures here.)
10 May 09 - Dan Gitlin (New York), to Stickwire:
My band played a show here in NYC tonight, and not ONCE did I have to explain to anyone what a Stick was. The promoter knew it, the soundman knew it, the guy doing the webcast knew it, the bartender knew it, and I even overheard the one guy in the audience who didn't know having it explained to him by another guy in the audience. A guy on the subway ride home even asked me if that was a Stick in my bag. We're winning! Just had to share, Dan
30 December 08 - Steve Adelson (New york, USA), to Stickwire:
I was invited to sit in last night with Les Paul at his weekly gig at The Iridium in NYC. He's been at this venue for over a decade. Past invitees, run the gamut from Keith Richards, Eric Johnson, George Benson and Paul McCartney to Jimmy Buffett and Tony Bennett. It was the first time a Stick player has entered this lofty space. I spoke with Les for a bit before the show and he said he was familiar with Emmett C. from his days living in California. This evening Les was a trooper as he performed 2 sets of music with a bad cold (and he's 93 years old).
Les plays a bit, tells lotsa' jokes and has a great rapor on both fronts with his bandmates. He plays quite a bit less these days due to arthritis (and old age). Their were many guests this night so my turn came in the second set. First set brought my friend Muriel Anderson in for 2 tunes as a feature. She's a great player of the classical guitar and producer of The All Star Guitar Night show at NAMM. Then invited to the stage was jazzer Russell Malone who gained a bit of fame playing with Dianna Krall. Well his entrance was less than spectacular as he tripped on the stage steps, almost broke his guitar and his leg and nearly toppled a bunch of amps. After being embarrassed by his host, Russell dug in and played some marvelous Joe Pass inspired standards.
So second set comes and half way through Les calls me up. Well, in his well documented style he did the "what the hell is that thang" and yukked it up. Then we played a group effort and he just gawked at what I was doing. Stopped playing and stared and studied my fingers. Next thing, Lou Pallo, the rhythm guitarist stops to watch. So there I am basically playing solo, because the piano player kinda' didn't know what was going on. The somewhat inebriated audience is very receptive and the band is shaking their heads. So Les says "I've been trying to cover my bald spots for years and learn how to play my guitar. Now this cue-ball head comes with an ironing board with strings and I don't know what's going on" This is quite the compliment from the grandfather of the electric guitar.
He asks for a little tutorial for the spectators. I oblige and we then play a version of Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk". Fun. Les offers me an open invite to come back and play anytime. Very gratifying indeed.
03 June 07 - Tom Griesgraber (California, USA), to Stickist.com:
Just thought this was amusing enough to share. Last night I played at a fund raiser for the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad (NAMM's museum). Stage volume was low enough I could hear people talking a bit at the first few tables. Table 3 (dead center) were discussing whether or not "it" was an electric sitar. Seated next door at table 4, Mr. and Mrs. Ravi Shankar. Now if only they'd been at the same table.
06 February 07 - Rob Martino (Virginia, USA), to Stickist.com:
Greg rocks. I'm lucky to live nearby and watching him perform amazes me because he's got to that rare level of ability where his instrument has practically become an extension of his mind. His sets are like this half song/half improv experience where he seems to "think music" and it comes out naturally on the Stick. My few lessons with him really got me going in the right direction.
07 November 06 - Rob Martino (Virginia, USA), to Stickist.com:
I was just at the "Stick Convergence" concert (my first public Stick performance!) and that was a fun experience. The Gravity Lounge is a cool place to play/experience a performance. You get to hear different styles and of course Greg just amazes with what seems to be an ability to "think music" and have it naturally come out on the instrument. He uses a song as a reference point but then goes off in all kinds of improvisational directions, as if the Stick were a natural extension of his brain. Very inspiring, also my first exposure to Arrogant Bastard Ale.
02 August 06 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
Two handed bass is a blast. One of the things that every Stick player who plans on playing with a band must learn is that ... just because you can doesn't mean you should. In other words, we all want to play full range Stick but if you're playing music that doesn't call for it, there's no shame in not using a hand or using it to play two handed bass. Plus you can throw things in there you'd never be able to do on a bass. Oddly enough, as I've progressed I find that with my band, I have the most fun doing the tunes where my parts are two hands on the bass.
31 May 06 - Jim Kam (TX), to Stickwire:
I just got back from the Kerrville Folk Festival and am pretty pumped. Four days of camping, hanging out and sitting in with all kinds of musicians. No more than 3 hours of sleep each night. As usual, with this sort of event, I was the only Stick player there. Each of four nights after the evening's concerts ( around midnight) people get together at various campsites and form a circle. It goes clockwise - everyone gets to play their own song in turn - the stipulation is generally that it be an original. While they are playing you accompany them if so inclined and take the solo when you get the nod. The song is generally unknown to you, of course. You never know who is going to show up - there were amateurs interspersed with pros, and even featured performers who play the main stage. Being the guy with the weird instrument, often the player would call out "Stick". I got to play in front of two of my favorite singer/songwriters, which was a thrill and terrifying at the same time. It was really cool when they remembered my name and complimented me the next day.
I probably learned more in the last few days of total immersion than I have picked up in the last two years. The only other learning experience that compares is the Stick seminars - same deal, live and breathe music for a few days. If you get a chance to go to one of these, don't forget your Stick and a battery powered amp. I only wish I could have stayed longer, but family and job beckoned.
11 April 06 - Bob Schrum (MI), to Stickwire:
This past Palm Sunday at church, we played "Thy Will Be Done" by Craig Courtney as a prelude with the choir. It is also planned to be the finale for the upcoming Good Friday service. Initially, the music director wanted just piano, timpani and choir, "because the key is too low for bass." Maybe for a 4-stringer but not a Dual Bass Reciprocal Stick! I ran the PASV-4 EQ wide open on the bridge position with compression and Levin-esque phaseshift/chorus. Sharp, growling attacks on the 5-1 hits and ethereal volume pedal effects over the changes between (think Peter Gabriel's "San Jacinto.").
I understand that by the end of the piece, there were quite a few people in the church wiping away tears. My wife and I got lots of comments from both the choir and congregation about how much the Stick helped create such a spiritually moving experience--not to mention possibly moving the 100-year-old cathedral a half-inch off its foundation. :)
08 March 06 - Eric Peterson (CA), to Stickwire:
I decided to go ahead with the Stick for the gig, and had my first full rehearsal last night with ONLY STICK--didn't even bring the bass. The band was blown back, they were nuts over the sound. The guitarist was so stoked he made a few mistakes while watching my fingers. It was my first time playing Stick with a band, and I was really pumped with how well the sound fit in the groove. The fundamentals are really solid, and yet there are more harmonic overtones. In stereo mode, the bass side absolutely blows doors! Really cuts through the mix. 'm still buzzing with how well I did. The band pushed me to use only Stick for the gig, so it's decided. Thanks for the encouragement and support, Stickwire buds!
07 March 06 - Dave Brosky (VA), to StickNews:
At the end of last year, the first instrument that 100 new citizens to the US heard was the Chapman Stick! One of the local federal judges is always interested in new and exciting ways for the naturalization ceremony, so I got a call to play patriotic songs on Stick during the actual ceremony. I brought in a ringer and dear friend, Professor Doretta Whalen, jazz vocal instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, for the assist. (She had her copy of "Lift" with her!) The songs were majestic on Stick and how many times in the studio do you lean into the engineer for reverb and say, call up "lofty ornate Federal Courtroom". I received many compliments, and inquiries, but the coolest event that happened was they asked me to stretch. I played California Dreamin' by the Mamas & Papas ( hey, to get to California is everyone's aspiriation) and a woman from China nodded her head in recognition and appreciation. Wow! So, proof positive that The Stick and music knows no boundaries!
16 February 06 - Jim Kam (TX), to Stick Enterprises:
Just got back from the International Folk Alliance conference in Austin TX where I spent three days of constant performing and schmoozing. I had a heck of a time. Being the only Stick player at the conference, I got a lot of exposure. Every time I played, crowds of people would gather and look on agog. I'd like to think it was because I played well, but in reality it was probably because they hadn't seen a Stick before. Very cool. I got to meet Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary), Tom Paxton, Ronny Cox, Jack Williams and a whole host of people whose music I had admired for a long time. The Stick is opening doors for me that would remain shut were I just another guitarist. I have you guys to thank for that. Thank God you guys do what you do.
4 December 05 - Jason Brock (Canada), to StickWire:
Been a while since I've posted, but wanted to let you all in on how it is going. Over a year now of playing Stick fulltime in North Bay Ont, Canada (pop. 55,000) and have been doing very well. I play a lot of weddings, dinners, fundraisers, local business functions, etc. Also, I get many gigs through places like group homes, old age homes, psyc. hospitals and so on. I play mostly clean, soft originals and a few covers. Still sell my CD as I play live - that really helps!
Have had a ton of press lately, chance front page photo's in local newspaper by playing fancy functions, and a front page interview. A lot of buzz and adds promoting my upcoming performance as a guest soloist of the North Bay Symphony. Im a little nervous, still unsure how to proceed. I am sort of playing the melody and bass in the songs I am doing with them. Many symphony members are very excited about learning of the Stick for the first time. I've worked in many different fields and have had lots of jobs, but I must say, being a solo Stick player is hard to call work.
