Chops?

picodon

Silver Member
chop strumming is completely different than a players "chops"

and I don't think I have ever said "end of story" in my entire life

not trying to be the ..... "end of story" guy.... just clarifying

when a player says call this cat he has chops.... he simply means he can hang... thats it
This is one of those words of which everyone knows what they mean until you ask the question :) You can't claim that one version is true unless you provide ample and convincing evidence. Like this.

It's not because "chops" was used in the 50s that that is where the expression comes from. Chops are much older than that, they originate from pre-stone age China. They used to eat a dish called chop choi (which itself was even much more ancient still) with little wooden sticks which, before the stone age, were pretty much the only tools available at that time. At some point, Lao Tse, advisor to the emporer back then, between two of his unintelligible books that were nevertheless to become world-famous, suggested why don't we use chops for all dishes so we don't get our hands dirty? That was so massively clever than 1 billion Chinese adopted the idea immediately. By the way Lao Tse was from northern China and during the repeated invasions by Genghis Khan, Tse's family moved east-ward, waded through the Bering street which was pretty shallow back then, installed themselves in Canada which was completely empty and changed their name to Peart. Meanwhile chops were living their golden age and used everywhere in Chinese cuisine. They even developed a 2A Wok version for cooking (usually mispronounced as Rock by westerners). Now mind you this was still before the stone age, so no sharp objects (later to become knives) were available and eating with chops was not all that easy as it is today. I mean for the Chinese :) In fact it was so difficult it was used as a passage ritual for young boys. On a young boy's 15th birthday the family would gather around the dinner table and when the clock struck eight, father would ask "Wang (or Chang), you got the chops?" and the guy would show his family his skills. To challenge the young boy, mothers started to serve more and more different dishes, preferably in some funny prime number like 7 or 19, and require the young boy to count out loud while eating. Nowadays this tradition is still very much alive and you can see many examples on youtube, although some will say speed has become more important than how the food actually tastes.

I can ramble on about the Ping dinasty (they came right after the Mings) that got tired of eating out of porcelain and switched to bronze dishes, but that's for another thread...
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
This is one of those words of which everyone knows what they mean until you ask the question :) You can't claim that one version is true unless you provide ample and convincing evidence. Like this.

It's not because "chops" was used in the 50s that that is where the expression comes from. Chops are much older than that, they originate from pre-stone age China. They used to eat a dish called chop choi (which itself was even much more ancient still) with little wooden sticks which, before the stone age, were pretty much the only tools available at that time. At some point, Lao Tse, advisor to the emporer back then, between two of his unintelligible books that were nevertheless to become world-famous, suggested why don't we use chops for all dishes so we don't get our hands dirty? That was so massively clever than 1 billion Chinese adopted the idea immediately. By the way Lao Tse was from northern China and during the repeated invasions by Genghis Khan, Tse's family moved east-ward, waded through the Bering street which was pretty shallow back then, installed themselves in Canada which was completely empty and changed their name to Peart. Meanwhile chops were living their golden age and used everywhere in Chinese cuisine. They even developed a 2A Wok version for cooking (usually mispronounced as Rock by westerners). Now mind you this was still before the stone age, so no sharp objects (later to become knives) were available and eating with chops was not all that easy as it is today. I mean for the Chinese :) In fact it was so difficult it was used as a passage ritual for young boys. On a young boy's 15th birthday the family would gather around the dinner table and when the clock struck eight, father would ask "Wang (or Chang), you got the chops?" and the guy would show his family his skills. To challenge the young boy, mothers started to serve more and more different dishes, preferably in some funny prime number like 7 or 19, and require the young boy to count out loud while eating. Nowadays this tradition is still very much alive and you can see many examples on youtube, although some will say speed has become more important than how the food actually tastes.

I can ramble on about the Ping dinasty (they came right after the Mings) that got tired of eating out of porcelain and switched to bronze dishes, but that's for another thread...
Finally! A definitive answer to the stone-age old question. Thank you, Picodon.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
This is one of those words of which everyone knows what they mean until you ask the question :) You can't claim that one version is true unless you provide ample and convincing evidence. Like this.

