of the Stick"
"What is it?"
The Stick, invented by Emmett Chapman in 1974 is a 10 or 12 string touchboard. The instrument is built around the idea of tapping with the fingertips of both hands, parallel to the strings, to produce a full range of sounds. The construction, from the strings & pickup to the vertical playing position are centered around this innovative style of playing.
The three main components are the strings, frets, and the pickup. The sound is created by the pickup "hearing" the vibration of the strings and sending the sound to an amplifier, very much how a microphone does a persons voice. The instrument is similar to an electric guitar in its physical construction.
How do the strings vibrate?
The strings are hammered with the players fingertips between the frets. When the string hits the fret the momentum of the string causes it to vibrate. Another way to look at it is, if I were to pick the string, I would pull it to the side and release it, causing it to vibrate back & forth. When I hammer down onto the string it vibrates up & down instead of side to side. This is why the sound is similar to a guitar or harp. You are hearing string vibrations. However, the sound is somewhat unique because of the way the strings are sounded and the layout of the tuning.
How is it tuned?
The standard tuning for the Stick is in two parts. On the right half the range is that of a guitar. On the left side you have the bass and middle tones covered. Click here to see the notes of the various tunings.
What is the actual construction of the Stick?
The body is made of various types of hardwood. The pickup is stereo, one side for the guitar range and the other pickup is for the strings on the left side. Click here to see a diagram of the instrument.
Is there an acoustic version of the Stick?
In 2002 the first acoustic Stick was created, properly named the Acoustic. My CD, AcouStick Dawn was the the first recording of such instrument. Click here for more info on the Acoustic.
For more information about the Stick, visit Emmett Chapman's website.
About the Acoustick...
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