Mandolin Glossary

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Chop Chord

Chop chord examples

Chop chord examples

Chop chord: A percussive chord that's typically dampened on the two and four beat on a 4/4 song or the two and three beats on a 3/4 song.

The phrase was likely coined in bluegrass but shows up in other styles of music such as old-time, country or other forms as unique as David Grisman's jazz/bluegrass hybrid music called "Dawg" music.

There are as many forms of chop stylings as their are chords, but the emphasis on the two and four beats is a consistent common element that's typically seen within about any bluegrass form. Three common chord forms are shown here and these shapes are moveable.

Four note chord forms are popular for chop chords because after striking the chord the entire sound can be dampened by letting up slightly with the left hand. Stopping the tone just after the strike creates the "chop".

Authored by: Mandolin Cafe

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