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The death of local ma & pa music stores.

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

Record shops were great, but back in the day I couldn't afford many new release albums - most of the stuff I bought came from the cutout bins.

But when I was in college there was a used record shop in the neighborhood. The owner would buy up albums from estate sales and whatnot, and sort them for sale. So I struck a deal with him - I'd go in once a week and buy stuff he hadn't sorted yet (I paid him $1 a pound), and after I'd listened to them I'd sell him back anything I didn't like (for 50 cents a pound). Over the course of a couple of years I'd built up quite a collection of stuff nobody'd ever heard of... but all great music.

The last used record place anywhere near me folded 5+ years ago. Man, I miss those places!

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184

i'll be honest, i haven't been to too many ma&pa stores i've liked. they usually don't have enough selection, or it's very specific, and they're usually overpriced. every once in a while you find a really good one, though.
at the same time, i absolutely hate the megastores. warehouses full of crappy gear run by idiots and jerks for the most part.

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709

My main "Ma & Pa" store endures for one reason. It used to be called "Northern Music". A bunch of years back it changed it's name to "Northern Music & Video". They branched out into an electronics store and the music store lives on.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1497

My M&P store survives by giving extra services to musicians, giving fair prices, giving music lessons, and although having a modest selection of gear (perhaps 100 guitars), will special order anything they can for you.

It's all about service.

I encourage people to go there because I want them to be there when I need them.

In the unlikely event that my PA am breaks down in the middle of the gig, I know I can call the owner on his cell and he'll bring one out.

This has never happened, as I try to keep spares of anything that is likely to break, but it's nice having that phone number in my pocket.

And I got that phone number by being a good customer, and (1) instead of buying big ticket items from the 'net, I had him order them for me and (2) buying small ticket items like strings there. Oh, and by the way, I didn't ask for the number, he gave it to me and told me to call anytime if it's an emergency. You won't get that at GC or the 'net.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats >^. .^< >^. .^<

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 151
Topic starter  

I liked the fact I could buy a set of bass strings for $8 in their string bargin bin.Now I won't be able to.I'm not bashing GC or anything,but I like he fact that locally owned stores have a service that is second to none.Sure GC has more guitars,amps and other goodies,but how many people walk in and buy the $4000 Les Paul or the $5000 Martin? I've noticed older guitars at local stores that you won't see on a regular basis,like a $400 Mosrite.Sure it was beat up,but playable.You don't see that in National chain stores. :(

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