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 Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us... 
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Post Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
So, I'm very curious... What are the biggest challenges y'all find in regards to getting some facility with the Chapman Stick?

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Last edited by Jayesskerr on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:03 am
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
Hand Independence.

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:07 am
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
Quote:
Hand Independence.


i'll double that

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:14 am
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
Reaching the same level of dexterity with both hands.


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Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:47 am
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
After hand independence, it's integrating the "two boards on one board" back into one board again, where each hand accesses all 10 or 12 strings. All 8 fingers play on any string on either side. The right thumb extends the LH reach on selected higher bass strings. The left pinky does the same for RH chordal arpeggios on selected higher melody strings. The permutations are endless and I have to choose specific grooves, rhythms and harmonically moving parts.

Oh joy, I'm challenged again. Uhoh, gonna crash on stage.


Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
Jayesskerr wrote:
So, I'm very curious... What are the biggest challenges y'all find in regards to getting some facility with the Chapman Stick?


trying to sound like I don't suck.
trying to play 3 note melody arps over 4 note bass arps.
coming up with my own cover arrangements that I believe are valid.....and not second guessing the validity....it'll never be perfect.
arranging tunes that don't bore me...or my mom.
etc.

I have to echo Emmetts comments on another post.......concentrate more on legato melody side playing......just saying..
check out Griesgrabers approach to melody legato....it's pretty sweet.

cheers,
kev

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:58 pm
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
I agree with Kevin legato tapping is best. Typewriter tapping sucks and sounds like one is typing not tapping

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:50 pm
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
My biggest challenge (so far lol!) is trying to figure it out! Seriously, it is so frustrating when I hear other great players, then I plunk along trying to play one song with no clams. I can practice for hours and still not get it right. Even trying to play legato moving my fingers towards the nut, just doesn't come easily. Thankfully, early on I had some great lessons with Steve Adelson otherwise I'd still be trying to figure out the very basics. I'm still trying to digest everything he showed me... I move slowly lol!
Strangely, hand independence has not been a big issue. I suspect for one of 2 reasons: (1): I am still such a novice I am playing on a tricycle while others are riding a big bore motorcycle, or; (2): because I've been a drummer for over 50 years (gasp!!) I am used to 4 appendages moving in different directions, at different tempos, doing different things all at the same time, so hand independence is more "natural" to me??
Gotta go practice... :roll:

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:15 pm
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
Good Question Scotty ! Where to begin....

But Yes the independence thing seems like a holy grail , we've had good discussions about that. A lot a greatmusic can come from the Stick though without "true independence" going on though.

I like Emmetts comment about extending a hand across the whole board , this has been fun to explore for sure.

Something I'm into now is smooth descending lines, going up fast & fluidly is much easier than going down I find.
What I most want right now is to be able to look at board and see in my mind where everything is, notes , scales, patterns, I'm a bit slack with this.

I agree with Kev about Typewriter tapping, not so cool , probably starts that way as you learn a bit but I worked lots on getting away from that and its probably what I'm most happy about now, extracting all the possibilities out of a note , be it through length , dynamics, vibrato, bending etc. Adding expression can help bring it alive a bit, still feel like I'm just past 1st base buts its a heap of fun. :D especially those random moments of " Whoa, was that accidental real independence that just happened"!
The best thing I did though was to eventually just go out and play it wherever I could. :ugeek:

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:27 pm
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Post Re: Having troubles learning this thing? Tell us...
Several people mentioned descending legato play as a challenge, and independence as another, and "equality" of skill between the hands was also mentioned...

One simple approach to all of these issues (and a host of others) is to play with your hands instead of just your fingers...

What do I mean?

Most people who come to the instrument from bass or guitar do not instinctively employ hand movement when they learn to play The Stick. Instead they rely on a fretting motion that comes exclusively from the fingers. You can go a long way with this approach, but it has its limitations, especially if your goal is to have maximum control over what your music sounds like.

As a non guitarist/non-bassist beginning Stickist I had no such preconceptions about fretting notes the way guitarists do, and began tapping with the whole hand and arm from the get go, more in line with what pianists do.

The fundamentals of hand movement are covered in-depth over two hours in the Basic Free Hands Technique DVD, and any follow-up lessons you might seek are readily available via skype.

Hand movement improves all of the following:

—Dynamic control
—Dynamic range
—Hand Independence
—Evenness of tone (all fingers can sound the same, giving you a baseline from which to add expression)
—Articulation control
—Real Legato, Legato, Legato (did I say Legato?), not just hammer-ons and pulloffs, which are a separate type of articulation.
—Fatigue
—Timing.

Specifically regarding descending legato, the movement of the hand creates an automatic release of the upper note, meaning only one action is required to play the lower note, rather than first lifting up the finger of the higher note before tapping down the lower note.

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:53 pm
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