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          Remembering Neil Peart

          This is a tough blog to type. On January 7th, the music world lost a true giant and the drumming world lost one of the very best to ever play the instrument. Neil Peart passed away after a quiet, 3 year battle with brain cancer. When this was first announced on Friday, January 10th, I just remember thinking how amazing it was that his friends and family were able to keep his illness a secret. Instant information is all around us, but somehow, those closest to Neil managed to keep his condition private. I think that is the ultimate show of respect to a man that cherished his privacy and more than anything, just wanted to be a regular guy. I will always admire his band mates, family, and friends for honoring this man by saying nothing about what he was going through.

          Neil was a huge influence on me as a drummer. I, like thousands of other drummers, sat in my room and tried to learn every cool lick from “Moving Pictures”. To be honest, I’m still trying to learn! He played with such power and precision and nothing ever felt overdone. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “Neil Peart plays too many notes.” Every single note he played belonged perfectly. I used his signature Promark drum stick for a lot of my teenage years, and I still have a couple pairs packed away in a box somewhere. I’m really glad I kept them now. The ultimate Rush fan and Neil Peart fan experience was seeing them live. I was lucky enough to see the band four times; the first being in 1997 on the “Test for Echo” tour. It was amazing to watch some of my musical heroes play those complex songs in person, and play them with a lot of joy. I’ve never seen so much air drumming in one place in all my life.

          Aside from his drumming, Neil was a gifted lyricist and a talented author. The painful experience of losing his only child (at that time), the death of his wife, and the motorcycle trip that saved his life was told beautifully in the book, “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road”. Neil was great at describing the riding conditions and his surroundings; your mind’s eye could easily paint the pictures his words were describing. You could also feel his pain as he struggled to find himself again after such tragedy. I always appreciated him putting that story out for the world to read. Neil’s song lyrics connected deeply with many people on many different levels. A lot of people get caught up in the complexity of their arrangements, but the stories and feelings crafted in his thoughtful lyrics resonated with people throughout the world.

          When Rush finally called it a day in 2015, fans often wondered if we would ever see them perform a one-off show or hear some new studio music. Knowing what Neil was going though in private, the band told the world that Rush was finished in 2018. A lot of fans always held out hope, but that hope was finally laid to rest with Neil’s passing last Tuesday.

          Rest in Power, Professor. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us on Earth. Your body may be gone, but your spirit will live on in your drumming, your lyrics, and your books forever. I can say with the utmost confidence that there will never be another like you. Thank you for being such a huge part of my existence.

          The Positive Impact Drumming Has On Mental Health

          Happy 2020, everyone! We hope the holiday season treated you and your loved ones well.

          Research conducted by the Royal College of Music in London shows that drumming can have a drastic impact on one’s mental health. A 10 week group drumming program reduced depression in the participants by 38% and anxiety by 20%! The 10 week study also shows social resilience improving by 23% and overall mental well-being by 16%. These numbers are astounding to me, but when I think about how I feel when I’m playing drums with my band, I am not at all surprised.

          Full disclosure: I suffer from depression. Some times are worse than others and the winter can be the most brutal for me. Getting behind my drum set and playing is a huge lift for my mood and my self-esteem. It’s the one thing I have in my life that I can constantly count on to give me joy. I’m so glad to know that drumming can be therapeutic for so many others.

          If you have never played but have always wanted to learn, or you would just like to find a new outlet to release some of that negative energy, maybe now is the time for you! If you’re in the Indianapolis area, Bongo Boy Music School offers group drumming, as well as private instruction. Bongo Boy offers many wellness sessions for people of all ages and ability levels. Learn more about the wellness program here.

          Click here to check out the article on the Royal College of Music study.

          I wish you all the very best mental and physical health this year and every year after. Cheers!

          My First Drum Set


          We?share this blog post at this time each year. ?Christmas is a popular time for kids to get their first kit, so it seemed appropriate to share this again. ?myfirstdrumset.com is a great resource for those just getting started in the world of drumming.

          Are you taking up drumming for the first time? Are you buying a drum set for the drummer in your life this holiday season? If so, you may want to start at?myfirstdrumset.com. This website was created by the people at Pearl Drums with the idea of educating not only the drummer, but the parent or loved one who is buying the set. Here are the highlights:

          • A “Welcome to Drumming” video with appearances by some of the top names in the drumming world.
          • A step-by-step video that shows you how to correctly unpack and set up your drum set.
          • Video tips on tuning, warming up, and playing your first beats on your new drum set.
          • A drum set buying guide.
          • A very informative FAQ section.
          • Statistics that show what a great thing drumming can be for the mind, body, and spirit!

          If you or someone you love has decided that this is the year to take up drumming, there really is no better place to start than myfirstdrumset.com! And when you’re ready to make the purchase, Chops Percussion has many great instrument options for you to choose from, including the Roadshow kit. We also have a rent-to-own program that features the Pearl Decade Maple. Be sure to?check out all of our rental offerings at chopspercussion.com. Welcome to the world of drumming!

          Chops Percussion Holiday Hours for 2019

          Just a couple of notes on our holiday hours. We’ll be open Saturday, December 21st from 10am – 4pm. These are our normal Saturday hours. We’ll be closed on Sunday, December 22nd. We are also normally closed on Sundays. We will be closed on Tuesday, December 24th for Christmas Eve and Wednesday, December 25th for Christmas Day.

          We will also be closing at 2pm on Tuesday, December 31st for New Year’s Eve and we will be closed Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 for New Year’s Day.

          We’ll be back to normal hours on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

          Here’s a run-down:

          Saturday, December 21st: Open 10am-4pm
          Sunday, December 22nd: CLOSED
          Monday, December 23rd: Open 10am-6pm
          Tuesday, December 24th: CLOSED
          Wednesday, December 25th: CLOSED

          Saturday, December 28th: Open 10am-4pm
          Sunday, December 29th: CLOSED
          Monday, December 30th: Open 10am-6pm
          Tuesday, December 31st: Open 10am-2pm

          Wednesday, January 1st: CLOSED

          Happy Holidays from all of us at Chops Percussion! Here’s to a great 2020!

          Get Your Percussion Gear Ready For The New Year

          As the new year approaches, your program is likely going into the busiest time of year with concert band, solo and ensemble, jazz band and indoor percussion all happening at the same time.??Often times you may not think about taking a little extra time to do a thorough inspection of your gear, but it will go a long way in getting the most out of your investment.

          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:

          Chops Percussion Comprehensive Percussion Maintenance Guide

          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 2019!