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. 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), and in "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (1965), a song that typified much of Brown's subsequent work. "Chicken scratching" itself differs slightly: the fretting hand lightly squeezes the chord on the neck, then releases suddenly to produce a scratch chord. In particular, Brown used chanking against syncopated bass to produce a unique blend of sounds.
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