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Canoe Lady
06-08-2012, 07:24 PM
Nope, it's not the title to my autobiography....

Tonight on my way home from work (a long, dark, and quiet road), I was listening to some really great uke music that I had downloaded earlier in the day. I noticed that in many of the songs, every other beat had a chunk, and this would persist throughout the entire song.
It started to be the focus of the song for me and became as annoying as a metronome. In this instance, it really took away from the skillful and beautiful playing.

So I was wondering.....
Do you use the chunk? Do you use it often? Seldom?
When you use it in a song, do you repeat it constantly throughout the entire song, or just to accent a certain phrase?
Are there certain songs that shouldn't be without it?
Lemme know :)

Hippie Dribble
06-08-2012, 07:34 PM
ha ha...LOL...my autobiography would be called 'The Chump' :p

:stop: but serious matters are afoot Diane. I agree, it can get overbearing. I use it very selectively and never through a whole song, though certain songs and genres ask for it more than others. It's often useful to incorporate in the breakdown of a tune. Generally it's just a nice way to change up the rhythm and give the song some colour and dynamic, but sparingly, like chicken salt or onions or worcestershire sauce...hmm...must be dinner time :o

GKK
06-08-2012, 08:15 PM
It's personal preference.

Some people like the added beat to break up the repetition and some musicians hate it. It all depends on what music you like to play and hear.

I use the chunk in most of the things I play but, I switch it around so, as not to sound too repetitive. The chunk makes certain songs come to life while without it, the songs will lack something. Also, each song has a different chunk pattern so, chunking is not played the same way in every song.

808boy
06-08-2012, 08:25 PM
It all depends on what song you're playing. Some require it more (the nature of it), and others just for color as Eugene puts it.
I agree, it can sound redundent.
Just go with your emotions as to what you are playing, feel the music.

mm stan
06-08-2012, 08:27 PM
I agree you can get carried away using it..ha ha really.... is certainly adds a little color to your playing..

G Hill
06-08-2012, 11:42 PM
I find its great for reggae based songs. For example I use it as part of my strum pattern for IZ's SOTR.
Each to their own though!
Cheers
Gary

Plainsong
06-09-2012, 12:10 AM
I can't do it, so no. But every musician I play with rolls their eyes at the mention of it and says it's no great loss that I can't do it. It's kinda overused, like turning the acoustic sound into just a percussive one. Even in what we pretend is reggae. If you go that route in a song, then fine, but if you do it in all the songs, why not just switch to drums instead.

SuzukHammer
06-09-2012, 01:21 AM
James Hill said it was unnecessary so I never bothered to learn it.

I do think it turns up in my reggae strum. Accidentally. It just appears out of nowhere.

RuckMonkey
06-09-2012, 01:25 AM
I learned it because I feel it is important to learn as many techniques as I can, but, I don't know if I can really use it in songs. Sometimes it is too much, but, sometimes it does seem like it is really needed. So, now that I've put my utterly noncommittal and non helpful input in, there ya go! :D

bazmaz
06-09-2012, 02:24 AM
I do use it in certain songs. I think it works well for putting a beat in, say, a driving blues riff.

Plainsong
06-09-2012, 02:54 AM
To me, I think chunking when used sparingly is pretty handy. You get that comfy cozy down to earth feeling and it totally drives the rhythm effectively.

But doesn't it start to sound a little silly when it's done so much that you can hardly hear a chord in between the chunking? There are some big fish guilty of that and I can get why people roll their eyes at it. I've started rolling my eyes at it. Just switch to percussion already, no need to get an expensive big ole custom uke and then just use it for percussion.

Someone needs to do a comedy song based on chunking, so these bigtime chunkers can hear what they sound like to normal people. :D

bazmaz
06-09-2012, 04:37 AM
Then there are songs where it's totally essential. Try strumming The Passenger by Iggy and the Stooges without muting!

Ken Middleton
06-09-2012, 05:16 AM
ha ha...LOL...my autobiography would be called 'The Chump' :p

:stop: but serious matters are afoot Diane. I agree, it can get overbearing. I use it very selectively and never through a whole song, though certain songs and genres ask for it more than others. It's often useful to incorporate in the breakdown of a tune. Generally it's just a nice way to change up the rhythm and give the song some colour and dynamic, but sparingly, like chicken salt or onions or worcestershire sauce...hmm...must be dinner time :o

What Eugene said, only more so. I use it very selectively indeed. In fact, never. I find it all a bit silly - like listening to loud paint drying.

I suppose that used sparingly, in the hands of a really good player, it can be very effective. I have to say that Aldrine does it it brilliantly.

Canoe Lady
06-09-2012, 05:20 AM
To me, I think chunking when used sparingly is pretty handy. You get that comfy cozy down to earth feeling and it totally drives the rhythm effectively.

