Best Bets: Musical Instrument Shops in the Triangle
Buying a guitar or selling a drum kit, these local music enthusiasts have you covered.
Have more time on your hands? Looking for a new hobby? Maybe a musical instrument? Or perhaps, you’re an old pro when it comes to riffing on the guitar. Wherever you may be on your musical journey, these eight locally-owned musical instrument shops will help you get to the next step (or half step).
Harry’s Guitar Shop 556 Pylon Dr., Raleigh, NC 27606
Almost 40 years ago, Harry’s opened its doors to the big-haired rockers of the 80s. Whether you are purchasing a guitar, require lessons, or need some expert repairs, this speciality shop has you covered. For my left-handed readers, it also carries left-handed guitars. Although, its expertise is in guitars, it also carries banjos, ukuleles, and mandolins. Even though the big hair is long gone, Harry’s is still rockin’ in the 2020s.
Guru Guitars 5221 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27606
Want to know who made your guitar? At Guru Guitars, you’ll know exactly who, the owners: Howard Critcher and Eugene Reinert. They hand-make acoustic and electric guitars along with their other co-worker Zech Thompson. You can view their fine craftsmanship on display at their shop or even purchase an axe to take home. Looking for something more vintage? They also trade, sell, and consign used gear.
2112 Percussion 1003 E Whitaker Mill Rd., Raleigh, NC 27608
Paradiddle, paradiddle, paradiddle. Now for the drums. 2112 Percussion is the largest drum specialty store in NC, and we are very lucky to have it right here in the Triangle. This one stop drum shop has it all: drum kits, hardware, cymbals, and more. If you’re a new drummer or don’t want to invest much into your kit yet, they also have used gear for sale. Now that you have your kit, what about lessons? They have seven qualified teachers on site to lead you to your rock legend dreams.
Sounds Pure LLC 732 Washington St., Durham, NC 27701
Don’t let their website fool you. They are local, even though they ship instruments all around the world. Located in the heart of Durham, Sounds Pure has three different businesses that operate as one. First, you can purchase anything from a guitar, to a folk instrument, to a drum kit. Want to take it to the next level? You can even purchase recording studio equipment ranging from microphones to mixers. Lastly, if you prefer someone else do all the heavy lifting, you can use their recording studios instead. A surprising 3-in-1 facility operating out of Bull City.
High Strung Violins & Guitars 1805 W Markham Ave. #1803, Durham, NC 27705
Ready to hear about a different instrument? Perhaps a violin or a cello? Well, this award-winning store has both and more. Once again, this community music store has been voted “The Best Place for Music Lessons in the Triangle” by Indy Week. Their goal is to share the love of music with everyone. They even have a musical “Petting Zoo” where kids can try out a collection of instruments without judgment or a price tag. Speaking of price tags, not ready to buy yet? No problem, you can rent instead.
Electric Violin Shop 5314 NC-55 #102, Durham, NC 27713
Now for something completely different… electric violins. This is a unique and growing market in the music world, and this speciality store is on the cutting edge. It doesn’t stop at electric violins. You can purchase electric upright basses, cellos, and violas too. Customers don’t just come here for the products, but also the expertise. Since 2002, this business has been trailblazing the electric scene. So next time your kid says they want an electric guitar, spice up their options by bringing them here.
Twin House Music 116 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510
One of the newer musical instrument shops on the block, Twin House Music opened in 2018. Their mission is for everyone to leave their shop feeling good about their purchase. They hit this mark by being honest to their customers and only stocking items in their store that the staff would purchase themselves. Looking to get a repair? Come to this shop, and they will give you a free inspection before committing to any work being done. Looking to purchase? The store sells guitars, folk instruments, drums and keyboards.
Main Street Music of Carrboro 204 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510
Check out their website, it gets right to the point. They sell vintage guitars, amps, and anything else under the sun that is musical. Looking for more insight? Their Instagram posts regularly about the cool merchandise that could be in your hands for a fair value. John, the owner, is reviewed as being “the man” and “knows his stuff.” So next time you are feeling inspired by Cat’s Cradle, stop by this local business.