So Guitar center came to my home town...

yikes.

OHMYGAWD, I dropped in today for the grand opening, it was MOBBED. I had no idea that Flint Michigan had such a pent-up demand for Behringer gear. I don’t know if this is great or horrible. I mean, I can get some cheap gear without going mail order, but how in the world can I check out mics when the counter is right next to the guitar amps and there are 12 blokes playing Nirvana or whatever at full volume though really bad solid state amps on guitars that have not been even remotely set up? I mean, I’m really no snob, but there were troops of mothers with young teenage sons and daughters in tow, walking out of there with the 100 dollar special strat look alike into the 8 degree F weather WITH NO CASES even…and the local music stores are history, just a matter of time. I mean, is this Wal-Mart or is this a good thing?

That’s due to the fact that rockstars and their world (or stars from other music genres) are appealing to many young kids… so is the future prospect of fame and wealth for themselves (and their parents included).
Would you see the same number of people for the grand opening of Certified Public Accounting Center? :D

I had no idea that Flint Michigan had such a pent-up demand for Behringer gear

Ah, that made me laugh so much for some reason.

Remember what it was like to be a kid when you were first infatuated with music? Everything was new and magical… The kids that you saw playing crappy songs through cheap gear are you 20 years ago! And now you are the sage, the wise one… patience my friend, they will come around eventually; these things cannot be rushed.
:;):

-John
:cool:

I can only wish that was me 20 years ago, I’d still be an old fart! LMAO

Ah the giant music store putting the little stores outta buisness, Ain’t that America Tom?

Flint,Michigan, ain’t that home to Grand Funk Railroad?

Quote (YazMiester @ Jan. 16 2005,05:25)
I can only wish that was me 20 years ago, I'd still be an old fart! LMAO

Ah the giant music store putting the little stores outta buisness, Ain't that America Tom?

Flint,Michigan, ain't that home to Grand Funk Railroad?

We are famous for several things: Michael Moore and Grand Funk among them. :)

Yes, the local stores are doomed, doomed. But John you are right, there is a kind of magic in places like that for folks who are justed getting started, and it is great that people get excited about art - but it's a magic that inculcates gear lust, unfortunately for us...and as much as gear lust has been good for me, I wouldn't wish it on anyone! :D

TomS: "I mean, is this Wal-Mart or is this a good thing?"

Well they have those $100 starter sets at Wal-Mart. I think starter guitar stuff is promoted in wider markets nowadays. It means that many smaller music stores have to rely more on selling classy specialist gear to sustain their business. This is fine for Manhattan or whatever but in many small towns that will possibly kill the local music store. In our small town which doesn’t have a guitar center, the Wal-Mart just recently started selling GHS electric guitar strings. My friend who owns the small local music shop now refuses to stock GHS on principle. But he also realises it won’t make any diff, and in his view this is the beginning of the end for his business.

I mean, is this Wal-Mart or is this a good thing?
Ironically, I think it's a bit of both. I came from a relatively small town in NC and the local music stores all sucked. They did band instruments for the schools and pianos and organs for churches. Almost everything I wanted had to be ordered and I needed to know what I wanted and where to get it. That was long time ago, but just a few years ago it wasn't that much better. They had more of the kinds of stuff we use these days in stock, but the selection was still limited and the guys behind the counter, with the exception of a few, were pretty clueless about what was what. Consider this: I'm a drummer. I tinker with guitar on the side. What I know about guitar I picked up by playing in bands and being not afraid to try things myself. Yet, I was offered and I accepted a job as one of the local stores guitar repair man. If I was all they could get they are in deep trouble. This was the best store, and there were a chain, in the whole area.

There are good local stores, but most are specialized, and they will suffer when a wal-mart comes to town because the masses don't care about specialty shops. Look at it this way, if you were having to buy large diaphragm mics from Musician's Friend and now you can get them for the same price (or close) then the specialty shops aren't losing business...but it's the loss of those masses that only went to the little shops before that are the major problem. Those great little stores can't compete because they can't offer what most folks want, and that's not a whole lot different than when someone orders from Musician's Friend because they can't find it locally or locally at a decent price.

