2019 Chapman Stick Workshop

Course Descriptions


Basic Concepts

Triads, left and right hands and application. Simple two handed concepts. Simple scale formations.
Beginner course

Improv and Basic Techniques

Improvisation and basic techniques. Determining vocabulary and tools to create music for composition or improvisation.
Beginner course

Bass line and melody basics

How to create a bass line. How to make your solos more interesting. Application of various scales, arpeggios and techniques.
Advanced course

Advanced Concepts

Harmony, polychords, incorporated into melodic concepts. Advanced techniques. Groove!
Advanced course


Basic "Free Hands" technique

The Stick is based on a whole new way of making music with strings. While there are similarities with instruments like bass and guitar because we are selecting and activiating the notes with the same hand, a whole new way of fretting the strings emerges which combines fingers, hands, arms, the whole body, to build better hand independence, improve tone and enhance dynamic control. This class is recommended for beginners and more advanced players who have not taken it before.
Beginner course

Unified bass technique

This approach to basslines works in all cases, whether you are learning a part for a song, or improvising a groove or solo. Learn one simple master strategy for navigating 5ths and apply it pentatonically, diatonically, chromatically, and in larger intervals.
Advanced course

Focus on independence

A new lesson developed for the Charlottesville independence training workshop, players will learn how to focus their attention on each hand without losing control of the other. A simple set of exercises is offered that you can expand on as you get more proficient.
Beginner course

Playing the whole board

We will start with "seeing" parts of scales and keys in individual regions, in each hand, and learn how to expand them in all directions. Who needs positions when you have all these frets and strings...?
Advanced course


Three basic rhythms

We will work on playing simple bass and chords together using 3 distinct methods to get you started right away.

#1 will be a 2 hand bass and rhythm guitar sound.
#2 will emulate what a keyboard player might play.
#3 will emulate a finger picking guitar style.

All three methods are great for playing the changes of basic songs or singing along with. Beginner course

"Wish You Were Here"

Learn how to find and arrange basic cords quickly using Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here" for practice. You will learn the eight most important notes on the bass side to anchor your bass and chord combinations. Also, we we'll learn a very simple method for adding an intro Melody. Beginner course

Articulation and tone

In this course we will learn several techniques for articulation and expression ranging from basic sustain techniques to improve your overall sound to more advanced techniques for expression. Percussion, harmonics, slide, bend, dissonance overlap, flamenco strum emulating and lead guitar techniques are some examples include. Advanced course

Playing freely and by ear

We will cover using universal patterns for each hand to play freely without key or position restrictions. First playing Melody to steady bass chords then freedom of the bass along with the steady melody side chording. I will also talk about how to hear intervals and modes to play the pattern from what you are hearing. This technique will allow the player to play along with most songs without even thinking about what key or scale they are in. Of course keys and modes can be analyzed after the fact. Advanced course