Judging the GC Drum Off

I got the call to be a judge this year at Guitar Center’s 2004 Drum Off (Memphis Store). I judged tonight and will for the next 3 Tuesdays. Overall, the guys were pretty talented. There seemed to be a lot of drum line influence in many of the players, and that may be a normal thing. I just wasn’t expecting it.

Overall, there were two guys that rose to the top. Sure, there were guys with chops that brought the heat, but these 2 guys had the chops AND style. Their performances weren’t flawless by any stretch, but they showed really good promise. They’ll be returning for the store finals on October 5th.

I’ve got mixed feelings about these kind of things. I mean, ultimatley it’s just a chance to show off, but what I don’t like about a lot of these is it just turns into a chops-fest. Heat upon heat upon heat. Is that what drumming is all about? Is being a good drummer simply playing 32nd note bass drum licks as fast as you can? I don’t think so. So far, it looks like GC’s Drum Off is going to look for style as whell as chops – which is cool. I’m glad I’ll have the opportunity to help shape this competition and make sure the musicality is judged as equally as technique.

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