General Posts

IMEA Conference Highlights

IMEA Professional Development Conference
January 15-17, 2015
Grand Wayne Convention Center
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

If you’re attending the IMEA conference this week, here’s a list of performances and clinics with percussion interest you should check out!  Make sure to stop by the Chops Percussion and Paige’s Music display booth and say hello!

Performing Groups
Penn High School Band – Friday, January 16       2:00pm
Lawrence Central HS Wind Ensemble – Friday, January 16       4:30pm
Fishers Junior High Symphonic Band – Saturday, January 17   1:15pm
Center Grove HS Percussion Ensemble – Saturday, January 17   2:30pm

All State Honor Ensembles
Junior All State Band – Saturday, January 17   9:15am
All State Honor Band – Saturday, January 17   11:30am
All State Percussion Ensemble – Saturday, January 17   1:15pm

Clinic Sessions
Steve Houghton
The Rhythm Section: The soul of the Big Band
Friday, January 16 – 4:30pm

Michael Burritt
The Versatile Percussionist – Finding the Music in all of the Instruments
Saturday, January 17   11:30am

Robert Sheldon
We Got the Beat! Rehearsing the Percussion Section from the Podium
Saturday, January 17   3:45pm

Full details and registration can be found on the IMEA Website.

Drums & Hearing Protection

Have you ever gone to bed at night after playing your drums, or after drumline rehearsal, and had an incessant ringing in your ears? If you have, that is your body telling you that you’ve done some damage to your hearing. Please know that hearing loss is irreversible, so you need to start protecting your ears NOW! How, you ask? There are a few surefire ways to do so.

  • Earplugs/Filters – The most obvious solution, but one that definitely takes some getting used to. I started playing drums when I was 14, but didn’t start wearing plugs until I was in my 30’s. I wish someone would have told me how important hearing protection was when I was first starting out. Do yourself a favor and start using earplugs now. Tell yourself that ear protection is just as essential as the sticks you use to play.
  • Drum Mutes – Not only do drum mutes help the player, but they also help the people around you. Have you ever heard “That’s enough of that noise” from a parent or sibling? If so, drum mutes may be the answer to your prayers (and theirs). The best part about drum mutes? You can pull them off of your drums and go crazy at full-volume when nobody is around (just make sure you have some earplugs in when you do). They can also increase your practice time since you’re less annoying to the non-drummers in your house.
  • Headphones – Not so great if you’re trying to make a fashion statement while drumming, but hearing is way more important than looking cool! There are many different kinds of headphones out there, and some even plug into your computer or MP3 player. That means you can plug in and play along to your favorite songs without doing damage to your ears.

Not sure where to start with hearing protection? Start in the same place you’d buy your sticks!

You only get one good set of ears in your life, so take care of them!

My First Drum Set


The Road to Drumming Stardom Begins at!

Are you taking up drumming for the first time? Are you buying a drum set for the drummer in your life this holiday season? If so, you may want to start at This website was created by the people at Pearl Drums with the idea of educating not only the drummer, but the parent or loved one who is buying the set. Here are the highlights:

  • A “Welcome to Drumming” video with appearances by some of the top names in the drumming world.
  • A step-by-step video that shows you how to correctly unpack and set up your drum set.
  • Video tips on tuning, warming up, and playing your first beats on your new drum set.
  • A drum set buying guide.
  • A very informative FAQ section.
  • Statistics that show what a great thing drumming can be for the mind, body, and spirit!

If you or someone you love has decided that this is the year to take up drumming, there really is no better place to start than! And when you’re ready to make the purchase, Chops Percussion has many great instrument options for you to choose from, including the Roadshow kit. We also have a rent-to-own program that features the Pearl Export: The best selling drum set of all-time! Be sure to check out all of our rental offerings at Welcome to the world of drumming!

I Can’t Feel My Hands! – Marching Band Tips for Rehearsing In Very Cold Weather


It’s November and in many regions around the country it is getting cold. Marching band rehearsals can be downright miserable in freezing cold temperatures.  Here are some tips to help keep you and your hands from freezing, and allow you to still have productive rehearsals.

  • Wear warm clothes and be smart with your layers! Don’t worry about fashion. Nobody is impressed by the fool who looks great in their fashion jacket but is freezing, miserable and complaining about being cold.
  • Stay dry. Wear a base layer that will soak up any sweat (spandex, Under Armour, etc).  You need to stay dry under those layers.
  • Wear a hat that covers your ears, a hat with earflaps, or earmuffs.  Avoid just using a hood. Hoods blocks your peripheral vision and can fall down or not be allowed by your director.
  • Keep your feet warm with wool socks or double socks, but make sure your feet don’t get wet with sweat. You won’t get them warm after they’re wet.  You can also get foot warmers for your shoes, but again, don’t let them sweat!
  • Wear a jacket with decent-sized pockets and keep heat packs in them.
  • Keep your sticks warm. Try holding them backward in your pockets with the heat packs.
  • Wear thin gloves with the fingertips cut out. (Golf, batting, drum gloves, etc.)
  • Rubber surgical gloves under your gloves also helps keep body heat in.
  • Keep your fingers and hands moving, even in your pockets.
  • Move!  If you’re marching, this usually isn’t a problem, but it can be more difficult for the pit percussionists.  One solution would be doing jumping jacks or running in place every time the band is told to reset.
  • Drink water before and during rehearsal (if not frozen!).  Science has shown that a well hydrated body is easier to keep warm.

Take the time to check the weather and prepare, so you can be as comfortable and warm as possible at your next chilly rehearsal.  Good luck the rest of the season!