Long before the internet changed the way we do everything, guitar stores were mystical places. While some of them still operate in the tradition of the past, providing as much social hub as a house to facilitate the sale and maintenance of our beloved instruments, the guitar shop of yore is an endangered thing.
The fondest memories of my youth involved trekking through New York City to guitar shops with my father. There was absolutely nothing that could top the excitement felt turning the corner onto 48th Street to be greeted by the endless Mecca of shops peddling obscure and vintage stringed delights. It was a place where you could spot the most famous players in the world rubbing elbows with tire-kickers as they all sought their own idea of perfection in wood and wire. As such, it was the place that provided many a legend with the instruments they wielded with which to conquer the world. And once upon a time -- before that wonderful block was bought up by chains and homogenized -- that aura of importance was palpable thing.
The reality is that there is a certain magic that can't be stomped out of any guitar shop. That's because there's a certain magic that permeates the air around guitars; it's resilient and can overcome things like multiple botched attempts at the lead riff from "Sweet Chile O' Mine" or countless fat-fingered introductions to "Stairway to Heaven." And while you may not have heard of them all (yet), South Florida is fortunate to have some really great places to buy guitars.
Here are the top ten guitar shops in Broward with one in Boca and one online.
Guitar Center is absolutely the enemy in the grand scheme of things. They're now owned by the greedy shitbags at Bain Capital and are undoubtedly responsible for stomping out a countless number of great many mom and pop operations, but this particular location is actually great and here's why: It's staffed by locals that care about you and your scene, and it always has been.
Some of you might remember when MonstrO's Juan Montoya and Charlie Suarez worked the guitar department. Others may only know the store's current staff -- which includes most of Orbweaver. But this Guitar Center has a vibe that is friendly, familiar, and it happens to be one of the top locations in the company, which means the selection is the absolute best in the area. From the unattainably expensive golden era vintage stuff that you probably won't be able to play anywhere else, to affordable pawn shop-y oddities, to spankin' new stuff from every major manufacturer, this store really does have it all. If we've gotta have a Guitar Center, at least we have the best Guitar Center.
If you're looking for something from the golden era, an investment-quality vintage guitar, or even something on the upper-end of player's grade vintage, Craig Brody has got you covered. Based out of Weston, Brody curates his inventory like a collector, and as such, has some of the wildest guitars in the region. One could drool over his website for hours. Being that his main focus is upper echelon vintage, Brody works by appointment only.