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Nice Work If You Can Get It - Eric Poland

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

Eric's write-up below photos.

Eric Poland's drum set setup for the Broadway revival of Nice Work If You Can Get It at the Imperial Theatre.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
April 2012 thru June 2013

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

Greg Landes’ setup for the Off Broadway production of The Landing at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City.
Mike Drake's set up for Side Show at the Casa Mañana Theater, in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • 3 min read
Greg Landes’ setup for the Pit Stop Players’ concert at Symphony Space in New York City.
"After a week or two of rehearsals there is usually a performance or two of the show for an invited audience. Sometimes these performances can be intense if there are important people in the room, or if certain sections of the show feel under prepared. This is why it’s so important to know the score and script very well."
  • 6 min read
"The unique part of Groundhog Day was that the drummer had to play on stage, in a groundhog costume, wearing a giant groundhog head. Since I could barely see out of the head, it was impossible to read a chart (and there wasn’t a music stand), so it had to be memorized."
  • 4 min read
"If you are passionate, driven, feel you have a calling, a burning desire to play, practice, perform, and record music that you can share with the world, then choosing to be a professional musician here will make you a fulfilled and happy person. You’ll meet the most amazing people on stage, in the rehearsal room and in the audience."
  • 6 min read
Steve Gadd's drum solo from the track "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours". From the album Live Stuff (out of print) from the legendary 1970's New York based band Stuff.
Robbie Ameen's drum solo from the track "Spring Fling".

Gene Krupa's drum solo from "Gene's Blues" from the album Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich released November 1955.