By Radim McCue Published August 18 2009
Westlake Village, CA – Guitar Center is pleased to announce the return of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, the world’s largest drum competition. Starting August 1st, drummers can sign up for their chance to win over $40,000 in cash and prizes, joining over 5,000 drummers from across the country to compete for the title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion.
Now in its 21st year, (see the 2008 web site) Guitar Center’s Drum-Off has been a launching pad for numerous professional drummers, including Cora “CC” Dunham (Prince), Eric Moore II (Suicidal Tendencies), Tony Royster Jr. (Jay Z) and Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta). Last year’s Drum-Off Champion, 22-year-old Jerome Flood II, made his television debut when he was invited to perform on Last Call with Carson Daly following his dramatic win (see Flood’s winning performance here).
Drum-Off is designed to provide developing artists with support-based opportunities that vastly improve the potential for their success as professional musicians. Drum-Off inspires up-and-coming drummers to further their musical aspirations, while at the same time encouraging the local music community and providing a platform for local musicians to network and be discovered.
Guitar Center’s Drum-Off ‘09 champion will win an impressive package of prizes, including $25,000 cash, a Roland TD-25 electronic kit, a custom designed drum kit by DW, Pearl, Gretsch, Tama, or Orange Country Drums, a drum, stick, cymbal, and drum head endorsement deals as well as a feature in Modern Drummer magazine, along with a VIP appearance @ NAMM 2010 and a Monster Energy Drink endorsement deal, making the total prize package worth over $40,000. Additionally, Monster Energy, Pro-Mark, Latin Percussion, DW, Remo, Vic Firth, Orange County Drum and Percussion, Zildjian, Gretsch, Roland, Tama, Pearl, Evans and Modern Drummer are all proud sponsors of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off 09.
Sign-ups for the preliminary rounds of the Drum-Off competition begin August 1, and run on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, with a maximum of 30 registrants per store. Contestants must sign up with a Guitar Center drum department associate at their local store -- no phone or Internet sign-ups are available.
Local competitions start September 24 in all 214 Guitar Center locations from nationwide. One winner from each store will be chosen to move up to district competitions (24 locations), followed by regionally hosted semi-finals (6 locations) and culminating at Guitar Center’s Drum-Off grand finals in Los Angeles in January of 2010 (exact date and venue TBD).
STORE PRELIMS: September 24, October 1, and October 8.
STORE FINALS: October 15
DISTRICT FINALS: November 5
REGIONAL FINALS: December 3
GRAND FINALS: January 2010
Following the regional finals on December 3, five finalists will head for Los Angeles in January, where they will perform in front of a capacity crowd and a panel of celebrity judges as well as sharing the stage with some of today’s most legendary drummers. Past Guitar Center Drum-Off grand final performers include Travis Barker (Blink 182), ?uestlove (The Roots) Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Danny Carey (Tool), Angels and Airwaves, Papa Roach, Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall), Adrian Young (No Doubt), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction) The Street Drum Corps, Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta) and Thomas Lang.