What are Chops in Drumming?

March 28, 2022

What are drum chops?

The chops in drumming can be described as musical examples played on the drum kit. They could be flashy bursts (often in the linear pattern) or simple melodic phrases.

They could be fast or slow. Learning to play drums can allow you to feel more confident on the instrument and let your voice shine through and an excellent method to improve your listening abilities.

How To Make Your Chops Sound Interesting?

Drum chops revolve around how you phrase and how you organize the notes. The best ones are typically only slightly altered variations of the same concept.

This is also a term known as “permutations.”

You can use your musical phrase and shift it forward or back by one note. This is known as rhythmic displacement.

Polyrhythms can be used also, that is, playing two different rhythmic subdivisions simultaneously at the same time (like performing in 4/4 time using your hands, while your feet are playing at 3/4).

You can also alter your rhythmic groupings to give the song more variety. 

Many make a standard error when practicing drum chops: playing all of their notes as fast 16th notes. Instead, try to play your slow at first.

what are chops in drumming


Another critical element to making your drumming more exciting is to be creative in the way you play.

Sometimes, simply changing the location, your notes play on your kit can inject new life into your drumming.

If the pattern you’re playing is based on the snare or toms, try shifting a small note towards the hi-hat.

You can also play all left-hand strokes using an alternative bass drum. You can also use the drums’ rims or even the wall in your studio. Explore various textures and instruments, and let your ears be your guide.

Use different sticks

Sometimes, playing the same beat using different sticks can open new musical concepts. For example, try beginning your song using the opposite hand or using the double strokes in place of single strokes.

Utilize the basic rules to help you start creating new concepts. Try some fancy things such as crossing your hands over each other or turning the stick (do not attempt this in a live play situation until you’ve grasped it)!

Final Thoughts

There’s no set of rules to follow when it comes to exploring new ideas on the drums, and what’s most crucial is to expand your eyes and experiment with different techniques.

When you’re able to play with decent timing, good quality, and speed playing drums regularly is a great way to broaden your musical vocabulary and take your drumming skills to a higher level.


Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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