Tonight's contestants are going to have to keep some serious time if they expect to outdrum this guy.

Guitar Center Gives the Drummers Some

Here for your perusal are a few classic drummer jokes, courtesy of

Ten Story Love

. Enjoy.

Q: What's the difference between a drummer and a bag of garbage? A: The garbage gets taken out at least once a week.

Q: What's the definition of a gentleman? A: One who knows how to play the drums but doesn't.

Q: Why do drummers leave their drumsticks on the dashboard? A: So they can park in the handicapped zone.

Q: What's the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? A: You only have to punch the information into the drum machine once.

All right, that’s enough. Poor, misunderstood drummers. Drummer jokes may never die (here’s hoping), but Guitar Center’s Drum-Off 2007 Regional Finals are no joke, and they’re happening this evening at the musical-instrument chain’s Clear Lake store (6:30 p.m., 1020 W. Nasa Road One #138, Point Nasa shopping center).

Tonight’s six contestants – Andy Briggs, 20, of Fort Smith, Arkansas; Jose Santana, 19, of Laredo; David Chiverton, 21, of Miami, Florida; Wayne Thornton, 21, of Decatur, Georgia; Ivan Garcia, 20, of Oglethorpe, Georgia; and Ruffin Jackson, 25, of Baton Rouge – will have five minutes to distinguish themselves in the categories of originality, skills/technique, style, stage presence and overall performance. Guitar Center customers, meanwhile, will have half an hour or more to go outside and see how construction on the new NASA bypass from I-45 is progressing, or perhaps go to the nearby Home Depot and start filling out that holiday power-tool list.

Seriously though, this contest is nothing to sneeze at. 2002 winner Cora Coleman-Dunham, judging tonight’s regional finals along with 2005 winner Jamil Byrom and James Culpepper of Temple/Killeen screamo heroes Flyleaf, now holds down the drummer’s chair for none other than Prince. Tonight’s winner advances to the Grand Finals in L.A. on January 5, where they’ll have a chance to walk away with a prize package that includes $10,000 in cash, a Toyota FJ Cruiser, a custom drum set, cymbals engraved with the winner’s signature, write-up in Modern Drummer magazine and – just maybe – a moratorium on drummer jokes from their friends and fellow musicians. Hey, it could happen. – Chris Gray

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