Hey there. Sometimes my students ask me where they should go to pick up a new guitar, a set of strings or a cool effect pedal. Luckily, I happen to live and teach guitar lessons in Portland, Oregon, where there are plenty of great places to pick up musical gear. In this post, I’ll highlight a few of my favorites.
I live and teach guitar lessons near Portland’s Foster-Powell neighborhood, and there haven’t been any guitar shops in my general vicinity for a while. Volume Bomb is one of my new favorites. It’s easy to miss as you’re driving down SE Holgate, but this place is definitely worth checking out. This cozy shop specializes in Reverend guitars and Orange amplifiers, but they stock an impressive selection of used gear too, plus all the little things you need to keep your guitar sounding fantastic. As an added bonus, Volume Bomb also offers records and art. Got some time to kill in FoPo? Stop in and have a look.
I normally go to the Trade-Up on Southeast Division because it’s close to my house, but I’m sure the one in northeast is great too. The Division shop has just about everything an aspiring musician could ask for, including a great selection of new and used instruments, and plenty of effects pedals, amplifiers, picks, and strings. If you’re looking for a place to pick up an inexpensive student guitar, they have a sizable selection of entry-level instruments for under $100. They also do repairs there, and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with them.
Centaur Guitar on Northeast Sandy Blvd. has an awesome array of used guitars and basses, from pawnshop prizes to collectors’ pieces. Of course they carry a healthy array of effects, amplifiers, picks and strings, and if you have a piece of gear to sell, it wouldn’t hurt to take it in to them and see what they’ll give you in store trade. You’re bound to find something there that you didn’t know you couldn’t live without.
Old Town Music
Old Town Music is another awesome independent music shop on the east side of lovely Portland, OR. I bought an old student guitar from the 1940s here, and I was really impressed with the friendliness of the dude who helped me pick it out. It was clear that he had played all the guitars and knew them well. I was looking for an old archtop with great playability and plenty of vibe, and he was quick to point out his favorite. I played all the others of course, but I eventually ended up going with the one he recommended in the first place, and it’s served me well. I also picked up a boutique compressor pedal during the same visit. I researched it online to find that it normally goes for way more than I paid. I’m willing to pay a little extra to support local businesses, but when I get a great deal and get to contribute to my local economy, that’s an added bonus in my book.
Portland Music Company
Portland Music Company has been serving this fair city’s music makers since the Jazz Age, and they’re still doing a great job of it. If you’re looking for sheet music or tablature books, check out their store on MLK. I’m pretty sure they have the best selection of guitar music in the city. They also have an impressive collection of keyboards, recording gear, drums, amps, and new and used guitars. A trip to Portland Music Company is like going to a big chain store in terms of selection, but you’ll be supporting a long-standing local business, and that’s a great thing.
Volume Bomb is one of my new favorites. It’s easy to miss as you’re driving down SE Holgate, but this place is definitely worth checking out. This cozy shop specializes in Reverend guitars Orange amplifiers, but they stock an impressive selection of used gear too, plus all the little things you need to keep your guitar sounding fantastic. As an added bonus, Volume Bomb also offers records and art. Got some time to kill in FoPo? Stop in and have a look.
That’s All for Now
I’m sure I’ve missed some truly wonderful guitar shops in Portland, but hopefully I’ll discover them soon. If you’re looking for guitar shops in Portland, I hope this guide has helped you out.
Oh, and if you’re looking for guitar lessons in Portland, get in touch with me. I’d love to teach you how to play guitar, and I’m currently accepting students of all ages and skill levels.