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The Chapman Stick is a multi-string touch board instrument invented in the late 1960s by Californian Emmett Chapman.


The original Stick was made with 10 strings, 5 bass strings and 5 treble strings but there are currently many combinations with the Grand Stick being the largest with 12 strings. 


Each hand uses the tapping technique to play bass, chords and melodies independently over a range of 5 ¼ octaves.

The Stick comes from the guitar and bass, but its playing method also shares roots with keyboards and drums to create a whole new musical language.


Today they are still made exclusively by Stick enterprises in California.


Photo by Suzanne Bainton

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