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Jayesskerr

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Reply with quote  #1 

I created a new bit of music yesterday, "Take it for what it is" and while it's mostly a guitar tune, there is Stick (railboard) in it. In a bass role. After 5 years of beating my head against the wall I realize that I will never be any good at this instrument - So instead of continuing a quest for something that will never come to fruition, I recognise my strengths, and have chosen to emphasize those. I just don't have the time to invest in taking it (Free Hands) where I'd like to go. For those that have been able to learn and play the Stick well, I salute you. Didn't work out for me. :D 

So yeah, my Stick player has been fired as a lead guy - he's now a bass/support fella. hahaha And that's fine, my true voice is as a guitarist, all good - it's about making music. The things I like about the instrument that I can do naturally and easily are what I choose to play. And yeah, the basslines in this tune are simple, doesn't matter because I think that it works together to create a coherent overall bit of music that is pretty fun to listen to!


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Jayesskerr

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Reply with quote  #2 
Oh, here is the tune!


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ixlramp

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Reply with quote  #3 
Perhaps a single region tap guitar is more suitable for you?

I was recently disappointed to see that the 8 string Stick Railboard, unlike the wooden Stick Bass, divides the strings into 2 sets of 4 by placing a large gap between them along the entire length of the neck. Although it is intended to be capable of a single region of fourths, it seems to make dual region a slight priority, many dual region tunings are stated for it.
The gap makes a single region non-uniform and is something i could not accept.
The way Stick Enterprises are focussed on dual region tappers is one of the rare things about them that disappoint me. I think this has unintentionally harmed the popularity of tap guitars because it makes them so hard to play, when in fact they are in essence easy to play. Many other tap guitars then try to 'be like a Stick' and are also dual-region.
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Jayesskerr

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Reply with quote  #4 
Naw, the dual region aspect of it is fine, it is what it is - I can tap on a guitar or a bass with some proficiency too if I need it, and I have some chops with a Stick it's just that I honestly hate the "muzak" kind of approach to a cover tune where you have this generic bassline that implies the chord changes, but isn't quite the same, and then a simple melody over top of it. Sometimes it's cool, and some guys do it well, but it's not for me. And I don't want to carry the "Muzak" approach to my original stuff. Emmett's creation is perfect - for the right player, and I think that player is just not me. I need other articulations besides just taps...

So how can I always fit the Stick in? Well, I try to designate a role for it, and try not to step on any of the other instruments. And as for a songwriting tool, The Stick is amazing - gotta learn your chords though. Get that down, and be able to sing over top of it, and holy crap one would rule all of the coffee houses in the land.

But for the amount of work it takes to put together a mediocre instrumental arrangement of a tune on the Stick, and then be able to play it with no mistakes? Heck, I can take a Drum Machine or an iPod and do 50 of them with a guitar in the time it takes to do one on the Stick. And ergonomically, I have never been able to get comfortable with holding a stick, seated or standing. 

Does the Stick still get it's own voice in there? Heck yes! But for me, I have chosen to go with my strengths. An NS might be a more practical instrument for me, as I could utilize my other techniques while still tapping. I might trade one of my Sticks for one if the opportunity arose... Time will tell!

In the meantime, more music to be created...

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ixlramp

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Reply with quote  #5 
I was reading some interviews with Trey Gunn recently, he mostly uses a dual-region 10 string Warr Guitar, but rarely plays both sides at once (tuning is mirrored Crafty fifths, bass CGDAE, melody CGDAC). Mostly he uses both hands for one musical line in one of the regions.

I'm also not too interested in the stereotypical (heh) solo Stick music approach. I'm bothered by how the crossed hands technique forces the melody hand to higher frets, so the melody part is usually quite high pitched. The melody side is already quite limited by having only 5 or 6 strings tuned in fourths.

Assuming you have a 10 string Railboard, maybe fifths on the melody side would be good, so that both regions have a large range and are not limiting?

The strap button geometry of the NS Stick is not optimum for very high angle playing, it doesn't have the innovative Warr Guitars /Touch Guitars geometry that creates perfect neutral balance at any angle.
From owning a Hohner B2V Steinberger copy 5 string bass, i found that the small rectangular body is not comfortable or ergonomic when playing sitting. This was part of the reason i then moved to conventional design basses, as i usually play sitting.
A Warr 8 string ot Touch Guitars U8 would seem to suit you better?
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Jayesskerr

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Reply with quote  #6 
Well, just to clarify - for me this is just another step in the direction of what I want to play, and the music I can create. I like guitar music, and I play it well enough to create that kind of Satriani/Vai/Malmsteen sort of thing (among other things). It would be insanity to abandon that skillset. I just want to play, and create end of story. [smile]

No, for me it's like this; "what if a Stick guy was in the mix... what could happen...?" or "what if a violin guy was in the mix... what could happen...?" or what if/what if/what if.

