Art Thompson on NAMM 2010

January 17, 2010
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The  NAMM show has been a blast. I’ve seen tons of new guitars, amp, pedals, recording gear etc., and I’ve also had fun hanging out with folks at Bogner,  Dunlop, Egnater, Fender, Fryette, Guitar Hands,  Hagstrom,  Line 6, Martin, Matchless,  Studio Devil, Taylor, VooDoo Lab, and many, many others. This show is a great opportunity to not just see what’s new in world of guitar gear, but to connect with the people who make this stuff and learn how it goes from the drawing board to the show floor. Talking with Bob Taylor the other day, and hearing how his new 8-string Baritone simply from a desire to have a guitar that would sound fuller and deeper when he was playing solo was enlightening. And hearing from Mike Eldred at Fender about Baja Racing and then watching a full on demo of Fender's Ejamming software (which allows musicians living just about anywhere on the planet to play together) makes it easy to see why Fender’s NAMM compound circa 2010 is  more like a rock and roll theme park than just a place to see new products. Being at a couple of after-hours PRS events that were put on for the sole purpose of hearing how sounded different vintage electric and acoustic guitar sounded in comparison with  PRS models was enlightening—quite possibly the tweakiest “insider” events I’ve ever attended at a NAMM show. And getting to hear all the great music that goes down both at the show and at various locations in the evening is an experience you really can't get anywhere except here. I'm inspired by it all and it makes me look forward to playing lots of the stuff we've seen and writing about it over the coming months for the pages of Guitar Player. —Art Thompson

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