Are there any non-electric bass guitarist out there, who play that instruments regularly for Sunday worship? (Or I guess any worship environment.)

I'm seeing more Chapman sticks come up for grabs on some used sites. Anybody using a Chapman stick out there? 10 or 12 string models.

Acoustic Bass Guitar? Upright?

=) Anything else new/interesting? What kinds of music styles do you play? Is it just the straight up contemproary Christian Worship music, or is it something totally else?

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Hi Wayne,

Thanks for starting this, good idea. Apologies for not replying before now, oddly I've been in the US with work, only having a mobile phone for internet connection. As it happens, I did think briefly about the bass version of the Chapman stick a while back, but came to the conclusion that it would just be too superfulous in most of the musical situations I end up in.

I do use a Matthew Kelly Club Custon acoustic 4-string a fair bit though. Not so much in worship, but when I'm playing alt-folk stuff (think Tunng, The Decemberists, The Shins, that sort of thing). To be honest, it's probobly more about the look of the thing, as when you put a compressor on the output it sounds like an active Precision more than anything, but has a much higher action than my Variax 0705 (main bass, lovely StingRay emulation, but that's for another day). The Michael Kelly is useful when the worship leaders I know (all acoustic guitarists) come round, or for traditional, fully acoustic folk sessions though. I've not used it in worship yet, but when I get round to it I'll let you know how it goes.

As an aside, my wife is threataning to get me an upright electric for my fortieth (about 4 years hence), I suspect she'd prefer my to be a jazz type rather than the current electronic heavy indie practitioner...

Best regards,

I've used an acoustic/electric a few times. It's still run through the system, though. We've had a couple "Worship Team unplugged" type days.
I sometimes take my electric upright along, if I fancy a change, if someone has requested it or if I have had a look at the songs and decide it would work better. My playing has a lot of jazz nuances alongside the rockier stuff and most of what I play outside church at the moment is folky, so that all feeds in as well.


I'm a keyboardist who bought a Chapman Stick last November. I don't play it regularly outside my home since I'm still just learning. There is a guy in Denmark (I think) who plays Stick regularly at his church ( He plays it like a piano, not just a bass instrument. My plan is to do the same.

A Stick really does sit in the ground between the full range of guitar type instruments (including bass guitar) and keyboards. It makes sense - after all, a piano is no more than a mechanical arrangement of strings and hammers, so could be seen as a "touch-style" instrument where you sacrifice direct contact with the strings and lots of control over nuances like playing the same note in different positions for the ability to play all sorts of combinations of intervals with relative ease (I can't remember the tuning of a stick - if, as I think, it consists of 4ths and 5ths - it will become more of a finger twister as your chords diverge further from two stacks of those sets of intervals).

It looks like a demanding instrument but will be great if you can get it under your fingers.


I use a consort bass Viola da Gamba sometimes. (usually when I can find another bass player)

7 strings and frets - looks like a small string bass. (Very wide neck) I can do chords on it as the tuning is similar to a 7 string guitar (a step lower) It is bowed or strummed.

Oh I forgot to say that last summer I broke my left arm (tripped and fell in a parking lot)  so I downloaded GarageBand on my iPad and played bass from it for a couple of months while my arm was immobile.


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