The boom-chuck is a very common and natural concept for guitar chord playing. It’s essentially a technique there you mix bass notes and the rest of the chord notes. It is often combined with alternate picking and sometimes also muted strings. This guide will explain the concept including tabs and sound examples.
The boom-chuck term can be dissected as follows:
Boom = the bass note
chuck = the rest of the chord
This is done in a succession, first is the bass notes pick or stroked and when the remaining notes in the chords. This can be done with the thumb playing the bass note and the fingers 1,2 and 3 playing the highest strings, or by using a plectrum. This tab with sound will illustrate how it can look and sound:
The tab shows how a simple chord progression can look like with some chords played in the boom-chuck style. The chord diagrams above helps you with the fingerings although not always all notes in the chords are utilized.
There are a few standard approaches for the boom chuck on the guitar. Firstly it can be with or without alternate bass notes, and secondly it can be in 4/4 or 3/4 times.
Boom-chuck with simple bass notes
The simplest way to accomplish a boom-chuck sequence is to repeat the same bass note as well as the rest of the chord notes.
Boom-chuck with alternate bass notes
More musical interest can be created with alternate bass note. Notice that the fifth intervals often is used between bass notes (in the tab example below is the notes G and D).
Boom-chuck in 4/4 time
The examples so far have been in the 4/4 time, but here follows a new progression that shows another example.
Boom-chuck in 3/4 time
When played in 3/4 time the pattern is more precise boom-chuck-chuck instead of boom-chuck, meaning bass note and the rest of the chord notes twice.
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