Utilizing “The Chop”

Putting It Into Songs

Music is such a magical thing. You can create completely different sound worlds simply by changing articulations. Or you can conjure up varying emotions by adjusting the technique by which you produce effects and sounds or a combination. It is this new-found rhythmic technique in “The Chop” that I wish to inject a different fervor in the music.

Deciding How to Utilize The Technique

Once I have figured out how to use “The Chop” in a piece or two I will somehow bravely allow it out in public. I have only one example at the moment: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I play for kids on a regular basis and have forced my explorations onto the children and they seem to enjoy the new feel. I like it, too. There is a more light touch, a more joyous feel to the song now. No matter how many times we sing it and I play it, as long as I fill out the harmonies and use a smattering of chops the level of happy is greatly increased.

The Actual Placement

This is a bit tricky. I am not one to be so precise in my practice and therefore the chop is a bit irregular for now. Or, conversely, if I learn a certain pattern, I am rigidly stuck to it for the duration of the piece. Thankfully, for a short number like Twinkle it works just right. Here is the pattern I learned and use for it:

  •  in 4/4 — Down Up Down Up Chop Up Down Up

Overall Execution of the Technique

  • Find the chords and then decide when and where to use 4-note or 3-note chords.
  • Divide the chords either by two notes on the bottom, two on the top or one on the bottom and two on the top. (These are by no means the only two ways to divide them, but for my purposes of learning it works for now.)
    • It really depends on the sound you want.

Keep On Trying It Out!

In the end, just explore. Trial and error goes a long way.