Guitar Center Invites Entries in 2008 Drum-Off Competition

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20th Annual Guitar Center Drum-Off Competition Will Award Winning Drummer Over $45,000 in Prizes

Guitar Center has announced the kickoff of its 20th annual Drum-Off Competition, the world's largest drum competition. The winner will receive prizes worth over $45,000 and earn the title of Guitar Center's Drum-Off Champion '08. Sign-ups for the preliminary rounds began August 1, 2008. Contestants are invited to sign up with a Guitar Center drum department associate at their local store. 30 registrants are allotted per Guitar Center store on a first-come, first-served basis. Many Guitar Center locations still have spots available.

The prizes to be awarded to the Guitar Center's Drum-Off Champion '08 include $25,000 cash, a Roland TD-20 Percussion Sound Module, and a custom-designed drum kit by DW, Pearl, Gretsch, Tama, or Orange Country Drums. The winner will also be given drum, stick, cymbal, and drumhead endorsement deals; be featured in Modern Drummer magazine; and appear in a Guitar Center ad campaign. A VIP appearance at the music gear trade show NAMM 2009 and shopping sprees with Levi's, Converse, and Guitar Center will also be part of the winner's booty. Finally, a Monster Energy Drink endorsement deal is included, making the total prizes worth over $45,000. Sabian, Zildjian, Remo, Pro-Mark, Vic Firth, Evans, and Rhythm Tech are all sponsors of Drum-Off '08.

Local Drum-Off competitions start September 23 in all 214 Guitar Center store locations nationwide. One winner from each store will be chosen to move up to district competitions (24 locations), followed by regionally hosted semi-finals (6 locations), culminating in the final Drum-Off championship in Los Angeles in January of 2009.

COMPETITION DATES: STORE PRELIMS: September 23, September 30, and October 7 STORE FINALS: October 14 DISTRICT FINALS: November 4 REGIONAL FINALS: December 2 GRAND FINALS: January 2009

Following the regional finals, finalists will be headed to Los Angeles in January, where they will perform before a panel of celebrity judges. Past judges include Stewart Copeland (The Police), Travis Barker, Guestlove (The Roots), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), Josh Freese (NIN), Kenny Aronoff, Joey Castillio (Queens of the Stoneage), Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath), Steve Smith (Journey), and Alan White (Yes).

For 20 years, Guitar Center has provided drummers across the country with the opportunity to pursue their musical aspirations by way of the world's largest drum competition. Like all Guitar Center music programs, Drum-Off is designed to provide developing artists with support-based opportunities that vastly improve the potential for their success as professional musicians. Drum-Off inspires up-and-coming drummers to further their musical dreams, while at the same time encouraging the local music community by providing a platform for local musicians to network and be discovered. Several winning alumni from Guitar Center's previous Drum-Off competitions have gone on to professional drumming careers. They include Cora "CC" Dunham (Prince; Drum-Off '02 Champ), Eric Moore (Bobby Brown, Sly and The Family Stone, Infectious Grooves; Drum-Off '03 Champ), Tony Royster Jr. (Jay-Z; Drum-Off '95 Champ) and Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta), who became the Guitar Center Drum-Off champion in 1993 when he was just nine years old!

About Guitar Center: Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards, and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 214 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and website, In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors, and students. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's website at

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Pam Nashel Leto

Kabeer Malhotra
Guitar Center
212-989-2222, x123
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