Derek Felix Posts

Troubleshooting Common Timpani Issues


Common Timpani Issues


With the school year well underway, you may start to notice some issues with your timpani after they sat around all summer not being used. Timpani are one of the more misunderstood percussion instruments with regards to function and reparability, but knowing some common issues that occur can give you a better understanding of what to check.


            Issue #1 – The Pedals Slip (Won’t stay in position)


When the pedal on timpani is not holding either in the high or low position it is more often than not related to the range of the drums.  Over time, the heads continue to stretch and can cause the drums to become out of range and thus not allowing spring and head to be balanced with tension.  This is the first thing to check if you have pedal issues.  You should check that the lowest note on each drum is correct as seen below:



If the pedal slips forward from the lowest position, it likely means that the drum is too low and needs to be brought up to the correct low note.  Holding the pedal in the heel down (low position) make small adjustments to each tension rod until you have the lowest note.


If the pedal is moving back from the upper position, it likely means you need to add a little bit of tension to the spring.  However, it is important to check the low note and make sure you have this first.  If the low note is correct, adjust the spring.



Issue #2 – The Pedal is Hard to Move or is Stuck


This can be caused by many things, but the first thing to check is that nothing appears to be broken or snapped as this can cause things to stop working completely.  More than likely, the balance between the head and spring are not correct so checking these first is a good idea.  Other things to check would be the braking systems being to tight and thus not allowing the pedals to move freely.  On Ludwig drums this can be found under the pedal while on Yamaha drums this is often found near the center under the bowl.


            Issue #3 – The Drums Won’t Stay in Tune


If you are having issues with the drums constantly going low after tuning them up it likely means you are in need of a head change.  Timpani heads should be changed every one to two years depending on your daily usage.


If you just changed the heads recently and they just don’t sound great or don’t seem to hold a pitch well they likely need to be cleared and tuned up by a professional.  Since the process of clearing and getting timpani in tune with themselves can be tricky it is best to have someone familiar with the process check out the drums.


If you notice something that is not listed here, it is likely something that will need to be inspected and serviced by a professional repair technician. You may find yourself understanding what the cause of the issue may be but not confident in fixing the issue.  Give us a call at 317-813-2070 and we can make a visit to your school to ensure your timpani are in top working condition.


Brian Travelsted

Percussion Repair Technician





Pearl Decade Rental Package Now In Classic Satin Amburst Finish

This time last year, we added the Pearl Decade Maple drum set to our rent-to-buy instrument offerings, and the response has been very positive. We wanted to let you know that we’re now offering the Decade in the Classic Satin Amburst finish. To see the finish and find out more info on the Pearl Decade Maple, please check it out here.

As always, if you have any questions or if you would like to discuss your rental options over the phone, please feel free to call us at 877-900-DRUM. You can also email your questions to

Rhythm! After Hours with Drumming Legend Kenny Aronoff Next Wednesday, September 18th

Rhythm! After Hours with Drumming Legend Kenny Aronoff Next Wednesday, September 18th

Welcome back to the Chops blog. This week, we wanted to let you know about a special event happening at the Rhythm! Discover Center in downtown Indy next week. Kenny Aronoff will be in town for a performance and Q&A session. Kenny is one of the most recorded drummers in rock history, and his resume is loaded with legendary recording artists. To be able to sit and ask a musician of this caliber a question or two in such a laid-back atmosphere is a chance that will not come very often.

This event is 21 and over only, and the ticket price is $30. The price includes your admission into the museum and two free beers from great local brewery, Sun King (bonus!)

To see the schedule for the evening, please go to The time for this event is 6 pm – 9 pm. Kenny will begin his portion of the evening around 6:45 pm. To purchase your ticket for the event, please go to this link:

I will be there, so I hope to see you there as well!

Paige’s Music Staff Spotlight with Brian Travelsted

Paige’s Music has an interview series on their blog they call the Staff Spotlight. The latest episode featured our very own Brian Travelsted. Check out his interview below to learn about all he does here at Chops!

Upgrade Your Beginning Percussion Rental at Chops

Hello! My name is Derek Felix, and I am the manager of Chops Percussion. Chops is the drum and percussion division of Paige’s Music. If you’re still renting your child’s beginning percussion kit from Paige’s and it’s no longer being used, I want to let you know about our upgrade rent-to-own options.

To see what we have to offer, please visit this link:  here you will find all of your upgrade options, along with pictures and pricing information. You can also apply up to 18 months of your payments on your current instrument towards your new rental, which can lower your monthly payment!

If your child is showing a high level of commitment to percussion, now is the time to upgrade their instrument and take their playing to the next level. Please call 317-813-2070 or email for more information. We look forward to helping the percussionist in your home get an instrument they’ll love playing for years to come!