FINALLY! After a year's wait, my Chapman Stick is in my hot little hands. Well actually, I have big hands, but that's neither here nor there. For reference, here's the Jamie-anticipates-his-stick thread: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=33818
So here are my initial thoughts after 6 hours of practice with it...
It's beautiful! I almost cried when I opened the case. The grain in the Padauk wood I chose has a dark stripe running just down the center, highlighting the inlays. Very nice!
Yummy! It took some time before I could consistantly get a good sound from my tapping, but it has a very rich deep tone running from the low bass strings all the way up to the sparkly 25th fret of the highest string... five octaves in all.
This is a rather difficult instrument, but I think I'll be getting the hang of it soon. It's really not as much like playing a guitar as some people might imagine, though some skills do translate. Some very non-intuitive fingering (to a guitarist) will have to be rewired in my brain. The bass side tuned in fifths will mean I must teach my left hand to start doing gymnastics to reach everything. The fact that the strings on that side are inverted vs. a bass make it even weirder to learn. Strangely enough, my right hand is having no trouble picking up the whole fretting concept. That must be where my piano skills are helping.
All in all, I am immensely happy with my new friend. Once I get a little proficiency going, I'm going to start using it in my compositions. Who knows... I might just be the first to marry GPO to the Stick!