London’s home to a wide array of world-renowned music venues and musicians, but where do you go to start making music yourself? Whether you’re a beginner looking for knowledgeable staff to help you choose your first musical instrument or a seasoned strummer looking to upgrade your guitar, cello or even your ukulele, these music shops in London are the best places to visit.
If you’re keen to follow in the footsteps of legendary guitarists like Brian May, Ed Sheeran or even Slash, you need to equip yourself with the right instrument. And London boasts many great guitar shops, usually staffed with keen musicians who want to help you.
The hotspot for guitar shops – and general music shops – is in the heart of central London on Denmark Street. No matter the kind of instrument you want – acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitars or ukuleles – you’ll find it in store on Denmark Street. It’s a muso’s delight!
1. Wunjo Guitars, Denmark Street
Wunjo is a renowned and revered independent guitar shop stocking an extensive range of guitars. You’ll often find musicians (or wannabe musicians) standing in front of their window practically drooling over the display of vintage, classic and must-have guitars (Fender anyone)?
Pop in store and the super experienced and knowledgeable staff will talk you through the musical instruments and let you try them out for size.
2. Hank’s Guitar shop, Denmark Street
This gem of a guitar store has a rich history in serving famous musicians. It’s said that Noel Gallagher bought electro pedals there, and The Rolling Stones and Coldplay have also been known to browse the music store’s offerings. If it’s good enough for them…
3. Regent Sounds, Denmark St
Another popular music store, Regent Sounds has everything from top of the range Fender and Gretsch models for the professional player to entry level guitars for beginners. You can also trade in or sell your old musical instruments here.
4. No-Tom Guitars, Denmark St
You’ll find classic guitars starting at the £5,000 mark and going up to £60,000 and beyond. The shop name comes from the tomtit songbird and it’s also Cockney rhyming slang – tomtit = shit; no tom = no shit. No Shit Guitars.
5. Mak’s Guitars, Rathbone Place
This lovely, family-run guitar shop sells both new and pre-loved instruments. Their range of guitars extends to more unusual instruments like mandolins. And if your current guitar needs restringing, you can find strings and other accessories here too.
Are you after a classic Steinway or the latest electro keyboard? Head to these legendary London music stores to explore the pianos, synthesisers and keyboards on offer.
6. Yamaha Music London, Wardour Street
Yamaha’s flagship store is in the heart of Soho. This vast music emporium spans three floors, stocking everything a pianist could need and more. Try out a grand piano, chat with the super helpful staff or pick up some sheet music. It’s all here in Yamaha’s Soho music store.
7. Jacques Samuels Pianos, Edgware Road
Trusted and loved by the London music community, Jacques Samuels is a class act. The Marylebone showroom is a destination for pianists. It goes beyond piano sales too. You can hire pianos, book their specialists for tuning and servicing, or use their rehearsal rooms too.
8. Roland Store, Denmark Street
Back in Denmark Street, the Roland Store stocks a range of instruments including the latest generation of digital pianos and synthesisers. It’s known for being at the forefront of musical innovation and hosts workshops which are well worth checking out.
All sections of the orchestra are catered for by London’s best music shops. These favourites are magical musical destinations to explore and enjoy.
9. Howarth of London, Chiltern Street
Howarth is the place to go for all things woodwind. This specialist store makes its own oboes and also sells brand new or used saxophones, clarinets and flutes. For beginners, you can also pick up a recorder and start practicing London’s Burning!
10. Dots Music, St Pancras Way
This Camden Town music store is loved and run by musicians, and it shows. Browse the range of woodwind instruments as well as parts like reeds. There are second hand as well as brand new musical instruments in store.
To find out more about Camden’s pop and rock history, join our musical tour of the area.
11. Hobgoblin, Rathbone Place
Folk fans absolutely must go to Hobgoblin in Fitzrovia. They specialise in rare folk instruments like recorders and guitars. They also undertake repair work to keep your favourite instrument going for longer.
And there’s more. These marvellous music stores sell a vast array of musical goodies. If you need a gift for a music fan, head here and you’re sure to be inspired.
12. Schott Music, Great Marlborough St
Schott Music is the best stocked shop for sheet music. Their knowledgeable staff will help you to choose the best scores for your ability, musical taste and instrument. These guys really know their stuff and will go above and beyond to find the best edition for you.
13. Travis and Emery, Cecil Court
Travis and Emery has a deliciously old-fashioned shop front and a library-like atmosphere within. Peruse the vintage and collectible classical scores, unrivalled selection of music books, collectible opera programmes, biographies and well-priced second hand CDs.
14. Portobello Music, All Saints Road
This vibrant music shop in Notting Hill has been serving its musical customers for over 30 years. They specialise in customising musical instruments. Their stock changes constantly and you’ll find everything from guitars and cellos to amps and pedals.
15. PMT, Old Street
PMT – we’re not talking pre-menstrual tension here. This shop encourages you to ‘Play Music Today.’ And the expert staff will help you to do just that as their enthusiasm abounds. The ground floor’s dedicated to guitars. The basement’s all about music tech like PAs, mics and amps. Then there’s the piano, keyboard and synthesiser section and…drum roll please… the electric drum kits of your dreams.
And for something a little different…
Being London Walks, we like to find the lesser spotted sights too. Whilst they wouldn’t be described as music shops, museum gift shops can be a tremendous source of unusual and fun gifts for music lovers. The Science Museum gift shop is always great for weird and wonderful novelties and great books too. Its small but vivid collection of artefacts from the history of recorded sound can now be found tucked away in the basement of the museum.
And don’t forget the Royal College of Music and its wonderful little museum. It’s a fascinating collection which rotates regularly and has a small selection of musical novelties and books on sale. Plus, the Royal Albert Hall also has a small gift shop with everything from Albert Hall-shaped teapots to Oyster card holders. Discover these gems and more in our Kensington musical tour.