The Chapman Stick

Head of a Chapman Stick

The Chapman stick was invented in the 1970’s. It’s essentially the neck of a 10 stringed guitar. It’s intended to be hammered, strummed, or stroked with a bow, but it’s most times hammered.

I’ve seen many hammer style guitar players, but with the chapman stick there are far more fingers available, so you get many more notes.

Here are a couple examples:

You can read more about the Chapman Stick in Wikipedia.

The Hang

Close-up of a person playing the Hang

Welcome to the inaugural post of Eclectic Jams! Here I’ll periodically be posting links to non-mainstream instruments or performances, as I find them.

Our first instrument is one I just learned about this week, it’s called the Hang, though sometimes called a Hang Drum.  The name Hang comes from the Bernese German word for hand.

It sounds somewhat similar to steel drum, but since they’re hit with the hand it’s a much softer strike. I was surprised by the range of the scale, each simple gives a different note, and there are more dimples than are readily apparent.

It took me a while to get a glimpse of the bottom of one, but there’s a hole, about the size of the hole in an acoustic guitar.

There are only two people that have ever made them, and those people have quit, more’s the pity.

If you’d like to read more, check out Wikipedia.

There are lots of videos on Youtube, like these excellent examples: