28 October 08 - Steve Adelson (New York), to Stickwire:
It was most gratifying as a teacher to perceive that twinkle in the students' eyes when seminar ideas suddenly became part of their new reality. It's extremely rewarding to be part of this process. Our little fraternity expands each year and folks like Glenn and Oz help promote this environment. I applaude all who participate, whether building Sticks, attending seminars, recording their music or just practicing in the bedroom. The Stick and its community are creating history, in real time.
17 October 08 - Jeff Mockus (USA), to Stickwire:
150 sticky fingers! Donuts were not to blame...Thanks for a great weekend, everyone. After all the years of going it alone, it was an incredible introduction to the Stick community. It was a pleasure and an honor to learn with and from all of you, and testament to the versatility of the instrument to see and hear the variety of approaches and results.
Tom, thanks for re-animating the grey matter in our music theory lobes, and providing careful scrutiny of our misplaced fingers. Don, thanks for the tasty grooves to play along with, and for finding the good in our playing to build upon. Neil, what can we say? Keep throwing this party! Thank you for the hospitality, enthusiasm, and drummer's perspective on tapping.
25 April 07 - Eric Knapp (WI), to Stickist.com:
I went to my first Stick Seminar a couple of weekends ago. My first
words of advice for new members of the Stick community is to listen
to Greg when he talks like this. His system really works and he is an
amazing player. I will go to as many of his seminars as I can in the
coming years to learn and to listen.
07 November 06 - Rich Snyder (MD), to Stickist.com:
The seminar was great for me. Complete newbie. It was like picking
up a guitar for the first time and having Eddie VanHalen show you how
to play. If you have the opportunity to attend one in the future -
02 August 06 - Dave Brosky (PA), to Stickwire:
It was an honor and privilege to be on the same stage at Stickfest with
Emmett, Greg, Steve, Bob, Tom (G), Gary & Glenn (they are so famous, it's
like a first name thing like "Cher"), in addition to Oz, Darrell, Vance,
Japhlet, the Garner Family, Jason, Morgan, Aarron, and Vijith. It was the
most amazing canvas of talents and styles assembled and expressed the beauty,
power, and uniqueness of this wonderful instrument. The seminar was
incredible - kudos to Glenn, Greg and Oz for its information, breadth and
inspiration. I highly encourage everyone to attend the next one in your
area, regardless of your skill level, perceived or otherwise. The Stick
community is encouraging and supportive to all Stick players no matter what
level you are, or what style you pursue. Glenn did an excellent job as
multi-player, participant and scribe, so check out his most tubular tome
at 121normal.com or link from Stick.com.
21 April 06 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
The first seminar I ever taught was in Southern California, ten years ago
next month. The friendships that began there will last a lifetime, I'm
sure. The sheer variety of instruments from throughout 32 years of Stick
production is always a kick to see. Even if you can't make it to the
seminar, be sure to come to the concerts. There's nothing like seeing 4
or 5 different approaches to the instrument in one night to get you thinking.
11 April 05 - Jaap Kramer (Holland), to Stickwire:
The atmosphere was very good (lots of good talks amongst
participants and teachers), and I was impressed by the friendliness,
intensity and professionalism of all five teachers. It was also
good that, while there was a nice amount of "Stick-freakyness", a
lot of attention went to overall musicianship (even more important
than the instrument itself, IMHO). Just like the seminars in 1999
and 2000 that I attended, the lessoons where informative and
enjoyable. Thanks folks!!!
18 October 04 - Brett Bottomley (CT), to Stickwire:
Just got back from the mid-Atlantic seminar. Let me start by saying that this
was one of the most musical and enjoyable experiences I've had in many years.
The brotherhood of Stick players and their giving nature and support is
unparalleled. The instructors at the seminar were nurturing and
honest. Being a
professional music educator, I didn't know what to expect from the
student/teacher relationship) standpoint. I have never been more impressed by
skilled teaching in all my life.
