Tips Posts

Why You Should Attend PASIC 2016

pasic-chops-post

Guest post today from Justin Ramirez – Percussive Arts Society

Join us for #PASIC16!

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) will be taking place in Indianapolis, IN in only a few short weeks, November 9-12!

Reasons to Attend:

  • Be inspired by watching the best drummers and percussionists from around the world!
  • Hang with over 5,000 drummers and friends in the industry
  • See and Play the latest drum and percussion gear in the Expo Hall!
  • Meet your favorite artists and participate in hands-on workshops and masterclasses!

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 All In The Bag

Stick & Mallet Packs for Beginning Band and Beyond

Welcome back to the Chops blog. Today we’re going to cover the different options available for stick and mallet packs.  There are great options for starting a young percussionist, as well as expanded packs for the intermediate student.  These sticks and mallets should last for many years and can be used at every level (beginner, intermediate, high school and college).  Our recommendations include packs from Vic Firth and Innovative Percussion.  Both make great quality products you can trust.  The only difference is what’s included in the packs.  A young percussionist should start with one of these packs, then add to it as they progress through their percussion education.

I’ve broken the packs down into four categories: Basic packs, Core packs, Intermediate packs, and Expanded Core packs.

Basic Packs
Basic packs include the minimum supplies every young percussionist needs:

  • Concert Snare Drum Sticks
  • Plastic Mallets for Bells and Xylophone
  • Rubber Mallets for Bells, Xylophone, Marimba and Vibes
  • Stick Bag

RECOMMENDED BASIC PACKS:

2017 WGI Independent Percussion Auditions

Legacy Indoor - 2015

Legacy Indoor – 2015

Welcome back to the Chops blog.  Audition season for indoor percussion is upon us and many of you may be considering marching in an Independent percussion ensemble this winter.  Indoor percussion, although a relatively young activity, has become very popular, both locally and nationally, over the past 10-15 years.  Over this time, many “Independent” ensembles have been started to give percussionists the opportunity to continue performing after they graduate from high school.  It also gives those whose high schools do not have a performing ensemble, an opportunity to join and experience the thrill of performing in an indoor percussion ensemble.  For those of you not familiar with this, there are “Scholastic” and “Independent” classifications in indoor percussion.   Here is the class description from the WGI website:

Scholastic – units whose membership comes from the SAME High School or a school that feeds to that particular High School.
Independent – units whose members are not necessarily associated with a particular school.

Scholastic and Independent units are then further divided into classes:

  • A Class – Beginning programs and performers.
  • Open Class – The intermediate developmental level of performers.
  • World Class – The most advanced programs and performers.

Here also is a link to the WGI 2016 Eligibility Rules (as of this writing, WGI has not updated to 2017 rules): https://www.wgi.org/files/2016PercRules.pdf

A New Tool for Every Marching Band Percussion Instructor!

Marching band season is here and that means marching equipment and concert instruments in the pit are being put through their paces.  The constant wear and tear on instruments requires us to keep a toolbox close, either in an electronics cart or carried around in a backpack.  You never know when something will happen and it usually happens at a contest.  Pearl has introduced the new Techtool, originally designed with the drumset player in mind, but we feel it’s also a great tool for percussion instructors!  MUCH lighter than carrying around a heavy pack of tools in your backpack at a contest, the compact Techtool fits right in your pocket and has many common tools needed for percussion repair.

5 Screwdrivers: 1.5mm, 5mm, and Phillips #00, #1 and #2

6 Hex Keys: 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm

Drum Key and Bottle Opener

PTT13 Pearl TechTool-closed


PTT13 Pearl TechTool

Call, email, or order from our website HERE  so you have the tools when you need them!