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#906837 - 07/05/11 02:26 PM Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta)  
Joined: Jun 2001
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
I'm recording a demo of a new song of mine and, in a flash of inspiration, I came to realize that the guitar solo needed to be chicken' picken'... or some variation thereof.

I went after it kinda Knopfler-style, without using a pick at all. I really wanted to SNAP those strings. And, now,I have the solo pretty much worked out. And, I've taken a few stabs at it.
But the playing is still pretty sloppy. There are accidental notes/flubs on every take. One finger of the other seems to keep getting in the way.
Now, this IS the solo that I want, and I really cannot play it whilst holding a pick at all.

Any of you have some suggestions for me, re: technique.
And, yeah, I know... PRACTICE! I'm doing that. Just want to hear from some of you with more experience with this technique.


#906850 - 07/05/11 03:13 PM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: PopTodd]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
I struggle with it too. I have friends who play electric with no pick all the time and I am amazed at how they do it clearly.

There are lots of videos on YouTube about chicken picking - just do a search. There are some old ones by Danny Gatton that explain how he sounded like three guitars!

My best compromise seems to be a pick held between thumb and first finger with the second and third finger clawing away at some of the strings.


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



#907629 - 07/10/11 07:48 AM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Andy Kemp Offline
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I do it a bit but it's a pain in the ass! I do it the way Colin has said but it's still tricky to get up to speed. Good for chords I learned a few Tommy Emanuel tunes where he uses this technique a lot and that helped me so it might be worth leaning a track or two.



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#910027 - 07/22/11 02:36 PM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: Andy Kemp]  
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kelmaur Offline
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kelmaur  Offline
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Princeton, Tx
i say and do and use...REPETITION....keep doing it until you get the fingers to do what you want them to do and where they need to be....REPETITION has always worked for me

#919089 - 09/01/11 12:19 AM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: kelmaur]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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Jack Swain  Offline
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I do it pretty easily by using my thumb and index finger and basically pick a down-stroke with the thumb and swiftly strike the same string with an up-stroke with the index finger. Do it in rapid succession while moving move up or down a string can get some cool chicken picking!

#919145 - 09/01/11 10:40 AM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: Jack Swain]  
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
Originally Posted by Jack Swain
I do it pretty easily by using my thumb and index finger and basically pick a down-stroke with the thumb and swiftly strike the same string with an up-stroke with the index finger. Do it in rapid succession while moving move up or down a string can get some cool chicken picking!

Now, that is some good advice. Thanks, Jack!

#919488 - 09/02/11 09:28 PM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: PopTodd]  
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AJ Love Offline
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AJ Love  Offline
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yes, practice practice practice... there are also excellent instructional DVD materials out there on Country style chicken pickin, especially by Terry Downs, Brent Mason & Johnny Hiland

A.J. Love - Telecaster player & Songwriter
#919813 - 09/04/11 04:57 PM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: AJ Love]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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Jack Swain  Offline
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Berwyn, IL, US
Actually Todd, I had to pick up my guitar and do it to remember that I tend to alternate which finger I strike with first. That is sometimes I do it thumb-index finger, and sometimes it is index finger-thumb. I don't consciously think about it, my fingers just do it.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 09/04/11 04:57 PM.
#919858 - 09/04/11 08:26 PM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Chicken pickin' is not something you learn overnight. It's probably the most demanding style there is. Everything has to be clean, defined and smooth at the same time. It's not easy to accomplish at all.

I suggest a home studio overdub from one of the boys: http://www.brentmason.com/home_studio.html

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#980245 - 10/15/12 07:46 PM Re: Trying chicken'pickin' (sorta) [Re: Kolstad]  
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bobbyearlray Offline
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bobbyearlray  Offline
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Hey Todd- On a few of my demos, I hired Brent Mason, King of that style. He has a pro tools setup, will send the track as a large file transfer in WAV at your requested bit rate and sample rate. Johnny Hiland will also do these for you. I was at his house in Nashville when he was preparing for his tour with Hal Ketchum. His sound through the music man amp with either his Music Man guitar, or PRS was stellar. He also has a quick turnaround on projects. To get the best song, hire the best. For 100.00 or so, you can have a masterpiece-Bobby

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