Here is a list of some of London’s best music shops and stores you can visit out of curiosity or to find some gear to get prepared for your gigs when Covid-19 finally dies down.
1. Sixty Sixty Sounds (Tottenham Court Road)
If you are a fan of Gibson styled guitars this is the spot. Sixty Sixty Sounds are a Gibson specialist music shop, who have a unique collection of original, American made, new and used Gibson guitars. They also sell Epiphone guitars which are also just as good (especially for Uni students on a budget). Based off Denmark street, near Tottenham Court Road station, this place gives a very laid-back vibe, and the staff are great to talk to as well.
2. PMT (Shoreditch)
A good all-round music shop, where you can find instruments ranging from guitars and basses to drums kits and djembes. Also, if you are into music production and tech, they have a section of gear also dedicated to this as well. The staff here are extremely helpful and will give you good advice for whatever it is that you are on the hunt for. Whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned musician, it is always good to pop into a PMT. There is a store on Old St, not too far from City.
3. Duke of Uke (Shoreditch)
This is a small music shop just off Brick Lane specialising in ukuleles. You can expect to find good quality ukuleles here starting from low prices. The staff at Duke of Uke are friendly and even attempted to teach me how to play a Ukulele. Whilst you are on your thrift ventures, you may want to consider popping in.
4. Edgware Music (Edgware)
A small guitar shop, specialising in vintage guitars with very reasonable prices. This shop is one of the best in London. Why? Because of the collection of guitars, you can find in here. They tend to have older Fender and Gibson guitars (a bit like Sixty Sixty Sounds), and newer guitars too, however they also have modified guitars and basses too. John, the shopkeeper of Edgware Music will give you brutally honest advice for whatever style guitar you are looking for and will offer fair prices. Whether I am looking for gear or to do any modifications, It is my go-to shop for my guitar needs. If you are on the hunt for a good guitar/bass deal and do not mind travelling to Greater London, this is the place for you.
5. Yamaha Music (Soho)
This music shop has a good array of musical instruments and equipment, if you are looking specifically for Yamaha products. When you walk in here, you are greeted with a range of keyboards and pianos. Downstairs has Guitars, drums, and production equipment. Having played a Yamaha Pacifica before, I can recommend considering this place for guitars at least. The staff also give good advice if you are looking specifically for Yamaha instruments or equipment.
6. GuitarGuitar (Camden)
Another quality music shop situated just off Camden Town. Here you can expect to find a similar environment to PMT and similar prices of products. You will be able to find your usual big name brand guitars, but also specific ones such as Ibanez. Mostly brand-new equipment, so expect retail prices like PMT, but after speaking to GuitarGuitar’s staff, they do have a few preowned/clearance guitars and equipment, that are priced to go. Furthermore, they have a guitar servicing section. Overall a good place to go if you are looking for gear near Camden.
7. Camden Guitars (Camden)
Another small guitar store, Camden Guitars is in between Chalk farm and Camden. Here you can find a small selection of electric and acoustic guitars as well. They can do servicing on gear as well. If you are in Camden and want to support another small business, this is a shop worth considering.
Places to look online
If you are not able to go out during these tough times but want to look for some good equipment, most of the previously mentioned locations have online stores. However, there are some that have stores outside of London or are online.
Located in Guilford and has an online store, Andertons is similar to the likes of PMT or GuitarGuitar. They have been around since 1964 and have a greater range of brands. If you are a metalhead or play djent, you can expect to find Schecter’s, Music Man, PRS’s and other niche brands online.
Another website that stocks all sorts of musical instruments and gear. Whether you’re looking for keyboards, drums guitars and other specific instruments, you will be able to find it on Gear4Music. The clearance section usually has a few good deals on here.
3. Online marketplaces
Facebook marketplace, eBay, Gumtree and Shpock are also good for finding second-hand equipment and instruments that now facilitate postage/delivery options. You could potentially score the best deals on these sites but be weary of scammers and unauthentic items! If you use Facebook, try to join for sale groups with many members, as then there is a community to verify sellers.