If you’re not ready to read all of the following, let me sum it up:
- We are a brick and mortar store
- Where you can try and compare instruments and make sure that it is your fit in tone, playability and look - We have a large selection of guitars and folk instruments to try !
- All of our instruments leave setup to your liking (and stay this way with our inclusion of a free annual setup)
- Be ready to be surprised, as we carry brands and instruments that you may never have heard of … and we stand behind each of them with pride!
And now, for the most courageous…
What We Are About
I wrote the "about us" page a while back, when Colin and I first started the Fretted Frog, in early 2010. Since then, we've learned a lot, moved to a new location, handled thousands of repairs (for Colin) and sold thousands of instruments (for me) ... and got a better idea of what we wanted to do with the Store.
With the brick and mortar concept in my mind, I really didn’t know what the future would be and how much the online business would account for. What I now know is that we want to be brick and mortar more than anything.
I know that many stores have closed in the last decade and a lot of people are left with nothing but a music mega store or, worse…no store at all within driving distance. Our selection of instruments is distinctive, and we have shipped guitars ordered from us online. But if you still have a guitar store near you, please give them your priority! Reading online reviews about a guitar sometimes works out, but there is nothing that can replace being able to try and compare multiple guitars! Every cut of wood is individual and unique, and so is every guitar.
We understand that the brick and mortar concept may sound a little bit outdated, even more so with guitar "supermarkets” (did I say Guitar Circus?) being the only music store that a lot of people experience. I still feel there is good reason to go to a brick and mortar guitar store over online stores.
Try and Compare
There's so much going on with a guitar: The tone, the feel, the look - but almost none of that transcribes online. It’s important to be able to compare as many instruments as you can! And where else can you get the element of surprise? There's nothing more gratifying for us than to have a customer fall in love with a guitar he or she would have never even considered in the first place!
Comparison starts with having a real choice. Big stores, and a lot of small ones too, will offer you the same guitars again and again (Martin, Taylor, Fender, Yamaha, etc (I call them “the usual suspects”), and almost no folk instruments. And sometimes, there is even a limited selection of woods and body shapes! The attraction of a brand name is a very powerful thing, but there’s so much more for musicians to experience.
We have over 150 different acoustic guitars on display, with a lot of different designs, from Parlor to Jumbo, more than 12 different shapes, multiple bracing patterns, and over 30 different wood combinations! Have you tried Acacia, Trembesi, Walnut, Adirondack, Bunya or Redwood? We also stock a lot of hybrid and specialty guitars (Harp guitars, “Gryphons”, and Baritones, to name a few).
Many of them are made by makers you may have heard of quite a bit: Larrivee, Blueridge, Lowden, etc. And some, a little less: Huss and Dalton, Simon & Patrick, Cole Clark, etc. And some, possibly not at all: Ho Zen, Faith, or Camps. We stand behind each of them with pride!
AND, we go far beyond guitars, with a large selection of mandolins: Weber, Eastman, Kentucky, The Loar… 25 different models including octave mandolin, mandocello and electric mandolins. In banjos, we carry Deering, Goodtime, Huss & Dalton, and Goldtone. In ukuleles: Koaloha, Riptide, Kala, Cordoba, Fluke … more than 100 different models to try!
All in all, we offer over 300 different instruments to try if you are right handed. If you’re lefty, we did not forget you with our decent left handed selection of over 20 instruments: guitars (of course), including 12-strings, but also ukes, bass, banjos and mandolins).
Get a Playable Instrument
Colin is setting up all the instruments in the store: Within a few days of arrival, during their shelf lives at the store (because guitars are made of wood, they adjust over time even in our humidity and temperature controlled environment at the store), and setup is checked again before the instruments leave the store.
We do a final setup when a guitar is shipped out from the store, but unfortunately, sometimes 5 days in a truck and arrival in a new climate could end up changing that. At our brick and mortar location, not only do we include a setup when the guitar leaves with you, but we also allow you to bring back the instrument for a fine tuning, as well as a free annual set up (with purchase of any of our new instruments). It also allows us to keep an eye on the instrument and make sure that you know how to take care of your guitar. (Dry guitars are sad guitars!)
Find the Right Fit
What is my main job at the store? Listening, observing and advising. After six years in the guitar business, the store is where I have learned the most. Some stores will attract you with the “best price,” but every acoustic guitar is different and the “best price” sometimes isn’t the best feeling or sounding guitar. We offer our knowledge and service to help you select the perfect wood combination, body shape and size, and feel of your ideal guitar!
Of course, we try to match competing prices, but our main goal is to help you find the right guitar within your budget. Many times I’ve had customers come with a budget and leave happy, with a great guitar, sometimes for half of that budget! If I were working for a mega store, I would have been fired a long time ago! The point is that the only thing that really matters to us is for you to get the right fitting instrument.
All prices are in USD.