San Marcos, CA

Where to Buy Musical Instruments in North San Diego County

Mike Peterson

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Credit: Susan Mohr

Whether you're a seasoned musician or you just want to learn an instrument as a hobby, you can do better than ordering your next musical instrument online or from a big-box music store.

Those options are fine and readily accessible, but it's always better to support the local economy and put a bit of money in the pockets of fellow San Diegans. With that in mind, here are some excellent places to buy new and used musical instruments throughout North San Diego County.

9. Music Mart

Address: 1279 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Website: https://www.musicmartonline.com/

True to its name, Music Mart covers all the bases when it comes to musical needs. You'll find a selection of drums, guitars, keyboards, recording equipment, and amplifiers at this shop. They also offer top-notch repair services, instrument rentals, and lessons.

8. American Music Exchange

Address: 1279 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday - Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Website: http://www.amxmusic.com/

American Music Exchange is a full-service musical instrument store located in Encinitas. In addition to a wide selection of new and used musical instruments, AMX also offers repair services for musical equipment and instruments. Additionally, the shop features lessons from a variety of expert instructors.

7. Carlsbad Village Music

Address: 505 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday

Website: https://www.carlsbadvillagemusic.com

This boutique music shop in Carlsbad Village focuses on music lessons from dedicated and experienced instructors. However, you'll also find a selection of guitars, gifts, accessories, and other musical-related items within its vintage-inspired walls -- a must-visit for any musician.

6. Drum Flip

Address: 1609 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Hours: 2 to 6:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday Website: 2110 S Coast Hwy G, Oceanside, CA 92054

Website: https://drum-flip.myshopify.com/

If you're specifically looking for drums, then Drum Flip in Vista is going to be your best bet. It's an independently (and veteran) owned drum store that offers a truly impressive selection of drum kits, cymbals, accessories, and other drum-related equipment.

5. Dusty's Guitar

Address: 1609 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Website: https://www.dustysguitar.com/

Dusty's Guitar in Oceanside is a one-stop-shop for players of stringed instruments. You'll find a staggering number of guitars, as well as bass guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, banjos, amplifiers, and other essential gear.

4. San Diego County Music Exchange

Address: 985 Civic Center Dr #102, Vista, CA 92083

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. t0 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday

Website: https://www.sdmusicexchange.com/

This full-service music store in Vista, California can meet pretty much any musical need you might have. They offer a wide selection of instruments, rentals, repairs, and lessons across most instruments that you can think of -- including guitar, brass and woodwind instruments, and violins or violas.

5. Artistic Pianos

Address: 740 Los Vallecitos Blvd, San Marcos, CA 92069

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday

Website: https://artisticpianos.com

Piano or keyboard players need look no further than Artistic Pianos in San Marcos, California for their musical instrument needs. This is a family-owned and operated store that stocks a massive selection of new and used grand pianos, upright pianos, and keyboards. If you play the keys, then this will be your store.

2. B&H Music

Address: 354 E Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday

Website: https://escondidomusicstore.com/

B&H Music Store is a humble shop tucked away in a building on Grand Avenue. While it's primarily a music lesson shop, it does have a selection of guitars for sale -- including some unique models you may not be able to find elsewhere. B&H also offers instrument rentals and repair services.

1. WildCat Guitars

Address: 2750 Auto Park Way Ste 21, Escondido, CA 92029

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Saturday, closed Sunday

Website: https://wildcatguitars.com/

WildCat Guitars, true to its name, only stocks the quintessential six-stringed instruments. However, it's one of the best shops in the entire San Diego region for high-end or rare guitars. It also happens to be the only authorized Fender Custom Shop dealer in San Diego County.

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Mike Peterson is a journalist, editor, and yoga teacher based in North San Diego County. He's a fan of indie bookstores, local craft beers, and excellent tacos.

San Diego, CA
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