Placeholder image Old Cabell Hall, Charlottesville

The Stick®

The Stick, or Chapman Stick® as it is also known, is one of the few truly American musical instruments. Invented in 1969 by Emmett Chapman, as he discovered his unique Free Hands method of two-handed tapping on an electric guitar, the instrument is a minimalist design, emphasizing versatility through simplicity. Each hand can tap its own part on the strings, or they can work together for complex interplay. The instrument's range is over five octaves, combining that of bass and guitar.

Since the 1980s Greg has been a leading voice on the instrument, bringing his keyboard mentality to its amplified strings in search of new sounds, musical arrangements and pure expression.  He has released fourteen recordings in a wide variety of genres, including jazz, Latin, progressive rock and free improvised music.  Greg has written three books on the instrument, The Stick Book, Volume 1™ (1996), The Greg Howard Songbook (2009), and Tapping Into Bach (2021).

To find out more about this amazing instrument, please visit

Stick and Chapman Stick are federally registered trademarks of Stick Enterprises, Inc.