Nashville’s 12 South neighborhood is known primarily for its stellar restaurants, but it also houses one of the best music equipment stores in the entirety of Music City: Corner Music. Ever since it opened in 1976, it has drawn the respect and loyalty of everyone from established artists to fledgling musicians and industry professionals for its unbeatable selection of equipment (especially its array of Gibson guitars, for which its earned the distinction of being the only Five Star Gibson Acoustic Dealership in Nashville). Additionally, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable–so whether you’re a tried and true musical veteran or just purchasing your first guitar, you’re guaranteed to find the equipment and expertise you need at Corner Music.
Fork’s Drum Closet
If Corner Music is the guitar mecca of Nashville, Fork’s Drum Closet – located right next door – is a go-to for Nashville musicians and industry professionals searching for the best selection of drums in the city. And in fact, in a sense Fork’s was actually borne out of Corner Music; owner/founder Gary Forkum was working at the neighboring music store and had the idea to set up a percussion display in the store’s back corner. The display grew so quickly, however, that Gary eventually split off and opened his own store next door. Ever since, Fork’s has cultivated a reputation amongst percussionists from not just Nashville but the entire Southern region as one of the most impressive percussion stores around. And besides selling an unbeatable range of high-quality products, Fork’s also offers private lessons, open to everyone from first-time drummers to pros, in drumset, snare drum, orchestral percussion, marching percussion, mallets, and hand drums.
The Great Escape
Nashville has more than a few fantastic record stores (no article about music stores in Nashville could reasonably fail to include the legendary Grimey’s/Grimey’s Too, for example). However, The Great Escape – a small regional Southern chain – is worth drawing attention to for its massive selection of not only new and used records and CDs (not to mention videos and comics) but also for its offering of rare music memorabilia. This superstore, located on Charlotte Ave. about five miles west of downtown Nashville, is a favorite amongst locals on the hunt for hidden musical gems, from rare records to vinyls with autographed sleeves to vintage artist and venue posters. While locals bemoaned the loss of the store’s original and legendary Broadway location – the store relocated to its current spot on Charlotte in 2010 – this is still a can’t-miss destination for music lovers, both locals and visitors alike.
Fanny’s House of Music
While there are certainly many stores in Nashville that offer impressive selections of equipment and instruments for the city’s abundance of artists and performers, Fanny’s House of Music, located in East Nashville, stands out for the rest for a few distinct reasons. Firstly, as co-owner Pamela Cole put it in an interview with The East Nashvillian, spend some time in Nashville and you may notice that many music stores in Nashville cater to a highly specific type of person (namely, young males). Fanny’s, on the other hand, is devoted to serving not just the standard musician archetype but also those who are so often overlooked in the music industry, including women and children. And in addition to Fanny’s openminded perspective, the store itself is simultaneously charming and awe-inducing for any serious music lover. Step inside this small blue Victorian-style house and you’ll find a dizzying selection of vintage guitars, used and vintage drums, top-of-the-line amps, and nearly every accessory that you could ever possibly need. The store is so beloved that it’s been honored with a number of impressive awards, including Nashville Scene’s 2015 ‘Best Place to Buy a Used Instrument’ and one of USA Today’s 10 Best Places To Visit.