1. McKenzie River Music 455 W. 11th Avenue. 541-343-9482. McKenzieRiverMusic.com.
2. Buy and Sell Center 410 E. 11th Avenue. 541-344-9273. BuyNSellEugene.com.
3. Beacock Music 791 W. 8th Avenue. 541-653-9929. BeacockMusic.com.
No one in Eugene has a better selection of stringed instruments than McKenzie River Music. McKenzie River Music owner Artie Leider says the store specializes in higher quality instruments for beginners, collectors or professionals. With 50 years of experience in guitars, he says he’s there to guide someone through the guitar buying process. But that’s not all the store offers. The store also has world-class guitar and violin repair personnel. The store’s name is known around the world, Leider adds, so McKenzie River Music has become a stop for well-known guitarists. Recently, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny stopped by the store, but Leider says he’s had other big names like Joe Bonamassa, Jackson Browne and Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick come in. And, back when Pixies’ front man and solo artist Frank Black (who also goes by a bunch of other names) lived in Eugene, he would frequently stop at the store before heading out for tours. But Leider says the best joy he gets is selling a guitar to a young beginner: “That’s a hell of a lot better than anything else.” — Henry Houston