Article by XIANEASE
Xi’an has been a very musical city as of late—every bar has musicians (quality not required), more live venues are opening and there are even buskers at South Gate now. If the music in the air has you wistful for a musical life you left behind, or has you inspired to pick up a six-string yourself, that’s great, because Xi’an is a city of dreams your dreams aren’t so out of reach. However, you might not know where to get started. Luckily the city has no shortage of places to get musical, so here are a few notable ones that can help you embark on your quest for rock stardom.
Before you do anything, you’ll need an instrument. Forget about Taobao, you’ll want to get hands-on and find something you love playing, and these two shops have everything you need.
At first glance, this little shop tucked away on Nanguo Road might not seem very different than the other guitar and piano shops that line the street. Just take a couple steps inside though, and you’ll see it—the “Guitar God” room: a grand glass display of some breathtakingly nice (and expensive) axes. There’s more than that of course, and in-store selection is a bit limited, but they’ve got all the brands you’re looking for and pretty much all the accoutrements you might need, including but not limited to practice amps, cables, picks and effects pedals. Repairs and tune-ups are also available.
Address: 40-42 Nanguo Rd (西安市南郭路40-42号)
Tel: 136-1928-7725 (029) 8789 5413
BIRD OF PARADISE 天堂鸟乐器城
Bird of Paradise on Wenyi South Road has been open for more than 20 years and boasts an entire menagerie of things that make music. Violins, pianos, guitars, drums and more, it’s all here for you to peruse. Their huge showroom is nice just to be in and play around in, and staff are very helpful to visitors. They also do instrument maintenance, if you so need it. If you’re looking for something specific to kit yourself out with on your musical journey and can’t find it anywhere else, perhaps the Bird of Paradise can bring it to you.
Address: 2F, 49 Wenyi Nan Rd (文艺南路49号水族世界二层)
Hours: 9:30am – 9:30pm
Now that you’ve got an instrument, if you’re planning on doing anything more ambitious than just playing a solo rendition of Wonderwall, you’ll need a place for you (and probably your bandmates) to practice. These two spaces are ready and waiting for you to come jam out.
NEED PLAY 藥丸音乐工作室
It’s a somewhat Narnia-esque journey to Need Play Studio, being that you’ll need to dive deep into a parking garage on Wenyi North Road to find it. But if you do, you’ll find a true hidden gem of Xi’an: two tricked-out practice spaces with drum kits (BYO cymbals, drummers!), Marshall half-stacks, mics and whatever the hell it is bassists use.
Address: B1F, Minsheng Shopping Mall, Wenyi Bei Rd
Hours: Open 24 hours
Tel: 158-2963-3454 135-7244-7716
Price: Big Room 60RMB/hour Small Room 50RMB/hour
Vein is located near Hanguang Gate and is very proud of their equipment. A visit to their site will immediately greet you with a list of all of their amps and mics and PA gear, and some beautiful pictures of their space. Vein also does double-duty as a live venue, so if you’re good in rehearsal then who knows? Maybe your first gig won’t be too far off.
Address: Bing Jiao Xiang west side, Tian Shui Jing Street
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