Tim Gee Posts

2016 Indoor Percussion Season Preview

Welcome back to the Chops blog.  Indoor Percussion season is already underway, and we’re proud to once again be the presenting sponsor for the Indiana Percussion Association!  Indoor Percussion continues to grow in popularity within the state and across the country.  We’re lucky to have one of the best and largest indoor percussion circuits in the country, and we’re proud to support the efforts of IPA and all of the participating groups.

Along with local IPA contests, there’s also a national WGI regional, hosted by Franklin Central, where you can see performances by ensembles from all over the Midwest.

Here’s a schedule of remaining contests to help you find a show near you!

February 27 IPA Invitational at Pendleton Heights HS
February 27 IPA Invitational at Owen Valley HS
March 5 IPA Invitational at Greenfield-Central HS
March 5-6 WGI Regional at Franklin Central HS
March 12 IPA Invitational at Ben Davis HS
March 12 IPA Invitational at New Palestine HS
March 19 IPA State Prelims/Divisional Finals at Avon HS and Decatur Central HS
April 2 IPA State Finals at Hulman Center, Indiana State University
April 9 WGI Preview Show at Center Grove HS (for groups going to WGI World Championships)


Come visit us at IPA State Prelims and State Finals!

We’ll be running a booth at state prelims (Avon site) and state finals, so if you’re attending either of these, make sure to stop by and say hi!  We’ll have of sticks, practice pads, mallets, stick bags, t-shirts, and many other items to choose from.  It would be a great time to try out all the different sticks and pads and take something home!

If you go to any shows, let us know what you think on our Facebook page! If you wear a Chops Percussion shirt, make sure to post a pic to our Facebook or Twitter page!

For more information on events, schedules, venues, ticket sales and more, visit the following:
Indiana Percussion Association (IPA)
Winter Guard International (WGI)

ISSMA Marching Band State Finals

The team at Chops Percussion would like to congratulate the students, staff and parents of all the participating schools on another exciting marching band season!   It’s amazing to witness the hard work and dedication that goes into putting a marching show on the field, the organization of getting to contests (or hosting contests) every weekend, and the teamwork of working together to improve week by week to be the best they can be.  State finals is where the hard work pays off, coming from the field in the form of incredible performances of energy and emotion.  One of the best things to see is the display of emotion in the tunnel after a great final run!
Congratulations to everyone involved with performing and constructing these shows, along with all the support staff who made it possible for the students and staff to do what they do!

ISSMA State Championship Results – Lucas Oil Stadium, November 7, 2015

Class D
1) Forest Park
2) Springs Valley
3) South Spencer
4) Triton Central
5) (tie) Crawford County
5) (tie) Paoli
7) Monrovia
8) Mater Dei
9) Woodlan
10) Tell City

Class C
1) Western
2) Fairfield
3) Lewis Cass
4) Beech Grove
5) NorthWood
6) Concordia Lutheran
7) Edgewood
8) Scottsburg
9) Vincennes-Lincoln
10) Twin Lakes
11) Angola

Class B
1) Concord
2) Greenwood
3) Northview
4) Jasper
5) Floyd Central
6) North Side
7) F.J. Reitz
8) Northridge
9) Bloomington North
10) Munster

Class A
1) Avon
2) Carmel
3) Homestead
4) Castle
5) Lake Central
6) Lawrence Township
7) Penn
8) Center Grove
9) Ben Davis
10) Goshen

Snare Drum Maintenance Part 5 – Installing Wires and Tuning

Welcome to the fifth and final post in our series on snare drum maintenance. Last time we discussed how to properly install new heads. Today we’ll finish the process by tuning the drum and reinstalling the snare wires.

Before we begin, it should be noted that unlike other instruments, tuning drums is a matter of personal preference. While there are general guidelines to tuning drums, every drummer will tune their drums differently depending on their touch, technique, equipment, experience, and the style of music they are playing. Here are our recommendations.

With the new heads installed, it’s time to begin tuning. Use the cross pattern we introduced in our previous lesson to gradually bring the up the tension on the top and bottom heads.

Use a drum key to turn each tension rod 90°, or a quarter turn. After turning all the tension rods, repeat the pattern several times until there is a moderate amount of tension on the head. Repeat this process on the bottom head.

After you’ve put a moderate amount of tension on each head, use the cross pattern as described above, but with much smaller adjustments to the tension rods to fine tune the drum. Make small adjustments until the drum is tuned to your preference.

