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Practically Everything a Musician Could Ever Need Is on Display at Summer NAMM

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Practically anything a musician needs could be found at this year's Summer NAMM, which took place July 18-20, 2019 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Summer NAMM showcased Top Dealers in a relatively intimate but influential show. In addition to exhibits, NAMM was packed with practical advice from industry insiders who covered a wide range of topics. Panels discussed gear, Internet sales, production, social media, songwriting and more. Many of the booths had live demonstrations and performances over the course of this three day music extravaganza.

Practically Everything a Musician Could Ever Need Is on Display at Summer NAMM
Riversong Guitars - beautiful acoustics that play like an electric.

NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants. This non-for-profit association was established in 1901 to support the global music community. NAMM along with their well-respected trade shows serve as a resource for professionals seeking the newest innovations in music, recording technology, sound and stage products. In addition, NAMM keeps its members up to date on educational opportunities, the latest industry news and offers cost-saving programs to help businesses thrive.

As expected there were lots of instruments to see along with accessories and gear at Summer NAMM. Last year we attempted to narrow our focus on what was unique at NAMM and we were delighted that some of the vendors we discovered in 2018 were back in Nashville.

Practically Everything a Musician Could Ever Need Is on Display at Summer NAMM
Scenes from Summer NAMM in Nashville.

Summer NAMM 2019 had practically everything a working musician would need to ply his/her trade. So much so, that we decided to search out practical tools for the six stringers. One of the first unique and useful items we found was Riversong Guitars whose hand-crafted adjustable acoustics play like an electric. The story goes that "their initial breakthrough came on January 20th, 2009 - the day of U.S. President Barack Obama's Inauguration. The sponsoring thought: what if the neck ran all the way through the guitar this would eliminate all structural tension issues thus resulting in a tonally balanced guitar with more output".

D&A Guitar Gear had a number of practical items for musicians. They had innovative straps and their very smart music stand. The stand holds an instrument plus the tray could be turned into a table or lap top holder. Artists also have to protect their tools and a number of vendors had cool instrument cases and MyCaseBuilder had a system to design and fully customize foam cases for specific equipment.

Many major brands were on site with their shiny new instruments stirring up "wants" but Jack Caps had what musicians need. Think about it as "the technology in the music industry is continuously changing, the one thing that has stayed the same is the 1/4 inch instrument jack. With 150 years in existence, it has not only proven that it is going to last, but it deserves to be covered." Jack Caps protect gear which in turn preserves a clean, crisp sound as does The String Cleaner which provides 360 degrees of string cleaning action for guitar, violin/viola and bass. Well-maintained strings will have the best tone and longevity.

Practically Everything a Musician Could Ever Need Is on Display at Summer NAMM
More scenes from Summer NAMM in Nashville.

Mukikim's mission is to provide a great selection of quality products paired with the highest standards of service to their customers. Mukikim offers toys for all ages in a wide variety of categories that include folding keyboards, bongos and more. These portable instruments can go out on the road or to a playground. Another item geared towards kids was sheet music. We were surprised to learn that despite all the on-line tools currently available that the majority of schools still use booklets.

Others items of interest were the 12-Bar Blues Pickups which slips easily under the strings and eliminates the need to cut a big hole in your CBG. Their line of pickups are hand wound and crafted. Another practical yet innovative idea was the "SnoutPicker by itself is an awesome Plectrum, but they conquered the age old Catch 22 of guitar picks producing scrape, chirp, and click noises, and if they don't then they don't produce volume and clarity." Their picks - coming later in 2019 - aim to address these issues.

The Axe Paxe is an ingeniously constructed plastic case for all your performing and recording needs designed to hold all your six-string accessories available is an assortment of pleasing color patterns. Mini Max is a multi-purpose stool that is easy to fold, easy to carry and easy to adjust to both a child and adult's body weight. Mini-Max is a useful item for the concert-goer, musicians and for people from all walks of life.

Practically Everything a Musician Could Ever Need Is on Display at Summer NAMM
More scenes from Summer NAMM in Nashville.

Shop owners or those who ship instruments may want to consider AERIS protective packaging systems. AERIS offers eco-friendly options that are easy, cost effective and can also be customize. Big Shots provides tactical surveillance, communication/amplification and industrial hearing protection which is another thing musician need to consider. Earasers may not be as glamorous as a new Gibson guitar but they are practical.

Summer NAMM offered ample opportunities to check out gear, instruments and so much more. It also had informative panels and music. NAMM was also a place to network on and off-site. MusicStartsHere hosted a pre-event mixer on Wednesday night at HOME. Helping Our Music Evolve is a creative incubator in the heart of East Nashville that provides industry connections, trusted resources, and professional workspace for music entrepreneurs.

One room at HOME was set-up for socializing and another was allocated for company reps to talk about products. On hand was Shure, BMI, Bose, Jocuri Sound Panels and more. After all had presented a number of generous prizes were awarded to those in attendance. So, NAMM opened and closed with opportunities to meet those in the music industry and interact with new products. NAMM also had a good mix of educational and entertaining events to round out this popular trade show.

Practically Everything a Musician Could Ever Need Is on Display at Summer NAMM
Logan from HOME, blues singer Shaun Murphy and Doak Turner.

Related Links: For more information on SUMMER NAMM and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Summer NAMM | What's Unique at Summer NAMM 2018 in Nashville?


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