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Drum & Strum moves to Main Street

Monday, Jul. 14 | By Hannah Dellinger
Drum & Strum owner Tim Dingus in the music center's new location on Main Street.
Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Drum & Strum owner Tim Dingus in the music center's new location on Main Street.
Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
After 24 years Drum & Strum Music Center has left its Lee Street location for a larger space at 102 Main Street in Warrenton.

Tim Dingus opened up Drum & Strum with his mother in 1990 right out of high school. While the old building is home to many fond memories, Dingus made the decision to move in order to expand his business to cater to the growing needs of his customers and the local music community.

“It was really hard leaving the Lee Street location, just because it’s kinda like your home. You’ve been there forever, everyone knows where you are, there’s a lot of memories there, especially with my mom,” said Dingus. “We had a lot of ideas that we were working on and really in order to do that we had to sort of take the next step.”

The new shop has 10 studios for instruction, a step up from the seven that the previous location housed. The new studios are bigger, better sound-proofed and all contain state-of–the-art equipment.

The retail end of the business will grow as well, with more room to carry a larger variety of products.

With more space, Dingus was also able to create a permanent stage and performance area.

“We’re going to have everything pre-wired with the sound equipment as well as a piano and drums on stage and dedicated seating,” he said. “So basically anyone can just come in, plug in and play.”

Since performances will require much less set-up time than they did before, Dingus plans on having more regular open mic nights, possibly once a week in addition to monthly concerts and student band performances.

Dingus said that it’s important to him to offer opportunities for young musicians to play for the community, since there aren’t many other venues in the county that do so.

“There’s a lot of pubs or bars [in the county], but not anything that’s conducive to younger people or to people that just truly want to listen to music,” he said. “We bring in a really good selection of all different sorts of artists from singer-songwriters, to bluegrass artists, to country artists, to pop artists, to classical pianists, I mean everything across the board, and usually the kind of stuff that you don’t normally get the opportunity to hear.”

Dingus said that he is never ceased to be amazed by the number of musicians who have benefited from taking lessons and playing at Drum & Strum.

“It just blows my mind the amount of people out there that started by coming to Drum & Strum and taking lessons when they were 13 or 14 and now they’re professional touring musicians across the world,” he said.

Drum & Strum currently has 12 instructors and with the expansion, Dingus plans on hiring five more. The music center offers instruction for a variety of instruments including string, wind, percussion and voice lessons. As Dingus likes to say, “If it makes music, we probably teach it.”

Dingus said that Drum & Strum will offer a new course in the new space called “Drum & Strum 101.” The 12-week program will bring together a group of new musicians who have never played together. The students receive instruction and will play together as a band at the end of the program.

Drum & Strum has a certified music therapist and Dingus plans on expanding upon the program.

As a guitarist, Dingus shares the same passion for music that the shop’s students do.

“It’s just like all the kids that we have come in for lessons that are all excited about playing, that’s just how I was,” he said. “I was just extremely passionate about it. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to play my guitar.”

Dingus is keen on being able to continue to provide a place for music lovers to come to learn, listen and enjoy.

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