I spent most of my time with Greg and Bob. With Bob I gained
insight into the
theoretical, musical and emotional side of stick playing. What a great guy
and woderful musician. There is no substitute for watching and
hearing a master
playing the instrument you are learning. With Greg I learned about
the techniques of Stick playing, sound and soul. A special thanks
to Greg for everything especially encouraging me to perform on
Stick Night when I was ready to back out - it made all the difference.
This was a seminal moment in my journey with the Stick.
Everything I play on
it from here on will be directly influenced by my experiences in
Charlottesville. I already know that I am a better Stick player and musician.
I have found that playing the same lines with a more physical
connection to the instrument makes the lines more expressive, and
quite frankly I'm
now playing them cleaner and more from the heart - thanks Greg.
19 July 04 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
Teaching a class is very different than teaching individual students.
I like both, but I think I'm stronger in a class setting. I like to see
the cross-pollenation of ideas taking place. It's a really interesting,
diverse and inspired community. I've noticed a trend towards younger
players coming as well. These cats are hungry. They have a vision for
themselves with a career as Stick players and they want to jump on it.
This is great to see. Based on what the young players are doing, starting
in their teens and early 20's, I'd say The Stick has a strong, expansive
future. The next 20 years should be really interesting.
13 July 04 - David Barrett (Toronto), to Stickwire:
I was totally floored by the amount of learning that went on at the
Seminar. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but three solid days of at
*least* 8 hours of instruction each day exceeded it for sure. I can
think of at least 1/2 dozen things that were each, alone, worth the
time and money spent going to the seminar. The quality of the instuction
was phenomenal, and I can't think of even a single time when I felt bored.
Thanks Greg, Steve and Fred. Thanks Mitch for organizing it.
23 March 04 - Steven Lamphear (AL), to Stickwire:
Greg is not only an absolutely amazing Stick player,
he's also a geniunely great guy to be around. In
addition to fixing some of my playing problems (my
left hand thumb, my finger-to-fret locations, and my
lack of large muscle usage, to name a few), he also
taught me how to use chopsticks, and had a great sense
of humor throughout the day. The concert was the most
powerful and expressive performance I have ever seen
from any single musician. It gave me inspiration
beyond words, and I'm sure I'll be running on that
inspiration for years to come.
23 March 04 - Jeff McLeod (AL), to Stickwire:
I just wanted to post here and publicly thank Greg Howard for an amazing
weekend of fun and learning this past Saturday and Sunday. Greg taught a
master class here in Montgomery AL Saturday and played two completely
wonderful sets of his beautiful compositions, innovative interpretations
ranging from Mingus to The Beatles and improvisations full of jaw-dropping
power that evening. On Sunday, he hosted our local gathering of
musicians--the Alabama Improv Co-op--leading us all through improv
strategies and ideas for approaching experimental music.
For me, this was the greatest learning experience that I, as
a Stick player
and musician, have ever had. I'm already seeing improvements in my playing
and am even more excited about The Stick than I was the day it came off the
UPS truck. Thanks, Greg, for sharing your knowledge and self with
22 December 03 - Scott Williams (PA), to Stickwire:
I've only been to one seminar, but it will definitely not be the last! There
were a few key things I learned in San Jose: 1. the instrument does not limit
the possibilities, many styles were demonstrated effectivley by skilled
practitioners. 2. you don't have to be a "shredder" to have something
meaningful to say on the Stick....although it is very impressive when both
hands are whacking away at break-neck speeds! 3. many others seem to be in
the same boat as me trying to put all the pieces together. I'm finding having
a method book like Greg Howard's to be very beneficial - it keeps me on track
(most of the time!) and I appear to be making better progress as a result.
20 November 03 - Jerry Ballard (CA), to Stickwire:
My biggest impression from the seminar is a reaffirmation of the reason I'm
in this community in the first place. Seeing what people are doing on what
is essentially a tabla rasa (sp?)... A clean slate so to speak, lets me
experience a view of creativity that's very rare and very inspiring... And
very unusual in the cut-and-paste society we live in. Even though I may
benefit a bit less on the technical side that others, the feedback I got
20 November 03 - Steve Adelson (NY), to Stickwire:
We had a teacher's show-and-tell on Saturday that lasted 6 hours. In his
spot, Bob explained his thought process to arranging tunes. Well, he told
us that beyond playing two-handed tapping, he's been dividing each hand
into 2 separate zones. His left hand might play a bass line with 2 fingers
and add a melody with the other 2. Likewise the right hand could play chords
and add counterpoint. So now Bob is playing with FOUR hands. Wow. Blew me
away. Gotta' go practice.
