Raleigh is chock full of music stores where you can pursue a new hobby.
Summer is officially here, which means longer days, kids out of school and more free time for everyone. Don’t let these days get away from you: now is the perfect time to cultivate a hobby, like learning how to play a musical instrument. If you’re in the Raleigh area, stop into one of these shops that specialize in musical instruments, both new and used, pick one up and test it out. And if you find something you like, some of these stores even offer lessons.
John Montgomery Violins
This small boutique violin shop is owned and operated by the talented John Montgomery, who is fully trained in both instrument making and restoration and has been working in the field since 1977, and before that he attended the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City and became a Watson Fellow, studying instrument construction in France. Needless to say, his credentials are impressive, and you won’t find a better made violin in this part of the country. He has a full inventory of handmade and used violins, violas and violoncellos, as well as bows and other accessories like strings, cases, stands, shoulder rests and rosins.
Where: 509 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603
Harry’s Guitar Shop
Founded in 1985, Harry’s is a full service guitar shop located in downtown Raleigh that features new and used gear for musicians at any level. In addition to different types of guitars, like acoustic, electric and classical, you’ll also find a selection of bass guitars, mandolins and banjos, as well as amplifiers and a selection of accessories like strings, straps, tubes and pickups. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and you might even run into Harry himself, if you’re lucky.
Where: 616 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27603
As one of the only shops in the Raleigh area to specialize in percussion, 2112 Percussion is a great resource for existing or aspiring drummers in the city. In addition to a full retail space, which features drums of all shapes, sizes and varieties and accessories like drum sticks, stick holders, headphones and seats, 2112 Percussion also offers lessons in guitar, bass, piano, drum and voice and sponsors many music-related summer camp programs.
Where: 1003 East Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh, NC 27608
Located in the heart of downtown, Marsh Woodwinds has been providing the area with instruments, repairs and woodwind culture for over 25 years. You’ll find a vast selection of wind instruments, like trombones, trumpets, clarinets, flutes and saxophones as well as guitars and ukuleles. If you’re tired of browsing and are looking for something a little more engaging, the shop also features great local and regional live music on a weekly basis in its upstairs performance space.
Where: 707 North Person Street, Raleigh, NC 27604
Falls River Music
As more of a catch-all music boutique, this small yet well-loved store gives customers a wide range of consignment instruments but specializes in guitars, guitar equipment and offering music lessons for guitar, bass, drum, violin, trumpet, flute and voice. Next door, you’ll find a coffee house also owned by the professionals at Falls River Music that has a stage with full gear so interested musicians can walk right in, plug in and play. Open mic nights are on Tuesdays.
Where: 1141 Falls River Ave., Raleigh, NC 2761
Photo credit: iStockphoto/niknikon