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This thing with tapping on multistringed extended range instruments

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by MatsEriksson, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    This chap makes a pleasant enough noise.

    Along with Tony Levin, Nick Beggs is worth looking up. Here he is with JPJ.



    Tunes, not tickety-tockety-schmickety-schmockety re-interpretations of the Mario theme or 'Through The Fire And Flames'
     
  2. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Haha, and I have been accused for owning and playing a Chapman Stick. I've tried it once or twice on music fairs, and shows, that's it. But regionally, whenever I bump into old colleagues who had been moved out of town since ages, and when we bump into each other they first asks me the question "Do you still have the Stick?" and I just raise my eyebrows and replies "Never ever had one and never will..." and they go "I thought you were like...sort of...avant garde...guy" some sort of "this-goes-to-eleven" answer, and thought that I was all about mongrel, left-field instrumentalist, and interested in all things bizarre, off-kilter oddball stuff, just for the sake of it.

    Beats me.

    Maybe it's because I once bought a headless bass, and maybe that looked like a stick, I don't know. People made up their own conclusions on that one... o_O

    EDIT: forgot to tell you that I once got called up by another one in town, totally unkown person to me, that owned a Stick, and wanted to bond with another Stick player in town. He got my number from someone else who was one of those who thought that I played and owned a Stick. I was struck dumbfounded. Like, if anyone who plays guitar should phone up someone else to "bond" with.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  3. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Now listen, you KNOW this tune do you? It's been made and heard before. If I had my way, the top voice leading melody should definitely be much louder than the accompanying stuff, and if I didn't already knew the melody, I wouldn't be able to tell which was which. And it still bloody hell isn't. I wouldn't have guessed which of the notes in this quagmire was the main melody or just a chord voicing. It's the dynamics, the accents (non existent) are all the same, and dynamics, which leaves me still with my former attitude.

    Instead, this was a perfect example, of the "compressed" and limited dynamics of the instrument. Or more likely the tapping executed on it. Still "tickety-tock" in arrangement albeit more slowly.
     
  4. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That would be awesome. I think Tosin Abasi is almost the only guy to do this. He has said that if all that was available was a five string guitar he would have figured out how to use it. Ten years ago he created something quite different with 8 strings and it is still cool.

    Sarah Longfield simply used 8 string fo find her own voice on the guitar, and talks about how tapping allowed her to play what she hears in her head. Super cool. I haven't heard everything out there from djent boys and 8 stringers but in my opinion those two make it work best and are truly original. Many guys, me included, are playing 6 string riffs just a lot lower.
     
  5. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Anecdote from the tour of this particular lineup. When they were performing some ten years back in my town at a 300 seater, one of my friends had front row tix. After 15 minutes they had to move, because all that they heard was the acoustic drums - acoustically - not miked up. They had to move far back, and yet was the 2 sticks too low down in the mix. The only thing that was miked up on the drums was bass drum. The 2 stick had both Ampeg and Mesa Boogie stacks on stage. Go figure. Not enough dynamics. Pat Mastellotto is a hard hitter, but anyways. It wasn't a sole isolated incident I've read.
     
  6. sk25

    sk25 Tele-Meister

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    Ooh, ooh! I can do this too! "You're either closed minded, or an idiot!" No other options, huh? Just one or the other?

    Ok ok, I'll admit there was a little hyperbole going on there. But, for the most part up to the point I made my first post, most of the thread really did amount to exactly what I said, or in other words "It's different from what I know, so I don't like it". Most of the criticisms (or at least, all the criticisms I remember at this point, a couple hours later) declared these instruments to be musically useless/only played by posers/or show-off instruments with no further value, with justifications typically falling along the typical, tired old lines of "that's not MY music" or "TAPPING! There is no emotion!", even if those exact words were not used.

    I apologize if the wording of my first post somehow offended you; from time to time I am overwhelmed with frustration over the musical closed-mindedness that runs rampant on this site, as useful as the site itself is.
     
  7. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    If you get further away from rock/metal/pop there are artists/composers who are using these instruments in more interesting (but still hard to access) ways, and they don't just sit there and tap the strings.

    I get the dislike of the tapping. They've picked up additional range but they give up tons of dynamics and they seemingly use very little of the unique qualities of a guitar if they just tap. They're using a string instrument as a keyboard with an alternate note layout... and the guitar is a really poor keyboard compared to an actual keyboard where you get the dynamics back. It is interesting you rarely see these artists playing weird extended intervals and chords that the extra strings allow.

    A lot of the djent stuff is interesting but it seems like it would work better if they just had a bassist.
     
