Brian Travelsted Posts

It’s Vintage: Restoring a Ludwig Drum Set

Every once in a while we will get a call from a customer that is somewhat out of the ordinary.  I recently visited a local summer camp that had a few drum sets that were in need of some work.  When I arrived to inspect the drums I was able to piece back together two drum sets that needed new heads and cleaned.  I was not expecting to find a vintage set of drums. The 1967 Ludwig Club Date that I found had all the original parts except for the cymbal arm and a hoop on the mounted tom.  While I knew it would be a challenge, I was determined to make these drums look and sound great again.  Below is a basic breakdown of the steps taken to get the drums back into excellent condition.

Get Your Percussion Gear Ready For The New Year

As the new year approaches, your program is likely going into the busiest time of year with concert band, solo and ensemble, jazz band and indoor percussion all happening at the same time.  Often times you may not think about taking a little extra time to do a thorough inspection of your gear, but it will go a long way in getting the most out of your investment.

Now is a great time to do some general equipment maintenance and cleaning that can ensure you are ready for the busy months ahead.  Having your students actively participate in this process will help them take pride over equipment that will be used long after they leave your program and can help the process move along faster and seem less overwhelming.

Below are some quick and easy tips for making sure your gear is in top shape to start the new year:

  • Take an inventory of all your equipment at the end of each semester.
  • Clean all equipment using a soft cloth to remove any dirt or grime that has built up over time.  A small amount of diluted rubbing alcohol can help remove major build-up.
  • Inspect your instruments for any missing parts.
  • Check for broken or damaged areas on your equipment that may require repair or replacement.
  • Ensure that all frame bolts, nuts, carrier parts, etc. are at the correct tightness.
  • Cover all instruments daily and keep small instruments stored properly.  Don’t leave equipment on the truck for long periods of time.

For a more exhaustive list of maintenance and specific things to look for you can download the pdf file here:

Chops Percussion Comprehensive Percussion Maintenance Guide

If you are in need of parts or more tips call us today and we can help you get everything you need to make sure you are ready to go for 2019!

What’s Old is New – Getting Rid of Rust

A majority of percussion equipment contains some type of metal that is prone to developing rust after years of wear and tear.  This could be an old snare drum with rusted out lugs, rusty rims and rust on the shell, or an old set of bells that has lost its shine. Don’t let the rust stand in the way of an instrument being used properly and sounding great.  With a little bit of time and some elbow grease you can make those OLD instruments look and sound NEW again.

You can quickly and effectively remove rust on your percussion equipment by following a few steps:

Step 1: Remove parts from the instrument so that all areas can be exposed to cleaning.  Do not try to clean or remove rust with parts still attached the instrument.  For instance, remove all lugs from the drum so they can be cleaned individually and all the way around.