About Guitar Gallery
The Guitar Gallery is a small independent musical instruments shop, located in the heart of Melbourne's Fitzroy district sometimes known as the Spanish Quarter
All our customers are important, whether you are a new player, hobbyist or professional wanting technical advice about amplification. You will come away with questions answered. If you're in the shop, we'll give you breathing space to think and play, unless of course you need or ask for assistance, then we are here to help. No-one likes to be stalked when shopping. If you are a distance customer, we are just a phone call or email message away, to answer any question you may have.
Many of our customers are beginner players, looking for their first musical instrument. A common question I'm asked is 'which guitar should I buy'. To that I'd say, whatever your budget, buy the best instrument you can afford. Think about the type of music you want to play. Forget about brands. At entry level, they can be a waste of money. I prefer the smaller boutique brands. The smaller companies, I have found, often make a better entry level product because they concentrate on specific popular models rather than having too many options of essentally the same product.
If you don't know what you want, a music shop can be very intimidating. I want my customers to come to my shop and not feel that way. They should feel welcomed, listened to, and leave understanding the information they came in for.
All instruments will be set-up and shop adjusted to suit the player. This is what sets us apart from others. I will always ask if the customer is a beginner, because the instrument needs to be adjusted to suit their level.
The playability of an instrument can be adjusted to suit the needs and requirements of the first time player or the seasoned professional. Instruments from the budget lines often have not been adjusted the suit the (most likely) beginner custormer. The Guitar Gallery will never sell an instrument in this condition. Entry level mandolins often require that little bit of extra attention.
Gerry is the man...watched him and his band Uncle Bill years ago and what a dynamite team, great vocals and a very talented musician. Can play anything he picks up... Still love playing his CD's. Regards Greg Lambert.
I have been a professional musician since I left school back in 1973. Actually, I did my first paid gig in 1972 while still at secondary school. My first overseas gig was in Sweden at 17 years old. So I guess you could say I have some experience when it comes to stringed instruments, be it violin, mandolin, banjo or guitar, and the amplification of them.
My first taste of Australia was in 1986 when I did a gig at The Last Laugh with the unusual cabaret band the Bouncing Czechs. Eventually I stayed here, and have since worked in the Melbourne Theatre Company Productions, as well as some musicians you may know such as Colin Hay, Paul Kelly, Vika and Linda, Paul Norton and Wendy Stapleton, Deborah Conway, Broderick Smith, and others.
The shop was never something I'd planned for. I was a professional musician travelling the world, when what had previously given me joy and excitement, slowly became unexciting and tiring. I guess I just became road-weary, and needed something new.
In the early days, an awful lot of travel was par for the course. When visiting somewhere new, like all musicians, the first port of call was the local music shop. There weren't too many that were memorable, not in a good way at any rate. One stood out however, and it still is very special to me.
My Favourite Music Store
Back in the day, when I worked with Colin Hay, we were in LA recording for MCA Records. LA is famous for its music stores, so the hunt was on. An obvious destination, Sunset Boulevard. However, very much an acoustic musical instrument guy, I wasn't satisfied with the merchandise or presentation, which was very much aimed at rock musicians. After many disappointing outings, finally I struck gold - McCabes Music Shop on Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica. Straight away I knew this was my kind of store.
First, there was an amazing selection of mandolins, banjos, acoustic guitars and charangos, and other interesting instruments for that matter. Second, it wasn't a blokey store, that welcomed women as well as men. And third, the staff didn't pester their customers with unwanted attention. In other words, I was left to browse through all the rooms that specialized in each of my favourite tools of trade. And to sip the free coffee provided. The coffee was my only disappointment, but I had come from Melbourne after all.
The staff provided assistance only when I needed it. In the end, I did purchase a Flatiron mandolin, Flatiron mandola, plus a fine squareneck dobro and my first charango. I did this on my own without a sales pitch which was always delivered without fail in other stores.
McCabe's left a big impression on me. And so years later when the opportunity arose to open a music shop, the template I used was McCabes. The Guitar Gallery has been in business for 15 years now. Throughout this time, our main objective was and still is, to listen and assist our customers with knowledge and good advice. Our instruments sell themselves.