• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theatre and More

Nice Work If You Can Get it - Broadway - Eric Poland

Eric Poland's drum set setup for the Broadway revival of Nice Work If You Can Get It at the Imperial Theatre.

Nice Work If You Can Get It is a new musical set it the late 1920's featuring the music of George Gershwin. Along with many of his famous songs the show also includes quotes from much of his orchestral music. The creative musical team involved with the show wanted the music to sound of the era. As a result my setup had to reflect this.

Along with the standard toys of the 1920's (woodblock, cowbell, temple blocks, triangle), I am also using a Cymbal Guy attached to a remote hi hat pedal. There is a quote from the opening of Gershwin's ‘Concerto in F’ that normally requires three percussionists plus a timpanist. The Cymbal Guy allows this passage to be executed with two players. The bongos are used during a quote of Gershwin’s ‘Cuban Overture’ and the three crotale notes are used in the song 'Delishious' to accentuate what is happening on stage. To the left of my set up is a Ludwig field drum.

A typical drum set from the late 1920's consisted of a 28" single tension bass drum, a snare drum and usually one or more Chinese Tom Toms with tacked on heads. Usual toys included woodblocks, cowbells, temple blocks, etc. Cymbals included small Turkish cymbals as well as the Chinese style.

I decided the Slingerland Radio Kings were an appropriate choice for the show because of the wear and tear involved with playing eight shows a week and the desire to have tunable toms. I'm able to achieve the period sound of the 1920's and also take advantage of the technological advancements that were around slightly later when these drums were built. The hardware is all modern and much more practical and durable than vintage hardware. My drumhead selection includes Remo Emperor Suede Heads with Moongel muffling. My goal was to get a sound closest to calf without having to deal with the upkeep and inconsistencies of natural heads.”

Drums: Slingerland 1940's Radio King
Bass Drum 26"x14"
Rack Tom 13"x9"
Floor Tom 16"x16"

Snare Drum:
1920's 5"x14" Ludwig Six Lug with Brass Shell

Zildjian 13" Lite Hi-Hats
Two 8" Splashes 
Zildjian 11" Vintage A Splash (originally a hi hat)
Wuhan 16" China
Zildjian 17" A Custom (used as a suspended cymbal)

"The lack of a ride cymbal was indicative of this time period"

Nice Work If You Can Get It - Broadway - Eric Poland
September 2012