Local music shop strikes chord with music lovers

Tuesday, September 16th 2008, 5:39 pm
By: News 9

By Darren Brown, News9.com INsite team

OKLAHOMA CITY-- You can see it from the I-40 crosstown--a big white building without much signage. You've probably driven by it hundreds of times without noticing.  You're not alone.

Scott Friedman is the owner of Horn Trader, the music store that occupies that big white building.  He's heard the same comments for years.

"Every day somebody will come in.  They say I've driven by here for years, and seen the sign, and never knew what was in here--never knew you were here," Friedman said. " I guess people expect sometimes to see a music store in a mall-type location, or at least modern." 

 The Horn Trader could never be accused of being modern.  It's more...vintage.  Friedman is an expert at repairing woodwind instruments, and his workshop, which is just off the main sales floor, is sort of like a museum.

"I sometimes feel like we're a good home for discarded or old instruments." said Friedman.  "We take care of 'em and try to find a good place for 'em."

The flutes, clarinets, and saxaphones that Friedman repairs can be found all over the metro.  But a whole lot of drums and brass instruments pass through the doors, too. The Horn Trader carries a little bit of everything.

"I've got bagpipes, not a lot of 'em, but y'know if somebody wants bagpipes or of they want accordions, we try to have those unusual things--we couldn't make a living selling accordions, for instance, but we have 'em here when people want 'em," said Friedman.

And while the Horn Trader's inventory could be considered eclectic, the same could be said of its clientele.

Vince Gill, Greenday, and band members from ZZtop are just a few of the musicians who drop in from time to time.  There's also a group of guys who visit who have a "homegrown" flair.  "Flaming Lips--yeah, they've been our customers for a long time--they're nice guys," said Friedman. 

But for every celebrity that comes in, Friedman estimates there are at least 150 "regular joes" who need musical help--parents looking for a good instrument for their child's first band experience, or longtime musicians looking for a bargain.   

 Bruce Holm, who's worked with Friedman at the Horn Trader for the past twenty years, summed it up this way.  "The thing about being in a store--that I really like-- is that I feel like I'm helping to inspire young players and people that don't know about music."

These guys don't have a website--they say they like it that way.  But here's where you can find 'em.