Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

  1. #1
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    263

    Default Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    I've been working a lot lately on my chop chords and, while I still have a ton of room for improvement, over the past few weeks, I have made some progress. So, I'm in my late 50's and I do have a small amount of arthritis is my hands. But, as I'm working through a song only playing the chop accompaniment, after a while my hands will start to cramp and really hurt. Does this happen to anyone else? What are some ideas regarding how to solve or minimize this? Thanks!
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

    Northfield F5S "Blacktop", K&K Pickup

  2. #2
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    682
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Better living through Chemistry!
    and practice.
    Stiver A style Custom Build
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Harley Benton A style (grandchildren's learner)

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,570

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    I like the sound I get from 3 finger chop chords better. They are also easier and move just as well. They are also much less fatiguing.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  4. #4
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,255
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Well .… 1. Make sure that you have a good setup on your instrument. 2. Don't over grip. 3. Use a set with .11 for the E string.4. Make sure that you are holding your mandolin at the correct angle to get the best use out of your grip ie. what aligns your hand with the neck. 5. Relax …. physical tension is bad long term. 6. Warm your hands up in hot water before you start to play. Not long enough to soften your calluses just enough to relax your tendons and joints. Play on! R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  5. The following members say thank you to UsuallyPickin for this post:


  6. #5
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I like the sound I get from 3 finger chop chords better. They are also easier and move just as well. They are also much less fatiguing.
    That's damn intriguing but how are you muting the unplayed string...just not striking it, I assume?
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

    Northfield F5S "Blacktop", K&K Pickup

  7. #6
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    963

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Quote Originally Posted by LastMohican View Post
    That's damn intriguing but how are you muting the unplayed string...just not striking it, I assume?
    Yes, and pinky can lightly mute the e string as you play three finger chords on bottom three courses.
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

    BridgerCreekBoys.com

  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,570

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Quote Originally Posted by LastMohican View Post
    That's damn intriguing but how are you muting the unplayed string...just not striking it, I assume?
    The muted string is the E. I fret for a G chord---4th fret on the G string, 5th fret on the D string, 2ond fret on the A string and mute the E. You can use a C chord the same way. Take the easy C chord and add the 5th fret on the G string and mute the E string. Now you have a walkable C,D, etc. The G is also walkable up the neck. These work just like the 4 string chords, but are easier and I like the chop better.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  9. #8
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Posts
    898

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Quote Originally Posted by UsuallyPickin View Post
    3. Use a set with .11 for the E string.
    But 11.5 sounds so much better
    2016 Gibson Doyle Lawson F-5
    GHS PF270 11-40
    Dunlop 500 .96mm

  10. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    The Great Northwest
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    I only play three finger chop chords. The hands are just too old to stretch as they should. Interestingly, I know people who play two finger chop chords and mostly, no one really knows the difference. The real trick is to get that percussive sound (at least that’s what my instructor says ��).

  11. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,896

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Quote Originally Posted by LastMohican View Post
    That's damn intriguing but how are you muting the unplayed string...just not striking it, I assume?
    I use my pinky to mute the E on three finger chords, but I know some pickers can do this with the flesh at the base of the index finger. The latter doesnít work as well for me...

    As for the four finger chords, you could also try moving your hand up the neck 2 or 3 frets where the stretch isnít as far, then gradually work back down the neck as you gain strength.

  12. #11
    (not my heart rate!) 40bpm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Make every other measure an arpeggio to give your hand a rest. The ears also like variety.
    [note to self] Burst not thy brother's bubble ~ unk

  13. #12
    Mike Story
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Morrison, Colorado
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    I agree with what UsuallyPicking said. You don't need to put a vice-grip on the strings to get the chop if that's what you're doing. In fact, there is a great exercise where you try to see how little pressure you can apply to the strings to get a good tone. Less pressure equals less stress and strain on your fingers. Good luck.

    Mike

  14. #13
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Statesville, NC
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    You can honestly get 90+% of the sound of a 4 finger G chop by just using the two low strings and being careful not to hit the high strings.
    If you play it with your second and third finger then you can easily switch to D by dropping your second finger note back one fret to the first finger (G to F#).
    Slide that move up and down to any key.
    Unless you're a hardcore "ain't no part of nothin" Monroe fanatic, that'll serve you just fine!
    Drew
    2016 Skip Kelley Vintage F-5 (#54)
    2003 Flatbush V4
    2015 Eastman MDA815 (mandola)
    2019 Northfield Flat Top Octave
    https://www.facebook.com/3rdCreekBluegrass

    "Thank you for making it through a truly unreasonable amount of mandolin playing" - CT

  15. #14

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    Agree with Drew, no need to stress out or cause yourself injury trying to get the 4 finger chop chord when there are options, many pros discuss alternatives and don't use the big chop chord for many reasons.

    I guess its nice to have as an option but I generally use the 2 low strings or a 3 finger chop or even inversions like the 245 for D or 2245 for A and just plain olí 45xx for the G - I donít even have to move when playing Whiskey Before Breakfast as I do 422 for the Em in the 2nd part..

    Another alternative is use 2 finger chords like 0023 and learn how to mute...lots of videos out there with pros doing this...hereís one with Adam Steffey using a 2 finger G right off the bat and muting the strings for that chop sound.



    If you haven't already Iíd suggest taking a lesson with a pro whose style you like. They can give you options and tips as to how to get that sound.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  16. #15
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,230
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Four Finger Chop Chords and the Pain!

    I avoid four finger chop chords where they provide no advantage. I play three finger chords (one open string) and I can chop them, and I play double stops.

    My theory is that I am not responsible for every darn note in the chord, especially in an ensemble where some guitar or banjo will likely play that note anyway. Nobody has ever, ever, ever noticed. Nobody has ever come up to me saying "I didn't hear that C# in your F# minor chord."
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •