This is a special D model that is fretted to play in every key, not just one key. That means it has wrong notes, it has "sharps and flats", the fret pattern is like a guitar neck, This is called Chromatic fretting, The more common D-33 (No Wrong Notes) Strumstick uses a "Diatonic" fret pattern that just gives the notes for one key.
Advantages of the Chromatic D:
You can play in any key.
You can make many more different chords.
You can use a Capo to simply change keys using familiar chords
Disadvantages of the Chromatic D:
Lots of wrong notes
More complicated to learn
Has a higher potential for being frustrating.
The other characteristics are identical with the regular D-33.
The Chromatic D is for people who want the ability to play in any key and to have a wider range of chords and chord types, and are willing to deal with a longer learning curve and more difficulty learning, compared to the regular Strumsticks. The Chromatic gives up the "No Wrong Notes" and intuitive aspects of the D-33, in return for more musical possibilities. many Guitar players (guitar is already chromatic) still prefer the regular (diatonic) strumsticks, but sometimes people need to play in all keys. That is who the Chromatic D is for.
The Strumstick is designed for non-players, and is delightfully easy to learn.
The Strumstick was created by Bob McNally (designer of the Martin Backpacker Guitar) and has a perfect blend of ease and versatility. The D-33 Strumstick (tuned DAD) is our most popular model. Besides being a foolproof instrument for beginners it is also an inspiring and creative tool for professional musicians (on stage and in the studio). Plays in numerous keys (by capo use or retuning) but is ridiculously easy for non players. Full instructions, chords and songs included. Handmade in USA, of all solid woods. The Strumstick is also available in key of G.
Big Wave Strumsticks are IN STOCK
Big Wave Strumsticks are currently IN STOCK.
They require a 2-month lead time when we are out of stock.
• The neck is identical to the D-33 Strumstick.
• The wave-inspired body is one piece Padouk with either a Spruce or Koa soundboard.
• We are totally thrilled with the results; the tone is richer, fuller, and louder. The increased resonant chamber has allowed us to add a lower tuning too! There are two tuning arrangements available: our regular D A D (D-35 model), or a lower tuning A E A (A-35 model). The lower tuned AEA model has a brisk baritone flavor reminiscent of the Cittern/Irish Bouzouki.
• The design objectives were to create longer resonant paths within the body (for bass response) and to increase the soundboard area (for volume), but also stepping out a little with an elegant, festive body shape. The wave soundhole arrangement was designed to balance the resonance of the sound chamber and to enhance the visual design of the body.
• The Big Wave Strumstick uses ball end (guitar style) strings which feed through the body.
• Where the original Strumstick design uses a one piece neck and body approach, the Big Wave uses a two piece neck/body design, with a sturdy screw-in neck attachment.
To Use the Flip Capo:
There is a long arm and a short arm; either arm can be up (Flip!). We suggest longer arm up. Position top arm over strings (just behind fret) and tighten thumbscrew firmly but don't overdo it.
Strumstick Keys with Capo:
A capo is a device (familiar to guitar players) which clamps all the strings at a particular fret, changing their pitch. With guitar, the capo simply changes the key. With the Strumstick, the capo changes the key, but also changes the type of musical scale you get.
Without Capo, key of G Major
Capo at 1st fret gives key of A minor
Capo at 2nd fret gives a Bluesy scale in B
Capo 3rd fret gives C Major
Capo 4th fret gives D minor or D Major
Without Capo, key of D Major
Capo at 1st fret gives key of E minor
Capo at 2nd fret gives a Bluesy scale in F#
Capo 3rd fret gives G Major.
Capo 4th fret gives A minor or A Major
Why does the capo change the scale as well as the pitch? The Strumstick frets are designed to give a diatonic (major) scale. The scale is a pattern of whole steps and half steps. If you capo at the first fret, you raise all the strings (by a whole tone) but you also change the pattern of frets to a different scale. Each fret you place the capo at gives a different type of scale.
Tuning the Strumstick higher or lower will give even more keys.
Keep in mind that the extra fret (fret number 6, the flatted seventh) may please or annoy you, depending on which fret you are capoed at. If that fret does not sound good, skip it when playing.
We are now in production on our beautiful new Strumstick Display Stand. I started them last year and field tested them at a bunch of shows. They passed the public stress test (thousands of people, children, wind and shaking tables). They are sturdy and elegant and display the Strumstick as the art object it is. They hold the Strumstick ready for instant use and urgent musical inspirations!
A heavy Padouk base supports two light and rigid fiberglass rods, and a support yoke made from recycled Strumstick wood.