Surprisingly Enjoyable Trip to Guitar Center

Shiny Colorful Guitars, Guitar Center - Austin, Texas

Shiny Colorful Guitars, Guitar Center – Austin, Texas

Probably like many of you, I’ve been locked down in the house for some three months. The only rare exceptions are the weekly trips to the supermarkets. My Tuesday run to Costco is one of the highlights of the week — sad. My other activities outside the house are solitary. I’ve made a few excursions around town for photography, as well as my walks around the neighborhood. So, my trip to Guitar Center in mid-May was an unexpected treat.

My older son has been at home, finishing out his Junior year of college via zoom calls and self-study. He actually did very well this semester. In fact, the best ever. Perhaps boredom and fewer college parties had an unexpected beneficial effect.

The day after his final, my son and I headed to Guitar Center. After dabbling with an acoustic guitar for a while, he wanted to try his hand at an electric. He even had an old amp that he got from a friend. I, of course, brought a camera with me — the super small, store-friendly Panasonic GM1.

The store was surprisingly organized and took the social distancing guidelines seriously. A few of us waited outside, spaced out 6+ feet apart. The only way in was to pair a customer to a dedicated salesperson. It required a short wait, but we got excellent service. In the end, we bought a modest starter model — but more than enough — running a little less than $200.

Stevie Ray Vaughan Jacket, Guitar Center - Austin, Texas

Stevie Ray Vaughan Jacket, Guitar Center – Austin, Texas

I saw this extra treat before leaving, a memorial to Austin musical legend Stevie Ray Vaughan with a jacket and a pair of his guitars under glass.

This was the second time I’ve ever been to a Guitar Center and enjoyed the trip immensely. It was certainly a change from bulk warehouse shopping. It felt a little like life was slowly returning to normal. Even if normally I don’t go to guitar stores.

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