Derek Felix Posts

Veritas 2020 Pearl/Adams Sale List – Reserve Now

It’s that time of year again! We’ll be selling the Pearl and Adams gear used by Veritas this indoor season. Now is your chance to save a lot of money on battery and front ensemble equipment for your program. We’re reserving instruments now, so if you want to get your name on a certain item, please email sales@chopspercussion.com and we’ll get it reserved for you.

All gear will be available after the final 2020 performance by Veritas at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. You can drive a trailer over to pick your instruments up, or we can make arrangements with you to deliver your order after WGI.

To check out the list of available gear, please click here.

Remembering Neil Peart

This is a tough blog to type. On January 7th, the music world lost a true giant and the drumming world lost one of the very best to ever play the instrument. Neil Peart passed away after a quiet, 3 year battle with brain cancer. When this was first announced on Friday, January 10th, I just remember thinking how amazing it was that his friends and family were able to keep his illness a secret. Instant information is all around us, but somehow, those closest to Neil managed to keep his condition private. I think that is the ultimate show of respect to a man that cherished his privacy and more than anything, just wanted to be a regular guy. I will always admire his band mates, family, and friends for honoring this man by saying nothing about what he was going through.

Neil was a huge influence on me as a drummer. I, like thousands of other drummers, sat in my room and tried to learn every cool lick from “Moving Pictures”. To be honest, I’m still trying to learn! He played with such power and precision and nothing ever felt overdone. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “Neil Peart plays too many notes.” Every single note he played belonged perfectly. I used his signature Promark drum stick for a lot of my teenage years, and I still have a couple pairs packed away in a box somewhere. I’m really glad I kept them now. The ultimate Rush fan and Neil Peart fan experience was seeing them live. I was lucky enough to see the band four times; the first being in 1997 on the “Test for Echo” tour. It was amazing to watch some of my musical heroes play those complex songs in person, and play them with a lot of joy. I’ve never seen so much air drumming in one place in all my life.

Aside from his drumming, Neil was a gifted lyricist and a talented author. The painful experience of losing his only child (at that time), the death of his wife, and the motorcycle trip that saved his life was told beautifully in the book, “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road”. Neil was great at describing the riding conditions and his surroundings; your mind’s eye could easily paint the pictures his words were describing. You could also feel his pain as he struggled to find himself again after such tragedy. I always appreciated him putting that story out for the world to read. Neil’s song lyrics connected deeply with many people on many different levels. A lot of people get caught up in the complexity of their arrangements, but the stories and feelings crafted in his thoughtful lyrics resonated with people throughout the world.

When Rush finally called it a day in 2015, fans often wondered if we would ever see them perform a one-off show or hear some new studio music. Knowing what Neil was going though in private, the band told the world that Rush was finished in 2018. A lot of fans always held out hope, but that hope was finally laid to rest with Neil’s passing last Tuesday.

Rest in Power, Professor. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us on Earth. Your body may be gone, but your spirit will live on in your drumming, your lyrics, and your books forever. I can say with the utmost confidence that there will never be another like you. Thank you for being such a huge part of my existence.

The Positive Impact Drumming Has On Mental Health

Happy 2020, everyone! We hope the holiday season treated you and your loved ones well.

Research conducted by the Royal College of Music in London shows that drumming can have a drastic impact on one’s mental health. A 10 week group drumming program reduced depression in the participants by 38% and anxiety by 20%! The 10 week study also shows social resilience improving by 23% and overall mental well-being by 16%. These numbers are astounding to me, but when I think about how I feel when I’m playing drums with my band, I am not at all surprised.

Full disclosure: I suffer from depression. Some times are worse than others and the winter can be the most brutal for me. Getting behind my drum set and playing is a huge lift for my mood and my self-esteem. It’s the one thing I have in my life that I can constantly count on to give me joy. I’m so glad to know that drumming can be therapeutic for so many others.

If you have never played but have always wanted to learn, or you would just like to find a new outlet to release some of that negative energy, maybe now is the time for you! If you’re in the Indianapolis area, Bongo Boy Music School offers group drumming, as well as private instruction. Bongo Boy offers many wellness sessions for people of all ages and ability levels. Learn more about the wellness program here.

Click here to check out the article on the Royal College of Music study.

I wish you all the very best mental and physical health this year and every year after. Cheers!

Chops Percussion Holiday Hours for 2019

Just a couple of notes on our holiday hours. We’ll be open Saturday, December 21st from 10am – 4pm. These are our normal Saturday hours. We’ll be closed on Sunday, December 22nd. We are also normally closed on Sundays. We will be closed on Tuesday, December 24th for Christmas Eve and Wednesday, December 25th for Christmas Day.

We will also be closing at 2pm on Tuesday, December 31st for New Year’s Eve and we will be closed Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 for New Year’s Day.

We’ll be back to normal hours on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Here’s a run-down:

Saturday, December 21st: Open 10am-4pm
Sunday, December 22nd: CLOSED
Monday, December 23rd: Open 10am-6pm
Tuesday, December 24th: CLOSED
Wednesday, December 25th: CLOSED

Saturday, December 28th: Open 10am-4pm
Sunday, December 29th: CLOSED
Monday, December 30th: Open 10am-6pm
Tuesday, December 31st: Open 10am-2pm

Wednesday, January 1st: CLOSED

Happy Holidays from all of us at Chops Percussion! Here’s to a great 2020!

2019 IPA Clinic Day Information

WHAT: 2018 Indiana Percussion Association Clinic Day and I&E Competition

WHEN: Saturday, December 7th, 9am-4pm (on-site registration begins at 8am)

WHERE: Plainfield High School

HOW: On-line registration is NOW OPEN! On-site registration the day of the clinic will begin at 8am. Cost will be $15/person pre-registration or $20 at the door. Lunch is not included but the Plainfield Band Boosters will have lunch concessions available.

Individual and Ensemble Competition will be held during the day. The categories are: Snare Drum, Tenors, Keyboard, Timpani, and Percussion Ensemble. The entrance fee for a solo is $12. The fee for an ensemble is $8 per member.

There will also be a Future College Music Majors Prep Course that day, so if you’re planning on pursing a music degree in college, you will not want to miss this.

To pre-register for the clinic day, I&E Competition, or to see other IPA-related info, please visit www.indianapercussion.org.

We hope to see you at Plainfield HS on December 7th!