26 October 05 - Robert Schrum (MI), to StickWire:
Well, it's official. Purpleheart 10-string-Grand #1424 made its liturgical debut at 11AM Mass last Sunday at St. Alphonsus Church. I'm happy to report, nobody was struck by lightning and the ceiling did not cave in! :)
Filling the bass player role, it was a "baptism with fire" because no drummer showed, but it went pretty well. Good feedback from the choir - one comment was, "We sing better when there's a solid bass like that." Got props from the Music Director too, who plays piano. A lot of nods and smiles from her at some of the "Sticky" licks I dropped in.
20 October 05 - John Edmonds (NM), to StickWire:
Tom DeLay's attorney is a bigwig Houston lawyer named Dick DeGuerin (mentioned in the second paragraph of the Yahoo News). He has a weekend home a few blocks from my folks. He also sings and plays guitar. I jammed with him and his wife and a few other folks last spring, having no idea who the guy was. I ran into him again two weeks ago, and he said: "Hey, you're the guy who plays that strange instrument, what's it called again?" I still had no idea who he was until my Mom told me, "That's DeLay's lawyer." As if I need any more infamy now!
11 October 05 - Rob Martino (VA), to StickWire:
While Glenn's rig did misbehave, we at least got a taste of his looping skills during the workshop. It reminded me of the discussion folks were having here about technology and legitimacy of looping. The situation at Stick Night was a perfect example of how it's all about the musicality of the person behind the tools, the fact that Glenn could shut off his complex rack of effects and pedals, plug into a StickAmp with a little reverb, and play some fantastic, heartfelt music with nice technique and feeling.
09 October 05 - Richard Berman (CA), to StickWire:
Well, bought myself a 1986 polycarb (10-string). Emmett set it up beautifully and upgraded the pickup and a few other things. I decided on Deep Baritone Melody tuning (Emmett's suggestion after chatting a bit about what I wanted to do with it). I've been playing 4-string bass for 30 years, and guitar even longer. I found the Stick to be incredibly intuitive and "suggestive" of new playing motifs. After just a couple hours of playing it at home, I brought it to my regular assemblage of prog rock musicians. I thought I'd just show it off a bit and get back to bass, but after jamming with it for about 15 minutes, they all insisted I just keep playing. Did over two hours of improvisation with the rest of the group, and they were very happy. Needless to say, so was I.
30 September 05 - David Mitchell (Australia), to The Bottom Line:
I've owned 3 Chapman Sticks over the past 10-12 years, and these days play it more than electric bass. Where Stick really shines, IMHO, is with complex repetitive bass lines. Being able to use anything from 7-10 fingers (depending on your technique) to play a bass line means you can play ANYTHING you can conceive. It's quite amazing. Things like Primus bass lines, which I couldn't hope to reproduce on bass, are generally quite playable on Stick (albeit with a different tone). Jazz lines are really limited by your imagination rather than by your technique, and THAT'S a big plus for me! That capability means you can learn to play complex lines in different ways, using different fingers/strings/frets, which means you could avoid overuse-type injuries if that was an issue. The attack on a Stick is (depending on the person) generally much less physical than on a bass. You don't tend to bash the Stick around that much, which would have to be easier on stressed tendons as well.
29 September 05 - Yoder Michael (TX), to The Bottom Line:
On the topic of "repetitive motion" or "overuse" problems, wouldn't one solution be to avoid such repetition by expanding the ways that the hands move? I would like to know what bassists think of the Chapman Stick and the tapping technique as a possible solution. Stick Enterprises offer two bass versions of the Stick, the "SB8" 8-string Stick Bass, and the NS/Stick, a Steinberger Chapman hybrid instrument that is tuned like the SB8. I am prone to elbow problems when I have to play various fretless and fretted 4-string basses for more than a few hours a week. I would consider investing in one of these two Stick instruments if I was convinced that the variety of playing styles between bass guitar and Stick would enable me to sufficiently avoid repetition.
15 September 05 - Irene Orleansky (Israel), to Stickwire:
The last time I traveled by plane I promised the steward that I will play my unusual instrument to entertain them. Finally, of course, I couldn't really play unplugged, but all the crew members, even the captain himself, came to see my Stick. My Stick was a real star of the flight.
15 September 05 - Michael Kollwitz (CA), to Stick Enterprises:
These days, my performance calendar is usually always full and on average, I'm typically working 5-6 days a week performing on The Stick. I presently have six CD releases and they are all still selling well. I'm starting work now on #7. I couldn't be happier and it's mostly thanks to you for inventing this wonderful instrument that I just absolutely love playing. I never get tired of it and i'm always finding new things i can do with it- even after almost 30 years!
11 September 05 - James Streeter (NJ), to Stickwire:
Steve (Adelson) and Nidya provided the evening's entertainment. Steve played a mix of tunes from originals to Metheny to Elton John, and I am pretty sure I heard Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin in there as well!! What I picked up on most was how comfortable Steve is when he plays. He is relaxed and in command. He taps very lightly and smoooooothly slides up and down the fingerboard. The music is free, loose and inspired. Occasionally someone would come up and speak to Steve briefly. He would just keep right on playing, never missing a beat while carrying on the conversation. For a beginner like me who screws up when he takes his eyes off of the fretboard for a nanosecond, it's pretty amazing to see that kind of command of the instrument.
6 August 05 - Kevin Ramsey (Japan), to Stickwire:
Emmett, thanks for sending that bit of advice to the list. I need to work more on turning the volume up and using a light touch, and get away from using a volume pedal for when I want to "come forward". When Derek Dallenger was here and we did a show together, a musician that I had played with several times before was in the audience and we listened to Derek's set together. "Oh wow," my friend said, "I didn't realize the Stick had such a dynamic range." My ego was bruised a bit, but it was a valuable lesson.
13 June 05 - Jamie Kowalski (VA), to Stickwire:
I don't perform professionally anymore, but some friends and I occasionally get together for a just-for-fun jam session. I've always played keys in these sessions, as it's my main instrument. Yesterday we had another session and it was the first chance I've had to show off The Stick, having only received it 6 weeks ago. I had been practicing hard so I wouldn't embarrass myself. Only a couple of days ago, I started to feel a little hand-independence. Attending were 2 guitarists, bass, drums, and now a Stick. I expected to suck quite a bit, but to my surprise, I didn't. Once the beat started going, I just started to lose myself in the flow, and things were coming out of my hands that I hadn't dreamed I could do yet. I spent a some time doing simple one-handed things on the melody side, then some two-handed things on the bass side. Then I started doing some more interesting patterns using both sides, throwing in some slides and cool solo riffs, and various spontaneous shenanigans.
At one point we were at that point between "songs" when everyone is kind of looking around to see who might start up something new. I started doing a funky little bass thing with some interlocking rhythmic melody. I don't know where it came from, as it was infinitely more cool than the things I had come up with at home alone. The drummer looked over at me astonished and said "Is that *just you* playing??" Never been prouder! By the way, the keyboards never even got switched on.
25 April 05 - Arthur Durkee (MN), to Stickwire:
I just started playing Stick in a power trio setting of Stick, bass and drums. The music is improvised high-energy fusion. It edges over into speed and prog at times. For once, I'm taking the guitar role rather than the bass role, although I am still using the Stick's full range, just emphasizing the treble side for once.
When I auditioned they were skeptical that it could "shred" as good as a guitarist. After an hour of jamming, the drummer said, "Man, for once I actualy got a workout." Since obviously the Stick can play incredibly fluid lines, and since I am mostly doing two-handed treble runs (also using thumbs on the upper bass side), I wasn't surprised but they were impressed and won over. Guess they've been looking for hte right "guitarist" for months now, and I was asked to join on the spot.
25 April 05 - Steve Burnett (SC), to Stickwire:
I play Stick mostly in an improvisational or experimental way that's been characterized as ambient/industrial, and sometimes as free jazz (hey, I'm a big fan of John Zorn and it shows through sometimes. :) ) I find my Grand Stick an excellent launching platform for tone and noise generation. I like the Stick for the qualities I perceive of fingers-on-strings direct involvement with the sound, as well as for the huge low-to-high range of notes I have instant access to.
26 January 05 - Jeffrey Dunning (OH), to Stickwire:
Having picked up my first Stick a couple weeks ago, and having been mesmerized by the instrument ever since, I thought it was about time for my "coming out" party. I blame the whole ordeal on Greg. Although I have known what a Stick was in theory for quite some time, it was at a concert at the Elbow Room in Chicago a little over a year ago where the "Stick bug" bit.
I actually had flown to Chicago to support an acoustic guitar forum friend who had been invited to share the stage with Greg's co-headliner, bassist Michael Manring (whom I am also a great fan of). Needless to say, I was completely blown away that night. Greg's opening number, a cover of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", sealed the deal for me and the rest of the night was history. (By the way Greg, I'm still eagerly awaiting the "upcoming CD" with a recorded version of the song.)
07 December 04 - Don Schiff (CA), to Stickwire:
I played a solo show at "Humphrey's" in San Diego last night. Before I did my set I backed up a guitar player. Someone in the audience (future NS player?) said it was so cool to see the NS just work like a bass then see it 'luanch' in my solo set into it's fuller capacity. So ya see we've got the best of everything in that gizmo.
