How to Chuck on a Guitar

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"Chucking" is a funk guitar technique in which the player plays chords or individual notes with the strings muted or even completely deadened. Muting the strings isn't much of a problem, but because chucking essentially turns the guitar into a rhythm instrument, your timing becomes everything. It's a good idea to practice with a metronome to make sure your chucking rhythm is working with your drummer and not against him.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft guitar pick
  • Metronome
  • Practice chucking a note by touching a string with a finger of your left hand, just enough to deaden the sound, and picking the string rhythmically with a pick in your right hand. Press slightly harder to get a muted, but not fully resonant, sound out of the string. Practice playing lead lines using both a deadening and muting pressure.

  • Practice chucking a chord by playing the chord with just enough pressure to mute the strings and strumming just the muted strings in a rhythmic pattern. This technique works best with barre chords, where you are fingering all the strings on the guitar.

  • Practice alternating fully voiced notes with chucked notes. For instance, play a fully voiced half note, followed by two chucked quarter notes. Or try a fully voiced chord with a half note and then chuck the chord with eight fast 16th notes. You'll instantly recognize the classic funk sound.

  • Practice with a metronome as you speed up your chucking patterns to make sure you're staying precisely on rhythm.

Tips & Warnings

  • A chucking guitar is frequently played through a wah pedal, so that the fully voiced notes or chords can be distorted as they're played. In a solo, the fully voiced notes can be bent to create the distortion.
  • Chucking is an electric guitar technique; deadened or muted notes can rarely be heard on an unamplified guitar.

References

  • Photo Credit Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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