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  8. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    There's technical proficiency but the performance itself- the "being on stage in front of an audience" part- leaves me a bit cold. They stare at the instruments a lot. Sort of reminds me of the lyrics cheat-sheet objections. This is more like sit-and-appreciate-the-complexity music.

    Maybe once we dope out the "Chapman stick" genre conventions everyone will be fine and people can take it or leave it, but as of now they don't seem to fit properly anywhere.

    I was thinking the other day about a clip that Westie posted (@w3stie? are you out there?) and how much audience connection has become so much a part of the "rock band performance" format. I'm not sure how you could get from the playing in the Chapman Stick clips posted in this thread to Chuck Prophet's performance in the clip below, even if the Stick players are more technically wizardly:



    Has actual finger vibrato been replaced with NECK SHAKING?
     
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  9. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    It seems like touch guitar has only gone down hill since this guy:




    Today's touch guitar music, from what I've heard, always sounds like a dentist's waiting room. Why innovate ways to bore people? I mean it's good you don't have to pay a bass player, I guess...
     
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  10. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  11. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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  12. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    hi there , hope your well,
     
  13. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1. These Stick performances remind me of piano recitals, come to think of it. I can appreciate a well-practiced etude (oh, you composed it, too?), but man, I need a song if we're going to connect. Say what you will about Primus, but Les Claypool proves that you can work tapping/slapping into entertaining songs!
     
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  14. PC_Hater

    PC_Hater Tele-Meister

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    I agree with all the negative comments here.
    No dynamics but you can bend strings, OK, it is a modern take on a harpsichord!
    And I do like a lot of baroque harpsichord stuff.
    And a Chapman stick is cheaper and easier to carry about than a harpsichord.

    A bit of tapping here and there is perfectly acceptable, but when that is all the instrument does?
    It might be amusing to give one to Fred Frith and see what he could do with it!

    They could lay it flat and use a 'steel' on it, that would work, and it wouldn't be tickety-tockety.
     
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  15. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Too many notes. :D

     
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  16. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd never thought of that...;)

    Not that I've ever played either instrument, by the way.
     
  17. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    But yes, there you go. Twin neck, double necked guitars doesn't have that much wow factor as opposed to a whole skateboard with 10 strings on. Or a Djent neck with 2019 strings on it. If anything I would rather have the 10 string split up in two necks, like this guy, one for low end, and one for high end. The total scale can then be scaled to appropriate lengths, and the high notes are longer, and you can still get each hand around each neck. You can even then have separate pickups to be able to have different timbre, and of course, separate outputs to separate amps, one for the bass end, and one for the high end.

    Still: Just tapping.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Another comparison, of which you can very well imagine:

    Ok, now we've established the "keyboard" kind of tapping made on these instruments. Now, imagine you have an acoustic piano, or acoustic grand piano player. He plays a piece. But, initially impressive, after a while, it slowly dawns on you that the only chords he seems to be playing are just broken chords, i e arpeggios, short dotted notes, and no pedalling, and just modal scales, arpeggios across the keyboard. After a while, you think "is that it? Is that the only thing he/she can do?". No pedaling, no inversions of block closed voiced chords, any time at all, or especially, absolutely no dynamics, everything played at a moderate level, and no single notes sticks out from the chord as in voice leading, or any chord progression at all.

    And after a while, you check out other pianists, and discovers...well...they're the same.

    Sort of.
     
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  18. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    When tasteful--well-placed in a larger piece, briefly done, melodic and mood-enriching--tapping can be effective and, well, art.

    But if it goes on a fraction too long, or veers over the edge into show-offy crapola, then gimme this--

    --any day, instead.

    Sometimes I over-reach in my own music writing. I'll ignore the Plain Jane chord or simple melody and go for the really clever or really tough or really complex. Sweat makes grace, and all that. So, for me, excessive tapping is inversely useful. It reminds me that not only is less so often more, but also that "Whatever works best" is so much better than needlessly complex.
     
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  19. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Now, I don't mind tapping just as a part of your technique repertoire, but if it is exclusively used, it gets a tad meh, especially if you try tapping on an acoustic guitar without amplification you'll get the idea. However, if tapping is used only as a small part, and on amplified,processed acoustic guitar, of your execution, it may very well take you places...



    He can explode with dynamics, drama, tension and release. Yet to hear Stick "explode" like that. Or really, any Stick player.
     
  20. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    Honestly I’m much more annoyed by the millions of white guy bar band hacks playing blues shuffles.

    Now if they did it on a 20 string.....
     
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