View Full Version : Guitar Store Guys.
01-30-2001, 02:34 PM
Is it just me? I refuse to believe I'm the only one, there must be thousands of us out here, whole armies of us who are intimidated by sneering guitar store guys. You know the feeling when you express an interest in that shiny new Les Paul or whatever, they look at you like your dogsh*t, until they see hard cash of course. Why do they insist on waiting until you plug in and start playing then select another guitar and play a piece that Jimmy Page would have trouble playing. They never seem to have a sense of humour, although I suppose one can only hear badly played versions of Stairway To Heaven, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Smoke On The Water or whatever before you face total mental collapse. Why does a single glance from one of these guys turn my fingers into bananas and drive from my memory every thing I've ever learned to play well, admittedly that's a very limited repertoire anyway. I've decided to take my revenge, anytime I go into a store to make a major purchase I will insist on playing the above mentioned songs or whatever else appears to be banned in guitar stores worldwide. Why don't we all do it, if they protest we can make it a condition on which a purchase depends, that is unless you guitar shop guys start being nice to us! Can anyone tell us what are the most frowned upon pieces to play in a guitar store. Maybe a guitar store guy can give us a top 20 plus a list of no, no's. No offence intended guitar store guys, but you do sometimes make us feel like walking right out of your store and going mail order.
01-30-2001, 03:06 PM
same problem here...
i have a music shop in my area , where they won't look at you if you dont show them the money...
there is a salesman there, a fat guy without any hair on his head, that can kill you just because you are looking at the guitar.... and every time i'm in this shop i can see him try to show off from his guitar "abilities" ... like once i saw him playing on a sg a piece of gary moore , when there is like 10 kids wathing him with open mouth...
common... give me an exspensive guitar and a bulb amp and i can play better than this fat guy...
01-30-2001, 05:26 PM
You have to remember that guitar shop people are often musicians with failing careers. I make a point of finding a shop with cool people and going there. I just stopped going to a shop because one of the salesmen accused me of scratching a bass while I was doing some slapping (some kid probably did it with a pick or something- my fingernails are short and not that hard anyway). I think he was thinking about pressuring me into buying the bass. I left before I said what I was thinking, (or my brother said what he was thinking which would have been FAR more colorful). So when I see one of the other guys who work there around and they ask "why haven't you been back" I'll just say "well, pete accused me of scratching a bass I didn't scratch, and you can tell him he just lost $400 worth of EMG pickups and pre amp I was going to buy there not to mention all the strings I was going to start ordering in bulk."
01-30-2001, 07:21 PM
I actually get along w/ some of the guys at Guitar Center. Which is pretty strange considering I usually despise guitar salesman. The funniest thing I see when I go in there is all those metal heads in some kind of competition. I'll pick up a guitar and screw around with it and all of a sudden someone has to turn up their amp and try and play as fast as they possibly can. Haha, I just love that. Oh, and I think I've heard the "Enter Sandman" riff and "Crazy Train" more than anything else. But that's just in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. When I lived in PA it was "Hot For Teacher".
01-30-2001, 08:12 PM
The cats at the guitarcenter in my town are pretty cool always helpful and never seemed annoyed even if you ask em a 1000 questions about stuff, and there not about selling the most expensive gear, they'll tell you what's good for what money you've got, but i don't like the little music stores, they act all annoyed if you even ask em a question, to make em get off there stool behind the counter, there's gotta be a heavy sigh or smacking of the lips, I don't even ask to see a guitar at music shops, They eyeball you like your gonna make a break for the door with their guit. In Chicago there are 3 guitarcenters if and i was a small shop and competing with them. i'd certainly treat people like people instead of like animals. If they were smart they would know their attitude is the only reason only one person is in their store at a time.
01-30-2001, 08:35 PM
Around here, it's usually the small shops that are the best. You actually get good service, and can (usually) depend on not getting raped when the bill comes in. In fact, it's usually the crappy shops that look at me like a bug on the wall.
01-30-2001, 10:19 PM
At least here in L.A., CA. Just go into the Sherman Oaks one and try to get help in the first place.
