Get your gear in shape for 2024! A Comprehensive Guide by Chops Percussion

Now is a great time to do some general equipment maintenance and cleaning that can ensure you are ready for the busy months ahead.  Having your students actively participate in this process will help them take pride over equipment that will be used long after they leave your program and can help the process move along faster and seem less overwhelming.

Below are some quick and easy tips for making sure your gear is in top shape to start the new year:

  • Take an inventory of all your equipment at the end of each semester.
  • Clean all equipment using a soft cloth to remove any dirt or grime that has built up over time.  A small amount of diluted rubbing alcohol can help remove major build-up.
  • Inspect your instruments for any missing parts.
  • Check for broken or damaged areas on your equipment that may require repair or replacement.
  • Ensure that all frame bolts, nuts, carrier parts, etc. are at the correct tightness.
  • Cover all instruments daily and keep small instruments stored properly.  Don’t leave equipment on the truck for long periods of time.

For a more exhaustive list of maintenance and specific things to look for you can download the pdf file here:

Comprehensive Maintenance Guide By Chops Percussion

If you are in need of parts or more tips call us today and we can help you get everything you need to make sure you are ready to go for 2024!

2023 IPA Clinic Day Preview

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WHAT: 2023 Indiana Percussion Association Clinic Day and I&E Competition

WHEN: Saturday, December 2nd, 11am-5pm (on-site registration begins at 10:30am)

WHERE: Plainfield Community Middle School


For Individuals or group pay by CC:

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door (Pre-registration closes on December 1st)

To buy your ticket, please CLICK HERE.

For schools paying with school check:

For school groups, please send an email to BROOKE at with the following information. You will be sent an invoice for school check payment. *School name, Number of tickets requested

DETAILS: Come listen, watch and learn from amazing percussion educators at the IPA Clinic Day! Participants will visit multiple clinics throughout the day, hearing from some of the best performing artists and educators on all areas of percussion. Clinic sessions run from 11am-5pm with a lunch break. Lunch will be available for purchase at Plainfield Middle School or students may provide their own.

**Please plan on bringing your own sticks, mallets, and pads**


Individual and Ensemble Competition will be held during the day. The categories are: Snare Drum, Tenors, Keyboard, Timpani, and Percussion Ensemble. The entrance fee for a solo is $12. The fee for an ensemble is $8 per member. Registration closes Wednesday November 29th at midnight. Find more information here:

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get your 2023-2024 indoor season off to a great start!

Rental Options for the Student Percussionist

Keep improving and preparing as a student percussionist!

Chops has several drum sets and keyboards available for rental that are perfect for home practice. Now is a great time of year to think about doing an upgrade that will help you prepare for spring semester work on solos and ensembles or even jazz band. See the options below.

Pearl Export Drum Set

pearl export exx725/c 5-piece drum set with snare drum - jet black 1

We have many drum set options to choose from in our rental pool that includes the Pearl Export 5 Piece Drum Set. As one of the most sold drum set models ever, the Pearl export stands the test of time for both quality and durability. All drum sets come with the full set of hardware and a throne. We also offer two cymbal packages with the rental depending on your needs with either the Meinl HCS or the Zildjian S Series (price varies depending on cymbal option). Available in select colors.

Adams MSPA43 Soloist Series Marimba

Adams Soloist Series Marimbas offer the precision construction methods and many of the great features found on the Artist and Concert series instruments, and combine them with a number of keyboards and size options ideal for beginners and schools looking for a high quality, wood bar instrument, at an extremely affordable price.
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Adams AMPD33R Academy Marimba

The AMPD33R 3.3 octave Academy Marimba with Resonators is designed to be an affordable option that allows the intermediate student to work on many of the pieces written for a low A marimba, all while still having the full tone and projection of a full size marimba.
[Learn more]

There are other options available as well on limited quantities so feel free to give us a call if you need for info.

Rentals are only available for residents of Indiana. Please contact us for more information on our rental program.

Phone: 317.813.2070 or 1.877.900.DRUM (3786)

Product Spotlight: Synced Up Audio Carts

Synced Up Audio

We are proud to now be able to offer another excellent option for all your marching percussion cart needs, by way of Synced-Up Audio. Synced Up offers a variety of synth, speaker, mixer, and auxiliary percussion carts.  Synced-Up is made of a team of current and former percussion educators and sound designers that understand the unique style of carts needed for both the indoor and outdoor marching arts.

Synced Up is also able to offer a relatively quick turnaround time on many of their cart options, with many of the options being available in 2-5 months. This along with the top-quality materials and construction make them a great option for all your audio/percussion cart needs.

Below are some examples of their current offerings: (For more details information you can visit

Synth/Mixer Carts

Synced Up offers open and enclosed synth carts, which allows you to get something that best meets your budget and needs. The Shielded Synth Cart (SY2) includes an Edison power inlet and a horizonal accessory rail, making this a great option if you need also have your synth players cover some acoustic percussion parts. The Enclosed Synth Cart (SY3) is completely enclosed and give you the max amount of protection during transport. The SY3 offers an upgradable bi-fold lid and both the SY2 and SY3 can be upgraded to include rack spaces and a back door upgradable option.

