• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theatre and More

David Miller - Tarzan

David’s setup for Tarzan at the Village Theater in Issaquah, Washington


“The Tarzan music asks for 2 percussionists and 1 drum set player. In the show that I played I was asked by the Musical Director to combine the percussion 1 and 2 books. The instrumentation for both books were basically the same, but I had a lot of multi tasking to do like playing congas with one hand while playing shaker with the other. The music asks for certain instruments that you wouldn’t normally see in theater like a Djun Djun and Surdo. I had no room to fit those instruments, so for the Djun Djun I used a mallet on the Djembe which came pretty close to the sound I was looking for. For the Surdo I used a low floor tom and tuned it pretty low to implement that sound.

The music also asked for 1 crotale note and I used the trick of using a single finger cymbal placed on the note of the glockenspiel. I also made many rattles and shakers with help from Paul Hansen. I got some old prescription pill bottles and put rice in them and took some old soda cans and put beans in them to make some cool sounds. This show was very much up in the air for interpretation so I brought a whole bunch of different toys to the first rehearsal to try out. Overall a really fun book to play!”