Invited by owner Kyle and his charming wife Michelle to the Grand Opening of their new store, Replay Guitar Exchange in South Tampa, Britton Plaza — my musically inclined husband with an ear for music, a great admiration for musicians and appreciation for any musical instrument couldn’t resist and asks me to join him.
Replay Guitar Exchange is a guitar lovers oasis. New, used and vintage there is definitely something for every professional or aspiring guitar player. Beautiful, versatile and used in almost all forms of music yet the guitar is not one of my personal favorites though have to admit, upon entering the 6,000 square foot store, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of new electric guitars to include a wall of Fender and Gibson models on display at the front of the store — I was enraptured. And, the further I ventured the more captivated I became.
Dimmed lighting, walnut floors and accent walls, a room of acoustic guitars against a black felt backdrop exhibits yet another wall of beauties - the varying styles of acoustic guitars. Off to one corner, a potential customer plays a guitar, strumming to his own beat. Stopping to listen though not for long as the eye is drawn to a collection of ukuleles and banjos displayed on the other side of the glass window. Instantly my thoughts take me to the sounds produced by Jake Shimabukuro and how in awe I am watching and listening to him play the ukulele. O to have the fast and complex finger work as he. Inspired I head to the display of beautifully crafted and designed ukuleles, pick one and attempt to make a palatable sound. Before getting to discouraged I redirected my thoughts back to Jake and all was well.
The wow at Replay Guitar Exchange did not stop there. The store offers more then guitars, ukuleles and banjos. On the left is a room dedicated to amps, another for bass guitarists from which our ears were filled with the low sound of a man playing a little slap bass line. To the right is where one will find the store’s luthier to handle any guitar repair issue. Further down the hall, for individual lessons, four practice rooms outfitted with iMacs are available and with a thumb drive, students can take a recording of their lesson upon departure if they so desire. Should one need to wait through a student’s lesson, there is a comfortable and cozy lounge for use.
Returning to the front of the store, I forgot to mention a small stage where on this grand opening night the ears of many were filled with the progressive rock sounds of the John Wesley; music from the album, Disconnect. John Wesley (vocals/guitars), Patrick Bettison (bass guitar) and Mark Prator (drums and percussion) without doubt entertained the rather large turnout of curious minds looking to check out the new guitar store in South Tampa while getting to hear the enormous talent of John Wesley and his band.
Like I said earlier, for not having the guitar on the top of my list of favorite instruments, after a walk through Replay Guitar Exchange, which is like walking through a museum of guitars and having Jeffrey with his knowledge to teach me a thing or two about guitar I do believe I have turned the corner. I can definitely say I now have a higher appreciation for the guitar; after all it is the primary instrument in many genres and deserves more respect then I had ever given it.
The evening proved to be more educational for me then probably most who attended the grand opening; either way - for the professional, the novice or one like me who knows little about guitars - all will surely walk away entertained and more knowledgeable.
Replay Guitar Exchange infuses new color and sound to Britton Plaza. In the market for the best of new, used and vintage guitars, amps and the accoutrements of, Replay Guitar Exchange is a musicians best resource in Tampa Bay. Your visit to Replay Guitar Exchange won't disappoint!
Replay Guitar Exchange
3944 Britton Plaza