Guitar Center is hosting a contest to find "the next great blues guitarist" with local tryouts across the country, including Phoenix and Tempe. The winner of the national contest gets $40,000 in cash and prizes.
Local sign-ups have begun -- they're allowing a maximum of 30 contestants per store -- and tryouts are later in the month. Then on September 10th, the best blues guitarists in Arizona will compete to move on to the District Rounds. Contestants must perform live to a choice of 25 original backing tracks, developed by Grammy Award winning producer, Pete Anderson. The tracks are available for free download here . You're allowed to use any 6, 7, or 12 string acoustic or electric guitar, lap steel or pedal steel guitar, plus any audio pedal effects that can be set-up in a 5 minute time limit. You'll plug in to amplifiers provided by Guitar Center.
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You can't register online or by phone, so drop by the Phoenix or Tempe location. This map should help you find the one nearest you.