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“I’m totally blown away by absolute attention to detail and accuracy of this project. It is amazingly complete and covers stuff that I knew existed but never really understood even though I’ve been chopping for my entire career. Also ever since I first heard Casey he has been my favorite chopper.”

- Richard Greene

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY

After entering your email, The Chop Notation Project (PDF) will open in your browser and you can download a copy. **Make sure to check your email afterwards as you will also be sent files of the notations to use within your own compositions, arrangements, and educational materials.** (Your email is used to understand the reach of the project and to stay in touch about chop related news. Thank you!)

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ABOUT THE 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 by Casey Driessen with Oriol Saña, and in consultation with other recognized “choppers,” the goal is 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 printing separately if desired. 

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 below or on YouTube.

Authorized Use

Since the goal is acceptance and use by the string community, the authors 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!)

THE FUTURE

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 the authors here, or by other contributors.

WORLDofCHOP.com

I picked up this domain when I started The Chop Notation Project. For now, WorldOfChop.com redirects here, 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.


VIDEO WORKSHOP SERIES

As a companion piece to the Exercises & Grooves written for The Chop Notation Project, a series of ten video workshops, available for purchase from my store, was created to focus on each bow stroke from the glossary. The workshops detail, demonstrate, and give players the chance to play along with the grooves at different tempos. The series is 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 incorporating 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 above.

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

Don’t forget, the notation is all available for free above. If you would like to hear and see how the Exercises & Grooves sound, please visit my store.