What do I look for in a Guitar Shop?

Well guitars duh!

I am conscious however that music shops can be very daunting for new musicians let alone those more experienced – which is bizarre!

Surely if you sell guitars – you want to make your shop as welcoming and enjoyable an experience as possible! So people want to come back, buy some picks, buy some strings and accessories, buy a new guitar and amp etc!

On visiting the famed Denmark Street in London, a street lined with many many music shops! I was conscious of how ‘Welcome’ and comfortable I felt in each shop. Surprisingly it was a real mixed experience- this famous street with many high end instruments for sale no doubt has a huge foot fall … so why bother with the pleasantries?!?

Ever since, I have paid attention to how I feel when I walk in to a shop- and whether I would recommend it to someone I teach?

Visiting PMT (Professional Music Technology) Manchester today- I walked in to a cavernous warehouse of a music shop- there were three gents on reception desk- I got a friendly acknowledgment and was then left to my own devices to mooch (gawp) at the overwhelming selection of stunning guitars stacked high.

Guitars ranging from £99 to £4-5k (stunning Gibson SJ200 *drools*) come to mind. After loitering in the Gibson electrics area for a short period I move on- PRS – another gorgeous selection of instruments (I recommend the Silver Sky John Mayer model btw if you have few thousand spare!).

Now, I am looking (shh don’t tell my wife) for a new acoustic guitar… so I resist the overwhelming selection of electrics and stroll in to the more modest acoustic guitar section and they have a small but stunning selction of Gibson electo- acoustics.

I was welcomed by a friendly face accepting my request to test out a Gibson Hummingbird and Hummingbird Avante Guard (slightly cheaper with rosewood back and sides rather than mahogany on the former). Beautiful guitars, set up well and ringing out bright and clear – lovely 😊 I have *big* smile and my wallet hand was twitching…

I managed to leave the shop with my wallet intact, however – I have my eye on the hummingbird.

If you have the chance to visit one of the PMT shops (also in London, Southend, Birmingham..) if the experience was like Manchester – you’ll feel welcome and you might just not want to leave! Whole heartedly recommended!


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