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chukka chukka sound

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(@patrick)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Topic starter  

I'm working on a riff example which includes a left-hand-muted two-string power chord; a 1/16th note downstroke followed immediately by a 1/16th note upstroke. At full speed, it's fast, and by listening to it on the CD, it has that neat 'chukka' sound. I've always wondered how that sound is made...maybe that's why left-hand muting is sometimes called a chuck?.

But I'm having a hard time getting it to sound smooth when it's a two or three-string chord...especially the upstroke because the pick catches the strings. I've asked a similar question in another topic, and the suggestions have helped...I've made some real progress, but it's still choppy-sounding...nowhere near as smooth as it should be. It'd be nice if someone were to say that this is simply one of the more difficult things and it will come with time & practise.


   
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(@greybeard)
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It'd be nice if someone were to say that this is simply one of the more difficult things and it will come with time & practise.

That is exactly what it is. Don't hammer at it, you'll never get it right. Start to play it slowly, until you have the technique down pat. Only then should you begin to play faster, just a little bit at a time. When you find that you are losing it, it's time to back off a little bit a get it right before upping the tempo again.

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(@undercat)
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The speed advice is right on the money. Truly, it's about control. Control creates speed, become more controlled, generate more speed. Simple.

I'll also add this, if you didn't hear it before; watch the "depth" of the pick as it relates to the strings. You'll experience less tension on your upstrokes if you are only catching the tip area of the pick.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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(@metaellihead)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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About your upstrokes: It sounds like you're not holding the pick perpendicular to the face of the guitar. Try holding the pick at a 90 degree angle from the face of the guitar, it'll keep you from catching the strings on the pick and will reduce your chance of buzzing strings.

-Metaellihead


   
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(@gnease)
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About your upstrokes: It sounds like you're not holding the pick perpendicular to the face of the guitar. Try holding the pick at a 90 degree angle from the face of the guitar, it'll keep you from catching the strings on the pick and will reduce your chance of buzzing strings.

... and also try rotating the pick position slightly so it is not parallel to the strings -- that is, try to attack the strings slightly favoring one of the pick's edges and not its flat broadside. You will discover you can change the sound of the attack by the amount of rotation. Close to broadside will catch more string and result in a harsher attack.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@patrick)
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Topic starter  

Thanks for all the suggestions: I've tried them all out and am having a bit more success. I'm also muting the adjacent strings where possible, so I don't have to worry so much about hitting just those two strings. Funny, though...I find this a lot harder than barre chords. Maybe because with barre chords, it's largely a matter of strength, while this is more a matter of finesse of technique.
...and also try rotating the pick position slightly so it is not parallel to the strings.
I tried that and noticed some improvement...I'm guessing the pick's rounded side helps to glide the pick over the strings more smoothly than broadside.

I noticed on TV, a lot of today's rock/grunge guitarists play rhythm by using a lot of arm movement (and of course the guitar slung very low...possibly just to look cool?) but I suspect that using mostly wrist is the better way...even for rhythm...am I right?


   
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(@ricochet)
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Yeah, the low slung guitar is an attempt to look cool. You can't really play much well that way, and it's very hard on the player's hand and wrist. Good way to get tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. And it looks stupid. Like a backwards baseball cap.
:lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@cudaman73)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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agreed. when i first bought my electric i tried playing that low. it doesn't work well. 'specially when you've got no practice. I tend to like the guitar right in the center of my chest. :P

-----
"Life isn't worth living for unless you have something worth dying for."


   
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(@ricochet)
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The closer you get to the classical guitar players' hand and arm position, the better off you are biomechanically. That calls for the guitar body to be relatively high, with the neck angled high and close to the body.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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 300m
(@300m)
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I noticed on TV, a lot of today's rock/grunge guitarists play rhythm by using a lot of arm movement (and of course the guitar slung very low...possibly just to look cool?) but I suspect that using mostly wrist is the better way...even for rhythm...am I right?

Like the others said not low. Ricohet is correct on classical postion. Take it from someone with tendonititus now :( Use the arm not just the wrist. You get better control with the arm and cover more with the arm than the wrist.

John M


   
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 300m
(@300m)
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double post drat

John M


   
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(@metaellihead)
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Have you guys seen Slash lately? I thought Pagey played low but Slash has to prop the thing up on his hip to play past the 9th fret.

-Metaellihead


   
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