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]