But doesn't it start to sound a little silly when it's done so much that you can hardly hear a chord in between the chunking? There are some big fish guilty of that and I can get why people roll their eyes at it. I've started rolling my eyes at it. Just switch to percussion already, no need to get an expensive big ole custom uke and then just use it for percussion.



Exactly. There was consistent every other beat chunking on almost every song which made it difficult to listen to the melody. I could see it the songs would have had more of an island beat, but that wasn't the case. These were otherwise beautiful songs.

I do think there is a time for chunking...Folsom Prison Blues would not be the same without it.

GinnyT11
06-09-2012, 05:42 AM
I do think there is a time for chunking...Folsom Prison Blues would not be the same without it.

Neither would Stand By Me. Here's a tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1fOMYmwWIk

janeray1940
06-09-2012, 06:54 AM
James Hill said it was unnecessary so I never bothered to learn it.


Seriously? Now I don't feel so inadequate for being unable to master it :)

I agree with what others have said, that used sparingly, and in certain songs, it sounds good - which is why I'd like to learn it. But I think the key is "used sparingly."

bazmaz
06-09-2012, 07:09 AM
Yep our gang chunk in Folsom too. Stand By Me another good example.

I Can't see why it's something to be sniffed at. People employ it on the guitar - its just another technique. In fact there was little Bob Marley played on his guitar that didn't employ it.

GKK
06-09-2012, 07:26 AM
It's just another Technique.

It's like saying, "What's better, Strumming or Picking?"... :cool:

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
06-09-2012, 07:32 AM
I tend to do it accidently-like when I'm playing something - it's never a planned chunking.

I agree with Ken that Aldrine does it well, I just watched him do "Rhythm of Love" and without the chuck there would be some awkward silences.....

pulelehua
06-09-2012, 08:29 AM
I think it's a colour. Rasgeados add a few colours, depending on how many fingers you use, and how much you bite into the strings. A rasgeado can end in what is basically a chunk. I'd hate to dismiss one of the basic aspects of Flamenco playing because of a related technique's fadishness. If you get into golpes (see Aldrine, as well as the under-mentioned Craig Chee), then there's a whole host of percussive colours there.

I think one of the joys of ukulele playing is the range of percussive techniques possible:

1. Just the strings can be quite percussive, muted or unmuted
2. Techniques can combine both the strings and hitting the body
3. Hitting the body without the strings

In the world of guitar, Tommy Emmanuel, Newton Faulkner and Andy McKee are doing amazing things with percussion right now.

To me, not chunking is like a painter saying, "Yeah, I don't use orange."

bazmaz
06-09-2012, 12:52 PM
:agree: +1

What he said

Freeda
06-09-2012, 01:15 PM
I haven't heard anything where it's been annoying. But my background is as a percussionist so I don't mind a bit of extra rhythm!

Markr1
06-09-2012, 01:50 PM
I use it often with guitar playing by myself but not so much with the ukulele.

Canoe Lady
06-09-2012, 02:56 PM
I think it's a colour.

To me, not chunking is like a painter saying, "Yeah, I don't use orange."


Agreed. I wouldn't want the painter to use orange as a dominant color in every painting, however (and I like orange too).

webby
06-09-2012, 04:06 PM
To me, not chunking is like a painter saying, "Yeah, I don't use orange."

I was going to make that a line in a song but.............

:)

PoiDog
06-09-2012, 05:13 PM
I find its great for reggae based songs. For example I use it as part of my strum pattern for IZ's SOTR.
Each to their own though!
Cheers
Gary

This. I can't imagine playing Zep's D'yer Makr without chunking

vanflynn
06-09-2012, 06:03 PM
I've tried, but in my case " white man can't chunk".

It sounds like I am strangling the Uke.

connor013
06-09-2012, 06:05 PM
I'm definitely guilty over over-chunking, maybe b/c it's the first trick I learned. Some artists need it, though, eg Jack Johnson.

Brittni Paiva
06-10-2012, 11:10 PM
As some have stated above, it is up to you and how much rhythm you like, what kind of music you play, etc.
For me, personally, I think of the "chunk" as a snare drum. I like to use it in conjunction with with my low G string. Whatever I play on the low G string acts as the bassline and the "chunk" will be the snare, plus strumming the rest of the strings in between is the remainder of the rhythm. That's what I think about when I'm implementing the "chunk" into my rhythm.

mendel
06-11-2012, 08:57 AM
I use the chunk regularly. It adds a bit of percussion to the song. There are songs that are beautiful without it, but it can be a valuable tool in the tool box. I look at it kind of like hot sauce. In moderation, it can really be a great addition to a dish. If too much is used, it can overwhelm people.

Mendel