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NAMM Report:  Wednesday Press Day

NAMM Report:  Wednesday Press Day

Patrick O’Heffernan

(Anaheim Convention Center) A $2 million dollar guitar strap.  A watch that tunes your instruments and more, a guitar that folds up and yet sounds  great.

A keytar that lets anyone strike those cool rock star poses and play hot licks, a finger sized cube that plays a note when it touches a color.  These are a few of products presented to the media at NAMM Press Day today.

Most vendors were still setting up in the halls while the press was out in the lobby eating cookies and shooting videos, but a few trends seem to be emerging:  more technology, more women and more smartphones as music players and the Swiss Army knives of music and live production.

The first indication of the growth of technology is the addition of a new hall to the Convention Center for technology – amplifiers, mixing board, DJ equipment, pedals – anything with wires, tubes, transistors and now artificial intelligence.  The vendors are inviting artists and buyers to get their hands on the toys, like Hercules DJ audio which is offering 15 min hands-on classes in DJ’ing on their new line of equipment, and Orchestral Tools which rented the Paramount Theater on the Paramount Studios Backlot to give artists and media an opportunity to gets hands-on with their new line of symphonic tools that they will have at NAMM.

The news of the day was that Gibson Guitar is back.  After economic difficulties last year forced it to forgo NAMM, the legacy guitar maker is not only back, but populating its booth with women in recognition that 50% of all guitars are now purchased by women.  Gibson representatives at Press Day displayed a stunningly gorgeous Les Paul Classic and promised many more at their booth when the convention opens Thursday.

Girls with guitars – and keyboards and drums and keytars and basses and microphones and DJ tables — are very well represented this year on both the NAMM stages and in the vendor booths demos. Women@NAMM are presenting events like the SWIMM Meet (Smart Women In Music) to help networks for women in Music.  The NAMM stages will see Christine Vane, Janice Freeman, Gigi Rich, Sara Elizabeth Charles and Scope, Anna Wang, and Natalie Gelman, among others. And the She Rocks Awards, produced by WIMM at the House of Blues on Saturday night down the street from NAMM, will feature a lineup of women including guitarist Orianthi, singer Vanessa Amorosi and Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara, the Command Sisters and many others.

Other highlights revealed at the Press Day were a performance by the Earth Harp, a building- sized string instrument that will fill the NAMM plaza with ethereal sound, a private concert by Bob Weir for D’Angelico Guitars, and a Roomful of Pianos playing classical music.

A few interviews while walking through the venue :

Please stay tuned to our youtube channel for more interviews throughout the week.

Also here is a small gallery by Getty Images for NAMM from the Press Day!

(icon photo and flip gallery by Getty Images for NAMM, others Patrick O’Heffernan, Music FridayLive!)

On to opening day!

Patrick O’Heffernan.  Host, Music FridayLive!,  


Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist and radio broadcaster based in Los Angeles, California, with a global following. His two weekly radio programs, MusicFridayLive! and MusicaFusionLA are heard nationwide and in the UK. He focuses on two music specialties: emerging bands in all genres, and the growing LA-based ALM genre (American Latino Music) that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America like cumbia, banda, jarocho and mariachi. He also likes to watch his friend drag race.

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