When it comes to music—and especially musical instruments—knowledge and experience are important. But passion—well, passion is paramount. Anyone can string or sell a guitar, but only a passionate musician, like Rock Island Sound owner Paul Bessolo, a multi-instrumentalist and genre-spanning guitarist, can help you “build” your custom axe from body to neck to strings to pickups. He can help you figure out which pickups work best (and how they differ) on which guitars; which electric guitar is best for hard-rock wailing and which is best for country twang; the pros and cons of a Tele versus a Strat, or a solid body or hollow body; which acoustic is warm and which is crisp. The store carries a large selection of new and vintage guitars, basses, and gear from all major brands, including Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, and Marshall, as well as boutique brands like Victoria. It sells instruments at competitive prices, offers lessons in all instruments, and provides music for events. It also has a huge range of replacement parts and does neck resets, crack repairs, binding, and other work. It rents guitars and equipment, too.