Between the salesman hulking over the Korn-Kids so they don't rip off thier 7-strings(no offense guys!) I just go to this non-chain store in Burbank and just pay a few cents more and have a good time in thier store. The guy at the counter actually is happy you bought stuff there.
But then again, I went to the GC on a weekend day so I should'nt be so pissed?
01-30-2001, 10:37 PM
The guitar center around here (Boston) is about five minutes by foot from Berkley Music College; for those who don't know, it's one of the most prestigious music colleges in the world. It's comprised of two types of guys: students who are in the process of devoting their lives to music and who will let any kid come in off the street, putz around on a $5000 Les Paul Custom over a Marshall stack and then leave without buying anything, and then these crusty old turds who will sneer at you no matter what. I've forked over nearly a grand there over the past year and have established myself as a decent guitarist, but they still treat me like crap.
Mars Music tends to have the coolest employees in this area. One time this thirteen year old kid knocked a $900 Tele off the rack and about six feet down. The guy there was like "no problem dude." In fact, they seem to only hassle those c-cks that feel the need to play intricate solos at dizzying tempos and ear-sliptting tones.
I actually got one guy fired from Mars because my he was being a jerk to my fiance. It was summertime, her 36E's were in a white tank top, and she was standing there holding a Nitefly I was trying out, when one of the guys goes, "do you know how to play that thing, little lady?" After saying no, that she was just holding it for me, he goes "well then I'd suggest you try something a little more your speed, like that," and pointed to one of those Hohner kiddie guitars before saying "unless of course you let me take a picture of you holding THAT thing... minus one piece of white cotton." He was gone before I left the store that day.
The best way to piss the hell out of those riff-playing no-lifers is to wait until their girlfriend is with them, and they're plugged into the loudest amp there and wailing away, just plug into whatever is directly across from it and turn it to the lowest possible audible (by you) volume. Use some mid-range guitar, and just sit there, adjusting EVERYTHING on the amp and guitar. Play one string, then readjust, get an intent look on your face, and periodically play something really simple, like "Headup" by the Deftones (it'll take you three minutes or less to memorize) and then hold your chin or better yet, stroke your goatee, if you have one.
It creeps them out badly, and they think that you MUST be some sort of revolutionary, visionary guitarist, which is why you are NOT trying to make everyone withing thirty feet go deaf. Just stay in your little bubble and stay in it until his girl starts to glance over and he'll go to the drum section. Then you can take his seat at the amp. Also always carry some cash on you so that you canflash it & claim to be shopping for something.
02-01-2001, 03:50 PM
I dont know, I guess you just have to know how to talk to them. Regardless on whether or not you lack certain skills, if you show them that you're very serious and meticulous about choosing your instrument you should have a problem. But thn again, sometimes you just come across these assholes, :eek:. But its true that most small establishments usually tend to give you their personal attention, and sometimes they're are more understanding and down to earth, (but all in all it really depends on where you go.) Ive gotten some really good deals at Marathon Music Center down here in south Florida, everytime I come into this place the guys are very friendly and they always go out of their way to help. Although we think we've found the perfect instrument as the years progress, i think its safe to say that we are never really satisfied, theres always that driving force inside of us.
[Edited by Joseph on 02-01-2001 at 05:14 PM]
02-01-2001, 04:24 PM
I totally despise playing in music stores because of the gunslinger mentality of everyone there. The least impressive thing someone can do while testing gear is play drawn out guitar solos. (a lead or two is sufficient)When I go into stores to try guitars and amps, I play whatever is the strangest, most unique thing i can come up with at the moment to test the feel and response of the equipment.
Also, I find it very rude when music store employees play for me. 9 out of 10 times, i am absolutely taken aback by their lack of talent. The idea of 'hey look at me play' is such a horrible and pathetic thing that i can barely hold my food down as an onlooker in music stores.
PonyOne is very right, and i am so amused by his post earlier. Right on, my friend.
The strangest looks and the most mystery appeal is given to the guy who hauls his Les Paul in to plug into a Mesa, tune up, and strum an E while tweaking quietly for half an hour.
