The Chop Notation Project

At long last, and with great excitement, I present to you: The Chop Notation Project.


The Chop Notation Project is a written work (free PDF download) which creates and establishes a standardized music notation to read and write percussive the bowed string technique known as chopping, bringing it up to speed with the current playing practice. Created in partnership with Spanish violinist Oriol Saña, and in consultation with other recognized “choppers,” we hope that a system such as this will enable composers and players to share and communicate their musical ideas more easily across the globe.

The work is divided into a few different sections:

  • A Brief History of Chopping with first-hand accounts from three generations of chop (Richard Greene, Darol Anger, Casey Driessen)

  • Tips & Techniques for chopping

  • The Chop Notation Glossary of notation symbols for writing/reading, along with detailed written instructions

  • Exercises & Grooves - a series of ten workshops, created in an additive manner and showing the use of the symbols through short grooves and phrases

  • Credits for development of various strokes/techniques/symbols

The entire paper is free for download and the notational portions are formatted for easy printing.

The primary focus of The Chop Notation Project was to establish a notation “glossary.” To hear and see these symbols explained, please see the video here or on YouTube.


Since the goal is acceptance and use by the string community, we approve the free dissemination of the contents contained within this document, provided that appropriate credit is given for any musical phrases or historical information which is directly copied, reprinted, or shared. (Download it here!)


As music is a living, breathing, and evolving language, so is the percussive technique of chopping. As new developments and discoveries are made, the intention is to update The Chop Notation Project, either by us, or by other contributors.

I picked up this domain when I started The Chop Notation Project. For now, redirects to The Chop Notation Project web page, but I imagine it taking on a life of its own as a one-stop-chop (sorry, couldn’t resist) for all things chop related for the string community—records and videos with chopping, written music, historical writings, discussions, and general sharing.


As a companion piece to the Exercises & Grooves written for The Chop Notation Project, a series of ten workshop videos was created to focus on each bow stroke from the glossary. They are conceived in an additive manner, meaning each video builds upon the one before, adding a new chop technique from the glossary, and progressing in complexity. The final video is a 16-bar etude using nearly all the notation.

Total runtime of all ten videos is over 70 minutes and production quality is identical to the Chop Notation Glossary video

If you would like to hear and see how the Exercises & Grooves sound, please visit my store. The entire series is on sale for a limited time for $89.

Don’t forget, the notation and glossary video are all available for free.

Casey Driessen’s Exercises & Grooves Workshop Series

  1. Basic Pitch & Hard Chop

  2. Soft Chop

  3. Bow Placements: Towards/Away

  4. Bow Placements: Middle

  5. Bow Placements: Beyond the Bridge

  6. Ghost Notes

  7. Parallel Scrapes

  8. Circular Scrapes

  9. Triple Chop

  10. Etude

If you’d like to help spread the word about The Chop Notation Project and/or the Exercises & Grooves Workshop Series, please feel free to reshare some of my recent Facebook or Instagram posts, or let me know by signing up for my email list and I’ll send you some graphics for posting.

Oriol and I hope you find this project useful.

Chop on!!!