562 Harmon Loop Road, Suite 122,
Dededo, GU 96929
|Hours:||Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.|
|Facebook:||American Music Guam|
By Jenelyn Abinales
With more than two decades in business, American Music has been the go-to place for all musicians, from traditional to modern.
Offering ukuleles, acoustic and electric guitars, basses, drums, keyboards, PA systems, DJ equipment and everything in between, American Music is a one-stop-shop for most musicians, even carrying accessories for lesser-popular instruments, like the banjo. The store also offers stringing services, head changes for drums and tuning options.
The shop was originally founded by musicians who wanted quality guitars when there were few to be found.
About 15 years ago, R. Gregory Sablan and Janiece Sablan opened American Music and have since grown the business into a musical haven, having the widest variety of musical instruments, accessories and professional audio equipment in the island.
American Music relocated in August 2020 to Compadres Mall in Dededo, to better serve its clientele, make the necessary pivot to grow and “get a lot of places we can eat for lunch,” according to Timothy D. Williams-Rohr, American Music’s store manager.
Growing up, music was always a constant in Williams-Rohr’s life, from childhood on. Though drums are his primary instrument, he also plays guitar and bass guitar.
As a musician, he has played drums for local bands like Left Turn Right and others.
“Music has its own place in the world,” he says. “I feel that it’s good for the soul.”
Why should people choose American Music over other music stores?
Timothy D. Williams-Rohr: Well, for us, it’s not really a competition because we all offer different products. We have a few of the other brands and then at Yamaha, they carry a few other brands as well, but Yamaha being their primary. So, it’s not like choosing which one you want. It’s just that we have different options, so it depends on what you’re looking for.
Tell us more about your products and services.
Williams-Rohr: We try to keep a little bit of everything. We try to carry as many brands as we can while fulfilling our dealer obligations. We do have a great staff. Each one of our guys plays something different now; everybody’s pretty helpful and they like helping people.
We don’t offer lessons because we moved to a much smaller location, but we do have quite a few music teachers that we refer customers to. We do offer repair work on certain instruments. And, if it’s band instruments, we have somebody we can refer to customers as well.
What’s your client base like?
Williams-Rohr: It’s different. We get everybody. One day, everybody wants a ukulele and the next day, everybody wants keyboards or acoustic guitars. It’s different all the time, but it’s really cool. You get to see the range of people that are just into music which is really great.
What are the benefits of music or learning to play music?
Williams-Rohr: When you get to the performing stage, that’s a lot of fun, but it also can be therapeutic. If you’re not into writing your own music, there’s a whole creative level that takes part in it as well. Music can be in everything you do. It’s just how you look at it.
Tell us about American Music’s most popular products or services.
Williams-Rohr: Our most popular would be our Makala ukuleles and acoustic guitars. Our Fender and Taylor acoustic guitars would be popular products for us, as well as some of our recording equipment because everybody’s getting into home-recording right now.
How has business been for American Music for the past year?
Williams-Rohr: Last year was kind of slow when we had all the lockdowns, but that was part of the reason why we moved. We had to close during those times. So, moving here gave us a little bit more affordable rent. And, then Janiece worked super-hard on getting our website up and running so we were able to make sales through that. But as people have been finding out where we are now, we’ve been doing pretty good. We’re finding out that most of our clientele lives up north, so they all love it.
How do you think the future is looking for the company?
Williams-Rohr: I think it’s doing good. I feel that we’ve picked up since we moved our business. We’re seeing a lot more people that want to play and learn. So, I see that, in the music scene, it’s going to grow again.
What do you love about your job?
Williams-Rohr: Helping people. Honestly, it’s pretty fun. Like when somebody comes in and says oh, I need this, or I need that or how do I make this work? And, finding that solution for them, and they leave. They’re happy. They got what they needed. That’s the fun part.