Yeah...the great little stores will probably eventually go out of business, and that's a real shame. The chains like the one I worked for will also go out of business and that is no big loss.

It’s horrible - Guitar Center s*cks!!! Don’t go there. Buy your small supplies from the little music shop (even though you’ll pay more). Buy other stuff online or on eBay.

Mr Soul

I’m part of the guitar center generation, so perhaps I’m biased. But I love guitar center. Oh, you never go on sales or grand openings. That is a lesson you have now learned. But at one in the afternoon on a school day, it is heaven. Well, maybe not. But even though it has been 10 years since I first set foot in one (gulp. is that true? yes it is…), I still feel a bit of that awe walking in on a wall of guitars. But support the local shops. I still have several around my neighborhood, including the place that taught me guitar. Now, it was only three lessons, but I picked up enough to teach myself the rest. So I go in and buy picks and chords and stuff there. I ordered my custom made chord for my Turner mic through them. I don’t know if that really helps, but hey. I’m doing my best. Never buy playable gear online. EVER. Now, you can buy pre’s and stuff sure. But never buy a guitar online. EVER. That is my opinion. Don’t pay for something you can’t put your hands on. Unless it is like a custom carvin straight from the factory or something. Anyways, yeah. That’s my 2 cents. Oh, and “We are famous for several things: Michael Moore and Grand Funk among them.” well, one out of two ain’t too bad.

fish

I started off with the local guys… They steered me wrong from the get go!! I went in to Guitar center, they help me and hand me very expensive guitars to try on amps and other things… Hey, if I got that kind of service from the small guys, I’d go there… They got their final sale today when I picked up my Marshall MG100DFX. As long as GC will give me good service, I am there!! Sorry guys…!! :O :O :O

Quote (nergle @ Jan. 17 2005,12:26)
We are famous for several things: Michael Moore and Grand Funk among them.


What happened to the original lead singer then? ???

Anyway, it's still a gig I'd like to see. :D

Ali
Mark became born again, the authorized story is in "From Grand Funk to Grace: The Authorized Biography of Mark Farner" by Kristofer Engelhardt, but that book has a few changes of, um, emphasis, that reflect Farner's changed worldview. Mel Schacher and Don Brewer are touring as GFR these days, with some very good musicians, all the info you'd ever want here:

http://www.grandfunkrailroad.com/


If you really wanted to test me, Ali, you'd've asked about the guy who now owns Musical Memories on Dort highway... :)

:)
Quote (Fenderlady04 @ Jan. 18 2005,02:12)
I started off with the local guys.. They steered me wrong from the get go!! I went in to Guitar center, they help me and hand me very expensive guitars to try on amps and other things.. Hey, if I got that kind of service from the small guys, I'd go there... They got their final sale today when I picked up my Marshall MG100DFX. As long as GC will give me good service, I am there!! Sorry guys..!! :O :O :O

That is a mixed blessing. I worked music retail for the little guys for about 5 years. There was always an issue with the highend stuff. If the stuff was played to much, the guy who was going to plunk down the money for a $4000 Hamer or Heritage would want one fresh from the factory and we were stuck with stock that didn't move. At the same time they came to us becuase as they said, "Down at GC those guys let anyone play a PRS and they have mashed potatoes in the frets. I'll have to take the thing in for a neck dressing as soon as I get it home." On the other hand, you didn't want to alienate the up and comer who would not buy the high end gear, but some day might. It's too bad you got burnt at a local place. Some local places have gotten cynical with the box stores moving in. Personally, I refuse to go to the box stores just becuase I know I can go to the local places and they will take care of me. If I want something weird, they'll get it. I can get guitars on approval from the manufacturors before I buy. I suppose a lot of it has to do with who you know being that I have been around for a long time and everyone knows me. That said, give the little guys a chance if you have other options in town.

