Never underestimate the power of a second-hand music shop. Not only will it provide a source of cheap music to listen to, it can also provide you with endless amounts of samples and inspiration. There is nothing better than browsing the shelves of an independent music seller, comfortably knowing the selections are far better than HMV or other chain music retailers.
Even large online retailers, such as Amazon, which nowadays has pretty much every album available, cannot compare to the often random selections which you can indulge hours searching through. You never know what you are going to find and that's my favourite part.
For DJs, these shops are an excellent resource for local underground gems and rare beats which are unlikely to be in mainstream attention, great if you want your sets to be truly unique.
Producers are even more lucky, pick any CD, and you have instant sampling material. Even if you aren't keen on sampling, there are thousands of CDs from which to grab ideas and recreate into your own sounds. Coupled with the expertise of the staff, you'll no doubt leave with several goldmines worth of sound, all for the price of a new release CD at HMV.
Of course, the reason to shop at second-hand retailers extends beyond you're own musical creation. You are helping a local business which no doubt contributes to the local music scene, and you support the low-cost provision of music for those who cannot afford high street prices.
One of the main reasons I got into music was because of my local second hand CD shop, Hog's Head in Edinburgh (pictured above). When at school, I would save my lunch money for Fridays and buy a new CD each week. This collection massively expanded my interest in music, and sent me down the path of wanting to learn bass and guitar, then drums, then on to producing my own music and providing sound support for live bands.
Without this resource, many people wouldn't have been able to fuel their interest in music enough to get them off the ground, many musicians simply wouldn't be.
So a big shout out to all second-hand CD shops around the world for truly changing our lives. And, if you are reading this, at your next opportunity, find one and spend some money, because you aren't just supporting your own love of music, you are supporting all the other current and future musicians in your area!!!