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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
30 Day Challenge
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Cello Lessons: Chopping: Personal Groove

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The key to becoming a fluent and
comfortable chopper is to find ways to
make these patterns feel your own and
to make them personal.
So, we've been learning
a bunch of patterns by ear.
But one of the best things you can do is
to just improvise freely in a groove and
just sort of exploring various harmonies
various scales or whatever you wanna do.
The left hand almost doesn't matter.
I mean, it really does, but
really we're trying to just sort of zone
in on the feel of a certain groove and
how it can express itself in
different sort of musical contexts.
I've got the metronome at 60.
And I'm just gonna freely improvise
anything based around this chop pattern.
Note, note, chop, note.
Note, note, chop, note.
Note, note, chop, note.
Note, note, chop, note.
You can
throw in some
fills here or
there just to
sort of explore
how this chop
can get expressed.
Let me keep going with this chop pattern
just so you kinda hear a little bit.
[SOUND] Note, note, chop, note.
Note, note, chop, note.
It really doesn't
matter what
notes you're
It's really about working on
coordination of simply changing notes,
and keeping the groove really solid.
chopping on
all the strings.
You could
literally spend
an hour just zoning
in on note, note,
chop, note.
You could do it at the slower tempo to get
started, maybe quarter note equals 50.
And if you were working on
some of the bluegrass tunes,
working on with like a faster metronome,
so you can.
Really get a nice bluegrass beat going.
But it's still note, note, chop, note.
Note, note, chop, note.
Note, note, chop, note.
It's the same pattern so you want
to explore it at different speeds.
And really just get used to imposing
the pattern over any sort of melodic or
harmonic left hand situation.
I got inspired to start practicing
chopping this way often as like a warm
up because it really gets your
body physical and moving.
When I was hearing Rushad Eggleston
practice actually,
he teaches at my camp in Florida.
And we were in the same hotel
room one evening before dinner.
And he just went upstairs with his cello,
he literally just chopped for
like a full hour.
He just grooved.
He didn't stop.
He was just trying out different fills,
trying out different chord progressions,
but he was just zoning in on the chop.
And it was really inspiring for
me to hear that sort of creative
way to work on chopping.
So it's not all just sorta
like analyzing patterns, but
really trying to make it your own.
And so, I highly recommend
doing some free exploration to
make your own groves feel
really personal with chops.