The Chapman Stick

(Picture of Wynton Marsalis glaring at Emmett Chapman while he plays a Stick)

The Chapman Stick is an 8- 10- or 12-stringed instrument designed specifically for two-handed tapping. I bought my first Stick (a 10-string Brazillian Ironwood model) in 1997 and played it only occasionally until the summer of 2002, when I got a lot more serious about Stick. I sold the Ironwood and bought a 12-string Rosewood Grand.

I've played jazz guitar since 1990 and find the possibilities of jazz solo playing on the Stick very exciting. The instrument provides opportunities that simply don't exist on the guitar. I am still a beginner on the Stick, but I'm trying to work out ways to translate my jazz guitar knowledge onto it. I'm posting some of the things I've figured out in case they might be useful to other Stickists. For comprehensive Stick lessons, see the books Free Hands by Emmett Chapman and The Stick Book by Greg Howard.

Jazz Stick Table of Contents

  1. mp3s of me noodling on blues changes
  2. CAGED system for the Stick?
  3. SmartASCII Notation (for fretboard grids and tablature)
  4. Lead Techniques
  5. Accompaniment Techniques
  6. Simultaneous Lead and Accompaniment Techniques
  7. Tune Arrangements
    1. Bock to Bock
    2. Fried Pies
    3. In a Mellotone
    4. The Mary Project
    5. Night and Day
    6. Satin Doll
    7. Tenor Madness

Stick Links


Java Stick Stuff (requires Java 1.4.1)