6 Independent Music Stores that Will Unleash Your Inner Rockstar

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Who hasn’t had a dream of playing to thousands of adoring fans? Well, it’s not too late to get started on the road to stardom. Whether you’re searching for your dream guitar, need new drum skins, or just an affordable ukulele, these places have got you covered.

1. Exile – 3730 Main Street

You bet they’re located on Main Street! Exile has only been open for the last two years, but their shop feels just like your favourite well-loved acoustic. Their stock ranges from vintage/used guitars to slick synths, boutique guitar pedals and unique local builds (and pretty much everything in between). It’s also home to Union Tube & Transistor, whose pedals are currently being used by the likes of Jack White, Daniel Lanois and pretty much every musician in town. They’re super knowledgeable and are always happy to answer your questions whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.

2. Rufus Guitar Shop (2621 Alma Street)

Rufus has been supplying Vancouver’s musicians with gear since 1984! They’ve made it their mission to cater to musicians from all walks of life. Whether it’s sales, lessons or repairs, their staff is their to lend a helping hand. They’ve got a great selection of new and used gear (guitars, amps, pedals, banjos, acoustics) and carry more than few hard-to-find brands like Earthquaker Devices effects. Their drum shop is the definitive stop for Vancouver’s heavy-hitters.

Rufus Drum Shop is located at 3712 W 10th Avenue.

3. Tapestry Music – 3607 West Broadway and 1335 Johnston Road (White Rock)

A White Rock institution! Tapestry Music’s selection includes everything from guitars and basses to pro audio equipment and keyboards. Their White Rock location is known for their excellent array of boutique guitar pedals while their relatively knew storefront on West Broadway specializes in folk and acoustic instruments.

4. Gandharva Loka World Music Instruments – 1650 Johnston Street

Granville Island’s Gandharva Loka World Music Instruments is Vancouver’s only world music instrument store. Their stock is comprised of a rich assortment of exotic, ancient and modern instruments, like berimbaus, gongs, harmoniums and instruments for sound therapy. If you’re in need of a little creative boost, they literally carry the sounds of the world, so go check them out!

5. Bonerattle Music 2012 Commercial Drive

 Bonerattle’s mission is to make music affordable and easy enough for anyone to play and enjoy. Situated on the Drive, it’s been a go-to spot for Vancouver’s creatives for some time now. They carry pretty much every instrument your heart could desire and they stock electric guitars from prices as low as $139 and acoustic guitars starting at $89.

6. Basone Guitars318 E 5th Avenue

Photo: Georgia Street Media.

While Basone has a nice selection of new, used and consignment pieces, the shop is known for the in-house repair services and custom built guitars. That’s right, they can help you build your dream axe! They’re totally custom, handcrafted and high quality, which is probably why they’re popping up in the hands of musicians all over town.