Guitar Center continues its annual search for the top undiscovered drummer, through its 28th annual Drum-Off challenge.

Drummers across the country began competing over three months ago at Guitar Center stores nationwide, among a pool of over 4000 participants.


Following several rounds of competition, the top 30 drummers (six at each location), in five select GC locations—Hollywood, Chicago (Arlington Heights), Houston, NYC Times Square and Memphis—will compete in the Semifinals on November 15, 2016, at 7 pm local time for a chance to move on to the national Grand Finals.

Additionally, the Semifinals will feature a special Roland percussion showcase and exclusive artist performances: Venzella Joy (Beyoncé) at the Hollywood store, ’03 Drum-Off champ Eric Moore (Suicidal Tendencies) at Chicago Arlington Heights, ’11 Drum-Off champion JP Bouvet at the Houston store, ’07 Drum-Off champion Donnie Marple (Lee Brice) in Memphis and last year’s Drum-Off champion Tony Taylor Jr. at Times Square.

“Winning Drum-Off has definitely been the launching pad for my career as a professional drummer. It’s connected me with a larger audience and also been an incentive to continue to work on my craft,” said last year’s Drum-Off champ, Tony Taylor Jr.

Guitar Center’s 27th Annual Drum-Off champion Tony Taylor Jr.

Guitar Center’s 27th Annual Drum-Off champion Tony Taylor Jr.

Grand Finals

The Grand Finals will take place on January 14, 2017, (the Saturday before the NAMM Show) at The Novo in Los Angeles, featuring the five Semifinalists vying for a chance to be crowned Drum-Off Champion, together with icons and emerging drum talent across multiple genres of music.

A special RockWalk induction honoring a legendary drummer will be announced in the coming weeks along with this year’s lineup.

Tickets for the Grand Finals are available at

“Drum-Off has become one of the most highly anticipated events in the drum community,” said Maria Brown, Manager of Music and Entertainment Marketing for Guitar Center, who has been involved in Drum-Off for the past 11 years. “Each year Drum-Off gives emerging artists the platform and encouragement to grow as musicians while bringing the drum industry together to highlight the gear drummers need to take their skills to the next level.”

This year’s Drum-Off sponsors are among the most respected brands in the music industry, which include: DW, Drum Channel, Evans, GoPro, Gretsch, LP, Meinl, Modern Drummer, Pearl, Pro-Mark, Remo, Roland, Sabian, Tama, Vic Firth, Yamaha and Zildjian.

Grand Prize:

  • $25,000 Cash
  • Roland Electronic Drum Kit
  • High-End Drum Kit by DW, Gretsch, Pearl, Tama, 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 2017
  • Feature in a Guitar Center Buyer’s Guide

In years past, some of the world’s most renowned drummers have participated in and supported Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, including: Questlove, Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons), Aaron Spears (Usher, Lady Gaga), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Steve Gadd (Steely Dan), Travis Barker (Blink-182), Tommy Lee (Motley Crüe), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Steve Smith (Journey), Billy Cobham (Miles Davis), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Danny Carey (Tool), Brann Dailor (Mastodon), Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), and more.

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