Tips Posts

Opinion: Glen’s Favorite Rock & Roll Instrumentals, Part Two

Hello and welcome back to the Chops Percussion blog!

Two weeks ago I introduced this series of posts on rock and roll instrumentals with some of my favorite, radio-friendly tracks. We covered five classics, such as Rush’s “YYZ”. If you missed it, its available here. Today I’m going to continue by introducing some more obscure tracks.

#1 – “Peaches en Regalia”, Frank Zappa, from Hot Rats

In 1969 Frank Zappa released Hot Rats, a classic, largely instrumental album. At the time of its release, Hot Rats was innovative due to Zappa’s creative use of 16-track recording equipment. “Peaches en Regalia” quickly became one of Zappa’s better known works, and a jazz fusion standard.

Funny story, back in 2012 I was at game five of the National League Division Series between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. When the Reds lost, after previously holding a 2-0 series lead, the stadium DJ immediately played “Peaches en Regalia”. It was a surreal moment, hearing an obscure Zappa tune after a demoralizing, season ending loss. Such is the life of a Reds fan.

Opinion: Glen’s Favorite Rock & Roll Instrumentals, Part One

Hey folks, welcome back to the Chops Percussion blog! I know it’s been a while since I rapped at you, but I’ve been busy not working on Saturdays. I’ll tell you, it’s been tough.

Today I’d like to start a brief series on rock and roll instrumental songs. A couple months back a friend and I started compiling a list of our favorite rock and roll instrumental tracks. We came up with a couple dozen off the top of our heads, then continued research on the internet. Eventually we came up with the following criteria for a track to make the list:

Songs that crossed over to rock and roll radio from another genre, such as jazz, were eliminated. For instance, fusion classics such as “Birdland” by Weather Report, and “Red Baron” by Billy Cobham were not eligible.

Songs that were largely instrumental, but included several words were also not eligible. For instance, a personal favorite, “David Bowie” by Phish was eliminated.

In part one of this series I’ll start with some of the better known classics. You may be familiar with these, because they’ve been on the radio at one time. Take the time to listen to each track and study the drummer’s

#1 – “YYZ”, Rush, from Moving Pictures

For further listening, be sure to check out the live version that later appeared on Exit . . . Stage Left, which includes a brief drum solo.

2017 Indoor Percussion Season

Welcome back to the Chops blog.  Indoor Percussion season is right around the corner, 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.

IPA has recently launched a brand new website and it looks fantastic. Head on over there to view scores, schedules, scholarship info and all of the latest news.

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

February 11 IPA Invitational at New Palestine HS
February 11 IPA Invitational at Owen Valley HS
February 18 IPA Invitational at Pendleton Heights HS
February 18 IPA Invitational at Franklin Central HS
February 25 IPA Invitational at Plainfield HS
February 25 IPA Invitational at Knox HS
March 4 IPA Invitational at Greenfield-Central HS
March 4 IPA Invitational at Zionsville HS
March 11 IPA Invitational at Ben Davis HS
March 11 IPA Invitational at Warsaw HS
March 11/12 WGI Indianapolis Regional at Franklin Central HS
March 18 IPA State Prelims/Divisional Finals at Avon HS and Decatur Central HS
April 1 IPA State Finals at Hulman Center, Indiana State University
April 15 WGI Preview Show at Center Grove HS (for groups going to WGI World Championships)

Tips For Success – Private Lessons

We’re asked quite often if we give lessons here at Chops Percussion.  While we don’t currently offer lessons, we do feel they’re vital at achieving success and enjoyment on a musical instrument.  If you just received your first drumset, practice pad and sticks, mallet instrument, hand drum or cajon this holiday season, the next step is sign up for private lessons.  This will help ensure a return on your investment with a lifetime of music making enjoyment.  Again, we don’t currently offer lessons here at Chops, but here’s our list of suggestions in finding a lesson instructor that’s right for you or your child.

  • Ask your band director and/or school percussion instructor.  Most will have a list of instructors in the area that they know will get you started on the right path to success.
  • Ask other students in your school.  Sometimes great private lesson instructors fly under the radar and might not yet be well known to your band director.
  • Call us!  We’d be happy to refer you to qualified private instructors we know and trust!  These would be on the northeast side, so if that works for you, just give us a call and we’ll refer you to some of the best in the area.
  • Online lessons.  There are new online lesson opportunities popping up all the time.  If you choose this route, be sure to do some background and read all the reviews you can find.
  • Instructional books.  If private lessons won’t work for you, get an instructional book to work from. It will help get you started the right way and give fundamental exercises to get you on your way.

Even if you didn’t get that drum set you wanted yet, get into lessons now so you can be prepared to groove when you finally get the set of your dreams!

IMEA Professional Development Conference

IMEA Professional Development Conference
January 12-14, 2017
Grand Wayne Convention Center
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

If you’re attending the IMEA conference next week, here’s a list of performances and clinics with percussion interest you should check out.  This year, there will be a special “Percussion Focus Day” on Saturday of the conference!  There is an option to purchase a one-day Saturday pass for those that might want to take advantage of this, but cannot make the previous two days.
Also, make sure to stop by the Chops Percussion/Paige’s Music booth and say hello!

Percussion Focus Day – Saturday, January 14
8:00     Clinic: Auxiliary Percussion Techniques – Jim Catalano (Ludwig/Musser)
9:00     Clinic: Fundamentals of Keyboard Percussion and Wellness – Laurel Black (James Madison Univ.)
10:00   Clinic: Designing an Effective MS/HS Percussion Curriculum – Aaron Griesser (Penn HS)
11:00   Performance: Butler University Percussion Ensemble – Jon Crabiel
1:15     Performance: All-State Percussion Ensemble
2:30     Clinic: The Fundamentals of West African Djembe and Dundun – Andy Miller (Indiana Univ.)
3:30     Clinic: My Approach to Percussion Composition – Casey Cangelosi (James Madison Univ.)

Other Conference Sessions with Possible Percussion Interest:
Friday, January 13
11:00   Performance: Ball State Wind Ensemble
12:00   Performance: All State Jazz Ensemble
1:00     Clinic: Work/Life Balance of Busy Music Teachers – Ryan Shaw, Ph.D. (Capital Univ.)
4:30     Performance: West Lafayette HS Wind Ensemble

Saturday, January 14
8:00     Clinic: Jazz Combos – How to Make It Happen! – Shawn Humphries & Peter Sampson
9:00     Performance: Junior All State Band
9:00     Clinic: Planning for Acoustics in Performing Spaces – Michael Mendoza (Wenger)
10:00   Performance: Carroll HS Jazz Ensemble
11:00   Performance: All State Honor Band
3:30     Clinic: Understand Judge Commentary and Implementing It into Your Marching Band – Andrew Cook (Carmel HS; DCI & BOA adjudicator)


Full details and registration can be found at