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The NAMM Show: First Look PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 January 2008 20:13
namm-anaheim-convention-center.jpgBy Jim Basara - GJD
GJD readers will want to strap in and enjoy the ride for the next week or so. This year's Winter NAMM show promises to be very exciting. The show opened today in typical whirlwind fashion. The huge Anaheim Convention Center was bulging at the seams, with nearly 89,000 attendees and almost 1600 vendors.

The first day of a NAMM show is always overwhelming. I normally spend a few hours walking through the entire convention (a couple miles of walking) to get a lay of the land and a first impression of where I want to focus. It's also a good way to get an idea of what's new this year.

My initial tour of the venue suggests more new guitar models and new manufacturers than ever; an unprecedented number of new pedals and advanced electronics; and some highly anticipated artist appearances-including GJD's own Ronny North, who I caught shredding on his new Hohner at the PreSonus booth. Judging by the performance schedules, Ronny is one of the most popular artists at this year's show.

ronny-north-namm-01.jpg

As I walked the floor, a few things popped out at me in particular. First, custom and graphic paint jobs are definitely hot this year. It seems every major manufacturer, and even some of the boutiques, were doing up graphic paints in all sorts. Check out the pictures below of just a few examples. There were hundreds.

jackson-guitars-namm-01.jpg

It also seems like there are more boutique amplifier manufacturers this year. GJD's amp expert, Ken Volpe, feels the boutique industry is definitely blossoming. Of course, nothing is as awe inspiring as a wall of Marshalls.

marshall-amps-namm-01.jpg

The other thing that is inescapable this year is the influence of Guitar Hero on our industry. The game was being played at lots of booths and you can see its influence in the new video/computer learning programs that are popping up. Even the NAMM organization itself has inked a co-marketing campaign with Guitar Here that is "aimed at strengthening the connection between virtual and real-world guitar playing". It will be interesting to see the continued effects of gaming and virtual guitar playing on real-world guitars.

One thing is for certain-there's nothing virtual about the NAMM show. With hundreds of thousands of products on display, the GJD team is challenged to absorb it all and bring it to you in our coverage. We hope you enjoy it.
 
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