Take lessons, buy and repair instruments
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–Guitars Etc., owner Bill Burgin bought his son, Will, a guitar for Christmas in 1993.
Bill learned to play the guitar when he was 12 and since Will was showing interest, he thought learning to play might serve him well.
But Bill was unaware this new guitar would save their relationship during Will’s teen years and provide quality time for them after Will was married and had children.
More importantly, it provided an opportunity for the father and son duo to run a business together.
After Bill retired from teaching school, he purchased a struggling guitar store in Canton and turned it around by focusing on teaching music lessons. Later on the business was relocated to Kilgore.
Nearly four years ago, Bill and Will opened a second Guitars Etc., in Athens.
They continue to focus on lessons for both young and old.
“We’ve had students from ages four to 94,” Will said.
“And we know for a fact, if someone is willing to learn and practice, age is only a number. Music is a gift that keeps giving for all ages.”
Guitars Etc., now employs five staff members at the Athens location, and offers guitar, violin, drums, bass, ukulele, mandolin, banjo and voice lessons.
“Whether you have a budding Taylor Swift or you just want to learn some Waylon and Willie tunes or maybe even some heavy metal, Guitars Etc., has the staff to meet your needs,” Bill said.
“We have a full repair shop for brass, woodwind and stringed instruments and five lesson rooms with one dedicated to drums,” he added.
Guitars Etc., also offers various musical events at least once a month.
Their main goal is to offer music that will last a lifetime.
“While people may come in and out of our lives, music will never leave you,” Will said.
“We help the families and individuals of the lake area and surrounding community live happier lives through the joy of music by offering high quality instruments, a great team who make learning music fun and easy, as well as supporting and hosting community events to spread music into the lives of the people we meet so that music becomes a part of bettering their lives,” Bill said.
Guitars Etc., recently received a national award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) as one of the Top 100 Dealers in the world.
They were given this award because of their community involvement and focus on creating music for the community.
Guitars Etc., is located at 604 S. Palestine St. in Athens.
For more information, call (903) 292-1733 or go to www.guitarsetcathens.com.