Frequently Asked Questions

Our experienced staff is here to help so feel free to call or email any questions you might have but to save time we have provided some frequently asked questions & answers for you.

Shopping at Gelb
1 - Do you match prices?
2 - What about repairs?
3 - Do you give lessons?
4 - Do you rent to own?
5 - Can you layaway an item?
6 - Do you have gift certificates?

7 - Why is there not a case included in the price of this guitar?
8 - Do you give special discounts to churches, students, non-profit groups, etc?
9 - I lost my receipt and now have a warranty issue, can you help me?
10 - Do you take trade-ins?
11 - Do you guys sell DJ gear?
12 - Do you offer drum delivery?

Instrument / Product Questions
14 - Is there anything I can do about my tension rods loosening?
15 - How often should I change my guitar strings?
16 - Which strings won't break?
17 - Should I mic the top and bottom of my snare drum?
18 - How do I stop funky overtones from my drums?
19 - What is MIDI?
20 - What is phantom power?
21 - Why should I use Pro Tools?
22 - Can I use my home PC for recording?

About Gelb and our staff
23 - Who is Gelb?
24 - Do you guys play gigs? Are you guys in bands?
25 - Did Jerry Garcia really shop at Gelb?

Q: Do you match prices?
A: Absolutely. We guarantee our price to be as low as any advertised price, provided it comes from an authorized US dealer and is for a new, in stock, current model. [This excludes used, demo, or discontinued items.] Just bring in the documentation- catalog, newspaper, or online printout.

Q: What about repairs?
A: We do not do warranty repairs but if you should have a problem during the warranty period with a new product purchased from us we will make the arrangements necessary to get if fixed for you. We will make the calls and ship if necessary.

We do minor repairs in our Rental/Consignment Shop, and our very own Al, the Drum Doctor, can handle most drum/hardware repair and refinishing.

Of course, if you bought something new from us that requires minor adjustments, we can generally do that in the shop for as long as you, the original purchaser, own the item.

Q: Do you give lessons?
A: Yes. The Gelb Music Teaching Institute is located around the corner from the main store at 2726 Broadway. We offer guitar, bass, drum, piano, and vocal lessons Monday through Saturday. Phone for price and availability at 650-365-0875. Check this website for more information.

Q: Do you rent to own?
A: Since we give a large discount on most everything we sell in the store we cannot “rent to own” and offer this same discount price. Rent to own contracts are usually based on retail prices.

Q: Can you layaway an item.
A: Yes, you can layaway for up to 60 days with a 1/3 deposit.

Q: Do you have gift certificates?
A: Yes, in any amount!

Q: Do you give special discounts to churches, students, non-profit groups, etc?
A: EVERYONE shopping at Gelb gets a discount. Stores that give “special” prices to specific groups are charging someone else too much. We give everyone a break, period!

Q: I lost my receipt and now have a warranty issue, can you help me?
A: We archive your receipt for a period of one year. After that, we cannot help you unless you know the exact date you bought the stuff. The bottom line---keep track of your receipt.

Q: Do you take trade-ins?
A: We take trades, we buy outright and we provide you the option to sell your instrument through our consignment store. Bring in whatever it is you are trying to move. If you are unsure, call us first to see if it’s something we can help you with. Our Used / Consignment store does not allow trade-ins against consignment items.

Q: Do you offer drum delivery?
A: Al, the Drum Doctor will deliver and set up your kit. Call for an appointment and rates.

Q: Is there anything I can do about my tension rods loosening?
A: Lug locks or tension rods with a built in locking system should stop any loosening.

Q: How often should I change my guitar strings?
A: It’s up to you. Any guitar will play and sound better with fresh strings. When the strings look dark & tarnished or start to break, it’s time. If you play regularly, once or twice a month is not unusual.

Q: Which strings won’t break?
A: There is no such thing as a guitar string that won’t ever break. All of the strings we offer for sale are quality, proven products but if you have a really heavy attack and/or don’t change strings regularly, they may break. If you are always breaking strings at the same place,especially at the bridge, it might indicate an minor issue with the instrument which may require the attention of a repairman. If you bought the instrument from us, bring it in and we will be happy to take a look.

Q: Should I mic the top and bottom of my snare drum?
A: Yes, if you have the mics and the channels in the mixing board, it’s a great way to dial a cool snare sound. Try mixing dynamic and condenser mics or add an ambient room mic for a fat blended sound.

Q: How do I stop funky overtones from my drums?
A: Try Moon Gel. It’s like magic! It works on cymbals too.

Q: What is M1D1?
A: It's actually MIDI, which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

2Q: What is phantom power?
A: Condenser mics need to be powered by up to 48 volts and require a separate power source. Phantom power is usually built in to most mixing boards.

Q: Why should I use Pro Tools?
A: Pro Tools is THE standard in our industry for digital recording. It is powerful, intuitive, and completely supported by Gelb Music.

Q: Can I use my home PC for recording?

A: Absolutely. We offer interfaces and software from many manufacturers.

Q: Who is Gelb?
A: Sidney Gelb, a violinist originally from Chicago, started teaching and renting instruments out of his home in Redwood City in 1939. He specialized in violin but he also taught steel guitar, accordion, sax, trumpet and guitar. As his business grew he moved several times before ending up in the current location. If you are a Peninsula native, we’ll wager that you or someone you know probably took lessons from Mr. Gelb. Sidney and his wife Marion retired in 1972.

Q: Do you guys play gigs? Are you guys in bands?
A: Everyone at Gelb is a musician and does now or has played in a working local band.

Q: Did Jerry Garcia really shop at Gelb?
A: Yes, Jerry bought the Fender Twin Reverb he used his entire life from Mr. Gelb. Jerry was very good friends with then store manager Norm VanMaastricht, who was the best man at Jerry’s first wedding. Norm is seen often walking the streets of Redwood City holding a cane & sporting a large feather in his hat. He is still a dear friend of the store and quite a picker in his own right.

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