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 Any piano players have any advice for the Stick? 
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:31 am
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Location: Nottingham, UK
Post Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
Hey folks

While I'm waiting on my Railboard to be finished and shipped, I thought I'd ask if there are any pianists on here with advice for playing on the stick?

I'm a voice coach and generally accompany myself and my clients from piano when working on songs. The voice is front and center, the piano creates a harmonic and rhythmic backdrop that fills the space but isn't too busy.

I've opted for raised matched reciprocal tuning as recommended by Emmett/Stick enterprises. However I am open to hearing from more pianists who perhaps play the Stick in a way similar to what I've described above, maybe re tunings, approaches, etc.

Anyone care to share?

Mark


Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:46 am
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Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
I think Greg Howard, Glen Poorman and Stephen Sink might be able to give you some tips from a pianist’s perspective...

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Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:07 am
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:31 am
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Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
Fab, thanks Jay, I hope they can chip in when they catch this.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:56 am
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Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
Bump, interesting question!

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Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:49 pm
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Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
Excellent post.... It would actually be cool to have a bass player, guitar player, Percussionist/drummer give their take on the instrument as well. I know as a bass player, I am always working on making my bass lines unique, and the Stick tuned in 5ths makes one think out of the box. I have always leaned in more toward the Bass/Drum/Percussion side of the Stick. At first, because while I was comfortable on the bass side, I was not all that confident on the melody side... So I found myself using the melody side for rhythmic drive when I was playing with percussionists... tapping out djembe lines etc.... Now, as I have gotten more proficient with the right hand, I am exploring melody, chords & harmony... coming from a more Piano side.... Listening to Steve A play with his sense of harmony and melody is inspiring. Also, Tom G has some great Mojo going on as well!
This instrument has SO MANY layers!!!!!.... one thing that I am experimenting with now, is finding the relationship of geometric patterns, so that I can emulate a kora or a Kamelon Ngoni...


Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
rclere wrote:
Excellent post.... It would actually be cool to have a bass player, guitar player, Percussionist/drummer give their take on the instrument as well. I know as a bass player, I am always working on making my bass lines unique, and the Stick tuned in 5ths makes one think out of the box.
...
This instrument has SO MANY layers!!!!!.... one thing that I am experimenting with now, is finding the relationship of geometric patterns, so that I can emulate a kora or a Kamelon Ngoni...


+1

My first instrument was bass, and I harmonically think from the bass (function) up. If I do take to the Stick and fancy another, I'd get it in Dual Bass Reciprocal for exactly that reason... and hey, if I find my foray into it as an accompaniment instrument for my purposes doesn't work as anticipated, I can always convert the railboard to DBR! Win win!

While I was first attracted to the Stick thanks to Greg's videos from the early 2000s showing guitar AND bass capacity at the same time, my interest now is VERY much in trying to find a simple piano-like accompanist approach on the instrument.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
I would highly recommend getting some lessons with Greg Howard. He can really set you in the right direction with technique, ergonomics and approach. He has digested just about every aspect of the instruments. Other teachers of note would be Steve Addelson, Don Schiff and Tom Griesgraber. All have unique voices and approaches on the instrument.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:17 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:31 am
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Location: Nottingham, UK
Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
rclere wrote:
I would highly recommend getting some lessons with Greg Howard. He can really set you in the right direction with technique, ergonomics and approach. He has digested just about every aspect of the instruments. Other teachers of note would be Steve Addelson, Don Schiff and Tom Griesgraber. All have unique voices and approaches on the instrument.


Definitely - that's the plan! I'm a big believer in the power of one-on-one tuition, so will be hitting up Greg once it arrives.

I also relate musically to Tom Griesgraber's approach. I'd say of all the Stickist's I've heard so far his approach (Wake the day, I believe?) is closest to the more stripped-back accompaniment approach I'm looking to develop.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
My background is ensemble playing on various stringed instruments like guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, dobro and the mandolin family of instruments tuned in 5ths including mandocello. But I have a geographic knowledge and rudimentary skills on a piano and can play what is generally called "songwriter piano" which is like what you describe and is what you'll hear Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell or Carol King play when they accompany themselves on piano. I can tell you that you picked the right Stick tuning in my opinion and also that you can, once you get the lay of the land, approximate the piano style in question and then some. You can play a bass line plus the gist of pretty much any chord in a rolling arpeggiated style with just your left hand and then chords, scales, melodies, double stops with your right hand. You can do scalar lines with both hands in harmony. Major, minor keys, pentatonics - easy. Moody restless modal styles are also easy with all the stacked 4ths and 5ths. Syncopation, rubato, expressive techniques like string bending, vibrato and chime harmonics are all under your fingertips. There are techniques unique to Stick that you have to get together but once you learn a few tunes and common chord progressions you're off and running. It's a fascinating and complete instrument and well worth the investment of time and money to give it a shot.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:29 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:31 am
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Location: Nottingham, UK
Post Re: Any piano players have any advice for the Stick?
Thanks for the input Cap'n. What is it about the raised matched reciprocal that you think suits it so well to this kind of approach? Just the pitch + spacing between the hands?


Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:46 pm
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