07 December 04 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to StickNews:
Last Friday, I performed as one of eight acts at a holiday show. It was a really fun night with a lot of really superb musicians performing holiday music. Now I love the space-age sound of my rig and have no intention of giving it up. For this show, however, I traveled light in an effort to keep stage setup simple and also to get on and off quickly. So I left all pedals at home and left my synth/loop setup at home as well traveling only with my main rack containing an SWR head, the Rane SP 13, and effects processors for bass and melody.
As I'm setting up, I realize that the power supplies for my Rane units (SP 13 and mixer) as well as my effects processors are coiled up nicely on the floor of my practice space at home. The drive is much too long for me to even consider going back after them, so ... I basically turned off everything and ran my instrument into a single input on the SWR head and from there to the board.
Showtime came. I did my thing and although it wasn't without it's playing gaffs, the sound was wonderful - nothing but pure Stick. As I said, I have no intention of giving up my rig but this was a nice breath of fresh air and something I feel like I should do every so often.
23 November 04 - Bob Pizzutiello (NY), to StickNews:
While in Beijing lecturing on new diagnostic imaging modalities at the request of the Ministry of Health, I took the opportunity to play a few songs for my hosts after dinner one evening. It was a very powerful way for me to express my gratitude for their rather overwhelming warmth and hospitality, and it was obvious that they appreciated the gesture as much as the music. They were quite interested in the instrument, asked lots of questions and later showed me one of their traditional stringed instruments that I had never seen before. When they surprised me and asked me to play an American Folk Song, I had to stop and think of one. It's a little sad that we don't play and sing those songs much any more. I ended up playing "Old Man River," which seemed to fit the bill. Not exactly a gig, but I wonder if this was the first time the Stick was played in China.
30 October 04 - Ken Higgins (CA), to StickNews:
The more Stick players I see, the more obvious it becomes that each Stick player is unique unto himself, in playing style, philosophy, and in the equipment choices which shape their sound. Fascinating stuff.
08 October 04 - David Parr (TN), to StickNews:
More Stick players need to get out of there living rooms and play in a live setting. To me live performance is where the Stick really shines. One day I got a call to open for a southern rock band in a place called the Golden Eagle. When I arrived I saw a parking lot full of Harley's. I had no idea how the Stick would go over in a biker bar but the show must go on, right!
When I started playing no one paid much attention at first but then the bikers started crowding around the stage. It was hard to get through a song with all the questions being yelled from the very intoxicated audience. They loved it and I played for about 45 minutes. Later when I was loading my equipment a big burly bearded man came up to me and said, "That thing you play aint right, it's all f#$ked up but I sure do like it." I will never forget that complement!
25 August 04 - Steve Hahn (CO), to StickNews:
Regarding the Stick and drums/percussion duo format - "power duo" - I've always enjoyed playing in this format. There is something special about two musicians making all the sound of a trio or quartet, made unique by The Stick. This performance environment does provide an almost instant, spontaneous response between the players. I have found that listeners do enjoy this spontaneity. They can focus their vision on two players while being surprised by the sound of a larger ensemble. If the Stickist has everything together (charts, motifs...) a drummer gets the overall picture immediately and the collaboration begins to gel. Listening is very important as there is a 50/50 give and take between the drummer and Stickist. I've had the thrill during initial project rehearsals of playing a Stick part in 4/4, watching the drummer come up with a groove to fit, then letting the drummer know that the percussion part is to be played in 3/4 against Stick in 4/4, or drums in 6/8 against Stick in 3/4, or 15/8, and so on. There is an instant excitement on the drummers part realizing, "I'm not here to be a metronome". The percussionist is playing an independent part combined with Stick. It's very powerful when meters come together this way in a small ensemble, and listeners really do enjoy it. It's an exciting adventure every time I take the stage with a percussionist. Suddenly, I'm thinking less about my role in the music and allowing another dynamic energy and new ideas into the performance. It's a good time to be had by all.
10 August 04 - Rob Martino (IL), to Stickwire:
From what I gathered, these recent gigs he's recording will be part of an upcoming new CD of improvized music. While Water on the Moon is impressive, the kind of material I was hearing last night seemed to my ears to be a big step forward as far as Greg's Stick mastery and innovation go. The stream-of-consciousness performance explored all kinds of complex harmonic, rhythmic and timbral ideas. His technique and musicianship of course are remarkable, and I was impressed with the variety of sounds and moods he was able to achieve (with no MIDI pickup in sight). The music itself defied categorization (even if iTunes calls it "Folk"), and it was certainly inspiring to be a witness to (especially when you get to sit only a few feet away while enjoying a nice smoky Islay Scotch...mmmm Laphroaig).
7 July 04 - Mark Smart (IL), to Stickwire:
I've just in the last 6 months started using the Stick for live gigs with my blues band, and I've been similarly astonished at how strong of a reaction it produces from the audience. Very different from how people react to seeing another guitar player. And yes, someone DID ask me if it was a sitar. A few people come up to ask questions after almost every set.
24 April 04 - Michael Dow (TX), to Stickwire:
I arrive at the music store (Guitar Center in Clear Lake TX) and the guy who checks in all the "return" and "carry-in" items goes ga-ga over this Stick, marvelling at its craftsmanship, exotic nature and just the general "wow, that's different!" attitude. As soon as I started playing a few licks and chords (I'm really not all that good OR smooth yet, but it didn't seem to matter) almost everyone in the entire store gathers around to wonder at this freakish oddity standing at the pedal rack. I buzzed some strings, I hit "wrong chords", I played parts of a tune I'm writing as I learn the instrument. Didn't seem to matter, they were mesmerized. I probably could have slammed the strings across the frets making a cacophanous noise of distortion and bass-driven compression, they would have stood there slack-jawed at the spectacle before them.. They were now "stick knowledgeable". The cat was out of the bag. Look out Emmett... More customers will be coming your way!
18 March 04 - Clifton Hyde (IL), to Stickwire:
I joined a hard-rock/melodic-metal band about two weeks ago as bassist and have been simply learning the material since I began. Last night I brought along my Stick (SB8 tuned like a 10stings, lowest 4 and highest 4, same range less overlap) and played it on the slower material and they loved it!!! All three were in love with the presence of The Stick in the mix and really loved the "piano-esque" arrpeggios I added to the mix. This was the first time I have played Stick in a non studio overdub/solo context and all I can say is "I WAITED TO LONG". It really seems to shine in a group context and cuts through the thicket of guitars and drums and just sits in the mix better. The PASV4 really showed what it could do and gave me a variety of sounds I never had on my jazz bass.
11 February 04 - Tom Griesgraber (CA), to Stickwire:
In my own experience, I can say that having played for the (Grammy) Academy's Trustees, for their staff and now for many of their members, what I do, although certainly a bit left of center from the pop world, has been very well accepted. I had the honor of having Neil Portnow (president of the Academy) introduce me at two of the three events and both times he mentioned how hearing me play reminded him of why he's in the music business. Point being.. they're just people, and my experience has been they're as interested or not interested in what I do as an average group of people walking by at a street fair.
30 January 04 - Ben Weber (MN), to Stickwire:
Hey, I just got back from the gig (Wind, Sand & Stars) and it was awesome! It was Stick and percussion with a little looping. It was all improvised too, very cool. The music seemed kinda tribal and was really atmospheric. Art played really well and has a unique sound going on. It was a pretty spaced out show.
14 December 03 - Jeff Pearce (IN), to Stick Enterprises:
We were all surprised at how well the Stick "blended" with the acoustic guitars. I am not anywhere near being a good player on the Stick, but during soundcheck, while rehearsing a song with Will (Ackerman) and another fine guitar player, Will said "stay in the low end- you're taking up too much space in the melody." When I showed him that I was doing a very simple "pattern" in the melody, he kind of smiled and asked "you're playing that many notes, and that fluidly, with such little effort?". I answered "yep". So I layed low for the tune. The audience in Springfield had quite a few questions about the Stick after the show. The audience, however, was almost all over 60, so I don't think any of them had seen a Stick before. I told one lady that there are thousands of Stick players who are FAR better than myself, and that I wasn't very good at playing the Stick. Will jumped into the conversation and said "he's horrible at playing the Stick, but he's wonderful at making music with the Stick". I told him I was putting that on the "comments" section of my musical resume! :)
28 September 03 - Bob Pizzutiello (NY), to StickNews:
I am a novice Stick player, having first put my hands on the instrument 3 months ago at the Montreal seminar. After a few practice sessions, the other members of our band, the Methuselah Project (who were initially skeptical), started to really like the interesting things I could do with the Stick. Saturday night I played my first gig with our band using the Stick on half the songs. What a blast! I played mostly bass parts and a few simple fills and short leads on the treble side, using the GR-33 for some nice sound variations. It was a very encouraging first step for me.
20 September 03 - Greg Howard (VA), to StickNews:
I had a great time on the road with Michael Manring. His audience was amazingly responsive. Thanks to all the Stick players who made the trip out. For those of you who missed it, I'll just say that it was amazing to hear Michael's music for 11 nights in a row. I never got tired of it.
