All posts by PineBlue

Workshops and Seminars to Improve Your Musical Skills

It’s always a plus to get some playing instructions from a pro. This weekend I am fortunate to be getting Chapman Stick tips and techniques from a few “Stick” masters.

Steve Adelson and Greg Howard are sharing some of their methods to a group of us at the Outer Space in Hamden, CT.

The Chapman Stick is a unique instrument.

I have been learning to play this instrument on my own for 6 months and this going to be a really exciting, and I am confident enlightening, experience.

Have you ever attended a group training on an instrument? Did you find it was beneficial?Any thoughts you’d like to share?

My first live appearance with the Chapman Stick

I finally broke the ice on April 21, 2011.

Bernie Landry and a 10 string stick
A view down the Chapman Stick

Did 2 songs on my own with the support of Florean the Harp player (harmonica).

We did a version of “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” and an original of mine called “What’s the Truth”.

Lessons learned:

1) Practice the tunes through an amp in a rehearsal room. Practicing in head phone does not give the real sense of whats happening; especially when I sing at the same time.

2) When playing the stick live, no music stand or other objects blocking the view of the audience who want to see the finger movements. They are intrigued with the stick.

3) the most common comment was, love the sound. I used a bit of chorus and reverb on the high string section of the stick and the Bass strings were “as is” (no effects at all).

Off to Connecticut for a Stick workshop with some of the greatest stick players on this planet.

It’s time to get composing


Tried the stick at a rehearsal. Not what I expected.

Here is a list of discoveries…

Know your amp – At the rehearsal I normally use an amp that is there. However… SURPRISE! When I got there the usual amp was gone and the amp available was awful. Lot’s of bottom but no highs. The stick just did not sound articulate. So could not really hear what I was doing.

Practice with your own amp on your own first… – Because I am in an apartment with thin wooden floors I can not practice with an amp in the apartment. Needc to get out and rent a room to practice in.

Know your instrument – Because the bass side of the stick is tuned in reverse and in fifths. You have to be comfortable with the tuning before bringing it into a band jam.

Now back to practicing…

Starting up a new discipline

It’s a new year and it’s time to apply a new approach

When I first started playing in the 60’s and 70’s, I practiced about 2 to 4 hours a day, on my own.

And with a band, I practiced 3 to 4 times a week.

So this year it’s going to be once a day… every day!

How about you?