Mid-Michigan man makes semi-final round of Guitar Center's Natio - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan man makes semi-final round of Guitar Center's National Drum-off

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(11/26/12) - Caleb Hubbard has managed to pound his way into the spotlight - with a combination of substance and style.

Thanksgiving week, the 23 year old traveled to Chicago to compete in Guitar Center's National Drum-off. His dreams were dashed in the semi-final round.

"Maybe they didn't like the shirt I was wearing. Maybe I was too loud for them, who knows, but it was so much fun, and I'm never going to give up," Hubbard said.

Hubbard has competed in the drum off since 2005 and has gone further every year. This time around, his semi-final appearance earned him $3,000 worth of prizes, along with compliments and some great advice from Rex Hardy, a drummer for both American Idol and Mary J. Blige.

"He told me I was straight and had a very original style and to just listen to different styles to bring in different dynamics. That was huge," Hubbard said.

The Fenton High School grad actually started off playing the violin, trombone, and guitar before focusing on the drums.

"When I was 17, I got an awesome opportunity to take lessons with a world champion tenor player, Lavone Bristol. He really showed me that rudimentary drumming is the way, and so that's when I got an awesome opportunity to drum for the Detroit Pistons drum line and that was fun," Hubbard said.

Right now, Hubbard drums for a ministry in Lansing. He dreams of someday playing for big crowds, but there's another dream as well.

"I'd like to open a place in Flint where kids can come in and drum and get sticks for free, and there's no charge, because not everyone can afford things like this," he said.

Hubbard says he won't let his semi-final loss get him down. He plans to enter the drum-off again next year.

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