Dealer Spotlight: Drum City Guitarland
When I was a 13 year old kid in upstate New York and first starting to learn to play guitar, my father used to take me to New York City to visit Manny’s, Sam Ash and 48th Street Custom Guitars. They all had the best gear around, but the lefty selection was anything but titillating. You had your standard Stratocasters, Telecasters, Les Pauls, a few Kramers and maybe an Ibanez if you got lucky (I did, and snagged an RG560). One day, however, my father took me to a small town in Connecticut to visit the East Coast Music Mall.
It was, literally, Nirvana for left-handed guitar players. That shop has since closed and before that, had never regained the glory it had achieved in the 80’s. Since then, I had all but given up hope on finding another shop that would stock such a selection that would make my head spin and my heart race. That is, until a fateful internet search pointed me in the direction of Drum City Guitarland.
Browsing through the website immediately brought me back to the days where I would stare aimlessly at a wall of guitars I could only hope to own. They had signature model George Lynch ESP’s, Jackson USA and Custom Shop models, every Ibanez left-hand offering along with a full complement of Ernie Ball Music Man guitars. There were also pages upon pages of a guitar company I had not been familiar with at the time, Schecter, who apparently made countless left-handed models in all sorts of shapes, colors and options. I didn’t even know where to begin, and I immediately emailed Jason about a Kamikaze Lynch guitar I simply had to have.
Unfortunately, I was but a mere law student at the time and could not come up with the finances for such a fine instrument. I considered calling my father and seeing if the old “Dad, I NEED it!” would still work, but decided against it.
Today we are proud to be reviewing one of the most well-known lefty-friendly guitar shops around: Drum City Guitarland out of Wheat Ridge, Colorodo. The shop has been open since 1965 (founded by Ronny Kaye) and is now run by his two sons, Jason and Tim. They are an authorized Fender, ESP and Schecter dealer and carry a wide range of lefties ranging from Jackson to Dean to Ibanez to Ernie Ball Music Man. Additionally, they occasionally stock used lefty gear as well. Today, we are lucky enough to have Jason take some time for a little Q&A:
Q: Being that the company was started by your father, a drummer, how did Drum City Guitarland get so heavily involved in selling left-handed instruments?
A: My dad always had a few lefty guitars and basses for sale around the shop. We just expanded upon it over time and, thankfully, it worked out great.
Q: How long has Drum City Guitar Land been focusing on selling lefty guitars?
A: Our father started with drums in 1965. He then added guitars in 1970. Every year since then, we have added more and more lefties. I started our website in 1997. The very first section I added was: LEFT HANDED GUITARS.
Q: How has the response been from the lefty community?
A: Fantastic! I sell 2-3 left-handed instruments on-line each day! I always hear “I can’t believe you have this guitar left-handed!” Well…yeah! No one else in the world has this guitar either, usually.
Q: Companies like Gibson and Ibanez left-handed guitarists and produce their signature models, but don’t bother to offen them in left-handed versions, what’s up with that?
A: Exactly.I always ask each company we deal with to make more lefties! Schecter has the most lefties on the market, thanks to me!
Q: Ibanez was fairly lefty friendly in the 80′s and 90′s offering several models and color choices, then seemed to revert to only producing black-colored entry and mid-level models in the 90′s and 2000′s. With the release of the Jem and JS models should we expect to see a more diverse offering from Ibanez?
A: I wish it was that easy. I have been begging and begging for years, literally.
Q: A lot of guitar companies say that there are not enough left-handed guitarists to warrant producing more models and colors, do you agree with that sentiment?
A: Nope. I sell 2-3 lefties each day on-line…..Hello guitar companies? Are you listening??? A guy came in a few years ago with a British accent. He bought a lefty Schecter. I asked him how he heard about us. He said he was reading the Guardian Newspaper from the UK. It was “Left Handed Day” there. On the front page of the paper was an article. It listed everything you need to know about being a lefty. Then, it said “you can even get a guitar left-handed” and there was a link to our website’s lefty section! How cool is that?
Q: Out of all the companies that you do business with regularly, which is the most lefty-friendly?
A: Schecter, ESP/LTD, Ernie Ball/Music Man and Fender. Definitely.
Q: This year saw the release of the EVH guitars, also available left-handed, what’s on the horizon as far as new models, manufacturers or editions for us southpaws?
A: Yes! Those have sold extremely well. Everyone is so happy with the quality/playability & tone and finally having the change to own a lefty EVH for the first time as well. The Wolfgang Specials from Japan will be here in the Summer. I have plenty of custom ordered ESP models arriving from time to time as well. I special ordered these and they take about 8-12 months to arrive after the order date. Always check the website, we update it regularly!
Q: Drum City Guitarland has wonder multiple awards, such as the Fender Excellence Award, Dealer of the Year for ESP guitars and Independent Dealer of the Year for Schecter Guitars in 2008. Being as large of a retailer as Drum City Guitarland is, are you able to put together limited runs of special models from certain manufacturers?
A: I do this with the ESP’s you see on our site now. These aren’t available anywhere in the world. I order 6, sometimes 12 of each at a time. This way, I don’t run out of stock right away once I post them on the website.
Q: How much interest would be needed to get that ball rolling?
A: I would need to check this out with the exact brand as far as quantities go. Unfortunately, the quantity for a limited run is usually too high to be practical. Maybe we would be able to reach those prerequisite order quantities if there was some sort of cohesive lefty guitarist community out there. Know of any?
Q: Do any guitar companies ever make special runs only available through Drum City Guitarland like they do for national chains like Guitar Center or Sam Ash?
A: I’ve been doing that with Schecter and ESP for quite some time now.
Q: Is Drum City Guitarland able to special order guitars for customers that you may not have in stock at the time, but are regular production models?
A: Depends on the company. Some offer it, others do not. If you are interested in a particular model just give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.
Q: Thank you so much for your time, any message to the legions of frustrated lefty’s out there?
A: I hear about this all the time: A customer goes into a music story to get a left-handed guitar. The sales person tell them to learn right-handed, because they would be better off. How crazy is that??
You can contact Jason or Tim at:
Drum City Guitarland, Inc.
9225 W. 44th. Ave.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado USA 80033
Phone: 303-421-4515, 303-424-9393
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - http://www.drumcityguitarland.com
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/drumcityguitar
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/drum.cityguitarland