General Posts

Proper Nutrition and Hydration a Must for Marching Band

nutirtionWhen it comes to marching band, we tend to spend a lot of time thinking only about the notes being played or the steps being taken. There isn’t always enough thought placed on how to keep performers well-nourished and hydrated for maximum performance. Marching band, like any other sport, counts on members to be healthy in order to be successful. Make sure you (the director, parent, and student) are doing your part to keep yourself and everyone else on the field!

Here is an article from July 11, 2014 that was found at You’ll find that many of today’s top drum corps and marching bands put a lot of emphasis on proper nutrition and hydration. If you’re in marching band, you are an athlete; it’s time to treat your body as such!

In Need of Exercise? Consider Drumming

We all see things plastered on the internet about activities that improve one’s physical well-being, but many people would be shocked to know that drumming is one of those things. There have been many studies done to back this up, but the article featured here is one of the more popular studies done on the relationship between drumming and physical fitness. So the next time you’re thinking of ways to get in shape, maybe you choose the drums instead of the treadmill!

Rock drummers ‘are top athletes’

Vic Firth Marching Percussion channel on YouTube

Today’s post is from our friend Mark Wessels at Vic Firth.  We asked him to tell us the story behind the new Vic Firth Marching Percussion channel on YouTube and how that came about.

mark-wesselsSince the early days of internet video, Vic Firth was a pioneer in delivering top-quality percussion education and entertainment to a worldwide audience. We’ve tried hard to represent all aspects of percussion – from drum set to concert, marching to jazz keyboard, our goal has always been to reach every genre of music.

As a result, the Vic Firth YouTube channel has grown significantly. Our 205,000+ subscribers have racked up over 57 million views – by far the largest channel in the percussion industry. With the addition of 2-3 new videos each day to our library of over 3,000 videos, we’re consistently adding 1.5 million new views each month!

The only downside is that we’ve actually had to “throttle” some of the percussion content so that we can deliver a balance between all the various genres of percussion, especially during the peak seasons of WGI and DCI.  Because most of us here at Vic have a deep marching percussion background, we weren’t happy with that…  we’re always wanting to do more, not less!

With the launch of the new “Vic Firth Marching Percussion” channel, we’re able to dive deeper into the content that our marching fans want to see.  We’re always striving to go ‘beyond the lot’ to bring you new & exciting features, including “Learn the Music” videos – where you can grab your sticks or mallets and play along to the 2016 DCI shows – to “Vic Licks”, interviews with the show designers and instructors, plus much more!

The best part is that we’re just beginning!  Keep an eye out for the Vic team on the road this summer as we continue to break new ground with the content we have to offer.

One of the latest videos from the new Vic Firth channel.

How To Play And Sound Like Bonham

Welcome back to the Chops blog. Today we’re celebrating the birthday of one of the most influential drummers of all time, John Henry Bonham. We’d like to celebrate his life and influence by sharing some of our favorite Bonham-related links we’ve found on the web. They include an article from Drum! Magazine on 10 ways to sound like Bonham, a video from his drum tech Jeff Ocheltree on how to tune and mic like Bonham, and some isolated drums tracks of him in the studio. Give the article a read, check out the Jeff Ocheltree video, then sit back and listen to the bombastic sounds and heavy grooves of John Bonham.

DRUM! Magazine – 10 Ways to Sound Like John Bonham

Jeff Ocheltree on how to tune and mic to sound like Bonham:

Isolated Drum Tracks from the Studio

Fool In The Rain:

Whole Lotta Love:

What Is and What Should Never Be:

Ramble On:

Why Attend A Clinic


Why should I attend a clinic?  What’s the point when I can watch everything on YouTube?
We’ve discussed this topic quite a bit over the years here at Chops, but not because we don’t see the value in attending a clinic.  We’ve discussed it because we feel there are many reasons why people SHOULD attend clinics.  We remember when we were kids, before so much media was available at your fingertips online.  Music stores hosted clinics quite frequently, and were packed, sometimes needing to host them in a local school auditorium, gym, or ballroom at a local hotel!  That was also when there wasn’t the assistance of easy online promotion.  It was much more difficult to get the word out. Now, it’s very easy to promote clinics through many different avenues and notify many more people.  But, it seems less and less attend clinics and many music stores abandoned them long ago because of low turnout.  So, besides the obvious reason that music is better experienced live than on video, here’s a list of reasons of why clinics are worth attending.

  1. Education – You could learn a lot.  There’s a lot of information shared at clinics.  You might be able to see someone play drums online, but you don’t get to hear the explanations of how and why they do what they do.
  2. Clinician Interaction – There’s always an opportunity to ask questions.  You might want to ask about a certain groove from a recording and how they came up with it.  You might even ask about tuning, warmups, etc.  There’s usually time after the clinic to allow you the opportunity to meet them, get a picture, and ask any other questions you might have.
  3. Peer Interaction – Clinic attendees have a common interest and it’s a great opportunity to meet and talk to others who enjoy music the same as you do!
  4. Inspiration – This is the most important.  Live performances, whether it be a clinic or a concert, can inspire you.  We were all inspired at one point to start learning the instruments we play.  Listening and watching great musicians play music at the highest level inspires us to keep playing, and maybe try new things.  I remember that feeling when I was younger, attending a clinic or concert and wanting to run straight home and play my drums.  I feel EXACTLY that same feeling to this day.

This cannot happen on YouTube.  You have to be there live to feel it.  We have Todd Sucherman in clinic here at Chops Percussion this Thursday, May 26th.  I can’t wait to learn some new tricks, talk to some drumming peers, and feel that renewed inspiration all over again.  Attend a clinic so you can learn, interact and be inspired.  You won’t regret it.