Your GC must be better than mine. From my experience, the guys are GC are inexperienced, don’t know much & the bottom line is the profit they make from each sale. There’s high turnoever rate so you’re always dealing with different guys. I’ve also known guys who’ve worked there & the management discourages them from even replacing broken strings on guitars.

GC doesn’t do any work on guitars or amps, so they’re useless in that department.

Sure they’ve got guitars & stuff to try but that’s about all they’re good for because their prices aren’t any better than online or eBay prices. For example, my GC wanted $1999.99 for a '66 Fender Super Reverb. That price is HIGH.

Support the little guy & eBay before GC!!!

Also, when going to the little guys, let em know you are not paying full list price, talk a little junk, alot of the times they will give you a deal, just have to find out where their heads are at. (I like mentioning MF alot) I will not buy a guitar I haven’t had in my hands also, Take 20 same model guitars and play them all, no 2 exactly alike. I also grew up in small NC town and now live in even smaller NC town, (I must be in the boonies) and finding gear is always a big hassle at local music stores, but at the same time they can’t afford to have 50mil stock on hand, so alot of times I wind up waiting on special orders, no problem, I have to wait for my fingers to catch up with my brain when playing now anyways.

Slower Hands

Sure they've got guitars & stuff to try but that's about all they're good for because their prices aren't any better than online or eBay prices. For example, my GC wanted $1999.99 for a '66 Fender Super Reverb. That price is HIGH.


Most folks don't understand how the music indutry works or worked. There is such a thing as a dealiship contract. Music stores are just like car lots, they have a dealeship for this that or the other line of products. Fender won't allow another dealer within so many miles of one another. The box stores are an exception because they have a national contract. This sort of thing isn't done for the local guy. I worked for a store that had several locations and one location could sell Fender but not Ovation/Takamine, the other could sell Takamine/Ovation but not Fender. Okay, that being said, there is then such a thing as MAP prices. MAP pricing is the published price from the manufacturor that is the lowest one can publically offer to sell their product. For instance, Fender if I remember correctly is 30% off of list for their MAP pricing. No store that is a Fender dealer can advertise or put a price tag on a Fender guitar below MAP. This is the same with almost every company out there. So yes, everyone has the same price. (When something is being sold below MAP, that is when you see in the catalogs say "Too low to print" for the price.) Where you get a deal is talking to a sales person with the power to sell below MAP. At GC, those guys are usually told sell at MAP and that's it. The local guy has wiggle room. The price marked may be list or MAP, but they often can make a deal with you. Just be cool and level with them. Don't be a twerp and start shouting GC or whatever. Get a good relationship with a sales guy and then take care of each other. Always buy from him and he'll always give you the stright poop and whatever deal he can usually.

Just to expand a little on Bubba’s post… I don’t know if they still work this way or not, but once upon a time music dealers could get gear from manufacturers on a “Floor Plan”. The dealer did not have to tie up a lot of capital by purchasing the gear outright. You could sometimes get a good deal on equipment the dealer overstocked and he wanted to unload before he had to pay it off with the manufacturer. They may not do this anymore. I have no idea.

But yeah, get a good relationship going with your local guy. It rubs both ways. Unless of course you live in my hometown where the ONLY music gear store is manned by un-knowledgable twerps and all they carry is low-end Samick, Silvertone, Kustom and Ibanez gear… oh and let’s not forget the kid always banging on the $200 Mapex drum kit…ouch my freakin ears! I have to make a day trip to Huntsville, Atlanta or Nashville to find a REAL store. I ain’t talking about GC’s only either.

TG

Floor plans are still around. I remember well the floor plan lady coming through every couple weeks to see what we still had and what we had sold. Yup, when the 9 months on the item are coming close to due on floor plan, you can get a deal a lot of times. Like I said, talk straight with the guys and they’ll treat you right.