02-01-2001, 09:23 PM
I went to one of Mars Music's guitrist's night out things, mostly for the free pizza and to see what deals they had on guitars. All the deals sucked, and the pizza was late, so I sat down at a Valvestate and plugged in a Rickenbacker 12-string and after only a few minutes, it really was like being a gunslinger, walking into a bar, and having women with their boobs pouring out of their shirts shooting you sly looks as their guys sat at their poker table losing their money (translation: I was sitting there about ten feet from everyone else, playing for my own enjoyment and reference, while the clump of girls whose boyfriends had abandoned them to play crappy renditions of Ironman and Slipknot played $5000 LP's over Crate and Marshall stacks looked at me longingly).
After I'd been there for about 20 minutes, there really was this sort of air of mysteriosity/awe around me and the other two lefty guitarists who had joined me (one was an old biker, and the other was a former rock-god of the late 80's or something). People kept asking us what kind of guitar they should get, what kind of amp, how we did that, etc. I felt like Jesus.
And then back to the ladies... fellow guitarists, if you have a girl who has a large chest or is really leggy or has some other overwhelmingly sexual attribute to her, be really careful bringing her to functions such as this. If you do the quiet, boy-in-the-bubble thing and have a an attractive lady, then they REALLY treat you like a rock star or visionary artist (after all, why else would anyone have someone attractive, right?), which can make you feel really awesome. But if you, like me, would think nothing of running over any guy who so much as looks at your girl in a suggestive manner with a large sedan, be careful. I couldn't help but make threatening remarks to all the slipknot and korn kids who kept checking my girl out, and since the parents of most of these kids are either lawyers, oil czars, old-money blue-bloods or bigtime investors, you can find yourself in a whole heap of crap by telling them where they can shove their Squier. Sideways.
Oh and yes I know this is long winded, but this is my personal "leave me alone" guitar store megamix:
-House of the Rising Sun (Eric Burdon and the Animals)
-Bassline from "The National Anthem" (by Radiohead)
-guitar part to the very last section of Mr. Bungle's "Goodbye Sober Day"
-and finally "Helter Skelter"
02-01-2001, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by PonyOne
-guitar part to the very last section of Mr. Bungle's "Goodbye Sober Day"
Whoa, another Bungle fan. They're my biggest influence.
02-02-2001, 05:51 PM
Hmmm.... music to make them leave you alone...
Well, some of my favorite "noodlings" to keep people away or make them think I'm a much better bassist than I reall am:
-Sliding harmonics... on a fretted bass
-"______________" (insert Primus tune here)
-Obnoxious high speed funk bass. Toss in "avove the nut" rakes for best results
-repeatedly bend the piss out of tapped or artificial harmonics
-try and figure out which note is going to make every acoustic guitar in the place resonate (open "A" is a good place to start)
-the Ozzy/ Primus version of "NIB" is usually good for a "turn it down!"
-Ask to try out the 1,200 watt Sun Head into 2 4x12 cabs then tweak the graphic eq for 45 minutes. Observe to the employees that you only wish you could turn it up to where the tubes start to work their magic.
Just a side note, many guitar shop types are infuriated by the idea of a bassist who's faster/better than they are. Use this to it's full potential my friends.
02-02-2001, 11:19 PM
The guitarist's ultimate piss-off-bassists weapon is the Fender Bronco Bass. I am not fond of Fenders, as anyone who read any of the Squier-related posts a few months back may recall, aside from Telecasters, which are pretty damn nice. I discovered the Bronco Bass one night when I and a (bassist) friend went on our weekly pilgrimage to Mars Music.
For those who do not know what a Bronco Bass is, it's a 3/4 size bass, which puts it straight in the ballpark of standard electric guitar-size. According to Fender, it's main intention was for guitarists who play bass in one or two songs and thus do not feel the compulsion to learn to play a full-size bass. The fret layout is identical to a guitar and the neck and body are the same size, it just sounds like a full-size bass. As such it has been picked up by many 11-year olds who want to play bass but whose arms are not yet long enough, or shorter female bassists whose arms will never be long enough. Whatever. I think it's pretty cool.
