Choosing a music store is, for many people, akin to choosing a proctologist. You may really need what it has to offer, but you also know it is almost always going to be painful. Whether you are an aspiring newbie or a seasoned musician, the experience of visiting the retailers who have what you need to get your groove on can be scary, intimidating, and sometimes offensive to your sensibility of right and wrong.
The Valley has a few stores that stand out. Sure, sometimes even their folks can be surly or disinterested in hearing about your latest power ballad, but there are places where you can go and be treated fairly well by the staff. Here are the top eight choices, chosen through a combination of our own experience and conversations with a cross-section of local musicians.