I don’t normally go the negativity route with blog posts, but I was BLOWN AWAY yesterday upon visiting a big-box music store in Osaka, Japan (I forget the name of it now). Look at this snare drum selection!

Again… this is not a drum shop… it’s a huge music store located in a busy mall, just like Guitar Center in the US. A quick glance through these drums reveals…

– Multiple Craviotto snares
– Huge selection of Yamaha (Club custom, Oak custom, etc)
– Huge selection of Canopus (high end Japanese drum company)
– Huge selection of Ludwig (including 60’s supras and 70’s black beauties)
– High end Gretsch models
– Tons of high end Sonor shells (German company)
– Many smaller high end companies with one or two drums represented

… not to mention a ton of nice Tama snares, DW (the real Collector’s series), Pearl, and not a Mapex drum in sight (thank goodness). There were MAYBE 5 lower-quality drums. Maybe.

I was so pumped up to find such an amazing display of incredible instruments at a big-box store. I’m accustomed to the US approach to massive chain retailers, where stocking anything nice doesn’t make sense because there’s more profit margin in the mid-level or crap-level stuff. Drum Worship “Pacific” models, The budget version Pork Pie and Orange County (real OCDP and Pork stuff is great, but the GC selection doesn’t include that), Joey Jordison Signature snares… these are NOT nice snare drums. Don’t be deceived.

Summary: If you want to buy a nice snare drum (which most people do), don’t go to Guitar Center. They don’t have any. Or perhaps they have 2 or 3, but they hide them in the back corner. Instead, save your money, and order something online. Or go to a real drum shop somewhere. Unfortunately Guitar Center has ruined what a “a real drum shop” is supposed to look like.