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Drum and Percussion Setups

Ron Grassi's drum set setup for Mean Girls at Archbishop Performing Arts, in Warminster, Pennsylvania.

"The main challenge that I found with this show was the very quick instrument and stick changes. Having a good pair of swizzle sticks is necessary to go from tambourine to timpani and sometimes rolls on the concert bass drum."
"This was a fun challenge to pair down three books into one. Although I am basically playing for 2 1/2 hours straight, it is a BLAST!. It gave me a reason to buy more gear including the wicked cool 'Vertical Gong' on the right of my setup from Kevin over at Creative Percussion."
"I chose each of the cymbals for a specific sound as well. I went with fast crashes so that the sound would fade away fairly fast. The band was on stage, so the speed of fade was an important aspect so as to not interfere with the vocals."
  • 2 min read
"The core of this simple layout conforms to the usual basic setup I’ve used for many years: timps to left, bells, then vibes with xylophone stacked over, you’ll find this in 90% of my layouts."
"Picking out drums for this show has been a lot of fun. I'm using many TreeHouse Drums prototypes. Since it’s not a traditional drum set book, I get to play around with all the concert gear that we've been making lately."
Jacob Bradshaw’s combined book setup for Tuck Everlasting at Hale Center Theater in Sandy, Utah.
  • 1 min read
"The orchestra was stationed in the theater's rehearsal studio next to the main stage, and was considered a part of the set. We were set up and lit as if we were in John Williams' studio, and the audience could pass by and see us before and after."
Sal Mazzotta's setup for the World Premiere of Here You Come Again, a new Dolly Parton Musical, at the Delaware Theatre Company, in Wilmington, Delaware.
"The timpani tunings are the real challenge of The Little Mermaid. Changing pitches must be done by feel, that was my biggest challenge. Memorizing the mallet parts was also very necessary."
"As you can see in the pictures, I prefer to have as much 'stuff' right in front of me, as close as possible. Because there are so many instruments close in, I have mounted a music stand off of the tom mount.

"With the space I had, I knew having an actual set of timpani would not be possible, so I opted to trigger them off of the Alesis Strike MultiPad. In addition to the timpani, all of the extra sound effects and other percussion were programmed into the MultiPad."

Debbie Minnichelli's percussion setup for Smokey Joe's Cafe at the Stage Door Repertory Theatre in Anaheim, California.
Christopher Roberts’ combined book for the Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School production of Seussical in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
Alec Wilmart's drum set setup for West Side Story at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington.