Hit Like A Girl drumming contest is returning for its tenth year of competition. The international contest was designed to raise the visibility of female drummers and percussionists. Additionally, it promotes drumming for girls and women regardless of their age or skill level.

Drum industry veteran and Hit Like A Girl Executive Director David Levine came up with the contest in 2011. Driven by the belief that women were underrepresented and underserved, 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 first year.

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Since it began, the contest has gathered more than 5,000 contestants from over 50 countries across the globe. Now, it’s your turn. Get all of the details below!

Hit Like A Girl eligibility

As the contest name suggests, only women, girls and gender expansive individuals may enter. There are no age limits, as the international contest includes four age groups: under 13, 13-17, 18-39 and over 40. The Beatmaking category includes under 18 and over 18.

Hit Like A Girl is an amateur contest. For this reason, drummers or percussionists who make more than $50,000 per year playing music or have an endorsement contract are ineligible.

How to enter Hit Like A Girl

To enter, contestants should submit a video of a drum performance, with a recommended length of 3 minutes. Solos, covers, originals and live performances are all acceptable. Judges will focus on three categories: performance, presentation and story.

The largest category is performance, dedicating 60% of the score to groove, sound, technique, musicality and interpretation. Presentation accounts for 30% and focuses on production quality and effect. The final 10% is for story and includes personality, passion and detail.

In addition to an uploaded video of the performance, contestants must also include a brief bio telling their story. This year’s contest introduces a new “IMPACT” category, highlighting the ways participants are making an impact on their communities. HLAG encourages contestants to discuss their support of human rights, gender equality, the environment or other social issues. They should also include a recent photo behind the drum kit.

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Hit Like A Girl will also include regional contests, including events in China, Japan, India, Mexico, Turkey, and the U.K. Chinese contestants must enter through the 9Beats App. All other competitors will enter into their corresponding regional event automatically.

How to win Hit Like A Girl

Beginning March 15, HLAG will choose a weekly winner from each age group to advance to the finals. These weekly contests are cumulative. This means that all contestants are eligible each week, not just those competitors who entered that week.

There are a number of other ways to win prizes. HLAG includes mini-contests sponsored by top percussion brands such as Paiste and Latin Percussion. The Beatmaking category is open to women and girls who focus on digital production. Co-sponsored by Beats By Girlz, contestants are asked to upload originals, covers or remixes to SoundCloud.

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Competitors can also advance through public voting. Friends, fans and family can vote once per day for a contestant. The top 10 entries in each division with the most votes will advance to the finals. Additionally, the HLAG directors will add a limited number of entries to the finals as Wild Card entries.

The most certain way to advance to the finals is by impressing Hit Like A Girl’s many celebrity judges. This year’s line-up features a lengthy list of accomplished artists, including Jess Bowen (the Summer Set, 3OH!3, Tessa Violet), Emily Moon (Starbenders), David Garibaldi (Tower Of Power), Sarah Tomek (Steven Tyler), Nikki Glaspie (Beyoncé), Ainjel Emme (David Bowie, KISS) and many others. Judges will determine the champions and runner-ups with a standardized score sheet.

Hit Like A Girl prizes

Hit Like A Girl contestants will compete for over $75,000 in prizes. Potential prizes include drums, cymbals, sticks, heads, accessories, electronic gear, educational material, lessons and scholarships. Many educational awards come from major sponsors, including School of Rock, Ableton and Hudson Music. Some winners will even receive performance opportunities at prestigious events and music camps around the world.

Last year’s contest received entries from more than 50 countries, and nearly 100 women were chosen as winners. The 2020 winners include Michaela Naydenova, Drummer Subin, Michelle Pietrafitta and Aira Deathstorm. The overall contest champion was Lisa Chepkovskaya, and you can see the winning performance below.

Winners and award recipients will be announced on the Hit Like A Girl website and social media pages May 14 at 3 p.m. ET. You can get more information on the Hit Like A Girl contest here.