Album, “Live At Guitar Center” Offers A Look At Musicians Old & New

The album, “ Live At Guitar Center,” is a series of recordings of nameless musicians — both newbies and old-timers — at the music equipment store Guitar Center.

They’re testing out the guitars, keyboards and synthesizers and have no idea they’re being recorded, according to
Noah Wall, who recorded the album, is an experimental musician in New York. He says the album was easy to produce. He wore tiny microphones that fit inside his ears like headphones, then he walked inside the Guitar Center at Union Square in New York.

“I would grab a guitar chords for beginners book and kind of hold it under my arm just to appear nonthreatening,” he says.
He continued. “I think in Guitar Center there are some unspoken rules; there are rules about taking a turn on an instrument if it’s crowded,” he says. “I mean definitely there’s some kind of pecking order going on too. I think there’s a lot of ego in there.”

“I think another unspoken rule is if you are really good, you kind of have to pump the brakes a little bit on showing off,” Wall says. “It kind of reminds me also of a watering hole where all these different animals go from different levels of the food chain, and while they’re there they suspend trying to eat each other.

“You know you get that someone with incredible technical skill playing right next to someone who’s probably never touched a keyboard in their life. And that’s kind of beautiful,” he says.