About Pittsburgh Guitars


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Our Story

What do Ray Davies of the Kinks, Peter Tork of The Monkees, Russell Crowe, Stone Temple Pilots, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson and Jackson Browne have in common? They have all shopped at Pittsburgh Guitars, a locally owned music store on the Historic South Side of Pittsburgh.

Owned by guitarist and guitar-enthusiast John Bechtold, and staffed by musicians, Pittsburgh Guitars is the city’s premiere guitar shop. Buying, selling, and trading, we offer a wide selection of vintage, used, and new guitars, basses, and amplifiers, as well as a variety of other stringed instruments and accessories. We have a full-time, on-site guitar repair person, and we offer amp repairs, and individual private lessons as well. Oh! And of course we have a large selection of ukuleles!

Pittsburgh Guitars was started in 1979, by Carl Grefenstette. A drummer and avid Beatles fan, Carl had begun to collect and sell Beatle-related guitars, amps, and drums to the Broadway show, “Beatlemania!”

One thing lead to another and before long Carl had a regular business, with employees, sales tax, lots of cool guitars, and lots of regular customers. And Pittsburgh Guitars had a long and successful life with Carl. (Here’s more history, and here’s the musical version!) As 2011 drew to a close, he was ready to pass the torch on and propel the store into the future.

Carl sold the store to long-time employee and fellow guitar enthusiast, John Bechtold. John was the natural choice to carry on the legacy of the store. He’s been expanding the store’s solid reputation of providing quality instruments, building lasting relationships with customers, and thriving as a music store run by musicians.

"I bought my first guitar at Pittsburgh Guitars over 40 years ago, and you never forget your first. We want to provide instruments to future generations of musicians for the next 40 years."

John Bechtold, Owner

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Wall of Fame

Another great thing about coming into Pittsburgh Guitars is that we never know who’s going to stop in on any given day. Here are some pictures of customers that you might recognize!

Albert Lee stops by when he is playing in town. He wore his Pittsburgh Guitars shirt at the gig!

Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo) & Kathleen Edwards stopped by to say “Hi” the last time that they passed through the Burgh. Kathleen gave Hanna a bandana!

Corey Taylor of the band Slipknot stopped in to do some shopping when they played at Starlake.

Ok. So Geddy did not stop by the shop, but I just had to post this one! He was kind enough to write “We Have Assumed Control” when he signed my copy of his Big Bass Book.

We love when Steve Forbert stops by. We have had a lot of great conversations with him.

Here’s John with Ray Davies

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks is pondering if Sam can fill in as a stage double for a couple gigs!

Sam and John with Mike Doughty

Peter Tork stopped by
when The Monkees were
in Pittsburgh!

Scott put a fix on Rick Nielsen’s 5-neck guitar the morning before the Cheap Trick show here at Stage A/E!

Michael Hampton, aka Kidd Funkadelic, and Sam!

Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons stopped in to do some guitar shopping.

JB with Constance Rudert and Chris

Marty & Olivia Willson-Piper serenade a customer while waiting to look at new guitar cases.

John Entwistle & Zak Starkey in the old store.

The DeLeo brothers often stop and say hello when they’re in town!

JB with Woody Harrelson

John Doe with Sam, back in 2008.

Folk Uke is Cathy Guthrie, daughter of Arlo, and Amy Nelson, daughter of Willie. Check out their music!

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