Sometimes, in many small and large towns alike, it can be a real plus for an aspiring player to work in a music store. It seems that whenever I visit a shop, it’s definitely manned by some folks who are in local bands, and who of course, would rather be out playing or recording somewhere, but it’s a good job for them! It’s a good thing because this job keeps you in and around the music you love, and it can offer you opportunities, in terms of who you may meet, and what you may get to hear!
I have always found most music store workers to fall into two categories: Ones with a negative vibe and attitude, and some workers who are extremely helpful and who have a positive approach towards helping people who come in. We’ve all been frustrated by workers in any kind of establishment who don’t seem to really know about what they are selling, so it really pays for a music shop to have well-informed workers who know what they are truly talking about, and who know how to point you in the right direction. As you learn more and more on the job, it will only make you better as an employee, in addition to you really gaining a great deal of knowledge about your favorite subject; music, of course!
I personally never worked in a music store, per se, but spent enough time in them for sure, and at one point even lived above one, and I always found my time in these wonderful places to be a positive learning experience. I also recommend visiting these shops as often as possible, and if you’re away from home and your guitar(s), it’s a grat way to keep your “chops” up by grabbing a guitar, and having a “play!” I have done this for years, and often can turn a music shop visit into an impromptu “concert” of sorts! I can recall one time where I picked up a guitar and started playing in Rudy’s Music Stop in NYC, and a kid who was watching me was able to literally quote, verbatim, the entire review of my second album from Guitar Player Magazine! That was incredible, and sure enough I was giving a nice little show there, and signing autographs!
Working in a shop can be a great way to showcase your playing ability, and certainly to meet new people who may be interested in helping you in your career. It is also a great place to give lessons, as many music shops offer this service to their local players, and you never know, a lot of them may end up becoming your personal private students in the long run, which of course, will pay a lot better than teaching in the store itself.
So, in the end, I certainly recommend that if you are looking for a job, and are into music, I’d have to say it’s a good idea to investigate your local music shops for work. It can be a truly rewarding and memorable time in your musical life!