When it comes to buying musical instruments and gear, many people still prefer to shop in person. Whether you’re looking to buy a cheap beginner model or an expensive vintage Les Paul, the ability to try out a guitar in a real shop and see how it sounds through different amps is one of the primary reasons why people still make the trip to a physical music store. Fortunately, there are a lot of great guitar stores in the Bay Area.
Here are a few to check out:
Located in San Francisco, Mighty Fine Guitars is a small, intimate store that specializes in high end acoustic guitars from both local and national luthiers. In addition to offering a variety of instruments, they also have a good selection of accessories and amplifiers. The store has the feel of a boutique and is a great place to check out some amazing new and used guitars before making that big purchase.
In addition to selling guitars, the store offers a repair department that works on all types of instruments and equipment. The staff can do everything from a basic setup to a full restoration on an old classic. They’re known for being fast and reasonably priced, which is a major plus for anyone who needs to get their gear repaired quickly.
For those on a tight budget, the Starving Musician in Berkeley best bay area guitar store is a one-stop-shop for all things guitar and music. They offer a wide selection of affordable guitars from brands like Epiphone and Squier and can help you build up an instrument collection over time. They also have a rental program that allows you to try out an instrument without fully committing to it.
Sweetwater is another huge online retailer that focuses mainly on pro-level guitars and gear. Their huge selection is backed up by knowledgeable customer support that can answer any question you may have about specific products, specifications, and configurations. They have one of the largest inventory of any online music store in the country.
Although they’re based in Chicago, zZounds is another big online music store that carries a lot of guitars from the major manufacturers. They have excellent prices and often sell instruments that are sold out on other sites. They have an industry-standard return policy and generally provide fast and friendly customer service.
Another giant online music store is Reverb. They specialize in used equipment but also sell a large number of new items as well. The cool thing about Reverb is that you can customize your search to only include items from certain sellers or categories. You can also create a daily digest of your searches so you don’t miss any new listings. The site also has a lot of helpful information about the gear they sell, including videos and reviews from users who have bought it. Reverb is a must-visit for any serious music lover. They’ve even been used by famous musicians like Neal Schon, Joe Satriani, and Jerry Garcia!