I Want A Stick

That title sounds wrong.

The current focus of my geek lust, the Chapman Stick

It seems strange to post on the Bassgeek blog about my desire to try out another instrument (I’ve been known to curse bands to various pits of damnation I don’t even believe in for refusing to include a bassist in their lineup), but more and more I’m drawn to trying out a Chapman Stick. It’s an instrument that appeals to all sorts of geeky urges I’ve either entertained (or suppressed) over the years:

  1. Tapping on the fretboard – usually the province of shredding metal guitarists and bassists; there may or may not be tales of superheroes or dragons involved
  2. A tendency towards use in progressive rock – see the above about superheroes or dragons, add possibilities of hobbits or Ayn Rand discussions (I’ve even heard one album dedicated to the Magna Carta)
  3. All sorts of esoteric tunings and setups – it’s not contentious like Mac vs. PC or Linux flavors, but multiple options always inspire geekery
  4. It can use MIDI to trigger sounds and loops – I’m already doing this on the bass, but it’s still geeky

The problem is that these things start at around $2500 (before you get into all the accessories, and there are ALWAYS more accessories), and there’s about a 9-month waiting period for new instruments. The folks over here seem to all want one, and I’ve only ever seen one on eBay (for way more than I can afford; I am a new homeowner, after all). So I’m going to wait for a bit to find out if it’s possible to be funky on a Stick. James Brown’s “Licking Stick” gives hope, but I think he was talking about something different.

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