May 11, 2010

Continuing its support and development of the musician community, Guitar Center, the world's largest musical instrument retailer, today announced an undiscovered music competition that is giving guitarists the chance to attend a private Guitar Center Sessions workshop with Grammy Award-winning guitarist Steve Vai.

Now through June 30th, 2010, guitarists across the United States are invited to submit their best lead guitar performance using their favorite track off of Steve Vai's  "Naked Tracks" album to The online contest will be hosted by The Public Record, a new online interactive recording concept that bridges the gap between artist and fan. Ten guitarists, hand-picked by Vai, will be given the opportunity to attend the exclusive Guitar Center Sessions workshop with the legendary guitarist. 

"I've had a wonderful career, and have been completely blessed beyond my belief," said Vai. "I know the ins and outs of the business, and am proud to be a part of Guitar Center Sessions so I can share my knowledge with guitarists who are looking to take things to the next level."

Guitar Center Sessions is an ongoing music education based initiative that provides musicians with the chance to network and gain insight and knowledge from their heroes in a comfortable and intimate setting.  The commitment is to help musicians further their musical aspirations and provide tools for career growth.

Vai began his career transcribing music for Frank Zappa and also worked with Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, and Whitesnake. But it is as a solo artist that Vai has made his most valuable contributions, earning him three Grammy wins, eight
nominations, and over twenty million records sold worldwide. This announcement coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the Ibanez 7-String limited edition Universe Guitar, designed by Vai himself and used in the recording of his 1990 release Passion and Warfare. Sixteen of these rare instruments will be available to purchase at select Guitar Center locations.

Guitar Center Sessions is just one of many Guitar Center initiatives created to foster growth and success within the music community, including its annual Drum-Off, On-Stage, Your Next Record, and King of the Blues competitions, among others. Guitar Center's Drum-Off, now in its 21st year, has been a launching pad for many drummers, including Cora Coleman-Dunham and Tony Royster Jr, two Drum-Off champions who have gone on to become acclaimed professional drummers (Prince and Jay-Z respectively). Guitar Center On-Stage, an unsigned band competition last judged by Mötley Crüe, saw the winning band, The Last Vegas, go 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." Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Slash provides emerging artists the chance to win the ultimate career-altering opportunity: record a 3-song EP with legendary producer, Mike Clink and have Slash write, record and perform on the winning artists' single King of the Blues is a nationwide search for the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. Guitarists can currently sign-up at any of Guitar Center's 214 stores across the country for the chance to compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and the opportunity to perform at the King of the Blues finals at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, and play on the same stage as Grammy Award-winning guitarist Derek Trucks.

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