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Old 06-25-2010, 06:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Music Shop Apprehension

Does anyone else get apprehensive when they go into a music shop to buy new gear or check out some instruments? I do. Every time! Maybe it's the pretty instruments everywhere, or the fact that the people who work there are always basically insanely good/ virtuosos, but I am always just really intimidated. Especially when you're trying out instruments in front of their judging eyes... I'm always inferring that they're probably thinking, "Wow, what's this chick doing in here, she can't play bass to save her life..." Haha.

Sorry if this thread is stupid or off-topic but I was just wondering! I have to go back into a shop soon to get my new bass set up and I'm just dreading that feeling of intimidation again... Is anyone else the same or am I just weird? OR are you one of those people who works at a store who I am terrified of? lol.
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't get apprehensive about entering a music shop, but there are a couple of stores here where the staff work on commission, so when you go inside they're always in your face trying to sell you a guitar or piano or something. I try not to go into those ones! I know they need to get paid, but they don't need to be super annoying at the same time.

If I'm in a store trying out a piano or a guitar and the person next to me plays better or whatever, so be it. 99% of the people in those stores are just there to browse and try stuff out - not to impress somebody! Nor do most of them care if somebody plays the same instrument worse than they do. After all, they once played like that too!
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think that's the case. I've never worked in a guitar shop before, but whenever I see a beginner trying out equipment, it makes me smile.. really. It just makes me hope that they keep at it, because they remind me of me when I was younger.

I remember riding my bike about five miles to the music store after school when I was 9 just to play all the expensive-ass basses. Of course, when you're a little kid, they kick you off eventually because they don't want you dropping a $1000 Yamaha John Myung signature 6-string bass. I didn't have any idea how to play a 6-string back then; I was just really excited to see one in person.

So, if I were to work in music store, I would be all about people trying out stuff.

However, there is a music store stigma that just pisses me off. There's a local music store that I no longer shop at because I've spent at the very least $3000 there in the past five years, and they would still look at me like I was going to steal something every time I walked in. Fuck them. They were the kind of store that put "no jamming" signs on the stools in the guitar and bass sections. Uptight pricks.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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"No jamming" signs? Seems like that would be counter-productive to actually selling things, but I'm no expert.

I don't play any instruments, but I do frequent music shops quite a bit with a friend of mine who does. As a person just looking around and not actually sitting and playing anything, it seems like the only times I've ever seen the staff get uppity is when there is some kid in there who obviously doesn't know how to play a thing, just messing around and generally being disrespectful of the equipment. But never known them to be judgmental round these parts, in fact, alot of times you can ask them what might seem to be a stupid question and they will stand with you for half an hour patiently explaining things. Like ElephantSack mentioned, I think most of them are just psyched when people are into making music (or at least curious about it) and hope that they can help spur that forward. And of course, it's to their advantage to at least act that way if they want to make a sale.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, you might think so, but think those assholes sell enough pianos to make up for it. But on the good side, the local musicians and kids who shop there have enough sense to just ignore those signs.

But I did think of something, and that's the face I make sometimes when I'm watching somebody play. If I'm watching their hands intently, it can be mistaken as kind of a scowl. It's really just the face I make when I focus on something. And if I'm smiling at the same time, I imagine that could throw somebody off.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh yeah, and they say, "Wanna play and see if you like it.", you're saying, "No thanks, I'm not that good." And then they say, "Are you sure?", and you're thinking, "AWW ****, I'M SCREWED! I CAN'T PLAY ****!", but instead you say, "Why, yes I am, thanks for asking." And the moment of truth: THEY PLAY SO FREAKIN' AWESOME YOU'RE FACE GOES NUMB! Oh yeah, the ending to this is you give a nice smile and say in your tiniest voice, "Yeah... I think I'll go with that one..."
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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as much as i tell people to go there i personally HATE dealing with people in most music shops hahaha. out here they all seem to be staffed with failed rock stars / local 'legends'. if you're not already part of the clique then you're basically not getting service.

the last big ticket item i purchased $1389.20 (receipt is still on my desk). within a month i was in the same store, standing over the pedal display case with a friend. wallet in one hand, pointing down at the Boss TU-2 in the case with the other and telling my friend it's the one i plan on buying.

4 clerks walked by me in this scene - they were ALL chatting it up with their buddies though. so no sales were made.

that same store changed locations a couple of years ago and was bought by a larger chain. i gave them another chance, was feeling eclectic and wanting a melodica to fool around with. so i'm in the store and the actual manager / guy who runs the whole show is the one dealing with me as a customer that day. come to find out he's been running that store for as long as i've been breathing and knew my old man quite well. laughs his ass OFF when i ask about either having melodicas in stock or ordering one through the store.

he stopped laughing once he noticed that he totally failed at possibly selling me a $300 'kid's toy' (i wouldn't have bought that model but whatever). the arrogance at Long & McQuade is appalling.



i also remember having this conversation at a music store.

Dave - hey there, you guys carry flatwound bass strings right?
Clerk - yup!
D - excellent! can i get a single E please? i've been on the hunt for a replacement forever.
C - sure! here you go - (hands me a regular roundwound E)
D - sorry, i meant a flatwound E
C - we don't sell those individually.

this actually happened to me TWICE while trying to replace that effing string. why the hell would i start specifically talking about flatwound strings and be happy with a roundwound replacement? it's like going to a butcher shop and talking about the awesomeness of steak then having them turn around and try to sell you chicken.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I worked at Long & McQuade for 2 (very long) summers selling flutes!
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I worked at Long & McQuade for 2 (very long) summers selling flutes!
how fun was that? hehe

though to be honest, i tend to prefer that section of most music stores, it's generally quieter and the kind of people it attracts (both staff and customer) are usually mellower and cooler than the ones still horny for guitars (and calling them axes without a hint of sarcasm).
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nope. When I bought my last guitar, I wanted to show off my guitar skills in front of anyone who'd listen.
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