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World's Premier Drum Competition Offering Undiscovered Drummers the Chance to Win Career-Launching Prize Package to Begin Accepting Submissions

Guitar Center 2012 Drum-Off

Guitar Center's Drum-Off, the world's premier drum competition, launches the 24th annual search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Developed by the music retailer to inspire musicianship, provide an opportunity for exposure, and spotlight the drumming community, Guitar Center's Drum-Off furthers the brand's ongoing support of aspiring musicians. Beginning today, drummers from across the nation can sign-up at any of Guitar Center's 232 store locations for the chance to participate in the world's premier drum competition, vying for the coveted title of Guitar Center's Drum-Off Champion.

Through the Drum-Off program, Guitar Center will set out to discover and provide a platform for the best undiscovered drummer in the country. Truly a launching pad for professional drummers, past Drum-Off winners have gone on to play with Prince and Beyonce (Cora Coleman-Dunham), The Mars Volta (Thomas Pridgen), and Jay-Z (Tony Royster Jr.).

All store, quarter and semi-finalists will win significant prize packages including instruments, drum equipment and accessories, as well as gift cards from Guitar Center and key sponsors. The grand prize package, valued at nearly $50,000, includes a career altering cash prize, gear and pivotal endorsement deals.

To find a local Guitar Center store location and enter the 24th Season of Drum Off, visit: gc.guitarcenter.com/drum-off-2012/

Guitar Center's Drum-Off Grand Prize Winner to Receive:

  • $25,000 Cash
  • Custom Drum Kit (winner's choice: Gretsch, OCDP, Tama, Pearl or DW)
  • Drum Kit Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Gretsch, OCDP, Tama, Pearl, or DW)
  • Complete Set of Cymbals (winner's choice: Zildjian, Sabian, or Meinl)
  • Cymbal Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Meinl, Zildjian, or Sabian)
  • Drumhead Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Evans or Remo)
  • Stick Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Pro-Mark or Vic Firth)
  • Shure Deluxe Drum Mic Pack
  • Roland TD-30KV Electronic Kit & PM30
  • Roland SPD-SX
  • Feature in Modern Drummer Magazine
  • 2013 NAMM VIP Experience

"For over two decades, Guitar Center's Drum-Off has launched the professional careers of some of today's most talented drummers," said Maria Brown, manager of music and entertainment marketing for Guitar Center. "The number of talented artists that compete each year is proof that musicians are looking for ways to launch their careers, and with each contestant striving toward that next step, it's thrilling to be able to provide a chance to take their musical careers to the next level."

How the Competition Works

Guitar Center's Drum-Off breaks down into 3 rounds of store preliminary competitions at all of the 232 Guitar Center locations nationwide. Every contestant will be allowed five minutes of set up time and three minutes to perform. One winner from each store finals competition will be chosen to move up to the quarter finals, (hosted at 25 Guitar Center locations nationwide), followed by semi-finals at 5 store locations at which point performance time will be increased to allow five minutes to each contestant. The winners from these 5 semi-final locations will convene in Los Angeles, CA to compete in Guitar Center's Drum Off finals on January 19th in front of a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges.

Each contestant will be required to perform on a 5-piece acoustic drum kit complete with hardware, cymbals, cowbell, throne and the option to incorporate the Roland SPD-30 Octapad into the competition kit. This item is optional and can only be used as an instrument in patch mode; phrase loop recording and background loops are not allowed. All contestants will be evaluated by a panel of independent and credible judges on the following criteria: skills, technique, style, stage presence, groove, and overall performance.

Drum-Off Competition Dates:

  • Launch: Aug. 1
  • Store Prelims: Sept. 11, 18, 25
  • Store Finals: Oct. 2
  • Quarter Finals: Oct. 30
  • Semi-Finals: Nov. 20
  • Grand Finals: Jan. 19

In years past, some of the world's most renowned drummers have participated in and supported Guitar Center's Drum-Off, including: Terry Bozzio, Aaron Spears (Usher), Dennis Chambers (Parliament/Funkadelic),Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Sorum (Guns 'N Roses, Velvet Revolver), Questlove (The Roots), Travis Barker (Blink-182), Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Carmine Appice, John Tempesta (The Cult), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Steve Smith, Gavin Harrison, Jojo Mayer, Thomas Lang, Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle), José Pasillas (Incubus), Billy Cobham, Niko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), Danny Carey (Tool), Brann Dailor (Mastodon) and Jason Bonham.

As the world's largest retailer of musical instruments, Guitar Center is dedicated to supporting the global music community and providing musicians with opportunities to get their music heard. Guitar Center's commitment to unsigned artists runs deep with a full calendar year of diverse programs aimed to enable musicians by providing the opportunity and exposure they need to be successful. No other retailer is developing platforms for their customer like Guitar Center.

Guitar Center's musicianship programs include the award winning music television series Guitar Center Sessions, the weekly radio show Connections Made By Guitar Center, and the acclaimed podcast series At: Guitar Center with Nic Harcourt as well as various competition based programs such as Guitar Center Drum-Off, Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record, Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter, Master Satriani, Guitar Center On-Stage and Guitar Center's Battle of the Blues. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's Web site at www.guitarcenter.com.

Guitar Center Drum-Off is presented by: DW, Pro-Mark, Orange County Drum & Percussion, LP, Meinl, Roland, Gretsch, Pearl, Modern Drummer, Shure, Vic Firth, Zildjian, DW, Sabian, Remo, Tama, Evans

About Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 230 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's Web site at www.guitarcenter.com.