Guitar Center celebrates the nation’s best unsigned drummers in 27th Annual Drum Off

Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, the world’s premier drum competition, launches its 27th annual search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Developed to inspire and support aspiring musicians, the program has grown into a sought-after launching pad for a career as a professional drummer. Past Drum-Off winners have gone on to play with Prince and Beyoncé (Cora Coleman-Dunham), The Mars Volta and Trash Talk (Thomas Pridgen), Jay-Z (Tony Royster Jr.) and many more. As Guitar Center’s longest running artist discovery program, Drum-Off continues to unearth some of today’s top undiscovered drummers and provide an unrivaled platform for exposure.

Starting today (August 3rd), drummers can sign-up for Guitar Center’s Drum-Off at any of the retailer’s locations nationwide. Free and open to drummers across the country, entrants will compete for a chance to win a career-launching grand prize package valued at over $45,000 including cash, gear, endorsement deals, and more.

Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Grand Prize Winner Will Receive:

  • $25,000 Cash
  • Roland TD-30KV Electronic Drum Kit and the SPD-SX
  • High-End Drum Kit by DW, Tama, Pearl, Gretsch or Yamaha (Winner’s Choice)
  • Full set up of drum sticks, cymbals, and drumheads (Winner’s Choice)
  • Endorsement Deals from the top drum manufacturers (Winner’s Choice)
  • VIP Experience at NAMM 2016
  • Studio Time at Converse Rubber Tracks
  • Feature in a Guitar Center Buyer’s Guide

How The Competition Works:

Guitar Center’s Drum-Off begins with store preliminary competitions at 251 select Guitar Center locations nationwide. Contestants will be judged on a three minute performance, and one winner from each store finals competition will be chosen to move up to the quarter finals, followed by semi-finals at five store locations. Five winners chosen at the semi-finals will then convene at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA, to compete for the grand prize in Guitar Center’s Drum Off finals on January 16, 2016, in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.

“This program has grown immensely over the past 27 years, and we are continuously impressed with the level of talent that comes out to compete,” says Maria Brown, manager of music and entertainment marketing for Guitar Center. “We are so grateful for how warmly Drum-Off has been welcomed into the community and look forward to celebrating the artistry and talent in the drum world again this year.”

Drum-Off Competition Dates:

Store Prelims = September 15, 22, 29
Store Finals = October 6, 2015
Quarter Finals = October 27, 2015
Semifinals = November 17, 2015
Grand Finals = January 16, 2016

In years past, some of the world’s most renowned drummers have participated in and supported Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, including: Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons), Aaron Spears (Usher), Dennis Chambers (Parliament/Funkadelic), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Steve Gadd (Steely Dan), Questlove (The Roots), Travis Barker (Blink-182), Tommy Lee (Motley Crüe), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Carmine Appice (Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne), John Tempesta (The Cult), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Steve Smith (Journey), Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle), José Pasillas (Incubus), Billy Cobham (Miles Davis), Niko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Danny Carey (Tool), Brann Dailor (Mastodon), Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), and more.

Guitar Center Drum-Off is presented by: Roland, Yamaha, Meinl, Remo, Pearl, Vic Firth, DW, LP, Gretsch, Zildjian, Evans, Promark, Sabian, Tama, Drum Channel, GoPro, and Modern Drummer.

Watch Guitar Center’s Drum-Off 2014 champion Shariq Tucker and his winning performance:

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.