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more... IntermediateLessonsSound SamplesLeadTabTechniqueFebruary 2010

Chicken Pickin': Let Your Fingers Do the Clucking

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Chicken Pickin': Let Your Fingers Do the Clucking

from Greg Koch's Hal Leonard Guitar Method: Country Guitar
The following licks, based on the A major pentatonic (with ¯3rd) pattern on the 5th string, incorporate a technique called chicken pickin’. Chicken pickin’ is a technique that involves muting notes, or choking them, to produce a percussive snap that, to many listeners, conjures up the sound of a chicken “clucking.”

There are a number of ways to create the chicken pickin’ sound:

Use the side of your thumb on your picking hand to mute or “choke” a note as you pick down (≥), and let the same note ring as you pick it with an upstroke (v). Repeat this process rapidly.


Listen

Use your thumb and first finger à la country-flavored rock guitar great Mark Knopfler. This is achieved by picking a note with our first finger (i) then plucking the same note again with your thumb (p) but with your first finger right behind it, actually on the same string, muting it.


Listen

Use a hybrid picking technique; basically, do the same thing as above, but replace your thumb (p) with the flat pick and your first finger (i) with your middle finger (m). Note that having a little bit of nail on your middle finger allows you to snap the string a little more effectively. Let’s hear the same lick above using this technique, and notice how bright and aggressive it sounds in comparison to the thumb-and-fingers approach. Listen...
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