13 September 03 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to StickWire:
Much to my surprise, Manring played his last tune and asked "are Glenn and Greg still here" and suggested a jam. How could anyone pass that up? Greg and I plugged back in. Greg asked if I by any chance knew "Black Orpheus" (a tune on Greg's "Shapes" CD and a tune I heard Manring playing in soundcheck). Just my luck that I'd been working on this very piece so off we went. It almost sounded rehearsed and we took turns soloing until finally wrapping it up and calling it a night.
8 September 03 - Rod Smith (NJ), to StickWire:
I caught this past Saturday's show in NYC and I must say both Greg and Michael were incredible. Greg treated us to some inspirational and "demented" (his words) versions of many of his classics including "Autumn Leaves," "Big Meadows," "Goodbye Porkpie Hat," and "Blues for Ayman." A couple of us from the NJ seminar were there and we spent most of the evening in shock and awe. I don't think I've ever heard Greg sound as amazing. By the way, Greg, what were the little lights on your Grand for again?? If you've never heard Michael Manring play, he completely redefines the bass. Being something of a gearnut, I was floored by his "Hyperbass." He can mechanically alter the tuning of any or all strings using switches and levers at the bridge and on each tuning peg and he does all this during the course of a song. Just watching him manipulate everything, to say nothing of his incredible musicianship, was definitely worth the price of admission. If you're sitting on the fence about going to see this show, get off it and go! I can only imagine that it will be even more amazing with Glenn as the opener!
1 August 03 - Terry Telson (CA), re. Bob Culbertson, to Sticknews:
I had the opportunity to catch Bob Culbertson in Sonoma this weekend. What a treat! Catching him in a fair setting was great because he just jammed and jammed. He played both his 12-string maple and the new acoustic Stick. His performance of many of his cuts from many cds was nothing less than stellar. It's great for me anyway to go watch another player, I always learn something. What I took away from Bob watching him was this: Although he at times moves around the fretboard a lot most of the time he uses an economy of motion to produce those fantastic riffs and licks. Mastering the use of scales in a small space without having to run all over the fretboard. I also took away his usage of the bass side and the way in which he integrates it into his melodies perfectly without it having to be busy all the time.
20 July 03 - Jason Brock (Canada), to Stickwire:
I've been doing a lot of busking lately and I cannot believe the reaction to The Stick! We're experiencing what Emmett went through first exposing the instrument. I play with a sign behind me telling the name of the instrument and web site, then it says my info about my demo CD. This was to cut down on the amount of people asking what's this amazing instrument is called. But the vast majority still have to ask more questions. I say give music to people in their everyday life, on the street etc, the general public is hungrily waiting for The Stick and it's magic. Today I played at farmers market, sold out all my CD's in just over an hour (CheChing!). One CD was to a young girl around 8 or so with her mother, another was to an elderly woman accompanied by her daughter. Both had to ask many questions. All the other sales fell somewhere in-between. It felt (feels) great. Lets get out of the clubs and let the dinosaurs do what they do best.
1 July 03 - Mathieu Rainville (Canada), re. Greg Howard, to Stickwire:
I found out this very morning that Greg was playing at the Montreal Jazz Fest, a few dozen meters away from my workplace, so I ran to catch his set during my lunch hour. Luckily, I had my camera at hand today. If I'm not mistaken, Greg was running direct to the P.A. and had only a small SWR cab behind him for his stage sound. His small rig produced an excellent Stick tone. Most glorious were his modulated lead tone during Miles Davis' "All Blues" and his distorted lead sound on another tune whose title I forgot. Fingers flew on the 12-string Stick, jaws dropped in the crowd and the set was over way too quickly. Greg could've easily continued for another hour without losing a single spectator. In fact, since we were in a public space, the crowd grew larger and larger as Greg played. Funny moment of the day - the lack of any reaction after Greg wished a Happy Canada Day to the crowd. Welcome to Montreal, buddy. :-)
1 July 03 - Tom Griesgraber (CA), to Stickwire:
So what does it take to be a "Real Stick Player?" Apparently more that I thought... I've been playing 2-3 shows a day at the San Diego County Fair the past two weeks. 33 in 13 days to be exact... each ranging from 30 mins to 4 hours in length, about 76 hours of stage time so far... Sat for example I played 12:30-4:30, then 5-7 and 7:30-10. Sunday was 12:30-4:30, 5-8 and 9-11:30.
Of course all this started the day I flew home from the California Guitar Trio tour, having done about 20 shows and 8000 miles of driving with them... literally I got off the plane? drove home, unpacked? and went and did the first two shows here. Now I "thought" all it took to be a Stick player was to own a Stick but when I called SE last week between shows, Yuta informed me that I'm "almost a real Stick player now." Wow... I knew the folks at SE were hard working, but I had no idea just HOW hard they must work! Tongue firmly in cheek (just kidding Yuta ;),
9 June 03 - Clint Allen (KY), re. Tom Griesgraber, to Stickwire:
Tom Griesgraber and the California Guitar Trio just finished playing an amazing set to a packed house at the Rudyard Kipling in Louisville. Tom did a fantastic job as always and generated much interest among those new to The Stick. Of course, he instilled some inspiration for those in the audience that play Stick as well (which is why I'm up past my bedtime, playing).
26 February 03 - Brian Behary (OH), to Stickwire:
After the first week a lot of kids would come to me and ask, "What's that thing called again?" I realized why they were asking the following week when they came in and said "My Mom/Dad never heard of that!" Since then I've put a link to Stick.com on the schools website. I've used it enough that the kids are now used to it and familiar to the sound but I'll still, at times, look up to see an audience of teachers, janitors, cafeteria workers, etc., trying to get a peek through my window. Who knows, maybe Emmett should think of a student model!
30 January 03 - Kurt Ferreira (MA), to Stickwire:
Last night I played my first gig with my Stick. I only used it for one song (a slow, hook-laden pop/rock song), but the reception of it was excellent. The keyboardist introduced it as the "fifth member of the band!" Having been playing Stick for only a few months now, it was great to get a bit of gig experience with it--hopefully I'll be inspired to practice more than I have been practicing (although recently I've been spending more time on Stick and less on bass).
23 January 03 - Darrell Havard (MS), to Stickwire:
A great trumpet and harmonica-playing buddy of mine, Dave Morgan (who plays in my little jazz trio), has been doing some gigs with a local Country guy named Big John. Big John's got the Merle Haggard voice down, and is a pretty smokin' guitar player to boot. Well, Big John needed a bass player, and I guess I'm the only bass player left in town, and since I've been on hiatus from touring with Cookout, I told Dave I would do a few gigs here and there. I showed up to the gig with my trusty Warwick bass (oooh I love that bass so, but I hardly play it because of The Stick), and Big John was actually pissed that I didn't bring The Stick that he'd been hearing so much about. So on the next gig I brought my Stick rig. I had a blast!!!!! I basically did an "oom-pa" thing all night, but now that I know the songs a little better, I've been messing with more arpeggiated type things and a variation on Travis picking. It turns out Big John actually pretty keen on and good at playing Western Swing and Django too, and since he found out that I had gone to school to study jazz he's been plotting to work them into the set. Looks like I might be the first country Stick player.
13 December 02 - Sam Covatch (PA), to Sticknews:
The other night I played my first solo gig. I was hired to host an open mic night mostly because I have a PA system. Pulling out my Grand Stick I start with an improv mixed in with an original. People stop what they're doing and just stare (ever happen to anyone else?) for about 25 minutes. I see some people walk in with their guitars so I finish up to a couple of guys yelling "We're not worthy!" and people actually thanking me for playing. I then invite anyone who wants the stage to take it. Two of the guitarists wouldn't play the whole night. The other two who would play said to keep going. I'm now out of ideas. I ask the manager how much longer he wants music. He says take to about 11:45; it's 11:00. Ok, I remember thinking I have no idea what I'm going to do as I'm plugging my Stick in.
Now for me my Stick is a time machine (only to the future) I start just musically goofing off. A mix of things I learned from Bob's videos, reprises of my songs, and swimming through sound effects. By the time 11:45 hits, the one guitarist has enough liquid courage in him to play another TWO songs asking if I'll back him on bass. So I do. I finish up at 12:00 make fifty bucks and get a monthly gig out of the thing. By the way I've only been playing a year and a half. You never know what you can do by yourself until you half to do it. Just get out there and play. In the short time I've been playing I've done a radio interview (Emmett called in, it was pretty hip), a newspaper interview that was also recorded and is on the Internet and also many festivals. Everyone is into The Stick they just don't know it yet. I do my best to help them figure it out.
16 November 02, - Roger Emerson (IN), re. Greg Howard, to Stickwire:
I had the honor of attending Thursday night as Greg Howard opened for CGT. It was most awesome and inspiring . To see and hear Greg was near indescribable. I was in a world of my own, my birthday and I get to see MASTER STICKIST Greg Howard, and a lesson after the show! Man, I learned more in that hour than in the last 10 years! MASTER, VIRTUOSO, Teacher, and a really great guy, if you ever get a chance to see or hear him or his work DON'T MISS IT!