Many bassists never bother to learn to play at any decent tempo or with any fingering that can even remotely resemble intricacy; most of these bassists end up in Slipknot/KoRn/Papa Roach/Marilyn Manson cover bands and simplify the tabs to lowest possible level. They also tend to use Mars as a practice room when their parents kick them out. So I like to grab the "pussy" Bronco Bass (love that name!) and start playing guitar parts on it. It's pretty fun. I can play full size bass just fine but seeing the looks on the faces of these kids who are playing on $750 basses when they realize I'm playing a $100 "kid" bass is worth thousands of dollars. Buying a Bronco, doing a little custom work and dropping in a pair of Duncan's would probably be pretty cool...
02-03-2001, 03:51 PM
Come on guitar store guys,some of you must read this, you're getting your butts kicked here. Are you going to take this lying down? Are you busy in front of your mirror practising your sneers? Give us a list of the top 20 tunes you hate to hear in your stores, maybe you could tell us the tunes you would prefer to hear. Have you had your ass well and truly fried in a gunlinging kind of way, or has Ponyone been in your store and taken off with your girlfriend, would you have noticed anyway? What's the weirdest request you've had? Any famous guitarist been into your store? Do you think we're being hard on you? Did you really evolve arms and legs and crawl right to the nearest guitar store to commence employment or are you all ex members of Himmlers SS laying low until the heat dies down? I know which option my money is on, I bet when our backs are turned your stores reverberate to the sound of Wagner and marching jackboots.
02-03-2001, 07:24 PM
Funny you should mention Fender, I just tried out a DeArmonde Pilot Bass at my least favorite guitar shop in the area. I only went there to waste time and in the off chance they'de have control knobs that fit the posts on EMG pots. Anyway, this $250 DeArmonde kicked the snot out of the $900 American Standard Jazz Bass sitting next to it. The action and feel was impecible and the unplugged tone was alot better. To top it off it had a 3 band active EQ compared to passive on the Fender.
I don't agree with you whole heartedly on the Fender thing: I own four of them and I love them all dearly, but it's still funny that their "crap" line is better than their top of the line these days. It just goes to show that in the long run, nobody ever really learned anything from their CBS days.
Now if only the DeArmonde wasn't so freakin' ugly...
PS: How would you feel about somebody playing the guitar parts to "Sweet Chile 'O Mine" or SRV's "Marry Had a Little Lamb" on a four string bass?
02-12-2001, 10:50 PM
Ummm, I guess I know what you are talking about but heaps of music store guys where I go are actually nice. There's one place i go to where if you want to try something out, they automatically hook you up to the PRS custom 24 and about foru amps if you want. Well, maybe not that far, but they never care if you pick up the good **** and play it. Also, while they do sit around playing guitar a lot, they never show off, more they seem to want you to join in most of the time.
Hmm, annoying things to test. I reckon that testing tube amps feedback ability is probably going to piss people off. If you walk in, hook up all these effects, then just put the guitar next to the amp and use the tremolo arm a bit while cranking volume might work. Also, random chromatic runs at slow speed with a heavy emphasis on tremolo, vibrato, changing tone nobs, changing picks. Maybe seeing how well you can play their Gibsons behind your head without a strap....
02-13-2001, 12:06 AM
Bwahahaha! You shouldn't have said that 'cause now I'm actually gonna go to Guitar Center and try it. Oh my God! I can't stop laughing thinking about how funny this is gonna be when they see me twirling a $4000 guitar in the air like I'm back in the '80s.
02-13-2001, 08:56 AM
Go into guitar center wearing a 60's style 3-piece suit and take down one of those price-too-high-to-print Gretsch jazzboxes with gold hardware, plug in and start manically gyrating, jumping, getting down on your knees while throttling the whammy, gyrating some more, play behind the head, between the legs, then pull the whole "rock out with your **** out" thing and play the guitar pressed against your crotch, thrusted out in an obscene manner.
Then stop and firmly say, "This thing sucks," buy a bag of picks, and leave. See if they ever mess with you again in your life.
