Music stores in Manhattan are a dime a dozen. Take in the sheer number of Manhattan-area instrument retailers and the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking for vintage gear, the latest amps and guitars, or a full set of accessories it can be found here.
Some music stores rise above the rest, whether through sheer selection, specialty inventory, or being more a haven than music shop. We think the best places to shop for musical instruments are where you could get lost for hours exploring your passion through quality equipment and friendly staff.
We’ve scoured the island to find 5 great musical instrument stores with a keen eye on selection, taste, and atmosphere. Some world-class, some geared for beginners, this list encompasses locations every music instrument nerd needs to check out.
One of the only places in New York City at-large where you can step into an immersive world of percussion, Steve Maxwell’s appears more like a museum than a store.
For audiophile drummers, this place is chock-full of a wide range of instruments. From multi-thousand dollar Gretsch sets to affordable Slingerland racks, most drummers will find something fitting their taste.
This place is also a true drum-geek’s paradise. These guys create a podcast and video channel exploring the world of drums, creating a sort of “percussion culture”, interestingly enough.
242 WEST 30TH STREET NEW YORK NY 10001 (212) 730 8138
Do you LOVE vintage guitars? Rivington Guitars is your new paradise. Specializing in classic and vintage models (even some valuable off-brands), Rivington’s expansive collection of truly iconic instruments—while pricey—is where any gear-head can truly lose themselves.
There’s also an unplugged acoustic area specially built to enhance the acoustic quality of your playing. You can find a lot of rare and vintage acoustic guitars here for your playing pleasure. Plus, the ability to play in a custom built environment makes putting down whatever you’re playing nearly impossible.
73 EAST 4TH STREET NEW YORK NY 10003 (212) 505 5313
3. Rogue Music
Rogue Music literally does everything; custom-built, boutique, vintage, inexpensive. They have “choice parts” completely original guitars that are sure to catch the eye and ear. Their range of inexpensive instruments also makes this destination great for newcomers to the world of music.
This shop also features an eclectic selection of drum machines, pedals, and advanced audio equipment, expanding the charm brought to Manhattan’s instrument scene.
220 WEST 30TH STREET NEW YORK NY 10001 (212) 629 5073
Sam Ash is a chain of music stores that has literally everything for everyone. They have guitars, amps, drums, recording equipment and instructional books. Everything anyone from a beginner to a professional could be looking for in one shop.
One great thing about the Sam Ash in Manhattan is their website. Navigable by brand and department, you’ll get a great idea about what they have before you ever visit the store. With the capability of bringing in stock from other stores located around the region, Sam Ash is truly a one-stop-shop for anybody looking for, well, anything.
333 WEST 34TH STREET NEW YORK NY 10001 (212) 719 2299
5. Rudy’s Music
Rudy’s Music is the home of Rudy Pensa, famed friend of Mark Knopfler and creator of the iconic “Pensa MK” guitar series. Visually stunning and truly beautiful, Rudy’s Music is the place to step into the world of an instrument maker. As a guitar maker’ shop, you’ll find sounds here you’ve never heard, and play instruments which will leave a lasting impression.
There’s also an expansive collection of instruments with both boutique and big-name finds available to try. When it comes to guitar stores in Manhattan, Rudy’s is definitely a mecca.
461 BROOME STREET NEW YORK NY 10013 (212) 625 2557