• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

Craig Given - Ragtime

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“I decided to take the two books (drumset and percussion) and combine as much as possible into a single book.”

Craig’s combined book setup of Ragtime at the National Academy for Singing and Dramatic Art (3rd Year Students Production) in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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“This is a fantastic show that’s set in America at the start of the 20th Century. It follows the intertwining stories of three families from three very different backgrounds. The story and characters are well supported by the music with a range of styles throughout, including Ragtime!

The show was produced by the Christchurch NASDA Performing Arts College, which runs a three year Bachelor Degree Programme in Musical Theatre. It was performed in a fairly small theatre and as such a reduced orchestra was required. The original Broadway orchestration calls for 26 musicians but we performed it with only five(!) - a single reed player (covering many parts), upright bass, two upright pianos and drums/percussion. The reduced orchestra and arrangements worked really well, driven by the two piano players.

I decided to take the two books (drumset and percussion) and combine as much as possible into a single book. What I ended up with was a drum set centric part with glockenspiel and lots of small percussion instruments (bells, blocks, triangles, whistles etc.) as needed to support the on-stage action and lyrics. Missing instruments were emulated when and where appropriate, eg: some timpani notes were played on toms.

Ragtime is a fun (but fairly dark) show. There are lots of contrasts in the music (stylistically and dynamically) but with very few moments to stop and rest as the show is almost entirely sung with frequent time signature and tempo changes.”

Equipment:

Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz Drum Set: 
  • 18" Bass Drum 
  • 14" Floor Tom
  • 12" Rack Tom
  • 14" Snare Drum

Cymbals: 
  • Zildjian 13" Z Custom Hi-Hats
  • Ufip 8" Class Series Splash
  • Paiste 14" Signature Series Crash
  • Sabian 18" El Sabor Crash

Percussion:
  • Glockenspiel
  • Cha-Cha Cowbell
  • LP Blue Jam Block
  • Grover 4” Bronze Series Triangle with the Miller Machine
  • Grover 10” Silver/Bronze Combo Tambourine
  • Old Fire-Alarm Bell (used as a 'Trolley' bell)
  • Ratchet
  • Marktree
  • Temple Blocks 
  • Police Whistle
  • Siren Whistle
  • Ufip Tam-Tam
  • Zildjian Finger Cymbals (thin)
  • Brake Drum
  • Sandpaper Blocks

August 2016
9/19/18