11 October 02 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
Our church just hosted a music conference that ran from Friday thru Sunday and featured an amazing composer/guitarist Israel Houghton with his band New Breed (http://www.israelhoughton.com/). The event was great! Also, I got a special thrill when their bass player wanted to hear me play something on Stick. I fumbled thru "El Chicle" (Forgive me Greg it was pretty rough!) but he really dug it so he goes back behind the platform and pulls up the rest of the band, now I'm surrounded. "Keep playing he said" then I realized I was giving a demo for about 5 really great world-class musicians. I began to play another favorite "Charmed Life" (double forgiveness, Greg) and they loved it. So much so that SE may be hearing from this bass player! Oh, and I did plug SE and Greg Howard's websites! Well that's my babbling, just wanted to share my excitement!
29 October 02 - Manny Tau (CA), re. Don Schiff, to Stickwire:
I just saw Don Schiff playing for Stacia at the Key Club in L.A. last Saturday night, and was great! Don is awesome on the NS/Stick, along with it being an amazing instrument. I don't think that the crowd really knew what was going on, with the barrage of notes coming out of the NS/Stick while his right hand seemed be moving at a much different pace. It was really interesting to study his playing. He seemed to be plucking the higher strings at times with his right hand (he's right handed) to augment the chords of the guitarist, while tapping out notes with his left and simultaneously finger picking (typical bass playing) with his right, and then throwing out a few chords, strummed. Emmett/Ned weren't kidding when they say it's a multi-mode instrument.
20 September 02 - Dave Gore (UK), re. Jim Lampi, to Stickwire:
A bunch of us BritStickers got together last night to watch Jim Lampi perform and I have to say Jim was great as ever. He played a selection of tunes from Greazy as well as a couple off his first album to rapturous applause from the audience (and apparently there were even nonStickers there!) For me the highlight was seeing Jim perform Birdland as an encore. The bass technique Jim has is truly something to hear, and with his rig he managed to do a good impression of Jaco's fretless, especially with those two handed bass runs. (Yes, I'm insanely jealous, I can't even sound like Jaco with a fretless bass and a score sheet :) ) Playing with Jim was a percussionist, Chris Webb (I hope that's right) who produced some fantastic grooves to accompany Jim and I believe actually played on some of the tracks on the album. Chris' timing was impeccable and he managed to highlight all the sweets spots in the tunes without being ostentatious. The tambourine solo was pretty cool too! Anyway, just wanted to say thanks to all The Stickers who could make it, a great night out, and to congratulate Jim on impressing yet more folks with The Stick. Now we just have to wait for the next one?
10 September 02 - Rodney Smith (NJ), re Greg Howard, to Stickwire,
I went to Greg's show with CGT in Piscataway, NJ last night and wanted to share my thoughts. This was the first time I had seen Greg live and for those who haven't (probably very few on this list), let me say that no video performance I've seen even comes close to portraying how talented a musician he really is. The venue was great - the parlor and dining room of a historic house-museum. With an audience of only about 30 folks, it was a relaxed, intimate evening where you could really listen to, enjoy, and participate in the music. It's no wonder that "living room" concerts are getting popular, they really provide the right atmosphere. Greg had made the grueling 330-mile drive up from Charlottesville, VA that day to do the show, so in order to wind down he treated us to a spontaneous composition he called "The Race." It was an amazing improv that really highlighted the range of The Stick and the talent of the guy playing it. After his set we got a chance to meet and talk and it was great to spend a couple of minutes with such a genuinely nice guy.
13 August 02 - Art Durkee (MN), to Stickwire:
Maybe it's because I'm s tired, ;) but I played most of the gig with my eyes closed this time, moving hands to position by feel. I also looked at the fretboard less than usual, spending a lot of time looking at the room, trying to make eye contact. It was pretty effective. Towards the end of our second and concluding set, we came up with some pretty interesting new tune ideas, too. Learning the fretboard by touch--by muscle-memory--is very rewarding, and well worth the practice time. It gets easier with practice, too, as with everything else.
9 August 02 - Glenn Poorman (MI), from Midwest Stick Seminar 02 report:
All that had taken place up to that point was only an appetizer though. The next set was all Bob Culbertson. Bob began with a combination of some of the flamenco style pieces from Romantica and also threw in some bluesier tunes with some ripping solo work. It was already apparent that he'd raised the bar from Friday and was ready to cut loose in this particular room (as I'd seen him do last year in front of a rowdier crowd). As he got further into his set though, the level of his performance just kept going up. He broke into some improvisations that we had simply never seen before. He ripped arppegios up and down the fretboard with both hands at the same time and filled in rhythmic parts by bangin one or two hands right down on the pickup housing. The only accurate description I could muster was that Bob simply played out of his mind. When he wrapped up his last piece, the entire room just howled.
Wondering what could possibly happen after that, we watched Greg Howard take the stage. Greg commended Bob on one of the finer performances he'd ever seen and then proceeded to ask the audience to quell their conversations until he could get a sense of the room sound and get going. With that, he took both hands and pounded out some sustained chords that were loaded with dissonance making me think "what the..." Slowly he started what would be a whole set of wild sonic explorations. As he moved from the opening improv into his medley of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Norwegian Wood", we began to realize that Greg was following Bob's performance with what could be his own greatest performance ever. To add to the effect, it had begun storming outside as well. As Greg built the first piece with eyes closed, you could see the rain pelting the window behind him and the lightning turning night into day. I looked over at Jim Reilly ... he looked back and said "perfect".
17 July 02 - Glenn Turner (IL), to Stickwire:
I've got a big outdoor pig roast gig with my group, The Jam Club, coming up in a week & a half, and I'm considering doing the entire show on Stick. Usually I play guitar on all but two or three songs, but something magical happened at last Sunday's gig... I kicked serious butt on The Stick!
I only played it for a few songs, but for the first time ever my Stick playing was better than my guitar playing. We were doing some old time rock & roll tunes, so I plugged The Stick straight into my guitar amp, and the tone was screaming. The PASV-4 puts out such a hot signal that it can drive my Victoria 50212 tweed copy amp into creamy overdrive. I played and soloed on BB King's The Thrill is Gone, Roadhouse Blues by the Doors, and Neil Young's Keep on Rockin' in the Free World, then plugged straight into the Trace to cover the low end on Johnny B. Goode. I even did a bass solo. This was serious fun!
19 April 02 - Qua Veda (OR), re. Tony Levin, to Stickwire:
Tony's show was great! He played a lot of Stick, as well as NS cello, fretless and fretted bass and some acoustic guitar. Tony said he really liked the Alladin Theater (an old smallish movie theater made into a concert venue), and it seemed to work for their sound system - which included the most powerful low end I've ever heard! The keyboard synth and drums (maybe the other instruments too) had 'subsonic' effects added. I swear the sound fluttered your pants legs, and I think it knocked one of my ribs out :-O . He was also very gracious and spent time in the lobby after the show signing CDs, etc. It was a great concert with a very enthusiastic crowd, and I now have even more appreciation for the versatility of The Stick (is that possible?!).
30 March 02 - Daniel Gitlin (NY), to Stickwire:
Well, it has been a busy week for concerts. Started six days ago with Greg Howard's fantastic show at Arlene Grocery, continued with Dream Theater two nights in a row at the Beacon, and now I've just returned from seeing the Tony Levin Band at the Bottom Line. I just wanted to let y'all know that T-Lev is in top form and that he's playing an awful lotta Stick this time around. I would say roughly half his set was Stick enabled. Highly recommended.
29 March 02 - Stew Benedict (OH), to Stickwire:
I made the trek last night from Cleveland to Pittsburgh and it was well worth it. I love Greg and try to see him whenever he's in the area, but hadn't yet seen the band together. It was absolutely awesome. Greg and the other guys mesh together like you won't believe. My only complaint was I could have taken another set, but it looked like the club was anxious to morph into its late-night dance-club identity. I'd have had a heck of a time getting up this morning anyway.
6 February 02 - David Parr (TN), to Stickwire:
Recently I moved to a small town about 30 miles south of Nashville. One day a small add in the local paper caught my eye, "Open mike night every Tuesday". I called and found out the place in question was a small restaurant only 4 miles from where I live. It had been a very long time since I've played out, much less solo, but I decided to go for it.
When I walked into the restaurant the first thing I noticed were a lot of cowboy hats, bolos and pointy boots. I wondered, what in the hell am I getting my self into. At that point there was no turning back, so I signed up and took a seat next to an older fellow named Leo.
I was third on the list and I have to say I was as nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I was also shocked to hear no cover tunes were allowed!!! So two of the three songs I had been going over all week were out of the question. Hum, what should I play?
My name was soon called and I made my way to the small stage wearing my stick a bit too high since I had forgotten my Stick belt. When I handed the soundman two chords to plug in he looked at me sort of odd.
I told him to think of me as both a Bass player and Guitarist. He then got the idea. I was plugged straight into a cheap Phonic PA system with "no effects" (a rare thing for me). The first tune I played was one I had been drilling all week and I played it pretty much flawless. The response I got really floored me! The next two tunes I played were ones I had written back in 1986, very simple chord progressions where I play a theme and then solo around it. Every time I did a solo the clapping and whistling would start. At that point I think all the cowboy hats in that restaurant were too small for me.
After the show several people came up to me, gave me cards and invited me to play with them. They told me to be sure to come back. That was the best gig of my life! I also learned a very important and humbling lesson that night. These people did so much with so little. A flat top Guitar, a heart felt voice and a well-crafted song. They let the music come from there hearts not their brains. (I tend to concentrate too much on developing a flawless technique) I gained a new respected for country music I had never had before.
13 January 02 - Chris Browne (IL), to Stickwire:
I achieved a personal milestone this weekend. I have recorded stick professionally in a studio for the first time! I've been hired as a session player for a country project. 9 tunes. 3 sessions. This weekend was the first. I was prepared to play bass throughout as I didn't want to over do it but brought The Stick just in case. Both the producer and keyboard player were very intrigued.
After laying down three tracks Saturday, the engineer needed about an hour to do some rough mixing and prepping for the fourth. I pulled The Stick out and just started warming up. The keyboard player asked to listen in on my headphones and had an immediate eureka moment. As a result, we scrapped a rather clich? intro to one of the tracks and replaced it with a simple two-handed arpeggio switching between two chords. The result combined with some slightly spacey keys and - voila... instant non-clich? (for country that is) intro.
In another moment, the producer asked me to try a stick bass part for a fun groovy tune that had this keyboard player wailing throughout on a Hammond. I was not sure if there was going to be room for a stick part but gave it a shot. Sure enough, I was able to find the groove and ended up with a totally jamming bass line that really supported the whole tune. You know you've done it right when everybody in the control room is rocking their heads to the beat and smiling. What fun! More of this in my life would be nice.
10 December 01 - Joe Musmanno (MA), re Greg Howard, to Stickwire:
Greg clearly pleased the audience at the Equator Coffee Bar, and he positively *floored* me. Thank you again for being an inspiration, Greg. For me, as a drummer who is learning Stick at a painfully slow pace due to lack of available practice time, the greatest joy was to simply see what The Stick can do when properly played in a solo context. Witnessing Greg's posture while playing further inspired me to make some alterations to my belt and neck-strap.
I was amazed with the particular facility Greg displayed for playing multiple notes *fast* on a single string and fret. Now I know just how far devoted practice of Chapter 2 in his book can take one. I had to go home and play tight drum-rolls just to console myself.
I purchased three of Greg's CDs at the show, and while I enjoy them and emphatically recommend them, I should point out that they do not come anywhere near reproducing the experience of the show. I had hoped to bring the discs back to friends as an illustration of what the performance was like, but alas, being present was a joy that had to be experienced personally. You'll just have to find your way to another of his engagements.
3 December 01 - Glenn Poorman (MI), re Nick Beggs, to Stickwire:
John Paul Jones with Nick Beggs was religious! JPJ covered some bass parts, some lap steel (which he totally jammed on), and some mandolin. On any given tune, whatever part JPJ was covering, Nick Beggs covered the rest. Nick was an animal. I think he's the first guy I've seen really rock out on a
Stick. Just imagine, a trio playing "When the Levee Breaks" and "Black Dog". On both tunes, JPJ played solos and vocal parts on the lap steel while Nick Beggs covered everything else except the drums. And the sound of it was big, ballsy, and every Zeppelin fan's dream.
25 October 01 - Mike Harper (MI), to Elephant Talk:
I attended the Detroit Stick Night Wednesday night in Detroit and saw some fantastic musicianship featuring four solo Stick performers. The show featured Greg Howard from Charlottesville, Virginia, http://www.greghoward.com who I first saw during NEARfest 2001 in June. Greg's mastery of the Chapman Stick ranks him among the finest players I've seen. Last night's performance ranged from tranquil passages which soared into more melodic compositions which left the room amazed and eager for more by the end of his set. He closed the set with a beautiful version of the Beatles' "Across the Universe", which seemed appropriate today with its "Nothing's gonna change my world" line.
23 October 01 - Kevin Ramsey (Japan), to Stickwire:
As Bob Culbertson made his way to the stage, he was greeted with warm applause. He responded with an equally warm smile and "Konbanwa!", and immediately kicked off a 90 minute performance of incredible technique and musicianship. Bob played a Grand Stick with The Block active pickup. Songs I recognized included Fur Elise, Amazing Grace, Moonlight Sonata, Little Wing, and Birdland. He also performed "Random Notes", a total improvisation by (you guessed it!) playing notes completely at random. Bob mentioned that this was his first trip to Japan and that he was "really, really" enjoying it. The audience really, really enjoyed it, too, and we are all looking forward to a return trip to Japan in the near future.
1 October 01 - Jim Kam (TX), to Stickwire:
Guillermo Cides is an amazing performer. I had listened to his first CD briefly before seeing him, and thought that his band was pretty OK (did not look at the liner notes). Then came the shock of seeing him live and realizing that was ALL him without overdubs. Yes, he does use loops (Jam Man, I think), as he does an array of effect (Boss type) pedals. Also he uses an E-Bow to great effect. The pedals do not get in the way of the music - they are almost an instrument unto themselves. He has incredible coordination. I must admit to having my jaw drop watching him play independent lines with left and right hands while tweaking the knobs of a foot pedal with his feet (wearing the large hiking type boots) all the while with eyes seemingly closed. It was fun watching other Stick players in the audience going "What the %$#@ is he doing?" I have seen many excellent players. Mr. Cides stands out as being the most demoralizing ;-). If I find out that he does the Bach Double Violin concerto in D minor without overdubs, I'll probably quit playing.
22 August 01 - Nikki Brooks (UK), online interview with Tony Levin, posted on www.thruhereyes.com/:
Tony: A more flexible collaboration has been with Dream Theater's John Petrucci (guitar), Mike Portnoy (drums) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards) on "Liquid Tension Experiment". Their second opus was released last year (Magna Carta) and is like the first one, very technical playing! They wrote almost all of the music and I just played the bass parts. I use the Chapman Stick exclusively (except for part of one song) because I really CANNOT keep up with those guys on bass. I can play much faster on Chapman Stick and it has a more percussive attack - when you play low and fast on the bass it is very hard to distinguish the notes.
Nikki: Resembling an extra-wide guitar neck, the fretboard is an expanded playing surface of strings and frets with volume and tone controls at one end. With a total pitch register of guitar and bass, it is played with a piano technique applied directly to the strings. While The Stick has a long natural sustain, it is also extremely percussive with the drumming action of the fingers, and in addition has a distinctive bass timbre. It can therefore encompass four instruments at once: bass, drums, guitar and piano.
10 August 01 - Larry Tuttle (CA), to Sticknews:
My partner, Novi (playing viola) and I are accompanying the Anaheim Ballet in an updated ballet version of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" on August 11th. Their re-imagining of Prokofiev is pretty cool, and playing an entire Prokofiev score on two instruments has been a wonderful challenge for Novi and I.
14 July 01 - Ron Fairchild (AR), to Stick Enterprises:
FYI?The Grand Stick was used last night at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time in it's 75 year history. I used it on a Bluegrass number with the Oak Ridge Boys on the Friday night radio program. Pictures will soon follow. Thought you would like to know.
13 June 01 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
Just make sure and keep your options open. You can take your new Stick into a band setting and remain the bassist. If everybody's open, however, you can be much more.
27 April 01 - Brandon McPherson (Canada), to Stickwire:
So, I get on stage for the 2nd set of the night, and play a couple tunes on bass, and then give the singer the cue. He starts making small talk, and I make "the switch". Nothing fancy, I just picked up a Y-jack from Radio Shack to switch back to mono, so I could plug back into the bass amp. Well, I looked out at the audience, which was about 40 people who were talking amongst themselves. My hands were a little shaky, but I didn't care. I gritted my teeth, closed my eyes, and started a really neat fun/R&B version of "Kiss" by Prince, and sang lead while playing two hands on The Stick at the same time. In retrospect?talk about jumping in with both feet! Well, my parts were simple, and there were a few minor mistakes, but by the time the song was over, I looked up in the audience, and I swear the number of people had doubled, most of them standing at the back of the room, staring at me and smiling, like "Oh my God, what's this guy playing?" So, in short, I thought I stunk but had so much fun I didn't care, the band and audience thought it was way cool, and I've been told by my bandmates that I absolutely HAVE to bring it out to every gig from now on, even if it's just for a few songs.
8 February 01 - Glenn Poorman (MI), re Larry Tuttle, to Stickwire:
Funny you mention it though because I've recently been watching that tape again (Stick Night '99). One guy that we don't mention around here too often is Larry Tuttle whose performance on that video constantly astonishes me. When I finally got a chance to see Larry perform in person last year, he played John Phillips Sousa's "The Washington Post March" on his Grand Stick. Just amazing!!
7 February 01 - Frank Sellin (VA), re Greg Howard, to rec.music.makers.guitars.jazz newsgroup:
A quick update: I finally ducked in to see Greg Howard's first set last Monday night at Miller's in Charlottesville, VA. Talk about a torrent of sound, tastefully done (and able to maintain coherent playing nonstop for 20+ minutes at a time!) These Chapmans are the bee's knees in the hands of a gifted player. Granted, Greg has some really nice rack gear (of which he says his current Website diagram of the gear chain is out of date), but really, his playing is very inspiring, nay, mind-expanding, with or without delay, distortion, and/or 'verb, and my god, what great tones with or without the various effects... Makes me feel very humble trying to fret only six strings with one hand, let alone two independently on 12 strings as Greg does. There's more interactive possibilities for attacking and shaping notes than a piano has, as Greg put it. I haven't had a chance yet to listen to his solo CD "Water on the Moon" yet, but eagerly anticipate the first opportunity.
