1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Bass/Guitar store road trip

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmommy, May 3, 2021 at 10:29 AM.

  1. I'm a mom of a bassist, and I will be driving him halfway across the country to college in a couple of months. Instead of the typical road trip stopping at sites and scenery, he wants to stop at music stores along the way.

    So... I'm looking for suggestions of great brick and mortar guitar/bass stores to stop at in the Midwest and Northeast. Cities that we could possibly go through include St. Louis, Indy, Louisville, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Albany, ending in Boston at Berklee. We will probably not go through NYC (as I don't really want to deal with driving in NYC). Our exact route will depend on what stores we decide to visit.

    Any suggestions? He doesn't really want Guitar Centers, unless it's something special.

    Thanks all!
  2. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    The Great Great House of Guitars Rochester Ny. A truly unique experience.
    Rezdog, getbent, Thundertips and 22 others like this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    sorry, i don't have any music store recommendations, but: i'd recommend you as the "mom of the year" for taking on a trip dedicated to such fun indulgences! way to go, mom! :thumbsup:
  4. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Guitar Villa in Bethlehem, PA was founded by John Slog in the late 80s'. John was a collector and dealer in vintage basses who wrote monthly articles for Bass Player and Vintage Guitar magazine in which he would feature the history of iconic basses.

    Guitar Villa
    Last edited: May 3, 2021 at 2:42 PM
    mikewalker, DJ Bebop and s_wood like this.
  5. Cheez


    Apr 13, 2009
    Upton Bass in Mystic, CT is a pretty cool experience.
    Holdsg and Blackjac97 like this.
  6. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    HOG in Roch is an experience.

    I haven’t seen the new Teall Ave location for Ish Guitars, but if it’s half as nice as their old downtown Syracuse location, it’s probably a worthwhile stop.
    biguglyman and CallMeAl like this.
  7. sleddogn


    Sep 8, 2013
    Guitar Emporium in Louisville Ky is worth a stop. Chicago may be a bit north of you, but plenty there to see. Chicago Music Exchange for starters...
    I live in Lexington, Ky, and Willcutt is a pretty nice stop also... Bob the owner has been a rather large dealer for decades
  8. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    My kinda road trip! I always like checking out the local guitar shops when on vacation.

    +1 House of Guitars. They have a bass amp room in the back too!

    Haven’t been to Empire Music in Pittsburgh, but they make great demo videos and I’d definitely want to check it out.
    pipaberg and nixdad like this.
  9. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Another fan of House of Guitars in Rochester here. He won't be disappointed.
  10. I was thinking the same thing, here in Central WI any tourist advice would not include music stores, but that is an awesome journey you are planning! Two thumbs up! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
  11. knigel


    Apr 20, 2009
    I'm the Squier of Fenderbirds
    If you take a minor detour along 90 from Worcester down to Providence (then up to Boston) I really like the guys at Empire Guitars--but as of now you need an appointment. There are a couple of smaller shops in Northampton I enjoy. And HOG in in Rochester (well, just north), is absolutely a stop.
    RyanOh and MattZilla like this.
  12. Door County Bass

    Door County Bass DC EMT 663 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Chicago Music Exchange would be worth the detour. Your son could go down to the Bass-ment, try out amps, basses and hang. Great selection.
  13. Parkway Music in Clifton Park, NY. 20 Minutes north of Albany. It's a must visit. I visit guitar shops in every city I manage to get to and we're super, super lucky to have such a great shop in my home area. Parkway Music Store | Clifton Park, NY
  14. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Berklee, good school. My brother went there and it really helped him and as an alumni, get contacts in the business.

    If you plan on driving through Michigan, we have two great stores here -
    one is Elderly Instruments in Lansing Michigan. They have a number of rare collectors guitars and basses. Geddy Lee got some of his basses from here. Elderly Instruments

    The Other one is close to Detroit : Motor City Guitars - Motor City Guitar • "Musicians Serving Musicians" Since 1988
    Large selection of guitars and basses.
    This is only one of the walls of basses and guitars:

    Also as previously mentioned, Chicago Music Exchange.
    JRA, nixdad, RocknRay and 2 others like this.
  15. Nick von Nick

    Nick von Nick Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2014
    You beat me to it! Parkway is the Capital District/Saratoga guitar haven. I was conducting two days of software training sessions at a facility just up the road, and my wife knew that I was home late because I had to stop at Parkway after each day.
    mikewalker and Bad Bob like this.
  16. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    yeah, was gonna say, too bad you're skipping chi-town. I have fond memories of bass shopping all over Chicago in the 80s, before CME appeared on the scene.
  17. Wow! You all are awesome! Thanks so much for all of the thoughtful replies and suggestions. We will plot all of these on a map and see what kind of route we might take. Our vehicle will be loaded down with an upright bass, a couple of electric basses, amp and most likely a guitar as well, so wherever we stop, I will probably be babysitting the instruments in the car. Oh well!
    mateoloco, KaraQ, HolmeBass and 4 others like this.
  18. I stopped by there last year and it is not nearly what it was back in the day. I asked Bruce if they had a G&L L1000 and he told me there wasn't a single G&L in the store.
  19. Bernunzio in Rochester, New York. Astonishing selection. Not a lot of basses though.... Bernunzio.com
    biguglyman likes this.
  20. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Aren't they an upright store? No matter, that's my old backyard, lovely to drive through. Spindrift Guitars in New London is cute.

    Berklee dad/ex-Bostonian here: Mr. Music in Allston.

    I wish your son success at BCM.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021 at 2:12 PM
    DJ Bebop and bassmommy like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.