27th Annual Guitar Center Drum-Off
Guitar Center's Drum-Off, the world's premier drum competition, is now launching its 27th annual search for the next, great, undiscovered drummer. Developed to inspire and support aspiring musicians, the program has developed into a highly-respected and sought-after launching pad for a professional drumming career. 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.
Starting today, 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. For more information on rules and regulations please visit: http://guitarcenter.com/drumoff
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.
Maya Tuttle Uses Vater's Heartbeater Sticks
After 7 years of junior and high school marching band, Maya moved from her San Francisco Bay Area roots down to southern California for college. It was there she met fellow musicians Adam Castilla, Kollin Johannsen and Justin Wagner, forming The Colourist, in which both Tuttle and Castilla serve as lead vocalists.
Their full-length album, "The Colourist", was released on March 25, 2014. The Colourist headlined a near-sold out national tour that Spring, ending that run with a performance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS. Maya Tuttle is now using the Vater Heartbeater model.
Fun Fact: On February 21, 2014, Maya was named #4 of “22 Kickass Lady Drummers Who Are The Definition of Cool” by Buzzfeed.
Legendary Stick Maker Vic Firth Passes Away At 85
We were saddened today to hear of the passing of Everett "Vic" Firth, the percussionist whose name is synonomous with his stick company.
Vic Firth was a singularly talented individual in the drumstick business, and in many other areas of life. He started on cornet and later moved on to drums. By the age of sixteen he led his own big band. A few years later in his twenties he became the youngest principal percussionist ever of the Boston Symphony, while also moonlighting as a big-game African safari guide. He followed that by becoming a successful investment adviser and art gallery owner, while still holding down his prestigious percussion chair. And, along the way he built the biggest drumstick company in the world. Many people would be happy with one of Vic's accomplishments, but he was larger than life.
Vic didn't just run a drumstick company. He was a walking encyclopedia of drumsticks. If you toured his factory in Maine with him you'd learn that he was intimately familiar with everything that went on there. He knew the names and the children's names of all 150 employees and he seemingly could look at a machine from twenty feet away and tell if it was working correctly. He put the same focus on all aspects of the business, from artist relations and marketing, to sales and distribution.
Never Mind The Rock Stars, Here's Vic Firth
Though he was world-famous as a concert percussionist he was even more famous as the face of his stick company. When he was at PASIC shows [an event put on by the Percussive Arts Society], surrounded by famous artists, kids would line up to get Vic's autograph. Everyone knew the name Vic Firth and the tag line "A Perfect Pair," which summed up his lifelong quest in stickmaking. The story that Vic often told was that as a young musician he dropped a handful of sticks on the floor and realized that they all had different pitches. He ultimately began making sticks, aiming for those that were balanced in weight, pitch, and other attributes...a perfect pair.
He'll be remembered as a colorful musician and leader, and great friend, mentor, and competitor to many in the music business. The family has decided to have a private ceremony in the near future. DRUM! sends its condolences to his daughters, Kelly and Tracy and family, co-workers, and friends around the world.
Drummer's Resource Podcast Debuts On Drummagazine.com
Drummagazine.com is proud to welcome its first podcast partner, DrummersResource.com. Nick Ruffini, the voice behind Drummer's Resource, puts out great drummer interviews up to four times per month. Phil Hood, DRUM! Publisher says "We're delighted to start making this content available on Drummagazine.com. It adds to the content available to our 150,000 monthly users and expands into an area that is important to us.
Each installment of the Drummer's Resource Podcast features an interview with a leading drummer or teacher. Since starting the podcast more than 100 episodes ago the Drummer's Resource audience has grown with some recent podcasts capturing 20,000 downloads. The app for mobile listening is available in the App store.
