People who work at instrument shops should be rewarded — period. Anyone who can endure hours upon hours of noodlers, bongo players, and others who insist on letting everyone hear how much they’ve been practicing “Stairway to Heaven” deserve medals of honor in our book. And the folks at Starving Musician are no exception. The indie alternative to Guitar Center, Starving has a decent selection, friendly staff, and fair prices. Plus, you can trade in your old gear for new (or used) stuff. Wanna trade in that distortion pedal for a delay one? Find a tom mount for your kit? The key to finding what you need is coming in frequently, as selection rotates often. But it’s a less stressful experience than Craigslist, where you’ve got to be fast on the draw to get the good stuff. Plus, Starving’s knowledgeable employees will help you navigate the selection without the attitude one might expect. Just spare them the jamming.