18 November 03 - Jerry Ballard (CA), to Stickwire:
Overall, I was even more impressed than ever with the mind set of our
community that has taken a different path precisely because of the
opportunities to blaze new musical trails by leaving behind expectations.
The creativity I saw this week was stunning. Kudos to all.
18 November 03 - Qua Veda (OR), to Stickwire:
So many activities, performances, anecdotes! The performances were, of
course, incredible. The variety of insight and instruction made it a
truly extraordinary experience. We reaped a harvest from the seeds of
artistry, invention and genius that were sowed by Emmett during the last
30 years. This Seminar brought out the very best of human qualities.
Andre Pelat reminded us all that giving the gift of our music to our
audience is more important that mistake-free playing. Andre fully
embodied this principle - he was simply radiant!
11 July 03 - Bruno Quesnel (Canada), From Montreal Stick Seminar 2003 Report:
Five days dedicated to the Stick, in Montreal, WOW! I must admit that I was a little intimidated at first but everyone was really cool and helpful. After just a few minutes, Greg adjusted my Stick at the right angle and position and it made a big difference. Seeing beginner players and more advanced ones are really interesting and inspiring. I felt like a sponge absorbing as much information as possible.
Warm-up exercises, hand (head?) independence, theory and practice, every aspect of the seminar was great. A lot of thanks to the instructors, Greg, Jim and Steve, for their teaching and patience with the beginners like me.
The Sunday night show was great. Part II of the show was transcendent, I don't remember how long the jam went but I was very impressed to see four Stick players -and Seb on drums- with different musical background play together. I almost dropped a tear when Olivier played Bach's prelude on my Stick, what an honour!
I strongly suggest to all players to go to a seminar, it's amazing how much we can learn in a few days. Special thanks to the organizer Mitch, and hope to see you all in Montreal next year!
11 July 03 - Christopher Chiasson (Canada), From Montreal Stick Seminar 2003 Report:
I got to the first day of the session for a review of some technical basics with Greg Howard. I'd heard of Greg a while back but never really got to know any of his material until I'd heard a little something he'd done on a Dave Matthews tune, which I think was called "The Dreaming Tree." Refreshingly, he wasn't playing bass like I'd heard so many others do. Sure enough, Greg was a pro. I stood and listened. The beginners were given the basics about how playing the Chapman Stick should be as ergonomically stable as possible. Hand posture and an open-style technique allow the player to be flexible and comfortable which is important when one considers how much territory there is on a Stick. It is a good idea to view the instrument as a compact keyboard when you first try it out and if you've ever watched an accomplished pianist you might notice how there is more than just the hands moving. Arms and even the body get into the act of playing the instrument. It should be the same with The Stick, in Greg's eyes. The arms and body help with the time while conveying more power and articulation to the strings and the relaxed posture of the hands reduces stress on the wrists and fingers.
Having never really had my playing evaluated I was surprised to learn that I'd been using outmoded posture in the hands and fingers. I had some leftover technique that was tying me up when I was playing chords in the left hand. Again it was the open hand this lesson was reminding me about. There was the issue of keeping time in the opposite hand as well. Having played bass for the last four years or so it was only natural that I would use my right hand to keep time. Greg said that it would make things much smoother to get used to doing this in the left so that if I was inclined to solo my phrasing would (or could) be much freer.
It was the same thing that Steve Adelson told us later. The left hand has to get a point where it is largely automatic so that soloing happens without that lock-step stiffness.
