• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

Eric Poland - Nice Work If You Can Get it

Eric’s vintage setup for Nice Work If You Can Get It from the Broadway production at the Imperial Theatre in New York City.

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.

The drum set-up for ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’ is centered around a 1940's Slingerland Radio King set and includes:
26"x14" bass drum
13"x9" rack tom
16"x16" floor tom
1920's Ludwig six lug brass shell 5x14" snare drum
Cymbals include:
13" Zildjian lite hi-hats
Two 8" splashes 
11" vintage Zildjian “A” splash (originally a hihat)
16" Wuhan china
17" Zildjian “A” custom (used as a suspended cymbal)
The lack of a ride cymbal was indicative of this time period.  

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 hihat pedal.  There is a quote from the opening of Gershwin's ‘Concerto in F’ that normally requires 3 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 radio kings were an appropriate choice for the show because of the wear and tear involved with playing 8 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.”

The Nice Work If You Can Get It cast album is available on Amazon and iTunes.