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MiltyG565

What do you value about your local music shop?

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43 minutes ago, MiltyG565 said:

I agree. Small shops in small towns generally cater for the entry-level musician mostly. A good shop should nurture and build those relationships so that when little Johnny tells mummy and daddy that he wants a cool electric guitar and a big amp, they'll come back to the small shop for their input.

Do any of your local shops do anything in the way of promoting local music?

He doesn't make much from his shop, tops it up by giving guitar lessons, I suspect that's where most of his business comes from.

Having been in retail myself (newsagents) I really don't know how music shops make money, I suspect most of them are labours of love

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52 minutes ago, cheddatom said:

...buy the Promarks I want...

Try a few pairs of these...

Promark 7A Japanese White Oak Sticks, Nylon Tip ...

You won't need more than three or four pairs, as you'll not be breaking them (I've seen some videos of your strike; these should suit just fine...).
I have spares in the stick bag on my floor drum, but only for when (not 'if', but 'when' :$ ...) my oafish old fingers lose grip and I drop one. I've not broken a stick in decades, despite some fairly hefty rim-shots with a rockish repertoire (RATM, SOAD, Noir Désir and more ...). My 'Tip Of The Week'; no need to thank me. YEY7qB3.png

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9 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

Try a few pairs of these...

Promark 7A Japanese White Oak Sticks, Nylon Tip ...

You won't need more than three or four pairs, as you'll not be breaking them (I've seen some videos of your strike; these should suit just fine...).
I have spares in the stick bag on my floor drum, but only for when (not 'if', but 'when' :$ ...) my oafish old fingers lose grip and I drop one. I've not broken a stick in decades, despite some fairly hefty rim-shots with a rockish repertoire (RATM, SOAD, Noir Désir and more ...). My 'Tip Of The Week'; no need to thank me. YEY7qB3.png

Hah, I actually play in a heavy band too, and regularly break sticks with that band, hence all the emergency purchases :) 

I've been using some of these for the heavy band: https://www.thomann.de/gb/pro_mark_txmhw_matt_halpern_sign._stick.htm

My mate gave me a few pairs. They're very thick but I really like the sound. Don't like the price though!

Shall we start StickChat.co.uk?

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40 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

He doesn't make much from his shop, tops it up by giving guitar lessons, I suspect that's where most of his business comes from.

Having been in retail myself (newsagents) I really don't know how music shops make money, I suspect most of them are labours of love

If you're referring to 'The Guitar Spot' Paul he's just announced that he's closing the shop although continuing with lessons.  He has some family circumstances that have driven the decision but sadly it's not a surprise. Another one gone.

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1 minute ago, cheddatom said:

Hah, I actually play in a heavy band too, and regularly break sticks...

Ah, but that's the key, you see. Hickory. I must have tried, over the years, most sticks, including aluminium, fibreglass, maple and more. Japanese White Oak is where it's at, is all. I actually used the Tama ones for a very long time, but by the time I wanted to renew (not broken, just a bit too ragged, chipped, dented and worn out from much use...), they didn't make 'em any more..! If I'd bought a dozen pairs at the time, I'd still have some left..! D'oh..!
Not much in it between 5A and 7A, but I prefer the slightly longer reach (am I lazy..? You betcha; it's a quality I panegyrize..!); the nylon tips mark cymbals and heads less than wood, too. StickChat will be one of the sections in the new DrumChat.co.uk when the Admins get back from their hibernation. I may not live to see it, but it's programmed. 9_9

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1 hour ago, MiltyG565 said:

Do any of your local shops do anything in the way of promoting local music?

Here in Nottingham there used to be a shop called Wayne's Guitar Shack. They sold entry level instruments. Behind the shop was a rehearsal room that doubled as a recording studio. Wayne also put on local band showcases in various pubs around town and ran his own PA hire. So not only could he sell you you first instrument, but he could provide your band with somewhere to rehearse, record your first demo, and get you a couple of gigs. Unfortunately AFAIK the business went bust and that was that...

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1 hour ago, PaulWarning said:

He doesn't make much from his shop, tops it up by giving guitar lessons, I suspect that's where most of his business comes from.

Having been in retail myself (newsagents) I really don't know how music shops make money, I suspect most of them are labours of love

I think a lot of shop owners barely scrape together a living. The margins are quite good, but nothing in a music shop is really FMCG. The fastest moving thing would be guitar strings, and some places might only sell a few a day or even a week!

That's why I said in my blog that it was important for all high street retail to compete in the online world, but back it up with real-world friendly faces.

