Continuing its support of aspiring artists, Guitar Center (www.guitarcenter.com), the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, announced Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Slash a first-of-its-kind, unsigned band competition that provides emerging artists the chance to win the ultimate career-altering opportunity: record a 3-song EP with legendary producer, Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Megadeth) and have Slash write, record and perform on the winning artists’ single. Starting today, through April 30th, 2010 bands across the United States are invited to submit their music at YourNextRecord.com for a chance to win the aforementioned prize package, which also includes:

    A management development deal with “The Collective” (Linkin Park, Slash, Avenged Sevenfold) · Feature of winning artists’ single on iTunes · Worldwide distribution of winning artists’ music through Tunecore · $10,000 Guitar Center Shopping Spree · New gear and endorsement deals from Ernie Ball Music Man · An opening slot on Slash’s Monster Energy Bash · An editorial feature on the winning band in Guitar World Magazine

A Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Slash teaser can be viewed here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWOluHHoccE.

“The formula that used to work for discovering new artists has been decimated and the opportunities for really talented bands to be heard is extremely limited,” said Slash. “That’s why it’s so important to me and Guitar Center to provide a situation where new talent can be discovered. This is an incredibly interesting way to find and help launch a really great band that hasn’t been able to get their foot in the door otherwise.”

Guitar Center commissioned leading entertainment platform developer, FameCast, adopting its proprietary contest management technology, known as “Buzz Factor,” to collect and present each band’s submissions and rank them using a variety of metrics such as online fan voting and community engagement, ensuring that the best bands standout. In addition, all bands will be armed with digital tools to help encourage their fans to vote for their submissions as well as other great unsigned artists. After the three-month submission and voting period the top bands will be personally evaluated and selected by Slash and Mike Clink.

Guitar Center is also a primary partner of Ernie Ball’s Shred with Slash promotion which offers musicians the chance to win over $50,000 in prizes, including a private master class with Slash, upon finding one of five custom, limited edition Slash guitar picks in select packs of Ernie Ball electric guitar strings sold exclusively at Guitar Center between February 1st and April 30th. Picks and corresponding prizes are as follows:

Gold Pick: (20 winners) A private 2-hour Master Class with Slash
Silver Pick: (10 winners): A custom Ernie Ball Music Man guitar or bass of winner’s choice
Red Pick: (20 winners): A $500 Guitar Center shopping spree
Black Pick: (100 winners) Signed copy of Slash’s new solo album
White Pick: (1,000 winners) Free pack of Ernie Ball electric guitar strings

The opportunity coincides with what will be Slash’s first true solo album. Slash announced today his CD, SLASH, will release in April 2010. The album features an all-star roster of guest musicians including Ian Astbury, Chris Cornell, Rocco DeLuca, Fergie, Dave Grohl, Myles Kennedy, Kid Rock, Lemmy Kilmeister, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Duff McKagan, M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, and Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother.

Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Slash is just one of many Guitar Center initiatives created to foster growth and success within the music community, including its annual King of the Blues, Drum-Off and On-Stage competitions, among others. Guitar Center’s King of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. Drum-Off is an annual drumming competition that, now in its 21st year, has been a launching pad for many drummers, including Cora Coleman-Dunham and Tony Royster Jr, two Drum-Off winners who have gone on to become highly acclaimed professional drummers (with Prince and Jay Z respectively). Guitar Center On-Stage is a musical competition judged by Mötley Crüe. The winning band, The Last Vegas, has since gone on to open for Mötley Crüe on tour and subsequently topped iTunes critics’ 2009 “Rock Singles of the Year List” with their hit single “I’m Bad.”

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 Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. 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 Web site at www.guitarcenter.com.

The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of Guitar Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

About Slash
Slash is widely considered one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time. He has received countless accolades and awards including a 2007 star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside his idols Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. An original member of iconic rock band Guns N’ Roses, Slash helped the band create signature sounds like the guitar riff of #1 hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Welcome To The Jungle.” The band dominated the 1980’s and 90’s music scene selling more than 100 million albums worldwide and ushered in a decade of hard charging rock music. After the band’s break-up, Slash went on to critical acclaim in his personal project Slash’s Snakepit, and global success with supergroup Velvet Revolver. He has been widely sought after by the biggest musicians of all time, performing with everyone from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder to Ray Charles. Slash is one of the marquee playable characters in Guitar Hero III, has two signature Gibson guitars in his name, and authored his own top-selling biography Slash in 2007.

About Ernie Ball/ Music Man
Ernie Ball is a leading innovator of guitar strings. The company was the first to offer rock strings with the introduction of Slinkys, and further revolutionized the market by offering guitarists Custom-Gauge single strings. Ernie Ball also produces Music Man guitars and basses, volume pedals and other accessories. Strings and accessories are available in more than 5,500 music stores throughout the U.S. and in 75 countries. For more information, contact the Ernie Ball Company at (805) 544-7726, or visit their website at www.ernieball.com.

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