Friday, June 13, 2014

The Fret Mill


The Fret Mill is a music store located in downtown Roanoke. It was the only reason a friend and I were in downtown a while back; we wanted to pick up guitar strings.

I hadn't been in the store in years (because I really don't like downtown Roanoke, not that I am repeating myself). But a very long time ago, like about 25 years or so, I took guitar lessons there. I went on my lunch hour when I worked at one of the area's biggest law firms.

The fellow who taught me guitar died young but he was a legend in the finger-picking circles during his time. He won all kinds of awards. His name was Buster Jones. I only took lessons from him for a single summer; he was an interesting guy. And he could make that guitar sing, let me tell you. But I don't think he really had the patience to teach.

The Fret Mill I went into recently was a shadow of its former self. The store was about half the size it once was, and it was carrying name-brand guitars that I did not recognize. I have a great little classical Takamine guitar that I bought there so long ago.

I suppose as computers take over, and kids think Guitar Hero is how one plays a guitar, the music stores will go the way of book stores eventually. You'll buy your instrument over the Internet and hope it sounds good when UPS drops it off. That is if anyone still plays at all.

You can't get the feel of an instrument until you hold it your hands. I would hate to see the stores go away.

The Fret Mill still offered a nice selection of books, strings, and other music essentials. It was nice to revisit the store, in spite of the changes.

1 comment:

  1. I bought a guitar there for my wife a few years ago but haven't been back for a good while. They have strings in Boones Mill which is not nearly as far and no problem getting a parking place and worrying about the parking Nazis giving a ticket.

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