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Thread: Chop Chords

  1. #1

    Default Chop Chords

    I've had a mandolin for years, but never really worked at it seriously. I'm trying to learn to chop and have a question. If a song has an A and an Am and A7 just for arguments sake can you use an A chop chord for all three and it sound right? Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Not the Am, but maybe you could get away with it for the A7?

    I do 9735 for Am

    2200 (A5) would work for them all, but wouldn’t have the minor 3rd or 7th to give the right color to the tones
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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Chop

    2
    2
    X
    X
    That might work. Chops should be on the lower strings anyway.
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    What you may do is use a 1/5 on the G and D strings and imply a major or minor chord. But as stated above for the full chop four or three tone chord no ... an A major won't work over an A minor. Play on... R/
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Play a C and use the 5th fret of the G string, no E string. That gives you the flatted 3rd of the minor easily and a good chop if that's what you are looking for.
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Torpedotom View Post
    I've had a mandolin for years, but never really worked at it seriously. I'm trying to learn to chop and have a question. If a song has an A and an Am and A7 just for arguments sake can you use an A chop chord for all three and it sound right? Thanks
    I guess I don't understand the question which isn't surprising ha..but since a chop is a percussive mute I would think one could percussively mute in any fashion using any chord tone or no chord tone as in totally percussive...

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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    The simple answer is yes, as long as you’re not sounding the C# note when in Am.
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    since a chop is a percussive mute I would think one could percussively mute in any fashion using any chord tone or no chord tone as in totally percussive...
    I often hear chop chords that are percussively muted, but not mute. The notes of the chord come through, but with a strong attack, no sustain, and rapid decay. As David said, chops should be on the low strings because thatís where you get the strongest attack.

    As for the minor chop chord, you get that by dropping the third in the chord by a fret. For example, if you play C as 523x, you can play Cm as 513x, replacing the E with an Eb.

    In a Venn diagram of major and minor chords, the 5 chords that dang mentioned will be only the two notes in the middle. In a diagram of C and Cm, E would only be in the C circle, Eb would only be in the Cm circle, and C and G would be in the overlap of both circles. Thatís why dang said that you can chop a 5 chord for both major or minor. It wonít sound major or minor, but it will work.
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  10. #9

    Default Re: Chop Chords

    I’ve always just move the G and D chop shapes around, but I’ve been watching the Sam Bush rhythm dvd, and getting more into the 224 for A, 223 for Am shapes, and using my pinky to dampen for the chop. I love Adam Steffey’s all-percussion chop, but a little more chord tone works well for me.

    Another cool method Sam uses sometimes is a full chord on beat 1, followed by a fully muted chop. The point is to try out a lot of stuff and go with what works for you or the part.

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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    when you guy's talk about chop chords and when, how and what works are you referring to using them in a certain genre as mainly or exclusively bluegrass? I don't play out or with anyone nor am I a theory guru but I use a chopping tempo using all strings the entire chord tones on a lot of tunes rather than just or primarily lower notes, example Ebm Bbm7 Cbmaj7 Abm6 Abm7 Db7 Gbmaj7 etc etc....and again I'm probably not understanding or over/under thinking the question

  12. #11

    Default Re: Chop Chords

    I started off playing heavy metal and rock guitar, so I’ve been chopping constantly, even before mandolin. Rhythmic muted strumming sounds good to me in pretty much everything.

  13. #12
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Chop as I see it, is the Blue grass substitution for not having ..a Drum .. a chord struck, with no sustain..
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bowsman View Post
    I started off playing heavy metal and rock guitar, so I’ve been chopping constantly, even before mandolin. Rhythmic muted strumming sounds good to me in pretty much everything.
    haha...I was social distancing before social distancing was cool, you may have been chopping before chopping was cool...

    so I can chop any chord I wanna chop lol

  15. #14

    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Why not?

    A 2245 (bar 22 pointer, ring 4, pinky 5)
    Am 2235 (bar 22 pointer, middle 3, pinky 5)
    A7 2243 (bar 22 pointer, middle 4, ring 3)

    Your pointer never moves.

    or

    A 9745
    Am 9735
    A7 x545

    Your middle finger never moves.

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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    I guess I don't understand the question which isn't surprising ha..but since a chop is a percussive mute I would think one could percussively mute in any fashion using any chord tone or no chord tone as in totally percussive...
    That is what a lot of people are doing now And I hate it. Bill didn't do it that way, he was very percussive but Each chop had tone not just rhythm. If all you want is racket on the off beat you could play spoons and it would sound just as garbage.

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  19. #16

    Default Re: Chop Chords

    How many mandolin players does it take to change a light bulb ?

    11, one to change the bulb and
    5 to say "Well Bill wouldn't have done it that way"
    and 5 to complain it's electric.


    Thanks,
    sounds_good

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  21. #17
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chop Chords

    Another Am "chop chord" is 5-7-7-X.

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