Shop Talk: Fanny's House of Music in Nashville
What do you get when you put two female bass players together with a mission to make a music store targeted to men and women? You get the legendary Fanny’s House of Music in Nashville, Tennessee. At Fanny’s, music and fashion come together, as the space is also used to sell wares from two of Nashville’s best vintage clothing stores.
This unique location has been heralded as Nashville’s “Most Comfortable” music store—and deservingly so. To create such a relaxed and laid-back environment amongst the usual riffage and shredding that typically happens in a music shop isn’t easy, but Fanny’s and their amazing staff get it right. Go see why the readers of the local Nashville Scene newsweekly voted Fanny’s the best place to buy an instrument.
NUMBER OF INSTRUMENTS CURRENTLY IN STOCK
Pamela Cole (Co-owner): We are a small boutique house and currently have around 300 instruments, as well as vintage clothing.
MOST SOUGHT-AFTER INSTRUMENT BY CUSTOMERS
Fanny’s has developed a reputation as a place to get a cool old Chicago-made catalog guitar. Small body vintage and affordable funky Japanese electrics are popular.
THE ONE PIECE OF GEAR EVERY PLAYER SHOULD HAVE
Every player should have a tuner. My personal mission is to make sure every player has a Rickenbacker and a tenor guitar.
COOLEST INSTRUMENT CURRENTLY IN THE SHOP
When you first walk into Fanny’s there are pictures of our mother’s and friend’s mom who helped us open the store. My mom is playing an old Harmony Gene Autry guitar and above the photo is a 1948 Gene Autry Melody Ranch guitar in her honor.
MOST EXPENSIVE INSTRUMENT YOU’VE EVER SOLD
We sell affordable quality vintage gear. The most expensive for us was a $6,500 Gibson harp guitar.
BIGGEST PET PEEVE AS A SHOP OWNER
My staff and I hate “hijackers”! These are customers that come in and hijack conversations and may sit with a guitar for an hour unaware of other players around them.
FAVORITE CELEBRITY ENCOUNTER
When Robert Plant wandered in one day, we thought about closing for the day after he left! Taylor Swift came in a couple of times when we first opened, and eight years later young girls still come in to get their first guitar. When Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes came in, we felt like our mission had been accomplished.
ONE THING EVERYONE SHOUD KNOW ABOUT FANNY’S.
Fanny’s is one of only a handful of female-owned and operated music stores worldwide!
MOST COMMON SONG OR RIFF WHEN TRYING GUITARS
The Beatles’ “Blackbird” is still a favorite for acoustic players. The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” on electric for the kids.
ADVICE FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO BUY A GUITAR
Don’t worry about brands. We have three rules: 1) How does it look? If you don’t like the way it looks, you won’t pick it up. 2) How does it feel? If it’s too big, too small or uncomfortable, you won’t practice. 3) How does it sound? If you like the way it sounds, you will play it and most likely keep it for a long time.