It's not because "chops" was used in the 50s that that is where the expression comes from. Chops are much older than that, they originate from pre-stone age China. They used to eat a dish called chop choi (which itself was even much more ancient still) with little wooden sticks which, before the stone age, were pretty much the only tools available at that time. At some point, Lao Tse, advisor to the emporer back then, between two of his unintelligible books that were nevertheless to become world-famous, suggested why don't we use chops for all dishes so we don't get our hands dirty? That was so massively clever than 1 billion Chinese adopted the idea immediately. By the way Lao Tse was from northern China and during the repeated invasions by Genghis Khan, Tse's family moved east-ward, waded through the Bering street which was pretty shallow back then, installed themselves in Canada which was completely empty and changed their name to Peart. Meanwhile chops were living their golden age and used everywhere in Chinese cuisine. They even developed a 2A Wok version for cooking (usually mispronounced as Rock by westerners). Now mind you this was still before the stone age, so no sharp objects (later to become knives) were available and eating with chops was not all that easy as it is today. I mean for the Chinese :) In fact it was so difficult it was used as a passage ritual for young boys. On a young boy's 15th birthday the family would gather around the dinner table and when the clock struck eight, father would ask "Wang (or Chang), you got the chops?" and the guy would show his family his skills. To challenge the young boy, mothers started to serve more and more different dishes, preferably in some funny prime number like 7 or 19, and require the young boy to count out loud while eating. Nowadays this tradition is still very much alive and you can see many examples on youtube, although some will say speed has become more important than how the food actually tastes.

I can ramble on about the Ping dinasty (they came right after the Mings) that got tired of eating out of porcelain and switched to bronze dishes, but that's for another thread...
- The population of China was nowhere near 1 billion in the Stone Age. China hit 1 billion people around 1980. By the end of the stone age, China had about 4 million people.

- I don't think there ever was a Ping dynasty. There was a General Guan Ping served in the late Han Dynasty - that's the closed reference I could find. Bte, General Ping died in 219... Two thousand years after the stone age, which ended around 2000 BC.

- Lao Tse (Laozi) was Chinese philosopher that lived somewhere in the 4th - 6th century. Again, not stone age.

Cute story, but get your facts straight. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guan_Ping
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Age
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laozi
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
Let me get this straight. Are you trying to say that the term "chops" didn't evolve from ancient Chinese eating contests where they were encouraged to gorge themselves while using wooden implements called chops?
And they didn't wade through Bering Street (later to be used to name a Strait) on their way to Canada?
 

shemp

Silver Member
I *knew* Neil Peart must have had some Chinese ancestry..I just knew it. the skills with stick like implements are inherent in the lineage!

glad I got that sussed out; now I know my italian lineage is lacking in the drumming area and why i suck so bad
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Back in the day, only the town butcher could play drums by decree of the queen. Since the butcher was already in the town square, he would bring along some steaks and chops with him to sell. People would say, "did you see the chops in the square this morning?"

As you can see, the confusion caused is evident. Eventually, people just ubiquitously referred to both meat and drum chops as one.

Honestly, it's like nobody cares about history anymore.

Some day I'll tell you all the story of how ride cymbals were invented by Sally Ride, the astronaut gal.
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
not where the terms originated at all

it was a slang term used by jazz musicians referring to cats who could play and had the courage to put their expression out there

the meaning in its origin is very simple

it means you can hang.... thats it

for example... the band leaders calls a tune and looks to the bass player he is unfamiliar with and says ... " Cherokee, you got the chops?".... asking him if he can hang

today it has taken on some self indulgent acrobatic definition .... now a musical phrase is referred to as a "chop"
.... and "chops" now often means look how fast and unmusically I can play this passage
That is how I remember the use of the term back as a teenager. "You got the chops?" meant "Can you keep up? Because things are going to get intense."

I can see that transliterating into technical abilities of speed, endurance, 'moves.' and style, etc.
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
Chops seems to be the same thing as "got game" in the basketball world. If someone says "he's got game" it means he plays basketball well. If someone says "he's got chops" it means that he is good at playing drums. At least today that is what it means - I dunno about the history of the word.

MM
 

SpareRib

Senior Member
Here's perspective from Robert Palmer's long time drummer Dony Wynn:

"After being fired from a session with some of New Orleans' best, for having bad time - all chops no pocket - I came home determined to not ever let that happen again. For four years I learned, lick for lick, all sorts of records with drummers I felt had the best groove and taste, from Bernard Purdie, to Ritchie Hayward, John Bonham, Al Jackson and Larry Londin, to name but a few."

I think this encompasses what "chops" high caliber musicians are looking for.

Just thought I'd add that.

Dony Wynn
 
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SpareRib

Senior Member
Meh, "chops" are subjective and only pertitent to the genre. Those examples were of a genre that called for a strong pocket to move asses.

Who knows...
 
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