I've received a good number of messages lately through Instagram about my favorite music stores in Nashville! It's one of my favorite questions to answer because there are so many awesome music stores to choose from and obviously, I love Nashville a ton (cause who wouldn't?)! I decided to make a little guide for you so if you come visit (which you should!) you won't miss any good ones. (I also included my favorite nearby restaurants because I'm assuming you'll spend half the day just playing guitars and then you'll probably get hungry.)
So classic and always super helpful, friendly staff. They mainly have new stuff (I've seen only a few used guitars/ pedals there), but it's a really great selection and good prices. This is definitely a place where a lot of the pros go! I always feel good knowing I'm supporting a small(ish) business and I know they will always have what I need. They were also one of the first businesses on 12th South (the original hipster!) and have kept their same spirit and attitude since 1976!
Eat at: Edley's BBQ- Their brisket (which always sells out fast) is my favorite in Nashville and they also have awesome Bushwhackers!
Eastside Music Supply is one of those places that makes you feel excited just walking in the door. I always feel like I've suddenly found everything I've ever searched for on Nashville's Craigslist and it's all in awesome condition. It has an AMAZING selection of used guitars and basses and a ton of boutique pedals sorted beautifully. When EMS first opened, it was teeny tiny and in sort of an entrepreneurial village with a lot of other start-ups. It grew really fast and moved to a bigger location not so long ago. Another thing that's great about it is that it's open really late ('til 10 on the weekends) so it's great for musicians!
Eat at: Mitchell Deli is just a bit away and they have my favorite sandwiches in Nashville. Like... I don't really even love subs and sandwiches that much but they always use local ingredients and are more "fancy." Mickey's Tavern and Dino's are also fun dive bars around here if you want to go where the locals go.
If you are looking for a guitar store that could potentially be located in heaven one day, Carter Vintage is your place. Last time I was there, I walked in and was like "oh wow these are so nice and I doubt they would let me play one." And then the sales person came over to me, and was like, "Play any you want- we have champagne and cookies while you are browsing" (the dream amiright!). So if you're after super high end vintage guitars, they are totally worth checking out!
Eat at: Carter vintage is right by the Gulch so you have a ton of options there (Arnold's Country Kitchen is literally next door and is the best southern meat-n-three). I love Tennessee Brew Works right around the corner. It's a brewery that almost always has live music and their food is GREAT. Really different from regular bar food. Also there is this tiny very new sake brewery called Proper Sake that is a hidden gem if that's something you are into!
Gruhn has been written up everywhere and has an amazing collection of extremely nice vintage guitars. It used to be on Broadway in Nashville, but moved to 8th Ave. a bit ago. George Gruhn is known to be extremely knowledgable about all things vintage guitars and the place is legendary! It's also right down the road from Carter Vintage so you can make a day out of looking at things you want (and may or may not ever have the money to buy)!
Eat at: This is a hard one! It's near to everything I mentioned for Carter Vintage. I love Fenwick's 300 for brunch over here. Also the M.L. Rose has been my friends' and my main hang since forever... so if you want a friendly sports bar that has the best vibes, this is your place.
I hope that this gives you a good starting place! I couldn't put all the awesome music stores in here obviously, but these are some of my faves. Tag @haleypowersmusic if you come to Nashville and please comment below with any favorites I missed!