Whether you’re looking to start your first garage band (not that many of us can actually afford a garage in Hong Kong…) or you’re a classical musician seeking something a little closer to a Stradivarius, Hong Kong has a huge selection of instrument shops. Here’s our pick of some of the best.
If you need some inspiration for your next song, check out our guide to Hong Kong’s best regular live music nights. And in case you’re looking for somewhere to practice, see our guide to the city’s best practice rooms and studios.
Where to buy instruments in Hong Kong
A proper artisanal affair and we like that. Our boy Andre has been making, restoring and selling violins in Hong Kong since 1993, so he knows what he’s doing. A great place to go if you’re ready to get serious about your violin playing – there are few people in city better to talk to for advice than Andre.
Our unofficial winner of the amazing literal shop name awards. Guitarsofa sells guitars and has a sofa in the shop. Makes the folks over at Apple look stupid, really – can you even eat those computers? This fairly unassuming Jordan spot is hugely popular with local musos and it’s easy to see why. The stock is carefully curated meaning this place is ideal if you already know what you’re doing and you’re after some specialist gear, or if you’re looking to trade in some old guitars.
Not just for buskers and hipster indie acts, the Ukulele Association welcomes all with a robust selection of Hawaiian-made concert, soprano, tenor and special-sized ukuleles. If you’re brand new to the instrument or looking to take your playing to the next level, this is a one-stop-shop as the association also arranges classes/courses for all levels of ability.
This top-tier purveyor of new and antique stringed instruments will see you by appointment only – that’s how you know they’re good (and on the pricier side too). As well as letting you try bows by legendary makers such as Thomassin and Vigneron, you can browse a sprawling range of accessories from around the world.
The main competitor to Tom Lee in terms of big player instrument sellers in the city. However, don’t let the fact that this multinational is somewhat ubiquitous across Hong Kong and China fool you into thinking that its products are of lesser quality. Fact is, Parsons are an award-winning instrument company and one of the world’s top three piano manufacturers.
Serious business this shop – strictly for those looking for a top-level string instrument. The devil’s in the detail at Solo Strings with craftsmanship, choice of wood, varnish and the all-round playing experience making up the final product. All items are handcrafted and stored in temperature-controlled warehouses for five years to simulate the climate of northern Italy. Told you it was serious business.
The largest musical instrument retailer in the city, with loads of shops all over town, Tom Lee’s TST location is the largest instrument showroom in Southeast Asia. Usually, we try to avoid promoting the big players but Tom Lee deserve the plaudits. Across all its locations, the musical behemoth’s range of products is second-to-none. Not just covering instruments, there’s tons of supplementary stuff too – sheet music, tutorial books, CDs, accessories, recording gear, the works. They also have pretty solid follow-up services in terms of keeping your instruments up to snuff with tuning and spare parts. Ground zero for buying an instrument.