High Street Music

As one of many guitar stores around Melbourne, High Street Music differentiate themselves from the pack with their extensive Cole Clark range, their in-store customisation and music lessons and their true interest in customer service. We spoke to store manager Thom Jackson and owner Peter to find out a bit more about their Preston store.

What are the main brands and musical products High Street Music specialise in?
Thom: We’re the biggest Cole Clark stockist in Victoria, we also have a very extensive ukulele range, and we’re quite large in Katoh as well, in the classic guitars there. We’ve also probably got the only range of Cole Clark electrics still in captivity.
Are there any services you offer in store for musicians?
Thom: We’ve got a full music school here, doing piano, guitar, ukulele, drums, bass, vocals, and violin. We’ve also got a full repair department, so we do restrings, full setups, and we also do custom shop on guitars. So those are the two major pillars of our business, as well as the retail side.
Do the lessons cater more towards beginners or to advanced players?
Thom: We do all levels, obviously we cater for beginners but moving into more advanced we’ve got very experienced musicians who come in just to skill up with some of our teachers. When you’re just playing by yourself you can get into bad habits, and you can also get into a bit of a rut. You hit some walls and you can start to rest on what you know. What happens when having a one on one lesson is that it always pushes you forward, and always makes you go that extra little bit and learn things that if you’re just sitting in your comfort zone you won’t learn.
What is your point of difference (products and services, clubs or customer service)?
Peter: The difference with our shop is that we do a lot of customisation; we’re authorised by Cole Clark to customise their electrics. We sometimes change the wiring, the scratchplates, genuine mother of pearl, which we’ve sourced and no one else has to my knowledge. We make up scratchplates, we change pickups and we’ve got a variety of different pickups here, DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, British Tone Rider etc. A lot of the instruments you find in the store have been customised, and they’re not stock standard instruments. With regards to Cole Clark, we’re obviously the biggest stockists of Cole Clark in Melbourne, and we really like that product, we have a genuine affliction to it. The thing about Cole Clark is that they’re very innovative, they’re not like a lot of other companies that just use spruce and mahogany and rosewood, they use a lot of other timbers which have got amazing sound qualities. They’ve also got the sustainability, they’ve got sustainable timbers that they use like blackbean, blackwood, Queensland Maple, Californian Redwood and Cedar of Lebanon, which is a unique timber referenced in the Bible.
Are there any upcoming events or sales?
Peter: We’ve got the sale on at the moment, where we’ve got the Angel Talisman on sale – which is normally $3100 – for $1999. We will be doing specials all the time, but price-wise we’ve got a motto that we’ll beat any genuine price. It’s a very old fashion store, we’ve been in the business for a long, long time, so we cater to the needs and give a good consultative approach to people when they come in. We’ve got a lot of loyal customers who really like that we go that extra mile with them.
By Elijah Hawkins

High Street Music is located at 442 High Street, Preston. They’re open Monday to Wednesday 10am – 8pm, Thursday to Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm. You can contact them on (03) 9077 8343 or find more information on their website www.highstreetmusic.net.au.