Author Topic: What to Play at a Music Store?  (Read 673 times)

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Offline DaveySpeedstar

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What to Play at a Music Store?
« on: September 05, 2019, 06:41:03 pm »
I’ve been playing for about a year. I think my skills are improving, 8’ve got about a dozen chords. G-major scale (in various forms like in The Captains Prvates) and an extended pentatonic scale. However I’m starting to think I need to upgrade my rig (specifically my amp).
So far I’ve bought all my kit 2nd hand through Gumtree EBay etc, but I know that I’m going to have to go to a music store sometime soon to try stuff out, and this seems a bit daunting...I don’t want to look a complete novice/fool/whatever.
Has anyone got any tips of things to play in-store that will help me look half-competent? Could this be the subject of a lesson???

Offline stitch101

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Re: What to Play at a Music Store?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 07:21:26 pm »
I hate to tell you this but you need to be half-competent to sound half-competent.
That being said we all started out knowing nothing and in the same boat you're in.

Put together a easy 12 bar blues with a simple solo using the minor pentatonic scale
and practice it until you feel comfortable playing it.
Try and pick a time when the store is slow. This will give you more time to evaluate
gear and mkre time with a staff member to help you.

The biggest thing is do your home work on the gear you want. There are some very
knowledgeable members here who are willing to point you in the right direction and
tell you what to avoid.
Good luck in your search and enjoy the experience.

Offline close2u

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Re: What to Play at a Music Store?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 07:30:32 pm »
What will you want to do with your amp 90% of the time?

Play clean, reverb + chorus chord progressions?

Play loud rock power chords with some distortion?

Play ten-minute improvisations over a backing track?

If 1 then practice lots of such progressions and tweak the in-built fx as you play it several times.
If 2 then the same.

If 3 then take a device, with a cable and a backing track, to plug in to the amp, or another amplification thing, in store to play along with.

Offline Majik

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Re: What to Play at a Music Store?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 10:42:15 pm »
Arguably, the point of playing in a music store is not for you to sound great or to impress the staff or other customers, but so you can find out if you like the kit you are trying out.

Of course, the reality is if you are playing "in public" in an open shop then it feels a bit like a performance or an audition.

The better music stores have private sound booths or rooms where you can try stuff out without having the pressure of feeling like others are listening and judging, and the staff will give you some time alone.

(As an aside, it also stops the staff and customers being deafened by a cacophony of competing shredders).

See if you can find a shop like this and then you can focus on whatever it is you need to do to be happy with the kit before you buy it. If that's just playing a scale up and down, the same one or two power chords, or even just single notes here and there, so be it.

Close2u gives some great suggestions which could be a good guideline. Whatever you decide, it's good to go into the store knowing roughly what you are looking for, and some plan or idea of how to test whether the kit delivers that.


Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.


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