February 16th, 2010

Homestar: Cool

Musical Sticks

One of my favorite obscure musical instruments is the Chapman Stick. Imagine cutting the neck off of an electric guitar. You tap near the frets to get the strings moving and pickups amplify that sound.

Since you aren't strumming, that really only occupies one hand. So put a second set of bass strings on the stick and use both hands to tap. It now plays like something between a piano and a guitar... sounds a bit like it, too.

The Stick was given a national introduction on an episode of What's My Line? by it's eponymous inventor, Emmett Stick. Sorry! I meant Emmett Chapman. It never really caught on though it has had a steady niche appeal over the years.

Nothing better to prove it's a real instrument than to play a piece of classical music... Okay, music from a classic movie. Or something. But it sounds cool, dang it!