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Carson City music shop’s move proves sound

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com
Vince Gates and his daughter, Samantha, take a short break from operating Play Your Own Music, which they recently moved from the Carson Mall to East John Street in Carson City.
John Barrette/Nevada Appeal |

Vince Gates moved his small music shop out of the Carson Mall to a new location recently with some concerns, but they plague him no longer.

He said it turned out to be a winning decision as he closed in on eight years as proprietor of Play Your Own Music, now located at 112 E. John St., where it has been hopping since it opened there Aug. 1.

Gates said as the academic school year begins, among the firm’s clientele are students taking music classes in school and parents with their boys or girls needing to rent instruments. He also has various instruments for sale, plus a studio room in which instructors can provide individual lessons as well. He looks forward with optimism.

“It was a great decision,” he said.

Gates and his daughter, Samantha, operate the shop out of an older converted home north of the downtown core just a half block east off North Carson Street on the north side of John Street.

Gates is a Wisconsin native who grew up in Maine and Idaho, but came to the Reno area years ago. He opened Play Your Own Music in a small space at the north end of Carson Mall in 2007. He said, however, that his type of music shop is a destination business rather than one which relies on mall traffic.

Earlier he envisioned moving to a space in northeast Carson City, but when that didn’t work out he decided to bide his time awhile at the mall. When he found his new location, however, it didn’t take long to make the move despite his trepidation. Initially, he said, he was concerned his business was taking a step backward but he now says the opposite proved to be the case.

Gates also enjoys playing in his Pink Floyd tribute band called The Floyd.

His daughter also plays music, along with playing key roles in the business. She handles the bookkeeping and instrument rental aspects for students, having been involved with the city school’s musical programs. She was a band drum major for two years. She plays saxophone, piano and violin. She now plays professionally, doing fiddle work in a country band.

Samantha joined her father in touting the move’s results.

“Our business has actually picked up since we moved,” she said.