30 January 01 - Kevin Keith (CA), to Stickwire:
Stick Night #2 featured some great performances by all the players. First was Virna Splendore from Rome, Italy. Virna's set was wonderful. She has an incredible sense of melody and style and she phrases beautifully. It was a real pleasure to share the stage with her. (I hope the airlines found her luggage!) Larry Tuttle and Novi went on next and did some extremely cool duos. It always amazes me how intricate and well written their arrangements are. Larry and Novi play so tightly together than you think all the music is coming from the same mind! Next was Bob Culbertson. WOW! If there was ever a guy who can just play his butt off then Bob is on the list! As many of you know, Bob's set featured him on an acoustic (Stick) instrument as well as the electric Stick we've all grown to know and love. Bob played some styles that I had never heard him play before. This is a really well rounded and gifted player plus a really nice guy. Last but not least was yours truly with the Kevin Keith Band. This was a great show for us and it gave us a chance to try out some new material as well as the tunes from my CD. A special thanks to Emmett Chapman, Yuta and the entire Stick Enterprise organization. Without your efforts none of this would exist. This instrument has changed my life forever.
9 December 00 - Jaap Kramer (Holland), re Nick Beggs, to Stickwire:
He had only one instrument: his 10 string, Block equipped, MIDIfied Stick. It was inspiring to see a Stick player in the bassist role. He used a lot of different techniques:
- A large portion of the concert, Nick was slapping VERY fast and complex rhythms at times. His thumb technique reminded me of Louis Johnson and Marcus Miller; a nice, round, punchy tone, slightly different from the normal Stick sound. He told me that he liked the sound of The Block much better than the standard pickup when using the thumb technique. During quiet parts he was gently 'hammering' the strings with his right index finger to get a 'plucked-like' sound.
- Lots of volume swells, both with volume pedal and volume knobs on The Block.
- Explosive two-handed 'licks' on the bass side.
- Occasional melody strings swells during intro, etc.
- Nick sometimes sustained a note for a long time by 'tapping' the back of the fingerboard rapidly with the back of his right hand, moving his hand back and forth between his chest and The Stick.
7 December 00 - John Rose (CA), to Stick Enterprises:
I hope this e-mail finds you both well. Playing has been my distraction from work. Actually one of my colleagues is a drummer and we have been working on duo stuff. Good distraction for physicians. It's so funny that I have been playing for almost 20 years now and still love the sound and feel every time I pick up my Stick.
27 November 00 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
The reaction to my Stick from band-mates when I first showed up with it was extremely positive. When I started to play it, I looked at Dan (guitarist/writer) and I could see the wheels turning. Our drummer started showing up for rehearsals early so we could jam grooves together before anybody else got there.
25 November 00 - Art Durkee (MN), to Stickwire:
I once did a gig a few years ago where I decided to bring only my Stick and leave the bass at home. This was with my regular band, Dangerous Odds, and the drummer was upset because he didn't think I could play funk or dub basslines on The Stick. I proceeded to prove him wrong that evening, and I never heard anything but praise from him again. So sometimes, it's just a process of educating the ignorant. As for the solo vs. group performance gig, I also come down on the side of preferring to explore with groups, even if it's only a duo. I respect all of The Stick players who primarily do solo work, but I get more of an energetic charge myself when I am bouncing around the musical think-tank with other musicians. But then, I am not an evangelist or educator for The Stick either - it's just the perfect instrument for me.
20 October 00 - Brian O'Connell (MA), re Tony Levin Band, to Stickwire:
Great band, this show is a lot of fun. Some Stick highlights: Tony's arrangement of Genesis's "Back in New York City". What a killer tune for The Stick! He covered the bass part (left hand) and the synth/guitar part with the right hand, this looks tricky. The bass tone coming out of his Stick was earth shattering. Absolutely killer. Italian vocals by Tony. Elephant Talk. What more can I say?
15 October 00 - Tony Bowler (UK), to Stickwire:
After 2 years of practice I finally got the chance to use The Stick in a real musical setting. A friend of mine is producing a CD featuring a female singer/songwriter. I had enthused about the Stick and was asked along to a session this weekend. I have many years' experience of playing guitar/piano in all sorts of gigs but this time I had decided that The Stick was all I was going to take with me. Now this is a fairly scary situation for me - I can pull things out on guitar or piano pretty naturally - but The Stick still requires THOUGHT! Anyhow, after the usual comments about the weird plank strapped to my chest, I began to jam along with the band. Now fortunately the material was fairly straightforward funk/blues stuff so I managed to come up with some decent lines. Compliments followed and confidence began to flow. I can say that after a couple of hours I felt 'at home' on The Stick. And boy the 'sound' was really nice. I mainly played bass lines, two handed with some solo stuff. No longer a Stick Virgin! Can't wait till the next time.
14 October 00 - Toshi Fujita (Japan), re Greg Howard, to Stickwire:
The last was, of course, Greg Howard. In spite of his very hard schedule, he played his songs so powerfully. Lots of improvisation, which I expected. I noticed that the audience was staring at him and listening to the tunes with surprise. The encore was "Shapes", which I requested. I think a lot of the audience changed their mind about The Stick in a better way. After the live show, Ishibashi Music shop invited us to go to dinner. It was also fun to talk with Greg and the people of Ishibashi Music Shop. I was impressed when a guy from Ishibashi said, "The Stick has something beyond the business". I really thank you, Greg, the people from Ishibashi Music shop and Stick Enterprises. It was a very good experience for me!
29 September 00 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
Whenever I perform, it is with my music in mind, my good feelings about The Stick, the method and the inventor notwithstanding. I certainly hope that I continue to perform in ever diverse and more ideal situations, but I hope that the music is always my first consideration. The Stick is a great instrument and Emmett's method is pure genius, but they are not my muse.
5 September 00 - Kevin Genus (VA), re Greg Howard, to Stickwire:
I got a chance to see Greg's new band, the Greg Howard Band, last evening in Arlington, VA. These guys put on a great show, nailed everything they played, and had a lot of fun with the audience. Greg definitely found a great group to surround himself with. There must be something in the C-ville water, Greg's playing has improved more than I knew over the last decade, found that out last night. And this group really helped showcase that growth!
2 September 00 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
When I performed with them (The Dave Matthews Band) in 1998 I did a solo improv or a jam with Carter each night, thanks to the largess of their bass player, who usually did the spot, but on the first gig walked up to me and said, "You play a solo, Greg." Not needing to be asked twice, I played the intro to their last encore each night?
13 July 00 - Tom Shannon (CA), to Sticknews:
For a couple of months now I've been playing primarily bass in a Genesis tribute band, called Cinema Show (in addition to a couple of other original projects; Death & Taxes$ and Bag:Theory). Recently, we decided to learn and perform the classic 22+ minute piece "Supper's Ready" (from Foxtrot). I decided to learn it on The Stick, which is especially well suited for covering Michael Rutherford's parts, since he often switched between 12-string guitar, bass and bass pedals. Anyway, we performed the song at the end of our set (June 23rd) and I pulled out The Stick and those prog-head Genesis fans sure knew what it was, and let us all know it. Just the sight of The Stick brought a roar from the crowd! Well, I'm also happy to say they clapped after I played it, too! The Stick is definitely a prog-rock icon!
Spring/Summer 00 - Greg Howard (VA), re Nick Beggs, for Progression Magazine:
Begg's playing in the John Paul Jones trio impressed Chapman, who saw them perform in Los Angeles. "He would play intricate bass, then really heavy strong bass, as powerful and deep as any rock bassist, " Chapman recalls. "Then he'd play a soaring lead distortion solo as well as any guitarist, then he'd become involved in the two-handed, pattern-mode of playing. He just did it all." Levin echoes Chapman's sentiments. "He was covering so much ground as 'bass-player' and 'lead guitar player,' or bass and rhythm guitar all at once."
Spring/Summer 00 - Greg Howard (VA), re Tony Levin, for Progression Magazine:
Levin also developed a whole vocabulary of musical devices for The Stick player employing double-stops and trills, rapid interwoven parts and deep long tones, swelling under songs like Discipline's "The Sheltering Sky." With all the guitar strings on stage, most listeners thought Levin was confining himself to the bass role. But in keeping with the group's concept of multiple overlapping lines, Levin frequently added parts on the five melody strings with his right hand. Because of Levin's role as the bass player with Gabriel, The Stick had become known primarily as a "bass" instrument. "With King Crimson, Tony was playing the complete instrument, but his orientation was in the bass player's role, so that confused listeners as to who was doing what", says Chapman.
