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

snowSnares

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!

Quick Tips for Marching Band: Taking Care of your Instruments in Fall Weather

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!

Do You Sell Books – FAQs

Another popular question we receive is "Do you sell books?"

We do not sell sheet music or books. However, Chops Percussion is a proud partner with J.W.Pepper, one of the nations leading printed music retailers. We share a building with their Indianapolis location and refer all of our customers to them. They share the same hours of operation as our main showroom and also offer FREE deliveries to our account schools through our convenient weekly visits by the Paige’s Music District Managers.

To place an order or inquire about sheet music and books, click on the logo below or give them a call at the numbers listed.

Do You Have More Than One Location? – FAQs

We often get asked – “Do you have more than one location?”

Chops Percussion has one location:

5282 E 65th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220 [MAP] [Look Inside]
1-877-900-3786

Store hours are Monday-Friday: 10-6, Saturday: 10-4, Sunday: Closed.

We also have a website located at www.chopspercussion.com where you can purchase items and have them shipped to you for a fee or delivered to Paige’s Music account schools via their District Managers (see below).

However, we have a couple of other ways for you to get your percussion supplies.

Paige’s Music District Managers – They Bring Our Store To You

Chops Percussion is the drum and percussion department of Paige’s Music. They have 7 different District Managers that call on a particular set of schools each week in Indiana. They divide their "routes" by the days of the week. Each District Manager has a set of schools he visits on Monday, a different set on Tuesday, a different set on Wednesday, and so on. That means we’re visiting your school at least one time each week. You can find which day we’re at your school by visiting the Paige’s Music school delivery page.

Whether you call in your order, or order on our website, the Paige’s District Managers can deliver your order to your school for no charge. Yes, it’s FREE.

If you have any questions further, please contact us at chops@chopspercussion.com.

 

Make Better Use Of Rehearsal Time With The Lalo Davila Quick Mount Rehearsal Pad

Is your drumline "hacking" on the rims during rehearsal and causing a loud distraction to the rest of the band? Give them something productive to do!

Designed in collaboration with Pearl Artist and acclaimed percussionist Lalo Davila, the Lalo Quick Mount Rehearsal Pad provides a convenient way to stay productive during a slow rehearsal or just to keep your hands warm.

Watch this video to see it in action and explained by Lalo himself!

The small, 3.5” diameter pad stows away easily, and mounts to any 3/8” post for convenient positioning. Practice in silence in any environment, from the concert stage to the football field. The Lalo Pad is a great rehearsal tool for marching percussion ensembles, providing the battery with a silent practice option.

Use the following items to mount the Rehearsal Pad to each of your drums:

Get your hands going while that woodwind arc is adjusted to picture perfect, or work out a tricky lick conveniently and quietly during a water break. Mount, Practice, and Go with the Lalo Quick Mount Rehearsal Pad!