View Full Version : a touch guitarist is here!

03-09-2005, 01:57 AM
hey, everyone!

my name is michael (21) and i'm from new england. my favorite bands are king crimson and tool for their progressive abilities to "move" a composition with a seemingly perfect balance of drive and beauty. i am a VERY proud touch guitarist and love to brag about the unique chapman stick instrument (what a find!). i don't perform (yet), but i have adopted a fair amount of restrictions for my music compositions (staying away from power chords and implimenting actual theory...'cause anyone can write easy $#!^ like blink-182, right?). because of this, however (i have some tunes under my belt), it has been fairly difficult for me to really get into something i've created...especially being the perfectionist that i am (i.e. nothing is good enough for others to hear/enjoy ... a true fear of mine, which sucks). right now, i'm just getting to know my instruments. here's a list of my gear...

instruments ten-string chapman stick #758
seven-string ibanez rg7621
six-string ibanez gax75gp
six-string squier p.o.s. strat
six-string ibanez talman tcy15
five-sall tring ibanez edc715
four-string epiphone power bass 2
singh delux tabla set from mumbai
hardware digitech x-series bass multi chorus
digitech bp200 modeling processor
behringer eurorack ub1204-pro mixer
korg px3 multi-effects processor
dunlop gcb95 crybaby wah pedal
boss ds-1 distortion pedal
korg ca-20 chromatic tuner
amplification crate bx-25
aiwa stereo system
squier champ 15
items i use daily are in the bold font

see you all on the boards...

03-09-2005, 04:32 AM
OHHH MAN!!!!!!!!! Ive always wanted to meet a chapman stick palyer, I would absolutley LOVE to hear some of your stuff!!!!! I love the chap. stick ;) WELCOME AT IBREATHE!!!! I hope you can grace us in the articles sections with somthing on touch style!!! Much appriciated!


03-09-2005, 03:43 PM
Forgive me for my ignorance but by touch you mean touch tapping right? Such as Stanley Jordan and Adam Fulara? If so i'd really be interesting in hearing your stuff and do you figure out songs yourself for both hands or if you use sheet music. I'v learned a couple Stanley Jordan songs and really interested in this type of stuff but i cant really find any tabs and im not good at transposing sheet music currently. Either way i hope i'm on the right track or i look like a total moron, lol. Welcome to the forums and hope we can be of help and you could contribute with your technique :).

03-09-2005, 07:25 PM
Welcome to Ibreathe! By the way...what's touch guitaring? lol

03-09-2005, 07:29 PM
yeah its great having a touch player onboard! if you have any tips on playing in that style let us know. two hand tapping is cool when used as something more than just flash.

03-09-2005, 08:53 PM
Welcome to Ibreathe! By the way...what's touch guitaring? lol

I don't know if this is what he means but....


http://www.bobzabek.com/VIDEOS.htm (although the 'blues jam' video is more conventional playing, but this guy is sweeeeeet. Check out "Dead man etude")

03-09-2005, 10:27 PM
Touch tapping is when you dont play with a pick. Instead you fret chords and solos by hammering down on the string or pulling off. Alot of touch tappers used double necked guitars or ones with more than 6 strings and also have a dampener on the end of the neck so the strings dont ring out after you let go of the chord. Of course some guitarists dont use dampeners but it makes it easy for faster playing. Usually Classical songs (left and right hands played) are played on guitar or ragtime/blues and it sounds more like a piano or a bass and a guitar in one. Its really beautiful sounding if you perfect it. Of course this is what i imagine he means by touch guitarist. I'd really like to learn more though and learn some other songs.

Asperjames II
03-09-2005, 11:52 PM
hi! i'm new here too, and i've also recently gotten into the touch style. it's amazing, and i'm practicing a lot. have you seen Adam Fulura?

03-10-2005, 12:50 AM
a tap-release movement on any other guitar will act as "hXp0" ("x" of course being whatever fret you've tapped). but when a "damper" system exists (as with most touch guitars), every note you tap will only have the "hX" effect. the sustain of each fretted note relies on how long the fingers are physically on the fretboard. i love the control. it feels a lot like playing the piano on a huge guitar fretboard!

i recommend everyone to check out this site (and the videos by greg howard):
stick enterprises - method (http://stick.com/method/)

i'm not very close to working independence yet, but then again i just found the instrument (used, fully loaded, and $1,500 below market price) in november and haven't found a teacher 'round these parts. soon enough, though, soon enough...i'll keep you all updated, hehe. if anyone knows of any independent exercises, i can convert it to the stick lickidy split.

sadly, the stick is very rare, and you won't find it in any major retail stores like guitar center. what i had to do was go to stickist.com, ask a TON of questions, and try to find someone close by who was willing to sell their instrument. yes, that's right...i had to buy to try. a HUGE leap of faith right there...but it did pay off. since it's a family business (out of their garage), a new instrument can take up to $3,000 and a full year to get to you! THAT kind of price and anticipation was something i wasn't looking forward to at all. i waited about half a year before i had the money to spend on it at the same time someone was willing to let their stick go.

a ten-string chapman stick ($1900) from 1994, with the "free hands" isntruction book ($20), three bob culbertson "lessons on the stick" videos ($80), a hard case ($200), a soft case ($90), and stereo cord ($36). all of that for $1000 because i waited and asked around. it's in perfect shape, helped a berklee student through school and performances, and has been such an amazing challenge for me thus far. i couldn't be happier! soon, once i have $3000 or so to spend (these sorta things are what get me through, ya know?), i'll be ordering a custom instrument with all of the necessary specifications (necessary for me), probably a twelve string...with active pickups, and a full midi system. but i'm just starting here, and although i'm fast to learn something i have a passion for, i've got to be realistic...to think about where i might go with it down the road.