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2 hours ago, cheddatom said:

If I want strings I can never get what I want in any of the 3 local shops. The stock is very limited. In fact I've gone back to using vic firth 5A sticks because that's all I can get in shops and always leave it too late to buy the Promarks I want. 

That's really weird! ProMark are distributed by D'Addario, so anywhere stocking D'Addario strings can easily get ProMark sticks in!

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52 minutes ago, Len_derby said:

If you're referring to 'The Guitar Spot' Paul he's just announced that he's closing the shop although continuing with lessons.  He has some family circumstances that have driven the decision but sadly it's not a surprise. Another one gone.

yes I was, didn't know he was closing, but like you, not surprised. Bit of a character is Jimmy, at a recent open mic he had a bandanna on his head, I said didn't know it was it was fancy dress you coming as a pirate, to which he replied "Better than coming as a c*nt"  :lol: perhaps not the best at retail diplomacy though

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13 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

Bit of a character is Jimmy, at a recent open mic he had a bandanna on his head, I said didn't know it was it was fancy dress you coming as a pirate, to which he replied "Better than coming as a c*nt"  :lol: perhaps not the best at retail diplomacy though

 

Lol! Sounds like the sort of thing I'd reply too in that situation..... 😂😂

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1 hour ago, Dad3353 said:

Ah, but that's the key, you see. Hickory. I must have tried, over the years, most sticks, including aluminium, fibreglass, maple and more. Japanese White Oak is where it's at, is all. I actually used the Tama ones for a very long time, but by the time I wanted to renew (not broken, just a bit too ragged, chipped, dented and worn out from much use...), they didn't make 'em any more..! If I'd bought a dozen pairs at the time, I'd still have some left..! D'oh..!
Not much in it between 5A and 7A, but I prefer the slightly longer reach (am I lazy..? You betcha; it's a quality I panegyrize..!); the nylon tips mark cymbals and heads less than wood, too. StickChat will be one of the sections in the new DrumChat.co.uk when the Admins get back from their hibernation. I may not live to see it, but it's programmed. 9_9

OK, you've convinced me to try, I'll order a pair of 5A... can't wait for DrumChat! I don't know anything about drums really. I have no idea what difference the material used makes to the sound, or why I like certain drums. 

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On ‎06‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 19:57, TheGreek said:

Really? Somebody hit the wrong key. 😆😆

Yeah, oops, meant to put £14

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1 hour ago, MiltyG565 said:

That's really weird! ProMark are distributed by D'Addario, so anywhere stocking D'Addario strings can easily get ProMark sticks in!

I doubt that it's because they can't get them in if they tried, but more what we've been discussing, that they probably aren't going to take a punt on stocking another brand of sticks when only one person has asked for them and his other customers are less discerning

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The only time I ever visit a music shop is when I need something immediately that day and am too impatient to wait for an online delivery (a set of strings or a patch cable, for instance).

I’d love to say I’m more supportive of music shops, but I just find it far more convenient to shop online. Although I appreciate that’s perhaps not a popular opinion :)

I just can’t be doing with the faff of:

  • Actually visiting them.
  • Finding out they don’t stock what I need when I do visit (despite it being shown as available on their website).
  • Discovering that I could have bought the same item cheaper online anyway.
  • Human interaction generally.

I can see the value if you want to try out an instrument before you buy it. And I'm all for shops offering a more independent alternative to faceless globalism, etc. But meh.

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14 minutes ago, Skol303 said:

Human interaction generally.

Human interaction is not generally too bad, but music shop dweller interaction can be a bit less comfortable!

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15 minutes ago, Skol303 said:

The only time I ever visit a music shop is when I need something immediately that day and am too impatient to wait for an online delivery (a set of strings or a patch cable, for instance).

I’d love to say I’m more supportive of music shops, but I just find it far more convenient to shop online. Although I appreciate that’s perhaps not a popular opinion :)

I just can’t be doing with the faff of:

  • Actually visiting them.
  • Finding out they don’t stock what I need when I do visit (despite it being shown as available on their website).
  • Discovering that I could have bought the same item cheaper online anyway.
  • Human interaction generally.

I can see the value if you want to try out an instrument before you buy it. And I'm all for shops offering a more independent alternative to faceless globalism, etc. But meh.

Can't argue with that, which is why the high street is dying, it's progress, the world moves on, I don't want to go back to having to take whatever strings they choose to stock at a higher price, and as for left handed basses, forget it

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22 hours ago, TheGreek said:

With that attitude they'll never build a client bass of local customers. Remember the best form of advertising is word of mouth. Give them what they want and they will come...

Catering to nobody's needs is a surefire way to bankruptcy.

 

19 hours ago, MiltyG565 said:

And so is holding a stock of things that only one person has ever asked for.