Their mixer carts come in two sizes with either the double mixer cart (MC1) or the extended mixer cart (MC2). Mixer carts include bi-fold lids, rear double doors, 20U or 24U rack space, removable front panel, and even a side access door. The carts come standard with one Edison power inlet lined to a Quad power box and you have many different customizable plug options for your speaker connections and any other audio connections to may need to run from your main mixer cart.

Speaker Carts

The speaker carts by Synced Up are available in a variety of configurations with side-by-side (SC1), stacked speaker (SC2), extended stacked speaker (SC3), center fills (SC4), and full range speakers (FR1). Synced Up can also customize the carts to fit your speakers that will give you the best and most secure fit possible.

Drum Set/ Auxiliary Carts

Along with the excellent carts they offer for all your audio gear, Synced Up also has some excellent carts available to meet your percussion needs.  The DS3 Drum Set cart if great for drum sets of all sizes and offers flexibility in set-up and will help with your efficiency of setting up on the field quickly. They also offer excellent options for your rack percussion, gongs, and even Malletstation carts.

If you have any questions or other would like a price quote, please contact us at 317-813-2070 or

Tips for a Successful Band Camp

With many groups in the middle of band camp or starting band camps in the coming weeks we thought we would put together our best tips for both students and educators. While this is certainly not an all-inclusive list, these are things to consider that we have learned from our past experiences teaching band camp.

While some of the tips apply to both groups of students, we have split them out to be more specific to each specific group.


Tips for Students


  • Be sure to hydrate before camp starts
    • Of all things you can do to prepare for band camp, this is likely the most important.
    • Remember that going to camp hydrated means being sure to drink lots of water and drinks with electrolytes in the days before camp starts, not just during camp.
    • Being well hydrated and maintaining hydration during camp, will keep your energy up throughout the camp.
  • Practice and prepare for what is expected on the first day of camp
    • Your staff will likely give you materials such as warmups and show music to prepare before camp starts. Be sure to have it prepared (not perfected) before camp starts.
    • Having things such as warmups memorized, will help you get the most out of your time at band camp.
  • Do not forget the sunscreen
    • Bring it to camp and re-apply before every time you are going outside for a rehearsal block.
  • Have all your materials ready to go, including a fresh pair of sticks and mallets
    • Have a binder or music folder with all your materials ready to go the first day of camp. And be sure to have extra slots available for any new information you may get throughout camp.
    • If you know you have worn out sticks, go ahead and get a fresh pair of sticks and stick tape or a good pair of mallets to use during warmups or self-practice time.


Tips for Percussion Directors/Instructors


  • Set some clearly defined goals and share them with your students
    • Having a set of clearly definitely goals will help guide you throughout band camp. And sharing with your students will help everyone be on the same goal.
  • Create time each day for sectionals
    • Obviously not everyone will have a full staff the entire camp, but it is important to find time each day for break out sectionals.
    • Band camp is one of the few times of the year, you may truly have time to dig into the details of technique or music with each section. Try to plan for this and it will pay off.
  • Balance working on technique and learning music
    • Band camp often gives you extra time to work on technique, but it is important to balance that with learning music. Ideally you want to leave band camp having a solid foundation on your technique packet.
    • Be sure to work with the band directors so that you are learning the music that is expected throughout band camp. Learning percussion music can take a little longer than a wind player, but it is important to stay of pace with the overall program.
  • Have materials ready to go for your students
    • Be sure to have materials printed and ready for you students before camp
    • Work with your arranger, to make sure they are on pace with music and have a back-up plan if they are very far behind.
  • Plan some time for maintenance or drumhead changes (if needed)
    • Taking a little extra time during band camp to go over any of your material needs with make sure you can get it ordered in a timely manner.
    • Doing an initial drumhead change during band camp is a great idea. It allows the students to play for extended periods of time throughout camp on drumheads that are not overtightened and may not sound good.
  • Have a clear plan for your electronics team
    • This is a big one now with so many electronics being used in marching band now. Be sure to include your electronics team/staff in your plans for band camp.
    • Taking the time during camp to reconfigure set-up, relabel boards, incorporate any new gear will help you greatly in the long run.
    • Doing some initial scenes in your mixer or mainstage will help to relieve any issues as you get started in the season.

Last Tip for Everyone

Remember that no matter what your goals are as a student or director, the most important thing is to HAVE FUN! For many of your students, band camp is the first impression that will have of the high-school band program. Make sure to have some activities planned throughout your camp days that allow the students to have some FUN with their friends, that do not necessarily deal with music making. You have the whole season to fix small issues with your show and perfect the drill, but you can leave a lasting impression on a student during the week of band camp, so be sure to do something FUN!

If you have any questions or other tips you would like to share, please contact us at 317-813-2070 or