Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chicago Music Exchange (Lakeview)

Holy hell
If you are a music person of any caliber, whether you sing in the shower, are a professional blues guitarist, love when your walk matches the beat of the song you're listening to, or you don't quite understand why you like Katy Perry but you listen to her anyway because her songs are gosh darn catchy---you need to go to Chicago Music Exchange. Since 1990, the Exchange has been supplying Chicago with pretty much anything you would need to be a musician. Everyone on staff is a musician, and attractive, if that helps get you to this store.

3316 N. Lincoln Ave

I walked in here on Saturday floating on air as I glided past the register, euphorically staring at the hundreds of guitars on the walls. The space is enormous and loft-like with comfy couches, some velvet, and some situated around a drum kit. Orderly guitars hang in rows on every wall, of all colors, of all sparkles, of all shine, all kinds, just waiting to be played. I was pulled out of my ax shock and heard some guy say, "Hi. How are you?" I looked at him for a second because I forgot where I was for a moment. I exchanged pleasantries with him and he let me know that if I needed any help with anything to let him know. Oh, he actually worked there, he wasn't just a guy saying 'hi' for kicks.


I hung out in the acoustic guitar room for a bit, marveling at its wonderfulness, and checked out some of the ukuleles since the one I paid $30 for surprisingly (sarcasm) broke a few weeks back. I am absolutely going to buy one from this store. The same guy who said 'hi' to me when I first walked in came to check on me and asked if I was still doing okay or looking for anything in particular. What an incredibly helpful, nice gentleman.

I kept wandering around the store and saw a 16-year-old kid going to town on a guitar in one of the little practice rooms, turning up the amp to an extremely audible level so everyone in the store could hear his guitar riffs. You're gonna be a star, kid! I eventually met my friend Nick in the drum shop next door who was geeking out over a clear drum kit. It looked totally and completely cool. The drum shop was small, but mighty, and from what I overheard the sales dudes telling my friend, it sounded like they knew what they were talking about, too.

It felt like you could hang out at the Exchange all afternoon or even throw a mad party. Or you could just sit down, enjoy some music, try out guitars, read one of the many books they have on music legends, album covers, lyrics and more!

Also, I found out from their website (Chicago Music Exchange) that they have a store dog, which was NOT present when I visited. This absence means I am going to be visiting a lot more, not only for the instruments, but for TEDDY!

UPDATE: 3/29/12 I bought my new ukulele. It's a little Fender wonder and it sounds like buttah. The dudes there were incredibly nice, helpful, and found me a box in the basement to transport my new lovey in!

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