• $25,000 Cash
  • Studio Session with Grammy
    Award Winning Producer Pete Anderson
  • Gibson Custom Les Paul '59 Reissue or 335 '59 Reissue
Plus much more >

Sign-ups for Battle of the Blues start April 1st and run until each of the 30 contestant spots per store are filled. You must be 16 years or older and a lawful permanent resident of any of the forty-eight (48) contiguous United States to compete. All Guitar Center stores open as of April 1st will be holding competitions this year. You must sign-up with a sales associate at your local GC store. There will be no phone or Internet sign-ups available. You'll sign up for one (1) of the three (3) preliminary competitions. Note, you can only compete at one prelim!

Store Preliminary Competitions:

  • Store Prelim #1: Tuesday, May 8th
  • Store Prelim #2: Tuesday, May 15th
  • Store Prelim #3: Tuesday, May 22nd
  • Store Finals: Tuesday, June 5th
  • District Finals: Tuesday, June 26th
  • Regional Finals: Tuesday, July 17th
  • Grand Finals: TBD - Los Angeles, CA

District Competition:

Tuesday, June 26th

Regional Competition:

Tuesday, July 17th

Each contestant will receive 5 minutes to set up and will perform live to 1 of 35 original backing tracks, developed by Grammy Award winning producer, Pete Anderson. All backing tracks are available for free download here. Contestants may bring and use any 4-, 6-, 7-, or 12- string acoustic or electric guitar, cigar box guitar, lap steel or pedal steel guitar, any audio pedal effects that can be set-up in 5 minutes all, which will be plugged into a selection of amplifiers, provided by Guitar Center. While playing guitar, the contestant may also accompany him/herself on the harmonica. THE ONLY PERSONAL PIECES OF GEAR A CONTESTANT MAY USE IS HIS OR HER GUITAR, PEDAL EFFECTS, CABLE, PICK, SLIDE and STRAP! WIRELESS SYSTEMS, BASS GUITARS, LOOPING EFFECTS, AND POWER AMPS ARE NOT PERMITTED AT ANY LEVEL OF THE COMPETITION.

All contestants will be judged by a panel of 3 independent and credible judges on the following criteria, AUTHENTICITY, ORGINALITY, SKILLS/TECHNQUE, STAGE PRESENCE, and OVERALL PERFORMANCE. Any ties result in a 2-minute play-off in which contestants will solo without a backing track.

A random drawing determining the order in which contestants compete will be held 30 minutes prior to the start of the competition. If you are not present at that drawing you WILL be disqualified, so don't be late. Make sure to confirm all details with your local Guitar Center representative.