Before Corey Shek and Scott Watts were business partners, they were bandmates. Now as the owners of 3six0 Music, the two are still groovin’ to the same beat and playing off each other’s strengths.
Their cozy store, located in the old A-1 Reglazing space in Old Town, features just the essentials needed to start a rock band: drums, guitars, amplifiers and all the accompanying accessories. And more importantly, they will also repair instruments and amps, should something unfortunate happen.
“We’re aiming to be a musician’s music shop,” Shek said. “We’re focused on the basic rock band setup. We target the local music scene, from amateurs to professionals.”
Shek is the guitar specialist of the two, and Watts is an expert on all things drum-related. With their experience playing in local bands and performing together, the two have seen just about every possible way to break an instrument and know just as many ways to fix it.
The back room of the store functions as the repair room. Tools and various parts abound and guitars hang from the wall, waiting for their turn on the workbench. In just five months of business, Shek has already fixed more than 25 guitars.
“I didn’t go to school to be a luthier, but I’ve been around guitars all my life,” Shek said.
Drum repair is also in demand and keeps Watts busy, as indicated by the stack of drums with broken heads or missing pieces. Watts previously owned DSW Drums, a downtown percussion shop, from 2001 to 2006. He built a reputation for himself over the years and gets a lot of work from high school bands other music shops.
“Repairs are big for us. With the economy, people don’t want to buy a new guitar or drum, so they’re fixing up their current guitar or drum,” Watts said.
Behind the repair room are three practice rooms, where Shek, Watts and other local musicians hold classes for students of all skill levels. Before school let out for the summer, 3six0 Music had about 40 students each week coming in to take lessons. Watts said he expects that to pick up once classes start again.
Opening a music shop has meant a lot to both Shek and Watts. For years, music and work were separate endeavors.
“Now I get to focus more on my passions,” Shek said. “I absolutely love doing this. I love coming to work every day.”
Owners: Corey Shek and Scott Watts
Address: 1012 W. Holly St., Bellingham
Opening date: April 1
Square footage: 1,200
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday
Phone: (360) 756-6567