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Best of Arlington 2020

Action Music

Music Store

Matt Baker at Action Music. Photo by J. Michael Whalen

Purchase a $7 pack of guitar strings at Action Music and owner Matt Baker might throw in an expert restringing lesson for free. “Fundamentally, this is commerce, but to me it’s more about music and community,” says Baker, who’s been repairing and selling instruments to everyone from first-time players to arena-filling bands since the ’90s. In fact, every music-lover who walks into this Falls Church City shrine to fretted instruments seems to get a little more than they expected, whether it’s a history lesson, an introduction to the adjacent recording studio or the chance to play, say, a 1937 D’Angelico Excel (price tag $16,500). “Most of our stock is professional grade, but we can help get a new player started,” says Baker. “We try to have enough of a selection so that whether you walk in with $500 or $5,000, you can always find something good.” –Adrienne Wichard-Edds