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Technique vs. Pure Chops

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by millsbass5, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. I'm just wondering. How many people on here think their technique outweighs their chops, or, vice versa?
    Back in the day, I was all about the chops, baby! But, now? Oh, man. I take extreme pride in my clean (I think so, at least) technique.
    I'll be 47 on Christmas. It seems the older I get, the more I take pride in my technique, over my fancy chops and licks that I could play every other measure in a song. Gee, I never thought I'd use the words chops and licks in the same sentence..... It just don't seem right, for some reason.

    Replies, or opinions?
  2. PubliclyViewable

    PubliclyViewable Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2000
    One tablespoon from group 'A', another from group 'B'. ;)
  3. Hey, I got it! That equals 2 tablespoons. Yes.....
  4. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm not even sure what the difference is supposed to be. Which i'll go ahead and take as a good thing.
  5. PubliclyViewable

    PubliclyViewable Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2000
    I like to play as cleanly as possible while practicing, but in live situations I let adrenaline put my fingers in autopilot and play a little more of the 'riff'... but then, I wouldn't sacrifice clean attack for the sake of one more trill... It's difficult to quantify!
  6. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    I have terrible lefthand technique, so I'll say my chops are better. I'm working on it slowly over the last couple of years. One problem of been self taught.
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I don't have the fancy licks but I got them fingers. Clean technique is especially useful in recording situations, and I found out I'm not so much the playing live guy...

    If you think playing sloppily on bass is easy, try playing sax for good measure (or heck, clarinet). You'll instantly appreciate your tone a lot more.
  8. Definitely chops that's what gets the fans in the door, you might have all the technique in the world but if you don't move around and put a show on then no one will want to watch you play
  9. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I think they are pretty much the same thing. I don't see how you can have good chops without having a good technique. What does it matter if you can play everything note for note if your technique is so bad that its hard to distinguish what is being played?
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    If you don't have good technique, you don't have chops.
  11. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    You can have bad technique and still play everything clearly and distinguishable, note for note.
  12. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    Could you explain that for me a little better?

    I guess you could as easily say that you can have bad rhythm/timing and keep the groove.

    It might be possible, but good technique would definitely help.
  13. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    Ya I don't fully understand the question. I would thing accuracy, consistency, timing... are all part of "chops".

    I've been a zeplin fan for a long time, but whenever I see Page flubbing notes and missing strings during a twenty minute solo, I don't think "he's got chops", I think "that's pretty sloppy".
  14. icecycle66


    Feb 4, 2009

    I'm the opposite, but for the same reason.
    My left hand can go diddle-dee all day long but my right hand can't keep up. I do lots of hammer-ons and pull-offs to make up for lame old Righty, but it isn't the same as well timed sting striking.
  15. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I always thought chops referred to technique as well as the other stuff. What you are calling chops I've always just heard as "riffs" or "toolkit". In either case they are kind of inseparable as far as I'm concerned. Chops is the whole package, taste, technique, speed, musicality, knowledge, tone, library of riffs, ears, etc.
  16. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    To me technique and "chops" are one and the same. Added to the mix is the fact that after 43 years playing bass guitar I tend to edit my playing a whole lot more than I used to. :)
  17. therhodeo


    Feb 28, 2011
    Owasso OK
    I get the feeling the question is actually "fast and sloppy or slow and accurate". Having technique doesn't necessarilly mean playing less or slower and I've run across plenty of guys who are slow/sparse players with sloppy technique.
  18. I hear that! I've been playing clarinet again after many, many years off. It's taken me months just to get a smooth transition between the register key on a consistent basis, as far as tone goes.

    I'm making beautiful music again with it. I plan to incorporate some lines on an upcoming album.
  19. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Just because someone reads a book or watches a tutorial video or apes their favorite player doesn't mean THAT technique is the only correct technique. If you can play what you intend and have it sound the way you intend your technique is fine (for you).