Anyone have any Chopping tips?

Best Online Fiddle Lessons Forums General Help Forum Anyone have any Chopping tips?

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  John Cockman 1 month ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #65719
    Kody Foster
    Kody Foster
    Participant

    Does anyone have any chopping tips? Something to do in the background with a group, mostly if there isn’t a mandolin or the mandolin is taking a solo.

    Or just to chop while using a loop pedal.

    John, is there a lesson anywhere on here about chopping?

    #65721
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    I chop with my fiddle when the mandolin takes a break. I chop near the frog of the bow and always on the upbeat.

    #65753

    Angela
    Participant

    Hi Kody,

    I pretty much do the same as Fred says above.  I usually will just dampen the strings with my left hand and play a percussive chop.   On occasion, I will play a double stop chord and chop on the chord.  I rarely do any kind of fancy chop.

    #65759
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    Also, I’d like to add that when I chop I use double stops and allow the chord to be heard momentarily before vamping it.

    For example, If I’m in the key of D and traveling from a D to G chord, I’ll use an F#/D double stop going to a D7 chord, F#/C(natural) and then a G/B chord. and so on and so forth.

    This technique allows the fiddle vamping to show chordal direction (movement between chords). It provides an intelligent baseline for the melody notes of the tune; and a means for the listener to fully understand the progression of the chordal super structure. And, of course, when executed on the upbeat, it serves as a rhythmical event highlighting the overall structure of this type of music.

    #65764

    Angela
    Participant

    There are a many ways to execute a chop.  :^)  (who would think??).  But, I usually strike the strings on the upbeat.  There is another, softer, version of the chop, where you place the bow on the string, on the beat, then pull up on the offbeat.

    Then, check out the brushy kind of chop Sarah is doing in this video:

    #65776
    Kody Foster
    Kody Foster
    Participant

    Thank yall much. I’ll start chopping along to YouTube songs and see what I can come up with.

    #65777
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I generally sound awful whenever I try it, but once in a while a miracle chop or two occurs…lol…then I’m happy.  Good luck with your chops…maybe one day you can send us some samples!

    #65793
    rodger
    rodger
    Participant

    Well, here’s some video that’s a virtual clinic on chopping & chunking.  I was in a week long workshop at the Red Deer college some time back, when Ben and his mother were instructing.  Ben is a highly trained classical player also, and he was teaching the orchestra. He spent one days class on, well, kind of a chunking.  With fiddle chops the bow kind of bounces off the strings, but there’s many kinds of classical chops, and one is a chunk, where the bow chunks into the string and just grinds to a stop.  Ben is some sort of genius that seems to live in his own world.  He is an incredible player…sort of combination of Michael Cleveland and Mark O’Conner put together, but he never seems to do show off pieces, and a lot of what he does I doubt many can actually absorb.  Anyway, he is a master of doing back up stuff.  In Sled Riding, the first 40 seconds is a variety of backup, where the camera doesn’t always show what he’s doing.  Then he starts chopping & chunking before 1:30 to 2:00.  At 2:38 he gets into some amazing rythmic chopping that the camera leaves off.

    This next piece is Greenland.  He shows a great variety of supplemental backup.  I won’t list it all…just watch.  There is a lot of odd rhythm chopping.  I don’t even know if anyone else even tries this stuff.

    #65794
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by fiddlewood fiddlewood.
    #65797

    Angela
    Participant

    Wow…lot’s of good stuff here.  I just learned, quite accidentally, that the “inventor” of the fiddle chop was Richard Green, the first northern fiddle player to play with Bill Monroe.  Here’s a video:

     

    And the reason I happened upon this, is because I heard a recording of him playing Wolves a Howling.  Check this out (OMG):

    #65862

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Great responses! Here is a quick video from me (it’s been a while) along with a chord sheet showing the finger positions for two different upbeat chops for every chord. You don’t have to play both positions, just choose one you like for each chord.

    Chord Chart for Chopping Backup

     

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