• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

Motown The Musical - Broadway - Gary Seligson

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Gary’s percussion setup from the Broadway production of Motown The Musical

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“This show was conceived completely under the watchful eyes and ears of Motown founder Berry Gordy. He was scrutinizing everything we played during the entire rehearsal and preview period. The directive was to replicate specific performances either from studio recordings or live performances. The show has more than 40 tunes.

We tried hard to get hold of a Deagan Vibe but we were unsuccessful there. I do have a set of Deagan Bells and a Deagan Xylophone, both of which sound fantastic. I have a Musser Pro Vibe and with fairly hard cord mallets I get close to the Motown vibe sound.

Tambourines are an integral component of the Motown sound and of course we took a lot of care to try get the right ones on the right songs. I wound up using 6 different ones. What wound up being the favorite in the house mix is the Meinl ABS Recording Tambourine - Nickelsilver Plated Steel and Solid Brass. I use that for about 70% of my parts. It cuts well and also has the right amount of body of sound. For the parts where I need a headed tambourine, I use both a Grover Hammered Brass Double Row and also a Meinl Steel Double Row.

Of course it's not only about the specific sound of the recordings. What needs to be replicated authentically in real time ALL the time is the feel, exuberance and utter groove. Thankfully the show (and I) are blessed to have an amazing rhythm section! I get to ‘work’ side by side with two totally incredible master players. Buddy Williams on drums and Roger Squitero on congas/hand percussion are absolutely perfect all the time. And no I'm not exaggerating. It is a joy always when they are here playing the show. We are all loving this very special gig.”

Buddy Williams, Gary Seligson and Roger Squitero in the pit of Motown.

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11/7/18