02-13-2001, 01:28 PM
02-13-2001, 09:56 PM
Careful though, I tried that last week and got kicked out. Commies. They say Static X's "I'm With Stupid" is NOT the type of thing to play on that guitar. Pah.
02-14-2001, 11:48 PM
Umm, being a bastard has nothing to do with being a commie. It's like calling them gay, it doesn't affect their personality. In fact, if they were commies, they would give you the guitar "to each according to his needs", and all that. Oh how I wish it worked that way in music stores. Ever notice how the people buying the expensive guitars always look like losers, while I sit there drooling over everything I can't afford?
02-15-2001, 09:18 AM
The loosers always get the best somehow..
one day i was at the shop, with my father and his friend, who wanted a guitar for his kid, and there i saw a guy, in his mid 20's probably, with his mother, and she says to the salseman: "he wants a new guitar so show him something..."
and they talk and i just somehow realize through their talking that this will be the 3 guitar that woman buys to her son...
now i live in israel... and here only the pro players or reach people can afford 3 guitars..
i can't believe it! i saw him playing and he doesnt need even one guitar... but he's got his mother who will buy him a guitar anytime he wants it, while i have to work and save for a lot of time to get one
02-15-2001, 02:58 PM
Still no posts from any guitar store guys, I'm disappointed, defend yourselves, surely one of you has learned how to write ! Come on crawl out from under your rocks, show us you are sentient beings.
02-15-2001, 06:53 PM
Maybe I will write back when I become a guitar store guy. I am looking in a couple of music stores in which to work to suport my university while I attempt to start getting some gigs. Never fear though, I will never become someone who always shows off, as I don't have the talent.
02-15-2001, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Zeppelin
The loosers always get the best somehow..
*Thow shalt not covet thy neighbors guitars....(It sounds to much like jealousy or sour grapes, bro....)....For all you know, the kid just got diagnosed with cancer and will be dead in 6 months.....Stick to YOUR guns and keep playing :)...All good things come to...you know the rest....V :D
02-15-2001, 09:47 PM
Yeah, i agree V, despite the fact that I was the one who I think first said that it seemed like it was always the crap guitarists with all the moey, or whatever I can't remember. Anyway, I understand what you mean, for instance I always play badly when i am in a guitar store, I can never think of anything to play when I have the oppurtunity to test a guitar out, and I am always slightly embarrassed at my lack of ability whenever I come within 3km of a store. Therefore, I guess it is a bit unfair to then bag other people's skills, but you're right, it is sour grapes. I am saving for an american deluxe strat (unless someone here convinces me that I shouldn't), and it is going to take a loooong time, so it hurts whenever I see people who can afford those guitars right away. I heard a guy talking about using this acoustic that he was trying out as his "backup" guitar, and it cost $5000 australian dollars! Yes, I was very jealous, though I shouldn't be I guess, if I get good enough I will be able to buy all the guitars I want mwahahahaha.
02-16-2001, 06:06 AM
I know you can't judge a guitarist, by his playing in a shop, but you can surley recgonize a looser, when you see one and that guy surley was a looser ... so i don't feel bad cause i'm jealous
i also have a friend, who plays as long as i do, but he is the worst player that was ever born on eart, and it's not only mine opinion, and this guy is a rich bastard and he's going to buy a new gibson to himself, while the only thing i can buy is a squier, like the one i already own...
anyway i knew once a nice salesman...
i bought my squier at the shop were he works, and when he found out that i am a deep purple fan he was very nice, and jammed with me for some time... i hope he still works there, cause he's nice enough to give me some advises when i'll buy my next guitar
02-16-2001, 04:32 PM
The shop that I go to the most and steer as much business to as possible rarely has any of the guitars I like. It's the atmosphere, and the people who work there that make it a good shop. I know that if I go in there I'm going to be treated like they're glad to see me and 2/3 of the people who work there have atleast been to my house for dinner. I also know that under no circumstances will they burn me on anything, be it a pick or a top of the line bass.
But most of all, I go in there and the people who work there are interested in not only how I'm doing, but my mom, my dad (who are divorced btw- they aren't picking sides), and my brother too. Ultemately, it's called service.
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