Guitar Center’s launches 26th Annual Drum-Off

Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, the world’s premier drum competition, launches its 26th annual search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Developed to inspire and support on-the-rise musicians, the program has proven to be a launching pad for a flourishing professional career as a 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), and Jay-Z (Tony Royster Jr.). As Guitar Center’s longest running program, Drum-Off continues to unearth some of today’s top undiscovered drummers and provide an unrivaled platform for exposure.

Starting today, August 5th, drummers can sign-up for Guitar Center’s Drum-Off at any of the retailers 260 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
  • GoPro Hero 3+ Music Bundle
  • High-End Drum Kit by DW, Tama, Pearl, Gretsch or OCDP (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 2015
  • Studio Time at Converse Rubber Tracks
  • Feature in a Guitar Center Buyer’s Guide
  • Write Up in Modern Drummer Magazine

How The Competition Works:

Guitar Center’s Drum-Off begins with store preliminary competitions at 260 participating 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 17, 2015 in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.

“Guitar Center is consistently looking for avenues through which to support and inspire musicians,” says Maria Brown, manager of music and entertainment marketing for Guitar Center. “Drum-Off has been one of our most successful programs in that regard. Not only have we seen a proven track record of success with our winners, but after 26 years, submissions continue to climb and new talent continues to emerge.”

Drum-Off Competition Dates:

  • Launch/Sign Ups: August 1, 2014
  • Store Prelims: September 9, 16, 23
  • Store Finals: September 30
  • Quarter Finals: October 21
  • Semi Finals: November 11
  • Grand Finals: January 17, 2015

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: DW, Pro-Mark, Orange County Drum & Percussion, LP, Meinl, Roland, Gretsch, Pearl, Modern Drummer, Vic Firth, Zildjian, DW, Sabian, Remo, Tama, Evans, Drum Channel, Converse, and GoPro

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.