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— World’s Largest Drum Competition Celebrates seventeenth Year —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, August 19, 2005 – Guitar Center, Inc. (Nasdaq NMS: GTRC), America’s leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer, today announced the launch of its 2005 Drum Off competition, the largest and most prestigious drumming competition in the world. Now in its seventeenth year, Drum Off brings more than 3,000 drummers together to compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and bragging rights as one of the world’s finest, according to Jack Sonni, vice president of marketing communication for Guitar Center.

“Drum Off, our longest running talent promotion, provides a platform for drummers around the country to achieve national recognition,” said Sonni. “These drummers have the opportunity to share the stage with legendary, groundbreaking artists like Travis Barker, Chad Smith and Adrian Young. This event gets our customers one step closer to living out their career dreams.”

Scheduled from August to January, the Guitar Center Drum Off 2005 provides drummers with the opportunity to showcase their talent. If last year’s event was any indication, the competition will again be steep, with winners selected on skill, style, originality, technique, overall performance, and stage presence. Following in-store competitions, winners advance to store finals, district finals, regional finals, and finally the grand finals scheduled to take place in January at the legendary Wiltern LG Theatre in Los Angeles.

This year’s Drum Off grand finalist will receive a ton of stellar prizes, including a 2006 Scion xB, a DW Collector series 5-piece maple kit, a Gretsch Custom kit with Gibraltar rack system, a Zildjian Custom box set and cymbal bag, and endorsement deals from both Evans and SABIAN. Sponsors of this year’s competition include Toyota Scion, SABIAN, REMO, DW Drums, Gretsch, Evans, Zildjian, Tama, Pro-Mark, Kaman, Gibraltar, XM Satellite Radio and the Guitar Center Credit Card. Modern Drummer will serve as an official media partner for Drum Off.

“Each year Guitar Center has successfully increased participation in its Drum Off competition and every year Modern Drummer seeks to bring more drummers to the drumming community it helped create almost 30 years ago,” said Kevin Kearns, Vice President Modern Drummer Publications, Inc. “We're pleased and proud to share this vision with Guitar Center in order to further build and foster this community of drummers.”

Scott Donnell, Director of Marketing for Drum Workshop, Inc., comments regarding DW’s participation in Drum Off. "Drum Workshop is proud to once again be a part of Guitar Center's Drum Off Competition. Without a doubt, it's the premiere event for cultivating new talent within the drum community."

“Our partnership with Guitar Center gives Scion a strategic connection with the powerful 18-34 consumer audience,” said Brian Bolain, Scion’s national sales promotions manager. “Music drives the trends in today’s youth culture and no brand has better relationships with musicians than Guitar Center.”

Royce Shorter, Jr. from Seattle captured the Guitar Center Drum Off 2004 title. Selected from more than 3,000 drummers from across the country, Shorter used a classic, jazz-based style to bring home the Drum Off crown. Following his victory, Shorter has gone on to record an album with his band; similarly, Drum Off 2003 Champion, Eric Moore II, has launched his music career and recently toured with Sly & The Family Stone.

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About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the nation’s leading retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards, live-sound/DJ and recording equipment. We presently operate 151 Guitar Center stores, with 121 stores in 48 major markets and 30 stores in secondary markets across the U.S. In addition, the Music & Arts division operates 77 retail locations specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving thousands of teachers, band directors, college professors and students. Guitar Center is also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the U.S. through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician’s Friend, Inc., and its catalog and web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. 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.

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