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This article is about the guitar showmanship. For other uses, see Duck walk.
Country singer Keith Urban doing a one-legged hop style "duckwalk"

The duckwalk is an unusual form of locomotion performed by assuming a low partial squatting position and walking forwards, maintaining the low stance. It is similar to stalking and prowling.[1] It is most widely known as a stage element of guitar showmanship popularized by rock 'n' roll star Chuck Berry.[2][3]


The term "duckwalk" is also loosely used to describe Chuck Berry's other guitar playing stunt, his one-legged hop routine with the other leg waving in the air.[4]


While the origins of the duckwalk have been traced as far back as T-Bone Walker who already during the 1930s performed dance moves while playing his guitar, it was Chuck Berry who made the duckwalk popular and who is often credited as the inventor. He first used it as a child when he walked "stooping with full-bended knees, but with my back and head vertical" under a table to retrieve a ball and his family found it entertaining; he used it when "performing in New York for the first time and some journalist branded it the duck walk."[5][6]

AC/DC Duckwalk[edit]

Angus Young of Australian hard rock band AC/DC also does a duckwalk, in the form of a one-legged hop, in his shows.

Popular culture[edit]

The duckwalk, in the form of a one-legged hop, was introduced to a new audience when the character Marty McFly did it on stage while playing Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" in the movie Back to the Future.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Duck walk
  2. ^ Chuck Berry duck walk
  3. ^ Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History. ABC-CLIO. 2008. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-313-35806-7. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  4. ^ Phillips, Mark; Chappell, Jon (May 23, 2011). Guitar For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 1. ISBN 9781118054734. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ Berry, Chuck (1988). The Autobiography. New York: Fireside / Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-67159-6. 
  6. ^ Chuck Berry biography at Thomson Gale