Need a new guitar? Here’s where to try it before you buy it, with beer in hand

Posted at 5:35 pm, January 22, 2015 in Around Town, Food & Drink, Music

Koenji has long been known for its thriving music scene, featuring many live houses and rehearsal studios. Adding to the atmosphere is new music store and bar Buddy Sound Works, which opened its doors on January 5, 2015.

With six years in the biz already, the store relocated to its new premises in Koenji where it’s able to offer a more well-rounded experience for music lovers. Besides offering instrument repair services, there’s also a bar that provides space for small acoustic concerts. Music lovers will enjoy the laidback, friendly atmosphere and are sure to find rare and sought-after gear, not to mention relish the chance to mingle with industry experts – one of whom is manager Makoto Yamamoto who has 20 years of experience to draw on when advising you on new purchases. You’re also likely to bump into regulars Shinji Wajima from Ningen Isu (known for combining kimonos and heavy metal) and Youichi Hirose from The Yellow Monkey.

High-end and vintage guitars sit side by side with ukuleles and other string instruments. You’ll also find all sorts of other supplies, with the best news being that the shop/bar is open till 11pm so pre-gig emergencies can probably be solved by a quick detour on your way to the club.

The bar counter is upstairs in a loft-style space and there’s plenty of beer, sake and whisky on offer, as well as simple eats (like good ol’ fashioned cheese snackwiches) all around the ¥500 mark. Yamamoto welcomes customers who want to relax at the bar while trying out the guitars on sale. Amplifiers, a PA system and chord books are all available too. In future, the plan is to start inviting well-known rock musicians to play live acoustic shows at the bar.

As Yamamoto says, you can’t really define what kind of store this is as it’s an instrument shop, bar and live concert venue all in one. But that’s exactly what makes it so appealing. Click here for contact details and map.

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