I recommend tuning the bottom head significantly higher than the top head. This relationship will provide great snare wire response while limiting sympathetic vibrations.

After you’ve tuned up both heads, it’s time to reinstall the snare wires. Begin by setting the wires on the head. Insert the straps or cords to the butt plate and tighten them down.


Turn off the snare strainer and use the knob or lever to loosen it until it almost comes apart. Insert the straps or cords into the snare strainer then use your fingers to tighten them in place.


Turn on the strainer. With the straps held in by finger tension they will slip through the strainer as you turn it on. Notice the difference between the snare cord in the prior picture, and the picture below.


Finally, use your drum key to lock the wires into the strainer and adjust the snare strainer.

As we mentioned before, tuning a snare drum is a subjective process. The steps outlined above, and in previous posts, are recommendations based on our experience and preferences. You might have a totally different method, but that’s the beauty of tuning drums: there’s no absolute correct method. If it sounds good and works for you, it’s correct!

Please contact us with questions about tuning drums, recommendations on heads and snare wires, and with your own tuning methods. We look forward to hearing from you!

WGI Percussion World Championships – 5 Reasons You Should Go

Avon High School

The WGI Percussion World Championships are this weekend and we have our top 5 reasons why you should go. But before we get to that, maybe you’ve never heard of WGI and are wondering what this is all about?

From their website: "WGI Sport of the Arts is the world’s premier organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and wind ensemble competitions. As a non-profit youth organization, WGI serves as the leading governing body of the winter guard and indoor percussion activities. It is called the Sport of the Arts because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Now entering its 38th year in 2015, the sport continues to evolve and grow. There were more than 36,000 participants at the regional level, and more than 12,000 participants at the Sport of the Arts World Championships this past April."

If you would attend this weekend, you would see the percussion section or "drumlines" of a marching band performing indoors. These show aren’t just thrown together. Hundreds, if not thousands of hours are spent designing, building, rehearsing and competing over several months.

Indiana is one of the premier states when it comes to competitive percussion ensembles. The Indiana Percussion Association just recently held their State Prelims and State Finals competitions where over 100 groups competed in both the concert and movement categories! You can view those results on the IPA website.

As you might have guessed, Indiana will be well represented this weekend in Dayton, Ohio at the WGI Percussion World Championships with several groups competing in various classes.

With that said, here are our top 5 reasons on why you should attend.

1. The Performances Are Incredible

The massive amounts of time, care, preparation, rehearsals and talent all lead to performances that will simply blow you away. Even if you don’t know a lot about the activity, the entertainment value alone is well worth the ticket price. I remember saying out loud the first time I attended IPA or WGI – "These are high school kids?!"

Avon High School Indoor Percussion at the 2014 WGI World Championships.

2. It’s Not Far

WGI Percussion World Championships are held in Dayton, Ohio. Which is only a couple of hours from Indianapolis. You could head over, watch performances and drive back all in one day. We feel the best day to go to get the most bang for your time is Friday.

3. Don’t Miss The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps Percussion Section

The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps have partnered with WGI for the 2015 season.“The Commandant’s Own” percussion section will appear in exhibition during the Saturday night World Cass Finals event on April 11th.

4. The Expo

The WGI Expo will have vendors of all kinds showcasing the latest in percussion trends. You’ll be able to see up close some of the equipment and gear that the ensembles use during their performances. There are also t-shirts, DVDs, sticks, mallets and more available for purchase.

5. You’ll Be Supporting The Arts

WGI is known as the Sport of the Arts. Their high-energy events use competition as a means to encourage the highest standard of excellence. Participants learn the process of working at something for an extended period of time and see their efforts pay off on a national stage. And since they’re a non-profit youth organization, the money you spend with WGI gets put back in the student community. Over the years WGI has awarded over $500,000 in academic scholarships to students from competing units.

To learn more about schedules, venues, ticket sales and more, visit the WGI Percussion page on their website.

If you go, let us know what you think on our Facebook page! Enjoy!

Do You Sell Books – FAQs

Another popular question we receive is "Do you sell books?"

We do not sell sheet music or books. However, Chops Percussion is a proud partner with J.W.Pepper, one of the nations leading printed music retailers. We share a building with their Indianapolis location and refer all of our customers to them. They share the same hours of operation as our main showroom and also offer FREE deliveries to our account schools through our convenient weekly visits by the Paige’s Music District Managers.

To place an order or inquire about sheet music and books, click on the logo below or give them a call at the numbers listed.