Beyond Selner Bros. door, you’ll step into an environment saturated with music. Whether there’s music being played from a stereo or a drum lesson happening in the practice room, you’ll see or hear the sounds of musical talent in every corner of the shop. When sitting on the shop’s couch, you won’t be able to stop yourself from tapping your foot along to the song the guitarist is playing while testing out a possible addition to their musical collection.
Jarad Selner, owner of Selner Bros., has been involved with music for as long as he can remember. Selner can remember the times in his childhood when his parents would play music on their stereo. Selner always remembers there being a guitar around, whether it was his brothers or part of his dad’s guitar collection. He always wandered into his local music shop, cluelessly checking out new instruments.
“Dillon’s Music was the local shop for my whole youth and the first part of my young-adult life,” Selner explained, “[It was the only shop] that actually knew what they were talking about, and cared about helping people, especially us dumb kids, to make the right choices when buying gear and looking up new music.”
Soon after Dillon’s Music closed, Selner began planning on opening a business that held the same goals. As the plan to open a music shop continued to develop, things started to become more clear. Not only has Selner lived in the Vine neighborhood for the past six years of his life, but he thinks of it as the place where the best coffee shops and restaurants are and where the best basement shows happen. With a space available in the Vine’s Neighborhood Association building, Jarad knew it was best to settle on a space for his future music shop.
Selner, who has been settled in the Vine neighborhood for six years, now plays saxophone and sings in The Bridge Band. He is also involved in two improv jazz groups called Spirits Rejoice and Emergence where he also plays the saxophone.
“We [Bridge Band] did a short midwest tour in January over 9 out-of-town dates, and we’ll be doing 11 out-of-town dates in another midwest tour this July, centering around the Farm Block Fest in the Keewanaw that we are also booked to perform at,” Selner said.
Selner Bros. also provides music lessons for all ages where people can learn to play guitar, drums, and many other personal instruments that customers bring into the shop. Musicians in the area who specialize in playing the instrument their student wants to play come to the shop to teach everything they possibly know about the instrument.
Regan Dillon, a freshman at Loy Norrix, has been taking guitar lessons at Selner Bros. for nearly two years. Every Tuesday, Dillon comes to the shop, picks out a guitar to play, and goes into the lesson room to learn something new, whether it’s a new song or a chord on the guitar that her fingers struggle to reach.
“He’s crazy talented. He’s just a cool person to be around,” Dillon said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher than Jarad.”
Selner personally started out Dillon’s lessons, but with busy tour dates, Selner passed Dillon on to another talented musician that specializes in guitar as well.
Selner advises young musicians to practice the basics as much as you practice the things that are challenging.
“Ask questions. Listen to everything. Most importantly, I think, is to remember that music is not a competition,” said Selner.
For more than six years of living in the Vine neighborhood, Selner views his shop as a success. Selner Bros. has led Selner to personally make friends, whether they’re other local business owners, local musicians or customers who visit the shop.
“This is a community that we love and exist in and care about. I want to run a music store, sure, but more than that I want the Vine to have a music store,” said Selner.
On thatthat note, Selner will continue to spread music throughout the community.