What I like about my local music shop is the owner's tales of impossible customers. Latest one was a guy who wanted an ocarina. When told he didn't stick them the punter got quite shirty, and said something along the lines of "not much of a music shop then". Owner said he'd been asked for one once before - about 30 years ago. The guy in all seriousness said "well you should have learnt your lesson then". Hmm, New, old stock ocarina anyone?!

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My fave shop's bass salesman would match the cheapest Australian online price.Saved $1,000 off my Am Stnd P bass, MarkBass amp was heavily discounted etc.

Yeah, nah, they went bust about a year ago. Bought my first bass and amp from them in 1979.

Shame

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On 07/08/2018 at 07:05, Angelus said:

Once Magnum Sound in Wishaw shut down, that’s all we were left with. I work in Edinburgh, but seem to prefer going into Glasgow ( was in there on Saturday to try out an something ). Merchant City across the road from Guitar Guitar have a decent selection too. 

It was unfortunate for Magnum Sound, people went in to get advice and help with all sort ( PA’s, instruments, amps etc. ) but bought online, to save money, once they knew exactly what they wanted. Some people complained about the owner closing the store, but when he pointed out the main issue was some people hadn’t spent anything in there for years, how can they complain?

Yep Magnum sounds was where we used to hang out as teenagers. Great shop and used to be able to borrow gear if playing somewhere special. Always good advice and never got the feeling i was being ripped off. I bought so much expensive and cheap gear from there. 

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My local shop to work is bass gallery. So all good. I don't buy brand new basses, only really vintage now, so a great environment and stock. I do make a point of buying my strings there also. I know I could pay a little less, but I value the facility, advice & service so I see no reason to quibble.

I don't ever try gear in a shop then buy it online. If you are happy to buy without trying first, you have earned the discount. 

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I'd always try and buy a physical instrument in store - I can't imagine ordering a bass that I haven't had a chance to hold and play. Neck comfort is of particular importance to me!  This is what I value the most.

I really like Andertons, they are a great example of how to do retail in the digital age!  They are about an hours drive from me but probably the physical shop I am most loyal to, though frustratingly their range of Basses is not particularly good in store (compared to what is available on their online store) but their range of pedals, accessories etc is amazing.

i've bought 3 bass guitars from GuitarGuitar Epsom, they have a much better range than Andertons - the usual Fenders and Ibanzes but also brands such as Mayones, Lakland, Sandberg, Music Man etc.  GG's customer service is also pretty good in-store - I had an issue with a Lakland bass I bought there, I brought it in and despite not being able to recreate the issue they gave it to their tech who found the problem and fixed it - all within about 30 mins on a Saturday afternoin with no charge!

This summer I'd like to get back up to Bass Direct and possibly to the Bass Gallery - I'm also in Paris this week and apparently there's some good music shops here (California Music and Bass Centre seem to be strong recommendations).

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Looking at my gear, currently residing in the front room, I bought my basses from Ebay and Basschat, amps from Basschat, cabs from Barefaced and Basschat, all accessories came from Basschat, strings from the Bass Gallery and Basschat, my tuner from Guitar Guitar in Epsom (the old one broke and I needed a tuner for that evening) and I have my basses serviced at the Bass Gallery. The price is important but I find that local shops just don't sell what I want to buy these days.

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Reading the posts on this thread, the consensus seems to be that having the stock that the internet offers, at internet prices are the most important factors. Running a shop is an expensive business - aside from ludicrous rates in most towns and business rates, providing even a reasonable amount of stock results in a pretty heavy line of credit. Whilst there are a number of tales of great social interaction on here, that doesn’t add up to profits. Another prevailing fact is that most, of not all local music shops have closed down or are closing down. What remain are the niche specialist shops such as the Gallery and Bass Direct - plus a handful of other multi-instrument shops. The fact that fewer people play musical instruments full stop did for a lot of them, plus trying to compete with the internet (whilst it’s great to sell a guitar in terms of turnover, you won’t stay in business long price matching some box shifter and making £25 profit), has sent musical instrument shops dwindle to where they naturally need to be today. I’ll leave the customer service element to one side, but I think it’s true to say almost all music shops have been set up and run by enthusiasts rather than professional business people, probably within a crippling line of credit either at the bank or with manufacturers, so maybe a lot of shops were doomed to fail anyway?

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Despite all this talk of music shops closing down,  a friend of mine has just opened one in Gloucester http://soundhousegloucester.co.uk

Well, strictly speaking, bought a run down music shop, moved to new premises and is now open for business. It is going well, apparently.

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Incompetence, inflated prices and a patronising manner. I sometimes pop in to see what it would be like to be a rail commuter.

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