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Do It Yourself Entertainment for Grassroots Musicians

This list of mail-order music stores is a great resource for down-home music makers.

| January/February 1979

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    Marc Bristol and other Washington State grassroots musicians wail away on a gutbucket, washboard, and jug (the axe is a gag).

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Even homesteaders need to relax and enjoy themselves from time to time, right? And almost everybody these days wants to cut his or her cost of living. So how about a little do-it-yourself entertainment? 

And that's what this column is all about. Down-home music that you can make, and the instruments (which, in some cases, you can also make!). 

Hot Tips For Grassroots Musicians and Do-It-Yourself Entertainment

You say you need some new strings for your guitar — or maybe want to spend some winter evenings building a kit banjo — but the nearest music store is 50 miles down the road and the snow's so deep that you can't get your pickup out of the barn anyway? Well, don't despair, because I'm going to tell you how you can have those goodies — as well as a whole slew of other musical items — delivered right to your mailbox for less money than you would have spent in the store in town!

For grassroots musicians there are, you see, a goodly number of mail-order music stores that sell musical merchandisers around the United States. Since these outfits aren't supporting storefronts in the high-rent district (and because many of the mail-order outlets deal in volume) — they usually offer discounts of up to 50 percent on most everything but quality handmade instruments.

I've prepared a list of a few reputable mail-order music store merchants, and — for the sake of comparison — I'll include sample prices wherever possible. So, get out a paper and pencil to order the equipment you need for some do-it-yourself entertainment, and let the postman start walking!

Mail-Order Music Stores

Elderly Instruments (East Lansing, Michigan) offers about the most extensive acoustic stringed instrument catalog that I know of. And, the Elderly folks have spiced their booklet up with solid information on how to mount a skin head on a banjo, find instrument building materials, or order publications that deal with folk music.

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