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Clifford Marshall Van Buren: Cliffs Notes + Blogs

My New Instrument - The Chapman Stick

Posted on December 10, 2012

If you remember my last Blog, I fell off the “Music Writing” bandwagon. I knew inside that something would spark my writing again and I found it. The Spark in my writing is a relatively new instrument called the Chapman Stick®. The Stick can come in several forms, but in its most generic tuning it is a ½ Bass Guitar and ½ Guitar. You can check them out at Stick Enterprises Inc. www.stick.com to see all the various flavors.

 

Since I am predominantly a drummer I wanted a Stick that had my drumming mindset, so I asked for a custom tuning from SE (I could always change strings and get back to the norm if needed). The tuning I came up with is a Dual Deep Mirrored Bass style in descending 5ths. On the Bass side of my Stick is the lowest bass tuning a 12 string Stick can get to (b flat). On the Melody side there is mirror of the tuning from the bass side. This allows me to quickly find two notes of the same pitch, string size and mirrored location. This set up allows me to drum the heck out of the Stick!

 

As a Stick player, my style is a little unusual, but there is a method to my madness. While creating my 5th CD, I wanted a percussive, rhythmic bass sound, similar to a synthesizer arpeggiator. On my new project I will make use of the many talented guitarists that surround me (I did not want to step in to their melodic territory) so the Dual Bass Stick tuning fit perfectly.

 

You can check out the wonderful progressive rock sound of bands using the Chapman Stick: Search for “Stick Man”, “Stick Men” and “Liquid Tension Experiment” on YouTube. In fact the Stick player in all of the above bands is one very famous bass player named “Tony Levin”. Tony gave me my second Stick lesson at “Three of a Perfect Pair Camp” in New York, this past summer.

 

It will take some time to get my chops together on the Chapman Stick, but every free moment I have, you can bet it will be with my new amazing instrument.

 

If you would like to keep up with my progress please join my mailing list at www.cliffordmarshallvanburen.com check out my drumming world records and get a free song download off of one of my earlier CD projects.

 

Cliff