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Community Outreach
  "Strum Together"


Pittsburgh Guitars is a music store that's staffed by musicians. We understand your love of music, especially guitars, and we're here to help, show, teach, or just talk about guitars and gear with you. We know guitars!

Pittsburgh Guitars Owner, John


John acquired his first REAL guitar at the age of 10. It was a Stella acoustic that his parents bought from a neighbor for $25. With money saved from his first job (working at a clothing store while in high school) he bought a `76 Gibson Les Paul at Pittsburgh Guitars in 1979, one of the first of many guitars to be purchased at the store. After being employed in robotics and industrial sales he decided it was time to work in a field he felt more passionate about, and started working at the store in 2002. When Carl decided to retire at the end of 2011, John became the new proprietor of Pittsburgh Guitars.
Current Band: The Elliotts
Name of First Band: The Metal Rainbow
First Live Gig:  Carrick High Talent Show--I played my `76 Les Paul through an Ampeg V4 full stack. Thought that it would be cool to turn the amp to 10. I was wrong....
Main Live Rig: Epiphone Casino through Vox AC15
Favorite Bands: Beatles, Zeppelin, Badfinger, Tom Petty, XTC, The Jam, Crowded House, The Church, The Kinks, Neil Young, Big Star
Musician would most like to Meet: Jimmy Page
First Concert: Aerosmith with Golden Earing
First Car: 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was $900.
Humor Influences: Monty Python, King Of Queens, The Office, Austin Powers, Peter Sellers
Who Would Play You in a Movie: John Cusack mainly because of High Fidelity
Play The Kevin Bacon Game: Nick Nolte shopped at Pittsburgh Guitars, Nick Nolte is in Cape Fear with Robert DeNiro, Robert DeNiro is in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon
Visit John on Facebook
Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, Scott

Scott got his first guitar (an Airline archtop) as a junior high school student in Ft. Worth, Texas. Influenced by The Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion, as well as the Beach Boys, he sold his comic book collection to buy his first electric guitar. After moving to Pennsylvania, he switched to bass (a Hofner Beatle Bass). Not destined for the corporate world after graduating from college, Scott began repairing guitars to supplement his musician's pay. The rest, as they say, is history.

Name of Current Band: I'm a bassist at large
Name of First Band: Raspberry Jam
Live Rig: GK 800RB & 410 cabinet/ Rickenbacker 4001
Favorite Bands: The Beatles, ZZ Top, the list is long
Or Musical Influences: I like good songs by anyone
Humor Influences: Monty Python, Daniel Tosh
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: Billy Gibbons- love the attitude
First Concert: Yardbirds w/ Jeff Beck
First Car: 1961 Chevy station wagon
Favorite Beer: There's so many--what day is it?
Favorite Food: Grilled meat

Visit Scott on Facebook

Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, Sam Sam
Although he doesn't remember it, Sam’s parents told him he saw the Beatles play on the Sullivan Show at age 5. But Sam often refers to the Monkees, with their TV show being his first musical memories, as his “gateway drug to rock and roll.” In 8th grade Sam decided to learn guitar, and “borrowed” his first instrument, a Harmony Stella acoustic, from his Junior High music department. Fascinated by instruments, Sam plays guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, some drums and keyboards and records music in his spare time. Even though he’s a child of punk rock, Sam has studied guitar with the likes of Ernie Hawkins, John Renbourn, Woody Mann and John Cephus. Favorite quote: “It’s a guitar. There are no rules.”

Name of Current Band: Ancient Skvlls
Name of First Band: The Whereabouts
Live Rig: Gibson Les Paul Special with P-90’s ,Marshcaster Tele, Gibson EB-3 or Rick 4001
Favorite Bands: Too Many to count. Sonic Youth, Zeppelin, the Stones (Everything up to “Some Girls”), Sabbath (“The first 4 LPs are perfect”), Bowie (“everything up to “Scary Monsters”), Mott the Hoople, the Velvets, John Coltrane Quartet, Neil Young (on electric guitar), Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Clash. Should I keep going?
Musicians I Would Most Like to Meet: Billy Gibbons, Keith Richards, Neil Young
First Concert: Humble Pie/REO Speedwagon, Civic Arena ‘74
First Car: $600 Mazda Hatchback with 160,000 miles on it.
Favorite Beer: Too many to list. But Dancing Gnome is our "local bar."
Favorite Food: Grilled flesh, sushi, but I never met a pizza I didn't like, either.
Humor Influences: Monty Python
Visit Sam on Facebook

Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, Rob Rob
- Rejected K-Pop backup dancer
- Found refuge in Pittsburgh in 2014 afterwards

Name of First Band: Dolorous
First Gig:
An Irish pub in Westchester, NY (I forget the name)
Live Rig: Sommatone OD-35 amp, ES-335, Sommatone El-Toro (bass amp), Fender P-Bass
First Concert: AC/DC
Favorite Bands: "Currently Spinning" - Rich Robinson, The Magpie Salute, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Samantha Fish, Larkin Poe, Big Wreck, Band-Maid . . .
Musicians I Would Like to Meet: Jimmy Page, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Rich Robinson, Bonnie Raitt, Luther Dickinson, the guys in Pearl Jam
First Car: `92 Saturn SL-21
Favorite Beer: IPAs
Favorite Food: Not picky/ open-minded
Humor Influences: Films: Police Academy series, Mel Brooks films
Favorite TV Shows: NewsRadio, Seinfeld, Friends, Ash vs. Evil Dead
Who Would Play You in a Movie: Fozzie Bear from The Muppets

Pittsburgh Guitars Staff, betsy

Desperately wanting to be a Beatle, Betsy gave up the trombone and got her first guitar when she was 8 years old. It was plastic, and wouldn't stay in tune, so she cried until her mom took it back and brought home the yellow Stella. On the heels of buying her first Martin guitar from Carl at Pittsburgh Guitars in Bloomfield (many years later!), she took off for Los Angeles where in 1989 she was signed to Vanguard Records with Andy Robinson and their folk-pop band, Different World. Their self-titled CD (she was sad that they didn't press an actual LP!) met with critical acclaim, but still The Beatles paid no notice. Back in Pittsburgh in the early 90s, she hung around the store so much that she was put to work!

Current Musical Project: Rising Moon
First Live Performance:  I sang Ragtime Cowboy Joe at a talent show when I was about 8. I didn't win, but I still sing it once in a while!
Main Live Gear: Martin D-18V, Lowden 0-25, Flatiron mandolin, Fishman Loudbox Artist
Some Favorite Bands & Musical Influences: The British Invasion bands and the US bands that answered them, the Southern California singer/songwriters, The Sophisticated Ladies
First Car: A Ford Pinto . . . the exploding kind!
Humor Influences: The Smothers Brothers, Christopher Guest, Tina Fey, Robert Mondavi
Favorite Beer: Can't beat a good California cabernet
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: Lyle Lovett



Our Instructors
Pittsburgh Guitars Instructor, Spencer

Spencer's first musical instruments were the viola and clarinet, but as he discovered rock n' roll he began to develop his own musical taste, and started playing guitar around age 12.  His musical pursuits have led him to study Jazz Guitar at Duquesne University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Guitar Performance. Spencer plays around town in various groups, playing primarily funk, jazz, and rock music, but enjoys all genres.  

Current Band: Duration Band, and a few different side projects
Name of First Band: Discontinued 
First Live Gig: I played the Hard Rock Cafe through a school of rock-type program.
Main Live Rig: Fender American Standard Stratocaster or an Eastman 810ce through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Favorite bands: Soulive, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Wes Montgomery, I always found it hard to say who my favorites are though...
Musician I Would Most Like to Meet: If I could bring him back to life, that'd be pretty cool to hang with Wes Montgomery
First Concert: Mickey Hart with Zakir Hussain and some other World percussionists 
Favorite Beer: Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
Favorite Food: Indian Ffood
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad!!!!
Humor Influences: Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, and George Carlin   
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Bruce Willis with a huge beard

Pittsburgh Guitars Instructor, Greg

Greg is the first musician in his family, and started playing the guitar at 13. In high school he became dedicated to learning about different styles of music, as well as theory, and decided to make a career of it. That decision led him to Duquesne University for a bachelor's and now a master's degree.

First Live Gig: High School Talent Show
Main Live Rig: Vox AC-15HW, 1989 Fender American Strat or Gibson ES-335
Favorite Bands: Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Miles Davis, Pat Martino
Musicians I Would Most Like to Meet: Jimmy Page, Grant Green
First Concert: Lynyrd Skynyrd
First Car: Ford Explorer
Favorite Beer: Oskar Blues Old Chub
Favorite Food: Meat
Favorite TV Shows: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Entourage
Humor Influences: Rodney Dangerfield, Chris Farley, Chevy Chase, Louis CK
Who Would Play Me in a Movie: Stallone

Strum Together!

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Store Hours:
Monday - Thursday
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday & Saturday
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed Sunday
*** We are closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Day.***
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