The Outer Banks has a pretty good selection of almost everything, fantastic beaches, great restaurants, beautiful sunsets, live entertainment. But one thing there very few of are music stores, which is really surprising given how many musicians—and really good musicians—live on the Outer Banks.

Luckily the best local music store is as good as it gets. Ronnie Swaim’s Jubilee Music Store in the Seagate North Shopping Center in Kill Devil Hills is like a small slice of heaven to a musician. 

Ronnie’s a more than fair musician himself strumming guitar, plucking a banjo and picking a mandolin in the local bluegrass band Drifting Sands, so when someone comes in and is asking about instruments, he knows what he’s talking about.

It’s hard to tell, though, if the best part of the store is Ronnie or his attitude toward his inventory. Someone walks in the store and Ronnie greets them because it’s a small store and Ronnie likes to meet people.

“I want to look ukuleles,” the customer says.

Ronnie points to a floor rack. “Got plenty of them there,” he says. “You go ahead and try anything you want. If we need to tune it, just bring it up here and we’ll get it tuned for you.”

That’s the way it is with all of the instruments in the store—if it’s on display it’s there to be played. 

He also does instrument repairs; everything from brass and woodwind instruments local schools send him to any stringed instrument. His skill servicing and repairing stringed instruments is as good as the work anyone anywhere is doing.

One other service he is offering—Ronnie rents instruments by the week. As he points out, “They’re coming on vacation. They don’t want to pack their $3000 Martin Guitar with them.”  

Musicians, call ahead and reserve and instrument. Ronnie says he’ll have it ready for you.