All posts by PineBlue

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?

Chapman Stick – A Humbling Experience

I have had the Stick now for a little over 2 weeks.

It’s humbling to accept that it will take a bit of time before I can feel “capable” to play it solo for anyone. When examining it online and listening to others play the stick, I thought it would be easy because of my 30 plus years playing bass, guitar and keyboards… NOT!

The fascinating thing is that I have to practice with headphones, because my downstairs neighbor hears it coming through the floor. When listening on headphones while you practice is less than forgiving. You hear every little nuance (good or bad) so it takes some getting use to and it males you very aware of your technique.

A most humbling experience!

The Chapman Stick Arrived

On October 5 my Chapman stick arrived. I have to admit that although I have played Bass for over 30 years, I am a bit nervous at how easily I will be able to pick this up.

My musical journey on this instrument is exciting and mysterious. How will this instrument in my hands respond to my ideas?

Bernie on the Chapman Stick
Bernie on the Chapman Stick

When I took it out of its case I knew exactly how to put it on because I had been studying the stick online seriously for over 4 months.

Now because I know and understand music (I can read music and have composed music for television and for myself over the years) I am not starting from zero. Also having played bass and guitar for so many years, I am comfortable with fingers touching strings.

When I got acquainted with the instrument over the first few hours there were 2 challenges:

1)      The different tuning. The bass especially because it is tuned in 5ths and the strings ascend in reverse.

2)      The newness of hand taping with the right hand

I did manage to work out the bass riff for “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder and “I’m a Man”, Steve Winwood. It does sound cool. However, it starts to sound interesting when I put the chords over it.

Now off to play… tamiflu 75 mg.

The Chapman Stick at the Border

My new Chapman Stick is sitting at the border, the studio is starting to shape up and I’m putting in 1 hour a day playing bass and guitar.

Tracking my stick’s trip on UPS, just waiting for customs to clear… Gee sounds like an Arlo Guthrie song.

This is what my stick looks like but the inlays and tuning keys are different

Playing an hour a day, here is my first discovery.

It’s interesting how at times you seem to be spinning your wheels. So much effort trying to get a bit of traction. And at times forward momentum is sooooo… slow that it almost feels like going backwards.

That’s how my playing feels why not try these out.

However, I know from experience when I played regularly, that if you just keep doing it consistently, you allow your EARS to guide you. So when the moment comes when the muse materializes, even if for only for an instant, a leap in ability, confidence, excitement and joy takes place.

I can’t wait! Lets play…