Chicken Reel
By Larry Conger for Mountain Dulcimer Players in D-A-d Tuning

Video 1



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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Demonstration Along with "Turkey in the Straw," "Chicken Reel" is probably one of the best-known poultry-related folk tunes. If you grew up with the Looney Tunes, you're going to remember this tune from the Foghorn J. Leghorn cartoons.
2. Part A & the String Bend Larry teaches the hardest thing to do first - the string bend on the 4th beat.  To "bend" a string, you pull a string toward you on the fretboard with your left hand finger(s), so that the string gets tighter and the pitch goes up. String bending is a technique frequently used by guitar players when playing the blues.
3. Hammer-Ons &
Pull-Offs
Normally, this technique is executed as a "pick - hammer" or "pick - pull." But for this tune, Larry demonstrates how the fretting hand does much more of the work, and the picking hand does much less of the work.
4. Tips Larry advises us that, for the string bend, you should pull the string toward you - rather than push away. Both techniques work, but if you push the string, you might also push the dulcimer off your lap! Larry shares insider tips on how to hammer and pull off more effectively.
5. Part B Larry plays through the B section, which is much easier. Finally, Larry recommends that we memorize this tune, so we don't need to depend on the tablature. That way, we can give our full attention to the hammer-ons and pull-offs.

PDFTablature

AnimationAnimations

 

Music GlobeExtras

  • Enjoy our fiddle teacher, Vi Wickam, playing this tune on his fiddle.

  • Lyrics

  • History of the tune

  • Here is the tune played on the banjo by David Hum. Can you hear the hens clucking in his arrangement?

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