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Experiences with a Music & Arts store?

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Robert P
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Joined: 28 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:55 am    Post subject: Experiences with a Music & Arts store? Reply with quote

I'd never heard of them though apparently they're a large chain. Curious what people's experiences with them have been, whether my recent encounter was typical.

I was looking for a case for my Getzen Eterna Picc and was wondering about getting an actual Getzen picc Bb leadpipe and the local M&A was listed as a Getzen vendor. There's one not too far from me so I went in to find out a price - no prices listed on the Getzen site. I had the part number for the case but they had no listing. None of the employees had ever heard of Getzen. Had to spell it for them.

Finally I was told that they had to email their repair guy who was in a different location to get a price on either item. I clarified for them that a picc trumpet leadpipe isn't a repair item, it's not like the leadpipe on a Bb horn. Nonetheless they had to go through their repair guy. To get the price on either the leadpipe or the case the repair tech had to write up an order ticket submit it to Getzen and wait for a response. That is, when the repair guy got around to initiating the process. There was no way for them to give me a price while I was standing there in the store. Further they wouldn't initiate this until I gave them the serial # of the horn which I of course didn't have with me. The fact that I had the part number made no difference. Their rationale was that they had to confirm what horn it was so they didn't get the wrong price on the wrong item.

To get to the point where the employee found out all this to explain it to me required a bit of standing around. While waiting I noticed they had a Shires horn on display. Cool. I had brought my mouthpiece in case I wanted to try out a horn. I asked if I could see the horn, he handed it to me. Eventually I asked him if they had a room where I could try it out. I was advised I could only try it if I intended to buy it and that they had to quarantine the horn for 5 days if someone played it. Apparently they don't figure simply putting alcohol or other sanitizer through the horn would nullify any covid.

I found the experience offputting. At least in my case their system/policies are too resistant to doing business or creating a positive experience. I ended up calling Getzen and they sold me a case directly because of the circumstances. They didn't require the serial number and were able to advise me what the price was pretty much immediately.
Getzen Eterna Severinsen
King Silver Flair
Besson 1000
Chinese C

Getzen Eterna Bb/A piccolo
Chinese Rotary Bb/A piccolo

Chinese Flugel
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Joined: 10 Dec 2002
Posts: 2373
Location: Atlanta GA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. Very typical chain that caters to the school band/rental market. Employees tend to be young and only trained in servicing that market.

Have a friend who is a former high school band director (and a very talented trumpet player) who worked for them for awhile. He did the demos at the schools and would also transport horns that needed repair from the schools the M&A's central repair facility.

I've been in our local store twice. Both times I was looking for a methods book or a "fun tunes" book as part of my comeback process. Actually found a fairly good selection of those things (because I was looking for something a school kid musician would also find helpful.)

Fortunately my community group playing has connected me with musicians who recommended one or two local independent repair people who are not only knowledgeable about makes/models/differences of musical instruments but also enjoy talking about those things.
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Joined: 02 Dec 2015
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Location: Cali

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:08 am    Post subject: Re: Experiences with a Music & Arts store? Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
I found the experience offputting.

Welcome to the club. I think their mantra is, "We don't have that item, but we can order it!" I've gone a number of times to Music & Arts to buy mps, mp pouches, valve oil, cleaning supplies, and method books. Their selection is always very limited--never having what I'm looking for. I never both to look for instruments there. The employee are not always knowledgeable or resourceful. I can go to the same store on separate occasions and get mixed customer support. I can walk in one day to the store and the sales associate will ask if I need help, since I tell them what I'm looking for they quickly tell me they don't have that item. On a different day I can walk in and the sales associate will ask if I need help, I'll tell them what I'm looking for and they'll quickly jump on the computer to see if they can order.

It's unfortunate that they only target school programs and furnish only school supplies at their locations. If I want something I can't just go to the store I have to order it online. That's why a lot of brick and mortar stores are being done away with for online shopping. I get the convenience of shopping from your couch in your pjs, but I like the interactions that occur from in-person shopping--I'm getting my item that day not a week later.

Guitar Center which owns M&A among others filed for bankruptcy late last year, so I wonder how that will affect business moving forward?

Music & Arts isn't the only one though, Sam Ash is similar. These are the neighboring music stores in my area, the rest are small stores that are more guitar/keyboard oriented no real selection of band stuff, in any.
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Joined: 23 Mar 2003
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Location: Hawai'i - Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually deal with wwbw.com which also shares a relationship with Music and Arts), but by internet. On occasion, when I have something really out of their norm, I've called wwbw up and discussed with one of their "experts". You usually have to circumvent the mortar stores, who's clientele and salespersons are of limited knowledge. But, I have been using wwbw for, probably, twenty years. National Office, though, not a local store where most salesclerks (not all!) can't find their butts.
"If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." Charlie Parker
"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis."
Chet Baker
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