i think it'd be neat to own one of these, a phalanx 14 - $4900:

or a trey gunn signature (by warr guitars) - $4495:

so far, i've only transposed and learned (inside and out) the lo-ong (AMAAAAAAZING!!!) bridge to king crimson's oh so beautiful "starless" (i smashed the bass AND guitar together!)...i've also tackled a chris crain composition called "gypsies" (the first thing i learned)...i'm about halfway through the beginning video by bob culbertson...i transposed silverchair's "untitled" and the beginning to dream theater's "new millennium". so far, that's it. the I-IV-V-I blues progression is sooooo simple on the stick, so there are about a million songs right there...nailed! hehe.

check out these touch guitar tunes:

bob culbertson's "spanish sun (http://www.stickmusic.com/Spanish_Sun.mp3) " (on the acoustick)
trey gunn's "dziban (http://www.warrguitars.com/mp3/dziban.mp3)" (his own signature warr guitar)
chris crain's arrangement of "linus & lucy (http://home.earthlink.net/~stickmusic/linus.mp3)" (stick)

i want to be these people (especially mr.gunn) :cool: oh yeah

and thank you...i am indeed enjoying the atmosphere of this forum and will defintely look forward to posting. so far, so good!

03-10-2005, 01:42 AM
Any songs you transpose onto tab or sheet music, i was wondering if you didnt mind could you send them to me also. I really love that style but i never find any tabs. Or if you know of any sites with touch tapping tabs. Thanks a bunch.

03-10-2005, 02:24 AM
YO Level Five welcome to ibreathe, great to have some different instrumentalists joining!

03-10-2005, 02:44 AM
i think i know what style you're thinking of... maybe like kaki king? i definitely want to learn that, and probably should start...but the chapman stick touch guitar isn't that kind of "involved" while tapping for a sound. the action is REALLY low, the strings are almost resting on every rail of the fret board. when tapping down, you're goal is for that string is to create "a new nut" at the rail of whatever you're fretting...that is your new string length and pitch. when you press between the frets all the way to the board, the pitch is actually bending (maybe a quarter tone). the style king uses, you're always slamming your fingers to get the strings against the actual board...without bending the pitch so much. also, if your thinking of using my techniques (the transposed music i've done), keep in mind that it is for a ten-string chapman stick, which has both a melody and bass side to it...split right down the middle (usually). which means that the intervals of each string are all over the place. ...oh, and because of the damper, you can't get an open string to sound...and you have half the space to tap on the first fret. AND...there are EIGHT (8) different places on the fretboard to play pitch D4 with the stick (it's all a matter of tone).

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6
C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D

1 D -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-
2 A ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24----------------
3 E -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-------------------------------
4 B ----------------------------------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24----------------------------------------------
5 F# -------------------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-------------------------------------------------------------
6 C -(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7 G ----------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 D -------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-------------------------------------------------------------------------
9 A ----------------------------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24----------------------------------------------------
10 E -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(0)-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-------------------------------
notice that the melody side (top 5 strings) are tuned in 4ths, just like a guitar's first four strings (E-A-D-G) and then the top two (B-e). and the "bass" side (the bottom 5 strings) are tuned by fifths in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION. sounds confusing, i know...but it makes perfect sense once you learn something on it.
either way... tappistry.org (http://tappistry.org/) will help you a lot!

03-10-2005, 02:54 AM
Good to see you here, bro. Touchstyle is sooo cool.....

Personally, I dig it as a part of the whole (POM, Justin King, Jennifer Batten, etc.) rather than the main shebang, but guys like Trey Gunn & Adam Fulara & the mighty Traktor are inspiring to say the least.

03-10-2005, 03:45 AM
right, well...i've been really focused on limiting the size of a band. if you have a singer, give him/her a goddamn instrument! with the stick, all i need is a percussionist (who also sings), and then we can harmonize. two people in a band...and we'll sound just as full as 99% of the radio bands with 4/5-members. it's a lot more impressive, too. and i won't have to rely on someone else for something, i'm in complete control.

03-11-2005, 02:46 AM
Ha I've decided to start learning this 'tap'. I'm just using it on a six string guitar though, is that okay? What would you suggest to practise this Technique? I've been practising it for 2 days now. Just doing chords up and down the neck with taps. Like arpegios with basslines and stuff. I have blisters on my right hand index and middle fingers, they hurt like a biznatch to play but I'm ganna keep on it so they callous over real nice. I havn't really used my ring or pinky, I don't have much dexterty with those. I need some exercises. What do you do?

03-11-2005, 02:49 AM
By the way, this is like the most awesomest thing I've ever found on guitar. Thanks for pointing it out. I've seen Les Claypool do two hand tapping a lot but I never knew what it was called. This Technique is fuun

03-11-2005, 02:30 PM
Hey Level Five-

Man that Stick is awesome. Who knew there were such instruments around- I'm glad that I'm a part of a forum where people can open my eyes to these things. I only wish I could hear more of it- think you could show me some more sites to find some of this instrument? Also- how does it sound just as full as a 4-5 member band?

03-11-2005, 04:16 PM
Love that version of 'Linus and Lucy' such a clear, bright sound!!!

Is that just 8-finger tapping or do you use thumbs as well?

If the thumbs are used I could see close similarities between these players and the way Jeff Healy uses his fretting hand!

03-11-2005, 10:19 PM
That is absolutely awesome... I want one...

03-12-2005, 12:52 AM
hmm...good finger independance excersizes would be Bach and pretty much anything Baroque. There's also some classical guitarists like Julian Arcas that you can pretty much use octave displacement and learn from those songs by example. Any Bach song would be pretty much a good excersize in finger independance. Good luck and I look forward to hearing some of your clips using the Stick.