7 July 03 - Jason Brock (Canada), to Stickwire:
Just wanted to express my thanks to Mitch and all the teachers - Greg, Steve, and Jim. What a great learning experience, each teacher as well as other students gave me something different and extremely useful. Everything from technique to theory and all that falls in between. Including how to prepare for a huge performance (Sticks and Tones) and pull of something remarkable such as the Improve involving Greg, Jim, Olivier, Steve and Sebastian on drums (Thank Mitch!). Sat. night watching Olivier's Band "BlueQuarter" Wow!! www.bluequarter.com. Seminars are so inspiring - can't write much more I've got to head to the woodshed.
Nice to meet all the new players and veteran players, again an excellent group of people! See you all again.
25 May 03 - Qua Veda (OR), to Stickwire:
About an hour before the seminar began, I received a call from Rick in Portland asking if there was any room left at the event. The cool part was that Rick was not a Stick player. He had seen Tom at the opening tour date with CGT on Thursday evening. Afterwards, he went to the SE website, noticed the Oregon event, and contacted me. He was prepared to attend just to observe. But one of the guys had brought an extra instrument so Rick got to play with the rest of us. He did amazingly well, never having held a Stick before.
I wanted to share this anecdote because I think it says a lot about the appeal of the instrument, Tom's inspiring performance, the effectiveness of the SE website, and the increasing availability of seminars, including small ones like ours. I also wanted to acknowledge Glenn for doing such a great job on the SE site, making it easy for someone to find their way to useful information.
19 May 03 - Bob Culbertson (CA), to Stickwire:
Just wanted to publicly express a very special thanks to all who participated in the seminars and shows on my European tour. Thanks for all the effort and hard work that was put in by the people who coordinated the events.
I was very fortunate to see so many great players with such diverse styles. There were so many highlights on the trip. The shows, meals, teaching, learning, and getting to visit (although too briefly) the culture of so many countries. EVERYONE was so friendly. 9 countries in 30 days was a lot. We did not feel rushed, but would like to have spent a little more time in each place. The only unfortunate thing was being routed on the wrong train and missing Milan. I wish all best luck to all who attended (and those in Italy I missed) and hope to get the opportunity to work with you more in the future. KEEP PLAYING your ambition is what keeps this community of players, instrument and style of playing going.
The worldwide Stick community is such a fortunate thing for all of us!
3 May 03 - Karsten Roth (Germany), to Das Chapman Stick Forum:
The first day of The Stick Seminar with Bob Culbertson is over and I'd describe is as a complete success. The session with headphones was excellent and worked well for all students. The evening concert was the clincher!!! I thought I'd already seen everything that can be done on Stick. Horse feathers! Bob is a genius! I didn't blink for over two hours so as not to miss anything. I'll soon post my obligatory Seminar report with lots of photos. For now I must hurry to bed, as tomorrow will be full steam ahead and I have a lot of questions for Bob?
29 April 03 - Barry Silverman (PA), to Stickwire:
Hi gang - Gotta add my own two cents on this... The Seminar was a smashing success. Not only is Greg Howard an amazing Stickist and formidable musician, he is an excellent teacher as well. He has an effective teaching style and has developed a single-day beginner training class that focuses on fundamentals, technique and, most importantly, teaching you how to teach yourself. We covered a lot of ground, but every exercise built upon what we had learned previously and, for me at least, it gave me a real sense of what it feels like to really play the stick. Not that I can do it very well yet. I would say it is a lot like those exercises where you close your eyes and see yourself making the free-throw from the foul line. By the end of the day I could close my eyes and see myself playing the stick. Of course then I would open them and reality would set in. Needless to say, any beginners out there who have an opportunity to participate on one of these events (or create your own!) should do so without hesitation. I drove 6 hours to participate and it was well worth it. My thanks to Greg for the class and later entertainment, and to Rod for organizing this successful event.
21 January 03 - Brian Schubbe (IL), to Stickwire:
If your wrist is getting fatigued, you're playing too much with your fingers. Try to use your elbow and shoulder to move your hand and fingers (harder to describe than to do). That was probably one (out of MANY) of the best things I picked up at the Stick seminar I attended. If at all possible, I'd recommend trying to find an experienced player to take a lesson from. If there's no one nearby for a series of lessons, even ONE lesson in the proper physics of playing is an enormous help. If you're anywhere near any upcoming Stick seminars, it would be WELL worth your time to attend.