You know, I am a big fan of collaborations and some of the best musical experiences I have had is when I collaborated with other musicians. Sure, there is a bit of compromise but the end result is always interesting. So as a multi-instrumentalist it's about "What can I do? What can I create? Is it interesting?"

lol nobody noticed my doubled piano line in the intro lick, nor did anyone comment yeton the 5 note grouped 16ths minor pentatonic nature of the piece of music, or the modes created from the superimposition over D5/9 Dmin7 Amin7 Emin7 G7-G7sus4 but alas... maybe next week! hahaha

The U8 Touch guitar seems appealing but I would really, really like to get my hands on one to try it out before I jump in and commit - it's a big endeavour! I mean, could I use my alternate picking technique on the instrument? My finger style stuff would probably work and I know my existing tapping skills would transfer right over. Gotta be able to play sitting and standing for me, and the stereo outs are a must also...Hmmm Maybe I'll send them an email and see what we can do...





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TDJMB

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for the posts, Jayesskerr.  If I ever get my T8 Touch Guitar (it shipped August 19 and has yet to arrive), I don't know if I'll be able to make anything of it.  But I can at least use it as a bass.  I've had various touch instruments over the years and didn't have the time to really get to know them.  In retirement, I hope to make a go of it and, at least, use the challenge to ward off dementia.
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Jayesskerr

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks for the posts, Jayesskerr.  If I ever get my T8 Touch Guitar (it shipped August 19 and has yet to arrive), I don't know if I'll be able to make anything of it.  But I can at least use it as a bass.  I've had various touch instruments over the years and didn't have the time to really get to know them.  In retirement, I hope to make a go of it and, at least, use the challenge to ward off dementia.

Hey man! Thanks for checking it out! I look forward to what you create when you get your axe! One of my pals just got a Harpejji and he is absolutely killing it after, like a day with it - of course he's an amazing pianist and Stickist too...

Anyways, keep us posted!

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Big George Waters

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Reply with quote  #9 

Some very interesting points made here, I must have been sleeping at the switch !!

Those observations on Trey’s playing are right on the money !!
I’ve seen Trey with the 2003 K.C. man that was life-changing……….. but seriously, I feel that Trey needed to move on to the Warr Guitar in order to develop his unique voice and style, which is very very original and exciting.

Ok… recently I ordered a RB-8 and I got the impression that Emmett did not want me to tune [or buy it for that matter !!] it in a single region Crafty tuning, it was like he was trying to steer me towards a wood SB-8 which - ironically I have a used one at S.E. on deposit,  but Cambria made it sound like maybe/probably next year for that – and the new RB-8 might be a bit sooner, since they have a different Railbeam to which I have agreed to go with, to speed things up some [plus, I like it when sometimes the decision is made for me !!] but that instrument – the Stickbass – with no space - is going to be in Interior Matched Recpricoal tuning !! so, dual region – while the RB-8 with the space ixlramp mentions - will be a single region…


I mentioned to Emmett that the extra space between the #4 and 5 strings means nothing, because I’m fine with it.

I believe this is due to using [for the most part…] all the same parts which make up the 10 string Railboard on the 8 string Railboard – same Railbeam, headstock… with 2 plugged holes [that threw me for a loop !!] and, well…. it’s all good to me although I would have rather not known about the headstock deal.

 

Now – to really shift gears, in line with my “less is more” approach when it comes to strings…. I will be soon seeing a Transparent Green NS Stick with a Moses graphite neck I just scored off of Reverb, that’s coming home on Tuesday… and although that one is coming set up in I.M.R., I am converting it back to what is called 8 string Guitar Intervals… which makes it back to being single region, and I am betting a real real fun instrument.

One thing I am also doing with that NS Stick– is that metal arm – that metal arm is going good bye !!
I see myself putting it through my eye, or into my head, or through my chest… throat… it’s just not a cool design, and I have no idea how or why they came to that, as astecially it’s a huge turn off and makes a real interesting instrument look – well, kinda toy…

I will take a page out of the M.Megatar book and figure out a far better straping solution….. because those instruments are super super comfortable to play either standing or seated.

Of interest… that NS Stick will be the very last instrument I purchase forever, as next year I shift gears and will be seeking less stressful work with less pay, which is fine.
*It’s funny that I will have it long before either the RB-8 and SB-8 that Stick Ent. is working on for me !!

As for the Honer’s I can’t vouch for them but the original 1980s Steinberger L-2, and XL-2’ were super comfortable cool instruments to play [they still are !!] and I always wondered why Emmett and Ned did not incorporate THAT strap design – with that hip plate that pivoted to whatever position one wanted…. with the NS Stick.

Wait a minute… now there’s a thought !!!

 

 

Oh, before I forget - the video/audio presented here: Man, it’s great……. It's fookin' TOTALLY ROCKS !!!
*I know, it’s a brief comment – but I’m really a simple person in that  I either like what I hear or I don’t and I don’t get into analyzing anything anymore, life it just too short at this point  in time for me…..

Cheers !!


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Big George W

           East Derby CT

Mobius Megatar - tuned in Classic Stick Tuning [5ths/4ths]

M.Megatar Toneweaver - tuned in Major 3rds

Warr Phalanx 12 - tuned in 5ths [melody], 4ths [bass]

NS Stick Transparent Green w/Moses graphite neck, tuned in 8-string Guitar Intervals

digitech, T.C. Electronics, ART, Lexicon, GK, Markbass, EA, Bag End, Guild/Hartke, SWR, EV, Radial, Ampeg, Trace Elliot, Furman

 

 

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