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Shopography - Denmark Street



Feature: Jenny Coggins

CHAPPELL'S, of Bond Street, is usually thought of as the music shop, in London, to cater to music lovers.

Yet, if somewhere cooler is in demand, then try Denmark Street, aka Tin Pan Alley.

With a history steeped in rock and pop history, Denmark Street has been serving industry and amateurs for over 30 years.

The street has been trodden upon by some of the greatest feet in music. Famous visitors include Jimi Hendrix and The Sex Pistols and, more recently, The Darkness.

Follow in their footsteps with a trip down London's noisiest street…

With a set of Joan Armatrading's hands in cast on Rose Morris' doorstep, it is clear this is a shop to be taken seriously.

Set over six floors, this is the Megastore of the street.

As well as instruments, the shop boasts a good accessories section, with guitar tuners and straps for £17.50.

Situated on the ground floor is a library of videos and DVDs, all aiding beginners through to professionals on how to master their instrument.

Among this library, is also an extensive selection of sheet music from film and show soundtracks to singers and bands.

You can also pick up sheet music for learning various genres, as old school as jazz and as contemporary as nu-metal.

Prices range from £8-15, depending on size and popularity. Down in the basement rests the pro-guitar centre. For those not yet at pro status there are smaller instruments on sale such as maracas. If you are on the look out for bandmates scour the advertising board.
Mon-Fri 10-6:30, Sat 10-6, Sun Closed
10 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8TD Tel: 020 7836 9741

For those who have moved on from rock, Pro Audio Store, is the place for sound and recording technology and is part of Rose Morris next door. Selling recording mixers, keyboards, computer software, audiocards and microphones, Pro Audio trade at excellent rates. If the shop leaves you baffled, there are books for technophobes with which you'll be a DJ in no time.
Mon-Fri 10-6:30, Sat 10-6, Sun Closed
10 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8TD Tel: 0207 836 0991
www.proaudiostore.co.uk

The World of Music chain owns the majority of shops in the street, including World of Pianos and Hanks (see below).

One of their stores, World of Music Guitars is not quite the size of a planet, but does have a good selection, particularly Fenders.

Downstairs houses their range of amps, including brands such as Marshall and Orange and are all reasonably priced.

If you are not able to afford these then treat yourself to a saucy plectrum, for just 75p, definitely a cheaper way to bring out the Rock God within.

Unfortunately, the staff are not the most helpful or friendly, (for example there are bossy signs up demanding you don't touch the guitars without permission), and look at you as if they are too cool for school.

If you can get past the attitude, then you might just find yourself a great guitar to make sweet music with.
Tel: 0207 240 7696 / 0800 371 129. Web: www.wom.co.uk

Hanks boast the largest selection of acoustic guitars in Europe and it's difficult to disclaim it.

Hanging from every possible nook and cranny are a wide variety of acoustics. In the window hangs a special edition Elvis Gibson. No price is shown, just the words: ask!

We did and the answer was an impressive £4,500. The staff are keen to talk about how the guitar is taking on a life of it's own and gathering publicity; The Face magazine will be running a feature on it in their next issue.

Don't let this scene-stealer captivate your attention, however, as there are many beautiful guitars in this shop.
www.wom.co.uk/hanks
24 Denmark Street London WC2H 8NE 020 7379 1139
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm

When all that jamming produces a headache, visit Helter Skelter for some quiet reflection, which has been peacefully nestling at the end of the street since 1995.

As well as band books on artists and groups, there are also music genre books to expand your knowledge.

If music geography is more to your taste then try one of the books on the best talent to emerge from Memphis to Manchester.

A continuing sale offers up some bargains, both reduced DVDs and CDs are going for £5.

In addition to the books, magazines from NME and fanzines are on sale.
Open Mon-Fri 12 noon-6:30pm and Sat 10-6pm.
Tel: 020 7836 1151

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