MARSHALL - When Tim Livingood bought a cheap guitar from Walmart and started taking lessons at Van's Soundroom, he told Van Harris, the owner, that he had short, fat fingers and probably wouldn't be able to play.
"(Harris said) 'give me a month and then you can tell me if you can play the guitar or not,'" Livingood said. Livingood has been learning the guitar for the last year and a half and said it's become his passion.
Livingood recently opened the music store Chords and More at 800 East Main Street, sharing space with Everything Computers.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Tim Livingood started his first-ever business, Chords and More, which carries guitars, strings and accessories. He plans on expanding his musical inventory in the future.
When Harris was starting to pack up his inventory, Livingood said that customers started asking questions like "where am I going to get my guitar strung?"
That's when Livingood considered starting his own music business.
"Van said 'you can do all that?' and I said 'yeah,'" Livingood said.
Livingood said Harris gave him some advice on how to start a music business.
"Van was really supportive and he told me how he started out," Livingood said. He said that Harris told him that he began with just a few guitars.
Harris also advised not to overload on inventory, advertise - get your name out there and "be yourself," Livingood said.
"Van, he was himself and I appreciated that. He pulled no punches," he said.
Livingood said his wife, Lisa, and son, Brody, also help out with the store, plus Lisa helped "spread the word."
"My wife plastered Marshall with a bunch of flyers," Livingood said. He said that there are flyers up in a 20-mile radius.
Having Curtis Gratz of Everything Computers nearby is also "like family" as Gratz and Livingood are on the Faith Family Christian Center worship team. Gratz was looking for a new space for his business around the same time Livingood was going to start Chords and More.
And just like Harris, Livingood has started out with a few electric and acoustic guitars and accessories available at Chords and More, but he said he can get anything a customer wants, whether it's music or a particular instrument.
"My goal is to provide service for the customers and help with their musical needs," Livingood said. "We take pride in what we do."
Chords and More is the first business Livingood has ever owned and he has been open for just a few weeks. He also works part time at Menards.
"It's been an adventure, it's been a learning process," Livingood said.
Down the road, Livingood said he has plans to expand.
"I'm working into getting into rentals and carrying other instruments," Livingood said.