For this first installment on Drummagazine.com DRUM! chose to present Nick's recent interview with the great Benny Greb about his latest DVD The Art And Science Of The Groove. Of that podcast Nick says, "This is the second time Benny has been on the podcast, and like last time, he nails it! This interview is a little different than usual, because we talk about one topic, groove, the entire time. So, why did I do this? I watched Benny’s video three times while I was flying to and from my honeymoon and I couldn’t get enough of it. Groove, to me, is the most important part of playing and it’s hard to teach and learn…Benny does an amazing job breaking it down and explaining the art and science of groove and how you can actually practice your groove. In the podcast Benny talks about the inspiration behind his teaching of groove, his practice routine, and his theories on the five categories of groove: time, sound, feel, mind, and body."
Advertising on the podcast is available through the Enter Music Network (see below).
Chicago Drum Show Set Attendance Record
[Ed. Note: For dozens of videos from the Chicago Drum Show, visit this link.]
The 25th Annual Chicago Drum Show (15th-17th, 2015) was expanded to three days to squeeze in everything that producer Rob Cook planned for the show. “This year’s show had more of everything,” says Cook. “We had seven headliner clinics, six Master Classes, 2 Cafe presentations, 4 conference room presentations, 2 Round Table presentations, plus several special displays.” The clinician roster included Will Calhoun, Dave Mattacks, Paul Wertico, Todd Sucherman, Bob Henrit, Steve Smith and Daniel Glass. Glass was assisted by musicologist Denny Brown in presenting his clinic, which had a "Sing, Sing, Sing" theme. The iconic Gene Krupa tune was deconstructed and explained, culminating with the Daniel Glass performance of the tune. Presenters included master drum builders Gregg Keplinger and Adrian Kirchler, percussion effects specialist Nick White, and Ringo’s Beatle gear archivist Gary Astridge. Jim Messina recorded interviews with vintage drum experts in the Rebeats Cafe for his VintageDrumsTalk online program. “The British Beat Boom” Round Table was moderated by Bob Henrit and included fellow Brits Dave Mattacks, Colin Hilborne, and Pete James. “The Life And Times of Gene Krupa” Round Table was moderated by Daniel Glass and Denny Brown. Tommy Piorek (with the assistance of David Anfuso of VintageDrumGuide.com) set up a large display in the show foyer, “The Drums Of Buddy Rich.”
“Although the show has been growing every year, it still has a family reunion vibe.” says Cook. “We have a small-show vibe with the profile of a major percussion entertainment event. Anywhere you looked this year, there was something pretty special happening, A lot of exhibitors stepped up their game with special displays. Steve Smith and Daniel Glass talked about their book Roots Of Rock Drumming from the Cafe stage, Mindy Abovitz spoke to the clinic crowd about female drummers and was on hand all weekend in her Tom Tom magazine booth. We even had a vintage drum themed barber shop! The barber was Derek Crawford, former show logistics coordinator. He cut hair and trimmed beards for not only a number of prominent exhibitors, but even Steve Smith stopped for a touch-up.”
A cast drum key was struck for the occasion. Produced in the Czech Republic, the key is shaped like the Rebeats logo and on one side lists the show’s exhibitors; over 1,700 characters!
“Attendance at the show is increasingly diverse" commented Cook. “More youngsters and female drummers are attending every year. One of the show’s most memorable moments for me was the raffle drawing. We were drawing for the snare drums. When we announced that David Anfuso had won, David came forward and said that he already had 30+ snare drums and wanted to give his winning ticket to a youngster. He handed to a young man in the front row, who lit up like a Christmas tree and left with a beautiful WFLIII snare drum autographed by William F. Ludwig III.”
Bigger Show In 2016
“I am really looking forward to the move in 2016,” says Cook, referring to the 26th Chicago Drum Show which will relocate to Villa Park’s Odeum expo center. “Aside from more room, the Odeum has many advantages that will benefit exhibitors and attendees alike. Proximity to the airport and downtown Chicago, Wi-Fi, 24-hour security, a staff EMT and the capability of receiving shipments of exhibit materials will be especially welcomed. In addition to all that, this facility features separate banquet and conference rooms better suited to our clinics and presentations plus a second arena that will feature a guitar show. The Four Amigos guitar shows are the largest and longest-running guitar events in the country. The facility now becomes a destination for the whole band!”