Howdy guys (and gals).
Been working on nothing but Mando Strumming, specifically bluegrass chop for the last week or so, thought I’d update you guys on the progress.
From everything I can tell there’s a “continuum” of chopping (“Chop-tinuum”?), a “bell curve” if you will.
At one end of the curve is the BARK chop, lots of sound, lots of real chord sound (G or A or D etc), this is a chop that you can hear and frankly so can the rest of the room (and the yard possums). This chop is a tad hard on the hands, and takes some practice. This is the chop that Ben appears to show in his videos. It’s a good solid chop, but you have to know when to use it. From everything I’ve listened to, this is the chop you want in the fox hole with you when it’s just you and your mando, no one else playing. This is the “solo chop” in my mind.
At the other end is the muted chop, you have to really get those ears going to catch the subtle differences between the chords when playing this guy, as it’s hard to tell. This chop is almost completely muted all the time, there’s virtually no bark whatsoever. This chop is useless when playing solo, but when playing with others, or when playing along with a CD (something I am doing a LOT of anymore) this is the go to money chop. It’s there, but it’s subtle, it drives the music forward cleanly without overpowering anything else going on. This is the goto chop when it’s time to play with others. It has the side benefit of being easy on the hands making it the “all day long” chop you want for long sessions.
So… does this hold water? Am I on the right track?