Have the chops

If you want to be great at something, you’ve got to have the chops. No, we’re not talking about the length of your sideburns. If you want to achieve fame and glory by being amazing at something, you have to have great skill—or chops. Believe it or not, I rarely use this word.

Chops is actually slang for the jaws or mouth. Trumpet players need to have strong jaws if they want to become better players, so people used to say that you couldn’t become a great trumpet player if you didn’t have the chops for it. If you already have the chops, you can directly buy a quality trumpet at musiciansfriend.com trumpets. Not long after that, the expression came to mean the ability to play any instrument, not just the trumpet. And now we use chops to talk about any skill or ability.

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