11 December 02 - Chris Browne (IL), to Stickwire:
My own learning experience has gone like this...
6 months of confusion, seminar, 1 weekend of deconstruction of bad habits, 2 years of progressive improvement, seminar, 2 months of osmosis of some advanced concepts, followed by my current state of progressive improvement.
Go to the seminars! They are an awesome social event as well as critical to exposing your mind to things most likely not previously considered. In retrospect there was one thing that I could have done to eliminate the first 6 months of confusion and lack of progress in my playing ability - DO NOT THINK OF THIS AS A BASS AND A GUITAR. It's a totally different instrument with different techniques, capabilities, and expressions.
While you wait for your Stick's to arrive, scour the net. Start collecting the MP3s that are out there and just listen to them. You will be amazed at the wild diversity of sounds and styles that this instrument can allow the player to put forth. There are also plenty of recorded CD's for sale.
9 August 02 - Glenn Poorman (MI), 2002 Midwest Stick Seminar Report:
At what point did the 2002 version of the annual Midwest Stick Seminar in Michigan become an historic event? As I've been doing every year, I got together with Steve Osburn and began putting details together for just another seminar. Some space, teachers, gigs, and flyers. So what happened? I'm not sure but we did do two things different than we've done in the past. First, we asked both Greg Howard and Bob Culbertson to come and teach at our seminar this year.
Ultimately, the result of our efforts was the single largest organized gathering of Stick players that has ever taken place in North America and possibly the world. If you count our teachers and count two people who only attended part of the seminar, we had a grand total of 33. We also had a weekend of other precedents. In addition to the record turnout, we had the first father and daughter Stick duet in attendance (Gary and Jocelyn Garner). We had the first teacher who has ever done two Stick seminars within a week of each other on opposite sides of the country (Jim Reilly). Most important of all though ... on Sunday evening we all witnessed what could easily have been the single greatest performance night of music on Stick that anyone has ever seen.
As we got closer to 4:00 PM, Jim Reilly took over for about an hour. Jim has been becoming one of the world's foremost Stick historians and has spent hours going through old press material as well as Emmett's stash of information about the Stick, the method of play, and how it all got started. The history is incredibly rich and Jim manages to paint that history in such a way that you can't help but feel part of something special. He started his talk commenting on how long it took the original pianoforte to evolve into something beyond a novelty instrument and made comparisons between the early days of that instrument with the early days of the Stick that, for all intents and purposes, are still happening right now. After briefly talking about what lead to the creation of the playing method and the instrument, Jim talked more about the 70s and the early days of the production version before wrapping up the talk.
Greg commended Bob on one of the finer performances he'd ever seen and then proceeded to ask the audience to quell their conversations until he could get a sense of the room sound and get going. With that, he took both hands and pounded out some sustained chords that were loaded with dissonance making me think "what the..." Slowly he started what would be a whole set of wild sonic explorations. As he moved from the opening improv into his medley of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Norwegian Wood", we began to realize that Greg was following Bob's performance with what could be his own greatest performance ever. To add to the effect, it had begun storming outside as well. As Greg built the first piece with eyes closed, you could see the rain pelting the window behind him and the lightning turning night into day. I looked over at Jim Reilly ... he looked back and said "perfect".
6 August 02 - Jason Brock (Canada), to Stickwire:
Just got back to North Bay, and needed to express my Thanks to Greg and Bob for taking the time to help other Stick players, and for their existence altering performances. Music at its best, I'm still on another plane. Hard to express with words how both of their performances moved me Sunday, there was something happening that night that only music could express. Possible translations: WOW! OH MY GOD!
Seminar was a huge growing experience therefore huge success. I heard Greg mention something this weekend of golden nuggets and that indeed was the case, Greg and Bob were handing out priceless golden nuggets all weekend. Thanks also to Glenn, Steve, Jim (now the other Jim), Wes and everyone else who made it happen.
