Tim Dingus and his shop, Drum and Strum, is a hub for the musically minded. If you want to learn to play an instrument or perhaps start up a band or test out your vocal chords, this is the place to come. Or perhaps your budding musician needs to rent an instrument for the high school band. You can find that here as well. And, if you make your way to the very back of the shop, you’ll find a complete workshop where instrument repairs are easily handled…a hospital of sorts for out of commission guitars, basses, mandolins, banjos and other instruments.
Tim’s ascendancy to Warrenton’s best known and perhaps best loved music store destination started decades ago when as a 16-year-old he started a band with his older sister Cheryl. Tim laughs. “Cheryl bought a guitar…thinking she would play that…I ended up with the guitar and she played the drums.”
Tim’s mother, Gloria Dingus, who passed away in 2012, was the original founder and owner of the shop. A familiar and smiling face for many who came into the store, it was Gloria’s suggestion to Tim that they “open a music store.”
“She was very supportive of us and wanted us to achieve our dreams,” says Tim , “it’s been truly a family business.”
This July, Drum and Strum will celebrate its two-year anniversary at 102 Main Street in Warrenton. It’s been a good and well received move.
When Drum and Strum first opened 25 years ago, their first guitar teacher was Mike Harrington. He is still with them.
“I believe that we have the best team of instructors,” says Tim of the now 20 instructors that are available to give lessons.
Drum and Strum 101 is a weekly band class that teaches you the dynamics of learning to play effectively together.
Tim is also very proud of one of their more recent offerings – the Fauquier County Youth Orchestra.
“We work closely with the schools,” says Tim of the orchestra that now numbers some 30-40 young people ranging in age from 8 through high school.
When asked about the popularity of one instrument over another, Tim paused briefly.
“There’s been a resurgence of the old instruments…bluegrass instruments…so banjo, mandolin and lots of folks want to learn to play the ukulele.”
However, strings and piano continue to be big draws when it comes to music lessons.
“And voice lessons,” added Tim, “that is really big right now.”
Over the years, Tim has come to know a lot of folks in the community. “More than I can remember,” he says, “familiar faces that we’re always glad to see and new people.”
While their space is limited, concerts are held at Drum and Strum which is another reason that it is one of the ‘happening’ places to be on Main Street.
Sitting comfortably outside his store, Tim smiles and greets visiting patrons or business neighbors.
With 25 years under his belt, he has no intention of stopping anytime soon. “It’s very neat…it’s all about enriching lives.”
Reach Anita Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org