Recently, two separate Chapman Stick related events occurred to me in the course of two days. Given that the Chapman Stick related things are not exactly common everyday occurrences, it gave me pause.
The first was a comment I received on my Chapman Stick Guitar page from someone who took exception with my calling the page “Chapman Stick Guitar”, saying that it’s a Stick and not a guitar. My response was that I play a Chapman Stick model SG-12 which Stick Enterprises calls a Chapman Stick Guitar. I believe the disagreement is coming from two different views on the purpose of the web page. The person might of thought that it’s purpose was as a general informational page on the Chapman Stick while I think of it as a journal of my personal take on the instrument. However, upon further reflection I thought that that I should explain to those who were kind enough to check out the web page that there are several different configurations of the Chapman Stick. The original Chapman Stick design (which Stick Enterprises refers to as “The Stick”) is ten strings with the bass/treble sides each having five strings. The Grand Stick expands the original concepts to 12 strings, extending the instruments range in both directions. There’s a Stick Bass, a eight string version whose range is mainly in the (you guessed it) bass register. There’s an Alto Stick and the model that I play, the Chapman Stick Guitar. So, even though the few people who know what a Chapman Stick think of the Stick or Grand Stick, there are other versions of the instrument. One size doesn’t fit all. Go to the Stick Enterprises web site for more details (http://stick.com/instruments/).
My second Stick related event occurred the next day. I was visiting San Francisco with my wife and we went down to Fisherman’s Wharf for general tourist stuff and specifically to visit the aquarium (my wife and I are big fans of zoos and aquariums and try to check them out whenever we visit a different city). There, performing right in front of the aquarium was Bob Culbertson. In the (admittedly small) world of Chapman Stick, Bob Culbertson is one of the masters. When I got my first Stick used off of eBay, it came with two of his instructional videos which were invaluable to me as a beginner. He was exceedingly gracious with his time and it was a complete gas to just run into someone like him unexpectedly. Below, an example of his mastery.
Bob Culbertson – While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Chapman Stick
Please check out Bob Culbertson’s web site: https://www.stickmusic.com/