Chanking

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Chanking is a guitar performance technique in funk music that involves both "choking" the guitar neck and strumming the strings percussively to create a distinctive-sounding riff commonly associated with the genre. [1] The technique was popularized by the music of James Brown, later spreading to other genres and performers.

The name "chanking" is either a portmanteau of the words "choking" and "yanking", referring to the procedure involved in the technique, or simply onomatopoeia - a word that sounds like what it describes.

Chanking was developed by James Brown band guitarist Jimmy Nolen as a part of his signature "chicken scratch" sound. The technique appeared first with a double-chank on the first backbeat of each bar in "Out of Sight" (1964), [2] and in "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (1965), a song that typified much of Brown's subsequent work. [3] "Chicken scratching" itself differs slightly: the fretting hand lightly squeezes the chord on the neck, then releases suddenly to produce a scratch chord. [4] In particular, Brown used chanking against syncopated bass to produce a unique blend of sounds. [1]

The technique of chanking spread from funk to reggae music. [3] [5] Alan Warner, then of The Foundations, also utilized the technique, which left its sound legacy in Europop. [5]

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Slide guitar Guitar technique

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Steel guitar

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Funk rock

Funk rock is a fusion genre that mixes elements of funk and rock. James Brown and others declared that Little Richard and his mid-1950s road band, The Upsetters, were the first to put the funk in the rock and roll beat, with a biographer stating that their music "spark[ed] the musical transition from fifties rock and roll to sixties funk."

Jimmy Nolen was an American guitarist, known for his distinctive "chicken scratch" lead guitar playing in James Brown's bands. In its survey of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time," the English magazine Mojo ranks Nolen number twelve.

Guitar picking

Guitar picking is a group of hand and finger techniques a guitarist uses to set guitar strings in motion to produce audible notes. These techniques involve plucking, strumming, brushing, etc. Picking can be done with:

Damping is a technique in music for altering the sound of a musical instrument by reducing oscillations or vibrations. Damping methods are used for a number of instruments.

References

  1. 1 2 Appell, Glenn; Hemphill, David (2006). American Popular Music: A Multicultural History. Thomson Wadsworth. p. 320. ISBN   0-15-506229-8 . Retrieved 2012-01-17.
  2. Williams, Richard (2010). The Blue Moment, p.210. W. W. Norton. ISBN   9780393076639.
  3. 1 2 The Wire. 173-178. C. Parker. 1998. p. 28. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
  4. Woods, Tricia; Green, Raleigh (2008). The Versatile Guitarist National Guitar Workshop. Alfred Music Publishing. ISBN   0-7390-4805-8 . Retrieved 2012-01-17.
  5. 1 2 Shapiro, Peter (2006). Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco. Macmillan. pp. 53, 94. ISBN   0-86547-952-6 . Retrieved 2012-01-17.

Further reading