5 August 02 - Brian Schubbe (IL), to Stickwire:
I don't know that anyone can do it justice. It was a great time, but I really wish that everyone who has ever played a Stick, or even THOUGHT about playing a Stick, could have seen Bob and Greg perform on Sunday night. I wasn't the only person who made the comment that we were probably witnessing the greatest Stick performances ever.
It was BEYOND unbelievable (and this was after hearing them both perform several times all weekend).
5 August 02 - Paul Potts (MI), to Stickwire:
The 2002 Midwest Stick Seminar was huge, a success, a huge success! I think a couple people summed it up best...
At the Michigan Stick Night concert last night Bob Culbertson said something like "I haven't had this much fun in, hmmm... um, actually, this is the most fun I've ever had!"
Steve Osburn said something like "I could die happy tomorrow."
Me, I'm suffering from acute Stick brain overload. I downloaded an enormous amount of highly compressed information, so much that I could spend years decompressing and incorporating it into my playing.
I got the extraordinary opportunity not just to attend the instruction, and also help out a little bit behind the scenes. This was a great combination: I got to meet everyone, chat informally with the Bob and Greg, and learn from not just the two main instructors but from just about everyone there, both in conversation and in performance.
Mad props to Glenn Poorman for making this whole thing happen in the first place, and setting up the wonderful DIA show. And to everyone else.
In short, it was fantastic. I'm exhausted. Where's my Stick? I've got a
LOT of work to do!
20 September 01 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
I must say that I've made more progress in the last 4 months than I probably did the first 8, largely due to the Human Touch Factor from the Southern California Stick Seminar. I think it was many things; Greg and Tom's instruction, the camaraderie, inspiration of seeing top performers and of course, the great pleasure to meet Emmett and Yuta Chapman.
28 August 01 - Jason Brock (Canada), to Stickwire:
I just got back from the Kamloops, B.C. Seminar and it was an experience I will never forget. The amount you can absorb in a weekend compared to a half-hour music lesson is impressive; also the feeling you get from being around that many people with the same passion for The Stick is really wonderful. Thanks again to Jim Reilly, his wife Michelle for organizing such a perfect weekend, also to Greg Howard for very insightful teaching. There was a noticeable improvement in my playing the first day back in Calgary and the third day back I practiced for nine hours straight (minus stretch breaks) so that may give you an idea of how inspiring the seminar was.
23 August 01 - Qua Veda (OR), to Stick Enterprises:
I just returned from the Western Canada Stick Seminar in Kamloops. It was my first one. Greg Howard and Jim and Michelle Reilly were fantastic hosts and instructors. And as I'm sure you'll hear from others, it was a profound experience for everyone involved: players, hosts and audiences. I feel that even though you were not physically with us, you and your works were in our minds and hearts at the seminar. It's not unusual for me to appreciate, interpret and express things in poetic or spiritual terms, but this event was truly more than a seminar. It was also a gathering of great souls to interact, co-create, exchange, learn, perform and enrich the planet in the process - in both seen and unseen ways. Everyone associated with it was truly uplifted and enriched by the experience.
9 July 01 - Steve Adelson (NY), on steveadelson.com:
I've been playing and teaching guitar for 23 years. I've performed with jazz masters like Jimmy Ponder, Joe Pass and Jack Wilkens in the New York area. My school, "The Guitar Workshop, Inc." was founded in 1977. Always searching for creative ideas, I encountered Emmett Chapman at a guitar expo in New York, circa 1983. After hearing all the possibilities put forth in Emmett's clinic, I purchased my first Chapman Stick in 1984. I currently own three Sticks. My initial instrument was cut from Brazilian Ironwood, my second is a white polycarbonate model and lastly I obtained a MIDI version.
