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 Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard... 
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Post Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...

...has anyone got any interesting ideas, concepts, links or otherwise they'd like to share?


I'm an open minded musician happy to entertain any and all discussions.


Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:43 am
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
Here's one - why the Stick? Are you content just playing bass, guitar, drums or piano?

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Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:15 pm
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
earthgene wrote:
Here's one - why the Stick? Are you content just playing bass, guitar, drums or piano?


Great question Gene.

I've had a keen interest in the Stick since 2002, so there's an element of finally getting round to having a serious go at the instrument.

I'm very happy with voice and piano, but having started as a bassist/guitarist, I do miss the tonality of fingers on strings. I also miss the orchestration and LH/RH element of piano when playing guitar/bass, so this seems like a worthy instrument to allow me to implement my approach on something a bit more in-between (whilst being it's own thing altogether).

Q for you Gene after your last FHF - why do you prefer the baritone melody in the melody side of your Stick?


Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
Thanks for back story. I do enjoy the back story.

So here is a little back story. And since you've got a little time, we'll go way back.

Once upon a time, I used to receive flyers from Stick Enterprises for Emmett's performances out at Le Cafe in the San Fernando Valley. At the time, I would have been about 20, maybe 21 and this would be about oh, 1990. Emmett was starting to experiment with different woods and tunings and was consistently gigging out with a gentleman named Hans (last name evades me) and various different drummers. So, being into Crimson and that whole scene, I would try to catch both sets whenever possible. I would actually roll out with my Mom because she loved hearing new music.

Le Cafe was small. There were little cards at each table reminding us of the 2 drink minimum. Le Cafe was was accessed from the street via staircase and located on the second floor. I was literally 2 feet away from Emmett and Hans and they were loud. Like really loud. The musicians challenged each other in all kinds of ways - it was the kind of gig that demanded your attention.

I remember visiting SE shortly thereafter and getting the opportunity to speak with Emmett in his Stick cave. I was gearing up to purchase a new Stick and looking at all the available models. I had picked #130, a beautiful Paduak Stick. We chatted about it and we chatted some more about the Le Cafe gig. He mentioned, off the cuff, that he had been experimenting with a new tuning and I took some interest in it as I had been using classic tuning.

Mind you, this was before the great compendium of tunings had come into existence.

He asked if I wanted the new instrument setup in this manner, to which I agreed. I had only been playing a year or so and was up for something new. Here's how the new tuning broke down. The left hand was tuned UP a whole step, from C to D AND the melody side was lowered a whole fourth from F# to C#.

It felt odd the first time I played, but shortly thereafter, having had the opportunity to hear the delicious crossover of both hands, it was easy to see how rich this tuning was. Higher registers in the left hand had increased tension and felt more natural to play against. Lower registers in the right hand had more depth and felt more naturally aligned with the 5ths tuning in the right hand. I heard it, but when I FELT it, really felt it, I knew I had found my spirit tuning.

That was 27 years ago. It's been my tuning ever since.

More recently, Emmett has brought back the raised bass side with Raised Matched Reciprocal. Now this tuning has the classic low F# in the right hand BUT if you have a 12-string instrument with RMR, the lowest melody string is a C# - and that is my tuning.

Can you imagine the pure delight when I tried the 12 string Railboard a few weeks back to have my hot little hands on a brand new model AND have it be in my tuning. Pure Joy.

So, like many here, I have my spirit tuning. It's what is familiar, what feels right. To me, there is no single tuning that is better than any other tuning, it's what suits you. To argue this is like arguing that orange is better purple, that blue is better than red. The same can be said for pickups, choice of wood, inlays or tuning heads. The instrument is hand made - it's exactly as how SE intended, and that is good enough for me.

It might take years to find it, but your spirit tuning will come to you. Getting out to a seminar / event helps - playing as many different instruments as you can! My choice may have been slightly altered with my fascination of the new instrument and getting the word from Emmett directly, but as I look back, I feel it really came together more naturally. When I close my eyes and listen to the sound of the metal against the wood - THAT - that is what I had imagined it would sound like and better yet, THIS - this is what I had hoped it would feel like.

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Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:51 pm
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
I love a good back story too, thanks Gene.

I've opted for RMR on my Railboard, really looking forward to trying it out. Baritone melody had appealed to me (as had classic) but I'll stick with Emmett's recommendation and go from there.

Re: the tonal thickness in the right hand - Many clips I've heard show a certain richness lacking in the RH, so that is something I am going to be working hard on acquiring in my Stick tone... once I get the thing of course!


Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:19 am
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
http://thecipher.com/chapman_stick-cipher.html
http://cochranemusic.com/node/106
http://www.thecrains.net/stick/
mcgrahamhk wrote:
Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
...has anyone got any interesting ideas, concepts, links or otherwise they'd like to share?
I'm an open minded musician happy to entertain any and all discussions.


Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:10 pm
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Post Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
Gene that's a great story, thanks for sharing. So your tuning seems like baritone RH and raised bass in LH (+2 frets). Is that called deep baritone or something else? Do you have a reciprocal relationship between the sides? Is yours essentially RMR12 ?

I'm curious about an "MR" that increases the overlapping notes between hands in the middle register, but physically avoids hands colliding.


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Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:21 am
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
Oh yea! I guess it is like a 10 string interior of a 12 string RMR!

Personally I don't think I want too much overlap between the string sets or have too dark a tuning. I love how rich more baritone melody tuning sounds and will likely try it out in the future, but as I'm going to try and use the Stick as an accompaniment instrument for voice, I want to leave some sonic space in the middle of the instrument for vocals to sit rather than have it be too mid-range dense. That's the completely hypothetical theory anyway!

Gene, when you were at SE was there any news on the ETA of the pickup order?


Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:31 am
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
Hey there mcgrahamhk. The tuning is called Full Baritone (I am pretty sure Emmett has signed off on that). I think your approach is good - I mean, you have one and that is a good start because you really won't be able to find your SPIRIT TUNING without trying a few first.

It's easy to talk this stuff into the ground. Play it. Fail. Pick it back up, play it upside down and then perhaps try a new one. I've tried standard, matched reciprocal and Baritone Melody and I keep coming back to the Full Bari. I am certain others have had similar experiences with other tunings. What stays the same for me is the fourths in the right hand and fifths in the left.

Fifths in the left hand is the magic for me. That along with a single fretboard and the dual mono output for each hand is what makes the Stick - the Stick!

I do not have any news on the pickup order. A Stick Enterprises order is never late. It's a small business and all orders are handmade or assembled by hand, so when the quality has been deemed acceptable for a Stickist, it is ready.



Cheers.

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Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:28 pm
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Post Re: Whilst I'm waiting for my Railboard...
earthgene wrote:
It's easy to talk this stuff into the ground.

For sure! I just can't wait to get stuck in.

earthgene wrote:
Fifths in the left hand is the magic for me. That along with a single fretboard and the dual mono output for each hand is what makes the Stick - the Stick!

Agreed. It's the inverted fifths I can't wait for.

earthgene wrote:
A Stick Enterprises order is never late.


But I want it noooooooooowwwwwwww.... [/whinge]


Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:39 pm
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