Hit Like A Girl 2021 is the tenth annual international contest for female drummers, percussionists and beat makers. Its purpose is to showcase and encourage drumming and lifelong musicianship for girls, women and gender expansive individuals, regardless of age, playing level or geographic location. The event is produced by Hit Like A Girl, Inc. and made possible by the generous support of artists, individuals and companies in the music and music products industries.

The Hit Like A Girl Contest was conceived in 2011 by drum industry veteran David Levine, Founder/Publisher of Tom Tom Magazine Mindy Abovitz Monk, and Phil Hood and Andy Doerschuk of DRUM! Magazine— executives who felt that females were underserved and under-represented in the drumming and beatmaking communities. Since then the contest has attracted 5000+ contestants from more than 50 countries. It has generated tens of millions of impressions and fan votes around the world and it has raised the visibility of female drummers, percussionists and beat makers.

Special thanks to the 2021 Hit Like A Girl Team for donating their time and talent, including: David Levine (Executive Director), Mindy Abovitz Monk (Director) Louise King (Director), Sarah Hagan (Director), Diane Downs (Director), Danielle Thwaites (Beats By Girlz), Raychel Taylor (Girls March), Maneswita (HLAG India), Monica del Valle and Moty Baketas (HLAG Mexico), Swanny Elzingre (HLAG France), Georgia Challinor (HLAG UK), Leyan Selenay (Turkey), Pauline Roberts (HLAG South America), Noriko Terada (HLAG Japan), Denise Yeow (HLAG Southeast Asia), Jamese Moses (intern), Madden Klass (intern) and Rachelle Jovanne (intern).

Updates for 2021: The Hit Like A Girl contests for Drumset and Beatmaking take place in the Spring. The Marching Percussion contest takes place in the Fall. Drum Summit has replaced the World Percussion category.

General Guidelines

Read the complete contest rules and policies for more details.

Sorry Boys, Ladies Only

Only women, girls and gender expansive individuals are eligible to enter.

1 Contest, 4 Age Groups

All female drummers, percussionists and beat makers are encouraged to participate regardless of their age or ability level. Multiple age divisions allow everyone to support each other and the community. For the drumset category there are 4 age groups: Under 13, 13 to 17, 18 to 39 and 40-Plus. For beatmaking, the age groups are: Under 18 and 18-Plus.

Amateur Contest

Drummers, percussionists and beat makers who earn more than $50k/year playing music or have an endorsement contract are not eligible to enter.

3-Minute Drumming Video or Beat

The suggested length of an entry is 3 minutes, but there is no specific time limit rule. Solos, covers, original compositions, live performances or shows are all fair game. Just make sure to showcase your skills!

Evaluation Criteria

 Drumset entries will be scored by a distinguished panel of top professional drummers/educators according to the following criteria. To download a copy of the HLAG-X Judging form click here. Visit Beatmaking by Beats By Girlz X for the Beatmaking Evaluation Criteria.



Groove, Sound, Technique, Musicality & Interpretation



Production Quality & Effect



Personality, Passion & Detail

Contest Entry Checklist

1. Performance video uploaded online.

Drumset videos posted on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram are eligible. Audio tracks for the Beatmaking contest must be posted to SoundCloud. Post your video/audio and copy the URL (link) so you can paste it into your contest entry form. See the correct formatting directions on the Entry Registration pages.

2. A brief bio telling your story.

Include information about when and why you started drumming and/or beatmaking, who your heroes are, notes about your entry and anything else you’d like to share with the judges and your fans.

Feel free to also include details about how you're making an "IMPACT" on the world through your drumming as well as your activities that support human rights, gender equality, the environment or other social issues.

3. A recent photo of yourself behind the kit.

Your photo will appear with your entry and may also be used for promotion in print, electronic and social media. Professional photos are not required but high-quality, high-resolution images are appreciated.

Need more help?
Find out more about how to enter and review the contest rules.

Multiple Ways To Win!

1. Modern Drummer Weekly Contests

Each week during the six week entry period a team of judges provided by Modern Drummer magazine will select one outstanding entry from each age group to automatically move on to the final round. The Weekly Winners will be announced each week beginning March 15, 2021.

The Weekly contests are cumulative, meaning that the all current contest entries are eligible to be selected as a Weekly Winner, not just those entries registered during a specific week. For example, the Week Three winner will be selected from all video entires registered during weeks one, two and three.

2. Mini Contests

This year, Hit Like A Girl and its sponsors will present several "Mini-Contests" in which Drumset and Beatmaking contestants have additional opportunities to receive prizes, exposure and recognition:
- Hudson Music/Modern Drummer Mini-Contest
- Latin Percussion/Rhythm Mini-Contest
- Paiste/Tom Tom Mini-Contest
- (pending)
- (pending)

These contests have specific requirements which are detailed in the Special Contests sections of this website. Participation in one or more of the mini-contests does not affect a contestant's participation or eligibility in the main, pre-qualification, regional or public contests.

3. Public Voting

During the public voting period, online voting is open to all entries and contestants. Friends, fans and family can each vote once per person per video per day. In order to vote a person must create a profile and be signed in through the HLAG website. The top 10 entries in each age division with the most votes will become Finalists.

4. Wild Card Selection

A limited number of entries selected by Hit Like A Girl will be added to the Finalists as Wild Cards. These entries will be chosen by the Hit Like A Girl Directors based on the contestants' drumming skills and presentation.

5. Celebrity Judging

The Finalists in the Drumset and Beatmaking categories will be judged by a panel of the world's top female and male drummers and beat makers during the Celebrity Judging period. The Champions and Runners-Up will be determined using the standardized HLAG-X score sheet.

6. Regional Contests

For 2021, Hit Like A Girl regional contests will take place in China, Mexico, France, UK, Turkey, India, Japan, South America and Southeast Asia. HLAG Contestants who reside in one of these countries/regions will automatically be entered in the regional contest when they register for the main contest. All Chinese entries will be judged separately from the main contest and only the selected winners will be accepted as Finalists in the main contest.

Local judges will score the entries and special prizes will be awarded to the regional winners. In general, a contestant’s regional status will not affect their status in the main contest.

And The Winner Is…

The 2021 Hit Like A Girl Champions, winners and special award recipients will be announced on the Hit Like A Girl website and social media pages on May 14, 2021 at 12:00 PM PST.

*Note: Dates shown are subject to change.