Local stores and musicians struggle to find musical supplies

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TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – Nationwide supply chain issues have a direct impact on Tucsonans, especially in the music industry.

“It’s very frustrating and it’s out of the norm,” Mark Levkowitz, owner of Chicago Music Store.

The Chicago Music Store ordered items months in advance to deal with shipping delays.

“It’s very strange for us not to be able to call and ask for something and get it in a few days,” Levkowitz said.

Levkowitz says he specifically had difficulty sourcing from Yamaha, Fender and Martin. Its supplier claims that shipping companies take twice as long to stock up while charging five times the normal cost.

“We had a gentleman who came over yesterday and he was interested in a really good quality martin guitar,” said Levkowitz. “We’ve had one on order for a while, but we’re not going to see it until next year.”

Even professionals in the music industry are experiencing delays.

“A few months ago, in anticipation of the new season with the Tucson Symphony, I needed to change my strings,” said Sandra Um, violist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Um has been playing viola for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since 1998. She recently called several stores to order new strings for her instrument, but nothing was available.

“I’ve been using the Larsen A string for over 20 years so it’s a little frustrating not being able to get the string you want,” Um said.

Part of the reason for the shortage of instruments here and across the country is the backlog in the supply chain at California ports.

“I think the combination of the docks problem and the tariffs and the pandemic, it was just a perfect storm,” Levkowitz said.

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