Best Musical Instrument Store – Eugene Weekly

McKenzie River MusicPhoto by Todd Cooper

1. McKenzie River Music 455 W. 11th Ave. 541-343-9482.

2. Buying and selling center 410 E. 11th Ave. 541-344-9273.

3. Beacon Music 791 W. 8th Ave. 541-653-9929.

No one in Eugene has a better selection of string instruments than McKenzie River Music. McKenzie River Music owner Artie Leider says the store specializes in top-quality instruments for beginners, collectors or professionals. With 50 years of guitar experience, he says he’s here to guide someone through the guitar buying process. But that’s not all the store has to offer. The store also has a world-class guitar and violin repair staff. The store’s name is known worldwide, adds Leider, so McKenzie River Music has become a stopover for well-known guitarists. Recently, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny stopped by the store, but Leider says he’s had other big names like Cheap Trick’s Joe Bonamassa, Jackson Browne and Rick Nielson. And, back when Pixies frontman and solo artist Frank Black (who goes by a bunch of other names) lived in Eugene, he frequently stopped by the store before heading out on tour. But Leider says his greatest joy is selling a guitar to a young beginner: “It’s way better than anything else.” — Henry Houston

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