2 April 01 - Tony Levin (NY), on tonylevin.com:
Darn ... I couldn't get online from my hotel in Milan, so I'm far behind in updating from Italy. The seminar here had to be one of the largest gatherings of Chapman Stick players ever (I'll check on that) with about 30 students, 3 teachers, performances in clubs all over Milan, Stick jams, and some pretty great dinners too, shared by crowds carrying their instruments in strange gun-size cases. My part in the seminar was just to give a speech on Saturday, sharing my experiences in years of playing the Stick. But attending the classes (by expert players Greg Howard, Bob Culbertson and Jim Lampi) and the shows (including the Italian Stick group Splendore and American group Third Door Down) gave me some much needed insight into some of what's being done by Stick players lately. Definitely a special experience for me, and I think for all who attended. I've, of course, taken too many photos to fit here on the main diary page, so there is yet another page here on the site, this one is devoted to the Stick Seminar. www.stick.com/milan.tlev.html
7 March 01 - Brian Baggett (TX), to Sticknews:
There is a report and some photos of the seminar held in Abilene, Texas last weekend at this URL: http://wtxstickseminar.myevisionlink.com.
We really had a great weekend. On behalf of Jim, Scott, Roy, David, Mike P., Wayne, Mike C., and myself, I'd like to publicly thank Stick Enterprises for the advertisements, availability of their products and services, and overall support of this event. I'd also like to thank Greg Howard for being a very prepared, patient, and easy to work with instructor. I would gladly do this again someday.
31 July 00 - Christopher Browne (IL), to Stickwire:
Everything during the seminar was presented simply and patiently and Greg Howard made sure we "got it" before going to the next step. During this time, his demonstrations were amazing and inspiring. I had no idea he was holding back until the show Sunday night at which point, my brain simply and silently feel out of my head via the large orifice created by my jaw falling off and hitting the floor. Once I had collected my wits, gray matter, and jaw (with a little floor grit), I was able to clearly see and understand all that had been taught in one of those "Items in your field of vision are much farther than they appear" moments. As I played "Water on the Moon" for my wife this morning, she asked when I was going to be able to quit my day job and get this good. I chose not to answer. :) Thanks Greg, Glenn, Steve, and all the others that I spent the weekend with. You all have confirmed my enthusiasm for this instrument.
26 June 00 - Mans Johnsson (Sweden), to Stickwire:
This weekend I returned from the vacation that I started off by going to the seminar in Leeuwarden three weeks ago, so I've been offline until now. During the two days of classes this nervous feeling was replaced by 100% joy of learning, playing and generally being there! I was amazed at how good all the teachers (I took classes from Greg, Virna and Ron) were at teaching the basic concepts and techniques in a way that everyone could learn from. Especially Greg had a marvelous way of working with simple exercises to develop the pretty advanced concepts of hand independence and interdependence, getting to know the fingerboard and playing with a fluent finger technique. After a day full of new information it was great to sit down, sip a few beers and enjoy some more great live Stick music.
14 June 00 - Virna Splendore (Italy), to Sticknews:
Greg follows everyone (his classes have quite a few students) and gives help to all. Also, he speaks English very clearly and this may seem a small thing, but I think it is very important when everyone speaks a different language. Greg gives a lot of suggestions for setting up the instrument very well, (his Stick is set up perfectly, his hands almost fly on the fretboard), and this is another thing that was talked about by the Stick players. He had time for every player to set up every Stick.
11 June 00 - Jaap Kramer (Holland), regarding the European Stick Seminar, to Stickwire:
Ron Baggerman was the second performer; what can I say! The Django Reinhard of The Stick, maybe? Great combination of virtuosity, expression and fun. Third was Nick Beggs. Totally different cup of tea; he did very daring things with sequencers and the MIDI of his Stick. Very original, and with a wide variety of music. And wearing a kilt, of course! Last but not least The Greg Howard Band. World class improvisation and virtuosity (goes for all band members!) On the seminar itself, we could choose from workshops that were more or less the same as last year, and completely new workshops. Well organized, and well instructed. It was fun to see the whole history of the Stick represented in the instruments that were there. All models were there, from Ironwood classics to the NS/Stick! Yesterday evening there was some performance by both students and teachers. Great fun, nice, relaxed atmosphere. All in all, I had a great time. Highly recommended!
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