I visited GC, Sam Ash yesterday--oh well....

kdgrissom

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I was stuck in Tampa for a couple of hours until an appointment so I decided to make the rounds to a number of music stores. No need to prepare yourself as I know we have all read and experienced this before as well as the reasons why.
The first thing that I noticed was general disarray, followed by no help to be found in the drum departments. The staff looked battle weary and burned out. There was a group of 8-10 high school age kids roving from department to department (with no intent of purchasing anything) playing all the demo kits and instruments throughout the store. I noticed that the drum department stock looked like it hadn't been organized in weeks and the brands represented were decidedly oriented toward the first time buyer for their kid.
The entire selection of method books (for every instrument) at SA was limited to a 5-6 row shelf that was 8 ft long and it was oriented toward popstar/greatest hits keyboard-guitar stuff. GC was much better in this regard, but the drum-percussion stock was almost non-existent.
The last true Mom & Pop store in Tampa closed it's doors last Summer.

I used to enjoy these outings years ago, popping in for a new head, sticks or new instrument and to have a chat at the drum counter, but now it has become such a disappointment as well as a waste of time and gas. In this day and age, I wonder if it is a thing now for a chain store to be too big to survive.
 

shuffle

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I was stuck in Tampa for a couple of hours until an appointment so I decided to make the rounds to a number of music stores. No need to prepare yourself as I know we have all read and experienced this before as well as the reasons why.
The first thing that I noticed was general disarray, followed by no help to be found in the drum departments. The staff looked battle weary and burned out. There was a group of 8-10 high school age kids roving from department to department (with no intent of purchasing anything) playing all the demo kits and instruments throughout the store. I noticed that the drum department stock looked like it hadn't been organized in weeks and the brands represented were decidedly oriented toward the first time buyer for their kid.
The entire selection of method books (for every instrument) at SA was limited to a 5-6 row shelf that was 8 ft long and it was oriented toward popstar/greatest hits keyboard-guitar stuff. GC was much better in this regard, but the drum-percussion stock was almost non-existent.
The last true Mom & Pop store in Tampa closed it's doors last Summer.

I used to enjoy these outings years ago, popping in for a new head, sticks or new instrument and to have a chat at the drum counter, but now it has become such a disappointment as well as a waste of time and gas. In this day and age, I wonder if it is a thing now for a chain store to be too big to survive.
Totally understand.
Sounds like the Reno GC.
I help myself to what I want in the drum dept,pay on the way out.
15 mins at the most.
 

Glassman

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Wow, I had no idea there was a GC in Reno but I guess it makes sense. I left there almost 25 years ago. Visiting GC in San Jose or Santa Monica was an amazing experience at that time. When I was in Reno there was Maytan Music, Bizarre Guitar, and another store that MAY have been off been off Plumb but cannot recall the name now. I found some great stuff at Maytan and managed to pick up one set from Bizarre in the late 90s.
 

Glassman

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I do not recall Carpenters (unless that was the one near Plumb). Maytans had tried expanding down to Carson with a smaller store offering lessons and repairs but it didn't seem to take off. Steve (who was already very old) was in poor health when I moved away in early 1999. Not sure if his son tried keeping it going after he passed. Bizarre was always really expensive but I don't haggle well so maybe if you knew someone you could get a better price on something.
 

DrFrankCoco

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Same with the guitar centers around detroit. Looks like a bomb went off in there. No employees to be found. I only ever go there when I have to. There's a mom and pop music shop which is a 30 min drive. I'd rather give them the money anyways.
 

Angelo Zollo

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In Greenville/Spartanburg SC there was Palmetto Music. Proprietor Fred Wooten . He Made Palmetto Drums. You could spend the day in there. Look at all kinds of everything drum related. You could even talk about the politics of Ethiopia. He retired and closed shop. Good Lord I miss him and his shop. I think those days are gone.
 

lossforgain

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I wonder if in the 90s-00s while the mom and pop music shops were being systematically eradicated, any of us could have predicted the sad state of these mega stores after just a couple decades. I was working at an independent store in the 90s and that was when GC was showing up in the Washington DC metro. Seemed like they were poised to take everybody on. Thankfully that particular independent store has survived somehow.
 

Tdipaul

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Same with the G-C's and S-A's in NJ
Many hangers without product on them,
Lots of worn looking, used then returned merch,
Both haven't been vacuumed in weeks/months (basic housekeeping is not being done!)
Both were much different places 10-15 years ago
Sweetwater is the future, I guess
 

lossforgain

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In Greenville/Spartanburg SC there was Palmetto Music. Proprietor Fred Wooten . He Made Palmetto Drums. You could spend the day in there. Look at all kinds of everything drum related. You could even talk about the politics of Ethiopia. He retired and closed shop. Good Lord I miss him and his shop. I think those days are gone.
Someone just told me he was at the Chicago show selling vintage parts. There is a website for the company: https://palmettodrum.com
 

felis

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The GC near me - guitar and bass sections are well organized, everything is hung as it should be,
with no excess clutter and a good amount of gear to pick from in most all price ranges.
The keyboard area looks presentable, with mostly just standard fare beginner stuff.

The drum area is a bit of a shambles. Not the actual drums - those are mostly stacked, but can be a chore to get to them.
It's the cymbals, accessories, heads, sticks, and so on. Looks like no one has organized them for years, and stuff is scattered about.
It's a pretty small area and they've got a fair amount of stuff jammed in there,
so just looking at it is a 'where the hell would I start' experience. I think probably no one wants to deal with it.
Still, I usually manage to find what I'm looking for after a bit of rummaging around.
 


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