Tips Posts

Take Care Of Your Instruments This Fall

tenors-rain

As we move into the latter part of the fall marching band season, we’re faced with weather hazards that can do much damage to our instruments. It’s near the end of the season, so we can’t just escape inside to rehearse music if rain and very cold weather continues to hit during rehearsal times. Eventually, you have to go outside. There’s also the possibility of having to deal with these elements during a contest performance.
Here are some tips to help make sure your instruments survive the elements this fall.

During Rehearsals and Performances

  • Use covers as much as possible for your mallet instruments, especially when drill is a focus and the pit isn’t playing all the time. If raining during rehearsal, keep mallets dry and use old mallets if available. Keep your “show mallets” in good condition.
  • Try to avoid too much water collecting on your drum heads and dump if needed.
  • Keep tenor drums down in playing position and don’t allow the inside wood shells to get soaked if raining heavy.
  • Keep stick tips and bass drum mallets dry. Use old sticks and mallets if possible.
  • Use a window squeegee to clear water collected on timpani heads
  • In very cold temperatures, be careful not to overplay cymbals as they are more susceptible to cracks.
    “Warming” a gong should always be done before striking it (lightly tapping it to get it vibrating) but this is even more important during cold temperatures to help avoid cracks.
  • Cover electronics with tarps, trash bags or anything to keep them dry. Clear plastic can be used over electronic keyboards, leaving just enough room for the player’s hands, so the student can still see the keyboard and participate.
  • Cover any mics with small garbage bags. (Make sure there aren’t any holes!)

After:

  • Take covers off and lay out to dry.
  • Use towels to soak up water that may have collected around the edges of drumheads or anywhere water may be hiding.
  • Lay electronic cables out to dry.
  • If any electronics may have gotten wet or damp, place a fan blowing on them to help get them dry as fast as possible.
  • Make sure to dry EVERYTHING off (instruments, frames, hardware, etc) to avoid rust and other damage.

We can’t always get the perfect weather during marching season and are sometimes forced into elements that are not ideal. Take the time to keep your instruments in good condition to avoid damage and costly replacements and repairs. Good luck the rest of the season!

It’s Vintage: Restoring a Ludwig Drum Set

Every once in a while we will get a call from a customer that is somewhat out of the ordinary.  I recently visited a local summer camp that had a few drum sets that were in need of some work.  When I arrived to inspect the drums I was able to piece back together two drum sets that needed new heads and cleaned.  I was not expecting to find a vintage set of drums. The 1967 Ludwig Club Date that I found had all the original parts except for the cymbal arm and a hoop on the mounted tom.  While I knew it would be a challenge, I was determined to make these drums look and sound great again.  Below is a basic breakdown of the steps taken to get the drums back into excellent condition.

Improve Your Skills This Summer With A Rental From Chops Percussion

Keep improving this summer with a rental from Chops Percussion!

Chops has several drum sets and keyboards available for rental that are perfect for home practice.

Pearl Decade Maple Drum Set

For $69 per month, you will now be able to rent the Pearl Decade Maple set (Black Ice finish only) with 830 series hardware, a Sabin XSR cymbal package (14” hi hats, 16” and 18” crashes, 20” ride), and a Pearl D930 drum throne. We’ve had many requests for drum set outfits with upgraded drum and cymbal options, and this package definitely fits the bill. Do you want to hear the Decade in action? Please check out this video (best to listen with headphones or high-quality speakers):


Adams MSPV43 Soloist Series Marimba

How To Make The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

It’s the middle of the IPA season and with all of the rehearsals and performances that keep you eating on the run, you may want to slow down and treat yourself to something hand-crafted.  Well, this week’s guest blogger, Glen Allman, has got your back.  Read on…

You’re Never Too Old To Get Better

Welcome back to the Chops Blog! Today I wanted to share some personal experience and hope to inspire some of the older readers out there.

Have you ever thought that maybe you’ve hit the ceiling from a musical standpoint? I think we all reach a point in our playing careers that cause us to reevaluate what we’re doing and how we’re approaching our craft. At some point, we have to decide if we’re going to do something about it, and I recently reached that point with my playing. I decided to see what kind of programs were out there to help me get better.

I enrolled in the Todd Sucherman “Rock Drumming Masterclass” recently, and I wish that I had done something like that years ago.