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 admin@indianapercussion.org 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: https://www.indianapercussion.org/?q=content/ie-competition

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.
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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.

Email: chops@chopspercussion.com
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 www.syncedupaudio.com)

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 chops@chopspercussion.com.

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 chops@chopspercussion.com.

A Guide to Suspended Cymbals in Marching Band

There are a ton of options in the market now when you are looking for suspended cymbals to enhance the sound of your front ensemble. We thought we would take some time to give you some of our top recommendations if you are looking to upgrade your sound this fall.  

Things to Consider when Purchasing 

When considering what option may be best for your ensemble, it is important to think about the following: 

  1. What is the size of your ensemble? Consider both your percussion and wind players. 
  1. Are you looking for year-round use or just for marching band? If you do indoor percussion you may want to have different options available.  
  1. How many people do you see playing suspended cymbal rolls at a time? This relates to question 1 about the size of your ensemble. 

What Size of Cymbal Should I Use? 

While there are many great options from 16” – 20” for suspended cymbals, for our recommendations below we are using 18” cymbals. We would suggest that you consider using different sizes across your front ensemble if possible. But if you are looking for a more unified sound from all performers the 18” cymbals tend to sit in middle of the sound profile. 

Our Top Recommendations

Zildjian 18” Classic Orchestral Suspended Cymbal

The Zildjian Classic Orchestral Suspended Cymbal is arguably one of the most popular options for the marching band idiom.  This cymbal has a full-bodied sound with shimmering crescendo rolls and bright crashes. This works so well outdoors as it sounds great at all dynamic ranges and is an excellent blend of both low and high overtones.  


Meinl 18” Symphonic Suspended Cymbal

Made from B20 Bronze this suspended cymbal from Meinl is one of the best options on the market for suspended cymbals. The hand-hammering construction of this cymbal with medium-thin weight gives it a very musical and warm sound. The shallow and flat profile give means this cymbal has immediate and sensitive response with a long sustain. Whie this may not be the most well-known cymbal option in the marching band space, we highly recommended doing the research on this cymbal! 


Sabian 18” HHX Suspended Cymbal

Sabian has many great offerings in the suspended cymbal category and the HHX Suspended Cymbal is one of the best for outdoor marching band use. This highly sensitive cymbal has a dark and wide tonal range. The thin construction of this  


Sabian 18” AA Molto Suspended Cymbal


The AA Molto cymbal from Sabian is excellent all-around cymbal for marching band use. It has a very smooth sound profile with bright and shimmering tones. Because of the higher timbre of this cymbal makes it an excellent option as a standalone cymbal across your ensemble or as an additional color pallete. 


Zildjian 18” K Constantinople Suspended Cymbal

The K Constantinople Suspended Cymbal from Zildjian is likely one of the top cymbals uses by orchestras and top performing groups around the world. Although this is a great cymbal option for marching band, we believe this would be a great option as a complimentary cymbal rather than one that is used by all members. The lush, dark cymbal sound will enhance any ensemble sound. The darker tones can get lost outside, which is why we would recommend using these more as a complimentary offering in your ensemble. 


Honorable Mention (Budget Friendly) – Sabian 18” XSR Suspended Cymbal

If your budget is a concern, we think the Sabian XSR is an excellent option for a suspended cymbal. Made of B20 alloy like other suspended cymbals, the is a value of sound and price. Bright and mid timbre with thin construction give it overtones that will work nicely with most programs. 

Of course, there are many other sizes and options out there for suspended cymbals. The truth is that they each have different characteristics that you may or may not fit the sound you are trying to make for your ensemble. You can find all this information and more on by visiting the different manufacturers websites and social media channels. We plan to do a comparison video soon to help highlight some of these differences as well. 

If you have any other questions or need further recommendations please contact us at 317-813-2070 or chops@chopspercussion.com