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 Study 
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Post Study
So there are a few "standard" materials for studying the Stick - thinking the Free Hands book, and Greg's DVD - and naturally, these have to be adapted somewhat depending on what tuning you've adopted. As far as I know, however, there's nothing particularly aimed at the NS Stick, even though there are some real differences in the way one would likely play it.

So, I thought I'd ask what approaches you guys use for learning the instrument? How do you reconcile "standard" Stick methodology to the NS? Do you employ your own methods, or other outside info?


Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Study
This is a good question!

Here is a link to lessons that Don Schiff put together. http://nsstickist.com/nstech.htm

There is some very good stuff here but I don't read music so I stopped after a few lessons.... Sorry Don...
I wish he did videos of each of these lessons...

Here is how I progressed...
After doing the first few lessons from the link above, I had a general understanding of the shapes or chords. (major vs minor shapes and inversions)
After that I started to learn songs. I like to sing so I went with singer songwriter type songs so simple bass (mostly root notes) on the left hand and chords on the right hand. The hardest things was trying to find the best chord location/inversion. Since there are limited number of notes I can hit, I sometimes had to drop some notes and choose the ones that best support the song. (Check out my learning Purple Rain video https://youtu.be/rJqS3kh0eHI)
I found the chords online and also used youtube videos of people teaching on the piano/keyboard. I found that the note choices on the piano translates well to the NS/Stick.
My next step was to start learning the guitar ballads I love so much... I learned the melody line of Steve Vai's For The Love Of God. I also found the chord progression online and play the bass part with my left hand... again... super simple mostly root notes.
From here I finally started to get the hang of scales and started to see the patterns on the fretboard.

As far as the actual tapping method I learned the most from Greg Howard at the seminars I attended. Learning to move my hand and get the energy into the string. The three finger method really forces you to get the most dynamic range. However... I played bass for many years so I use four fingers on my left hand. But it doesn't matter if you use three or four, the movement of the hand is essential to best tone. (I recommend everyone, even if you have been a long time stick player, to take Greg's intro class at a seminar. I've taken it twice and learned something new each time. Step forward... step to left and right... Where is the body?... If you've taken the class you know what I'm talking about...)

BUUUUUT.... The NS/Stick has many differences as the stick with string spacing, damper on/off, tuning, etc... which lends itself to new techniques.
Don has the slap and strum (in the same motion). You can do more finger picking. I came up with the technique of slap/pop bass playing using thumb and index finger on right hand while the other fingers play melodies. Don also uses a small carabiner in his left hand for slide sounds.
You're only limited by your imagination.

I think at the end of the day, learning songs is the best way to learn...

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Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Study
In the other thread you mentioned you play guitar - are you into finger style guitar or classical guitar? I also got into studying finger style guitar about seven or eight years ago under several instructors locally and seminars at Interlochen.

What that did for me is I fingerpick the NS in a similar style using PIMA, thumb and strum, etc where I use more of my RH ring finger. The NS can take those concepts further by incorporating tap and hold that you would not normally do with a guitar. I no longer fingerpick like a bass player would, as I did when I bought my first one in 2004. I'm using thumb and the first three fingers of my RH (PIMA) to fingerpick.

I really like Muriel Anderson's "50 RH Techniques You Must Know" for guitar. Just about everyone of those can be applied to the NS. But keep in mind it is part Stick, you now have an added bonus of being able to tap/hold in ways a guitar would not be able to do as easily, plus you have two additional strings.

Also, I've let a few incredibly skilled classical guitar players try my NS. It's mind blowing what a good classical guitarist can do on an NS the first time playing one.

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Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Study
MichNS, I've played with both picks and fingers for years but have not really delved deeply into fingerpicking styles - I've done a bit of study along those lines but nothing really approaching mastery. I've always liked the tactile feel of fingers & strings though. I'll have to look at the Muriel Anderson stuff.

Skydiver, thanks for the links - I'd forgotten about those! That should be a good jumping off point for me. I remember seeing your Purple Rain video - good stuff! I might have to have a go at that one too, always liked that song.

Worthless trivia: I remember when Purple Rain was released, as I was studying Music Business at the time. Our class on record promotion was taught by a local promoter, and he brought in a handful of new singles he was working - he played them for us, and it was our task to pick which one we thought was a hit and track its chart progress. I was one of two people who picked Purple Rain - to me it was undeniably head and shoulders above the rest, even though it was a real departure for what Prince was known for at the time.

Obviously, I picked the right record. :mrgreen:


Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:08 am
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Post Re: Study
The other thing I've found about the NS also coming off a bass guitar background was the NS is much easier to use a pick on. Slaps just like a regular bass too. So the instrument can do a lot, if you should run out of study materials via Stick, also look at acoustic guitar and bass.

Last week I met another local Stick player for the first time who plays lap style.

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Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:24 am
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Post Re: Study
Jeez, you guys are lucky; tons of other Stick players to bounce ideas off of...

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Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:48 am
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Post Re: Study
MichNS:

Quote:
Last week I met another local Stick player for the first time who plays lap style.

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Do you mean that he plays the Stick sitting down with a Lap Dawg or that he plays the NS seated
like a classical player or another way? Just curious as I am experimenting with the NS in the
style of a classical guitar. Thanks.

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Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:09 am
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Post Re: Study
I actually assumed he laid it flat on his lap and tapped it similar to Jeff Healey.


Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Study
Thanks man, I didn't think of that :| It's obvious.:oops:

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Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:52 pm
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Post Re: Study
Yes, standard Stick laid down flat, tapping away like Jeff Healey. He's also on this board, doesn't log in often.

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Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:53 pm
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