Guitar Center launches its 26th Annual Drum-Off competition

That's D-Mile (Dawud Aasiya-Bey) in the above video, delivering the mesmerizing performance that won him 2013's Guitar Center Drum-Off competition. And now, Guitar Center has launched 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, 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

How The Competition Works:

Guitar Center's Drum-Off begins with store preliminary competitions at 245 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. For more information on rules and regulations, please visit

"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 Drum-Offs, 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, Vic Firth, Zildjian, DW, Sabian, Remo, Tama, Evans, Drum Channel, Converse, and GoPro.

For more information, visit

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.