What is chicken pickin’? Add complex rhythms to guitar playing

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  May 3, 2022

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Chicken pickin’ is a hybrid picking technique employed in rockabilly, country, honky-tonk, and bluegrass flatpicking styles. This style of picking allows for quick and nimble passages that would otherwise be difficult to play with traditional fingerstyle techniques.

The term “chicken pickin'” is thought to have originated in the early 1900s, when guitar players would imitate the sound of a chicken clucking by rapidly picking the strings with their thumb and index finger. Over time, this imitative technique developed into a more refined style of picking that could be used to play complex melodies and rhythms.

Today, chicken pickin’ is still a popular style of playing, and many guitarists use it to add a bit of flair to their music.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

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