Chicken pickin tips

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Sanj, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Sanj

    Sanj Member

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    I just cant seem to get this right .. ... just cant get the tone/fluency/vibe quite where it needs to be .. any experienced souls out there share a few tips?
     
  2. CountryShawn

    CountryShawn Member

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    Sanj;

    I'll try to help out a bit here. I play almost exclusively that technique, and find it extremely versatile for many applications.

    I'll try to get to the salient points of this playing style.

    First, pick a song that utilizes this technique over an array of rythm and leads so as to get the general idea of how each is applied.
    The one song that I highly recommend, which is like a textbook of this techqnue is Alan Jackson's "Who's Cheatin' Who". This is Brent Mason playing, what is what I consider the quintessential Chiken Pickin' showcase. It's also very do-able for beginners to pick up.

    Make sure that you are fully engaging your pick, middle, and ring fingers. (Hybrid Picking) To get that really snappy tone, you've really got to use those fingers strongly, and really snap the strings. I also use acrylic glue on nails, since due to strong attack , it will eat my natural nails for breakfast in no time. So much of that chicken pickin' sound comes from the "snapping" nature of the picking fingers. Don't be afraid to almost over-do it, and then back off a bit to taste to find the sweet spot.

    If you have been a flat picker up until now, it's going to take some time to "train" out of that mode. Take the time to slow down and re-learn how to do the licks to really take advantage of the extra fingers in play. Once you've got that down, it will eventually become second nature. For example, think about a picking run that goes from one string to the next. In the typical flat-picking style, one would simply pick all the notes with the pick. In hybrid picking, you may, for example, pick the first note of the next adjacent string with your middle finger. It's incredibly efficient when you nail it.

    Other than that, I honestly feel the best way to approach this is to pick a song like "Who's Cheatin' Who" and just learn it bang-on. I think you will zero right in on it. I can't emphasize enough how great of a learning tool that one particular song is. I use that one to start off my guitar students also.

    If you see the clips in my signature, they are 100% hybrid picked. It's about all I ever use now, since it's very efficient and opens up so many picking/rythmic possibilities.

    Let me know if you have any more questions, I'd be happy to help.

    Cheers,

    Shawn
     
  3. Sanj

    Sanj Member

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    Thanks a ton Shawn ...

    I guess the 1st step for me would be to get more adept at hybrid picking .. while I do use it, I am far from fluent .. and it does seem that my approach so far has been to try and flatpick more than hybrid pick ..

    I've found some Jim Compilongo .. album called Loose .. that has some great examples ... so will work on that .. and will also try and get the album you suggest.

    Thanks again,

    -Sanj
     
  4. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    I almost think of it as reaching _under_ the string with middle & ring fingers, pulling them up a bit and letting them slap back to the fingerboard.

    I haven't incorporated my thumb into it yet (I use my pick held normally). In one of Steve Morse's videos he's using the thumb, but I can't really get the hang of how he does it.
     
  5. dazco

    dazco Member

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    yes, definatly incredibly efficiant. one only need listen to 10 seconds of most any solo albert lee has done to realize just how efficiant it is. Wish i'd have learned it when i was younger, but at my age whats the sense. Funny thing is, i've been a fingerpicker right from the beginning, yet it doesn't seem to translate over to using a pick and fingers. guess my index is just so used to being such a primary player in the picking it throws me off when it's being used to hold a pick.
     
  6. boobtoob

    boobtoob Member

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    CountryShawn, great playin there! I've always wanted to play like that. I have a question on the vid on your sig. The last 20 seconds or so, you play a few fast descending runs with pick/fingers. It looks like you use only the pick and the middle finger...is that correct? Also, how much of that run is pull-offs? Are you picking EACH note?

    Thanks,
     

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