The Hit Like A Girl drumming contest is returning for its ninth year of competition. The international contest gives female drummers and percussionists a platform. In turn, it encourages drumming for girls and women regardless of their age or playing level.

Drum industry veteran and Hit Like A Girl Executive Director David Levine created the contest idea in 2011. Fueled by the belief that female drummers were both underserved and underrepresented, Levine teamed up with Tom Tom Magazine’s Mindy Abovitz Monk and DRUM! magazine’s Andy Doerschuk and Phil Hood. From there, the contest took shape and launched its inaugural year, and now Monk has returned as the 2020 contest director.

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Since its first year, the contest has garnered more than 5,000 contestants across the globe in more than 50 different countries. And now, it’s your turn. Get all of the details below.


Hit Like A Girl eligibility

As the contest’s name conveys, only those who identify as female are eligible to enter. There’s no age minimum as the drumset contest is broken down into four age groups: under 13, 13-17, 18-39 and over 40. The beatmaking and marching percussion categories include under 18 and over 18.

This is an amateur contest, which means drummers and percussionists who make more than $50,000 per year playing music and have an endorsement contract are ineligible.

How to enter Hit Like A Girl

The drumset and beatmaking contest entry dates kicked off March 2 and will conclude April 12. The marching percussion contest will begin in the fall with more information to be announced at a later date.

To enter, you must submit a brief bio explaining your drumming story and a recent photo behind the drum kit. A three-minute video of yourself drumming is also required with the entry. Drum solos, covers and live gigs are all accepted. Drumset videos can be submitted by uploading to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Vimeo. Beatmaking contest audio tracks must be uploaded to SoundCloud. The video will then be based on three categories: performance, presentation and story.

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The performance accounts for the biggest chunk of the evaluation at 60% where groove, sound, technique, musicality and interpretation are judged. The presentation accounts for 30% as the panel judges production quality and effect. Story sits at 10% and includes personality, passion and detail.

In addition to the international program, there will be regional contests and promotions in China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, UK, France, India and Southeast Asia. Contestants in these regions will automatically be entered into those contests when they register for the main contest.

How to win Hit Like A Girl

Beginning March 16, HLAG will choose one “weekly winner” from all the entries to advance to the finals. This is one participant in each age division as chosen by the judging panel consisting of Sabian Education Network members. The weekly contest is cumulative, so anyone who has entered throughout the competition is eligible and not just during a certain timeframe.

The second way to make it to the finals is through public voting, which is held April 13-26. This takes place online for all contestants where people can register and then vote once per video per day. The person with the most votes in each age division will advance to the finals.

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The third way to advance is as a Wild Card contestant. This unnamed amount of contestants will be chosen based on skills and presentation.

Finalists for both drumset and beatmaking will be announced April 28 with up to 25 contestants from each age division. Over the next two weeks, a panel of celebrity judges including top male and female drummers will review and select the winners using score sheets.

More than 100 judges have been recruited including iDKHOW’s Ryan Seaman,  Emily Dolan-Davies (the Darkness, Cher Lloyd), Hayley Cramer (Pop Evil), Jess Bowen (the Summer Set3OH!3Tessa Violet), Nick D’Virgilio (Genesis, Tears For Fears), Samantha Maloney (Hole, Mötley Crüe, Eagles Of Death Metal) and more.

HLAG 2012 winner De’Arcus Curry will also join the panel who backed Janelle Monae at the 61st Grammy Awards and Coachella. First runner-up in 2014 Fer Fuentes will also be on the panel, and her resume includes work with Lauren Jauregui and Becky G.

One champion and two runners-ups will be selected in each drumset age division and the same for beatmaking. These will then be announced on the website on May 28 at noon PST.

Hit Like A Girl prizes

Each contestant receives a certificate of participation upon request and access to the PowerPack digital goody bag. The latter includes free educational material, booklets, magazines and discount coupons.

The prizes consist of $75,000 in items, scholarships and performance opportunities. Berklee College Of Music, Girls March, School Of Rock and the Joe Hibbs Memorial Scholarship have all contributed to the prize package. There are also performance opportunities at Sweetwater Gearfest, the NAMM Show, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), Girls Rock Camp (GRCA) and the Drum Corps International (DCI) and Winterguard (WGI) World Championships. More information and a full list of prize opportunities are available here.

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