12 June 00 - Christopher Merlo (NY), to Stickwire:
And then it happened. The guitarist called the next tune. I forget the name of it now, but it has virtually the same chord structure as "Cool #9". "OK guys, blues jam in Cm, it kinda goes like this." It was all I could do to not break out into a huge smile, since I'd been playing around with this tune on my own. I was all over this song, playing chords and a bass line with the left hand, chords and solos with the right. One guitarist and the bassist left in the middle to go outside and smoke, and it was guitar, keys, drums and me. I ripped this tune to shreds, and when the other two came back in, I realized that all five guys - including my keyboardist, who had heard me play before - were staring at me in amazement. I had been looking only at The Stick, trying to remember all the advice and techniques that Steve (Adelson) had shown me, as well as my Cm scale, and trying not to screw up, and I realized that I was essentially playing bass and rhythm guitar parts while soloing, something I hadn't been able to nail at home by myself. And at that moment, when I looked up, I realized that I'm a Stick player.
4 June 00 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stick Enterprises:
I have just returned from our trip up to Traverse City where we played as the headline act at a place called Union Street Station. The town is loaded with musicians and only minutes north of the National Music Camp at Interlochen. Our gig went way better than I ever anticipated. First, my instrument drew quite a bit of attention. A lot of folks were checking it out, asking a lot of questions, and a couple of them expressed a sincere interest in picking one up. Our show itself was incredible. They had us playing on Thursday since they didn't know us. Thursday is kind of a trial day for them. As the evening progressed, the people in the club were simply eating our material up and the guy that books the shows had his calendar out trying to figure out a Fri/Sat combo for us to return before I had even turned my amps off. After all was said and done, the drummer from the opening band (who also works at the club) gave me the best compliment I heard all night. He said (and I quote)... "I couldn't believe my eyes. People love music at this place, but they're usually dancing and hollering. Tonight the place was full and it looked more like a concert. People just sat at their tables, listened quietly, and really dug it." Our band has really taken a somewhat new dimension since I added the Stick to our sound and we all agree that the new dimension is a good one. Apparently the listeners in Traverse city agree.
31 May 00 - Rob Lesko (CA), to Stick Enterprises:
Dear Emmett, Thanks for coming down to Oceanside to play the concert. The music you chose to perform, your playing and your sound were all fantastic. It was really magical for me and a bit eerie, which is a good thing, it was great to finally see you perform. My Dad asked if anyone was going to play any country music and you played "Wichita Lineman", how perfect!
12 April 00 - Matthew A. Schnoor (CA), to Stickwire:
I just got back from the Amy X Neuburg & Men show in town tonight, and it was incredible. These guys (and gal) were great musicians, put on a great show, and had me in stitches for the whole set. Our very own Micah Ball was holding the low and high ends with his rosewood Grand Stick (MIDI-equipped), and he put on an excellent performance. Yet more proof of the power and potential of the Stick.
March 00, article from "64" magazine by Taije Silverman:
It's well past midnight and there's a sound like water hitting metal, traveling half the length of Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. Walk closer to Miller's Bar and the sound grows louder, shifting from what might have been mistaken a block away for an exploding faucet into something more coherent and elaborate, with energy so tremendous it seems to populate the empty mall. Which is why it's a bit surprising when you step into Miller's and find the source of the sound to be a slight, casually dressed guy sitting alone on stage, his head bowed over the stringed instrument in front of him.
Each song is precisely articulated, evoking a melancholy so direct and immediate that I can't quite tell whether (Greg) Howard is reading my emotions or choreographing them. Most heads in the bar sway gently, and eyes are either closed or trained on the insect-like movements of Howard's fingers. The dynamic between musician and audience seems symbiotic. The music is subdued, complex, and enchanting. I mean to stay for a drink and don't leave till closing.
30 October 99 - Don Schiff (CA), to Stickwire:
Went to the House of Blues to see Nick Beggs play and Wow was it HUGE. The Bass tone was so LARGE! and excellent large, not woofy or muddy but clean clear large. And when John Paul Jones played bass the Stick bass side was still Huge. His playing was solid on both sides of the Stick and a treat to watch. One of those players you see and are encouraged and inspired by. He played a "wild" distorted solo complete with crazed sounds, fast fingers and excitement that got the audience all stirred up into a fervor and that's what a good show is all about. A good time was had by all. There are just three players, no vocals, so there is really no time to take a back seat in playing, everyone played long and hard and put on a real fine tight show. I would recommend anyone to go see and hear the show and find out just how Large the Stick gets and to watch Nick.
18 October 99 - Steve Adeleson (NY), to Stickwire:
Another musical observation now that a day has passed since our Planetarium performance. We played pretty much in the dark, therefore my Stick technique wasn't as visible. After the show we only got positive feedback on the music. In the end that was always the goal. To make music. The music stood on it's own and I guess the destination is within reach. Now if I could only convince those record dudes!
16 October 99 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stick Enterprises:
Everbody checked it (The Stick) out and thought it sounded cool. The thing is, I had clumsily worked out a part for one of the tunes we already do and convinced everyone to run the tune once before I put it away and grabbed my bass. Well... we finished the tune and everyone in the room unanimously said "WOW... was that cool!!". This was, of course, followed by a chorus of "oh man... you HAVE to use that thing". When I protested that I really didn't know how to play it yet, they said "better get to practicing then".
21 August 99 - Casey Arrillaga (CA), to StickNews:
Got a chance to see Nick Beggs perform up close and personal with Howard Jones live at the Roxy here in LA last night. It's rare that one gets to see a band this good in a venue this intimate (300 seats). Nick played mostly bass but opened the show with a Stick bassline and took not only several other songs on the instrument, but also got a featured solo (even Howard left the stage). Good solid playing with a groove factor rarely seen outside of a Tony Levin or Don Schiff performance.
18 August 99 - Kevin Muir (Ontario), to Stickwire:
Anyone who will be (or has been) attending the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario this season might want to check out the Festival production of _A Midsummer Night's Dream_ The Stratford Festival in North America's largest Shakespearean Festival (and second only to Stratford-On-Avon's in England), with a season running from May-November each year. I've been the resident double-bass player here for the last seven years, and made my Stick debut this season on recorded instrumental music for _'Dream_. The Stick is featured quite prominantly in the mix (IMHO), and I am speculating that it may be one of the few, if not the only Stick recording ever made of Stick and bouzouki in duet! As I mentioned, the season opened a few months ago, but what prompted me to post this is the exposure that our beloved instrument is getting here; a recent press release indicates that _'Dream_ is going to be the best-selling Shakespearean show in the 50-year history of the Festival. With two performances a week (in rep), it's expected to draw over 100,000 people over the course of the season. Now if, just ten of those patrons look in the program and says "Chapman Stick, huh? Cool!" it's worth it.
16 June 99 - David Wozmak (NH), to Stickwire:
After the set, and during the intermission, I was absolutely INUNDATED with people curious about my instrument, so much so that I had to get it and bring it into the lobby for people to look at up close. Not just other musicians, either. Interest level was extremely high. I guess it didn't hurt that I'd just turned in a passable performance, either. People were fascinated and enthusiastic!
13 February 99 - "Carrie Melbourne, Live at St Luke's Church, London" by Tony Emmerson, Progression Magazine
St Luke's Church provided a stunningly ornate setting for a night of music in North London. With the audience sitting in the main hall looking toward the altar, it was as surreal as it was serene. Opening was Stick player Carrie Melbourne (who recently appeared on stage with Mike Oldfield at his Tubular Bells III premiere). Armed with nothing but her Stick and a microphone she enchanted the open-minded audience with a half-hour set of sheer beauty.
15 November 98 - Casey Arrillaga (CA), to Sticknews:
Emmett, for whom extended and far reaching improvisations are a trademark, treated us to his unique musical magic - at one point even refrencing Guillermo's earlier performance of one of Emmett's own compositions! Anyone who has not seen Emmett play must at some point make a pilgrimage to catch a live performance, especially since Emmett values the temporality of improvisational art. In other words, if you don't see him live you will probably never experience the full extent of his vision.
17 August 97 - Vance Gloster (CA), to Stickwire:
Emmett was taking the Keith Jarrett approach, and improvised from scratch without any song structure. He did two improvisations. One by himself, and one with Greg Howard on alto sax and Casey Arrillaga on hand drum. I always feel by the end of one of Emmett's improvisations that we have traversed a parallel galaxy together. His improvisations cover a lot of territory: harmonic, stylistic, tempo, tamber, etc. A high point of the jam was when Greg removed the mouthpiece of his sax and played it like a brass instrument (with a good deal more success than I would have expected). Greg managed to follow Emmett's lead well. They did well at spurring each other on to explore even further planets.
30 December 96 - George Soler (WA), to Stick Enterprises:
The Stick was a big hit and all the musicians were instantly excited about its uniqueness and importance as a stringed instrument. Fantastic duo one night in a Beijing cafe with Wang Yong, considered China's foremost player of the gu-zhen ('Chinese koto' or many-stringed zither), with my Stick played sans effects. My time spent with Taiwanese fold musicians and listening to their playing really paid off in this session. Being able to speak Chinese, I was able to explain to individuals and audiences the origins of the instrument (many ventured in the vicinity of Central Asia, India? - quite a compliment that made it even more delightful to say 'California, 1969'), and the role that sudden inspiration and enlightenment played in the birth of the instrument I was holding, ideas deeply meaningful to Chinese people.