I was excited to check out Nashville’s Summer NAMM for the first time this year, having been to the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA a handful of times. I was wondering how this would differ and it did not disappoint! My only sadness is that I was not able to attend until the weekend, so I missed the opening night featuring one of my favorite performers- Patti Smith who was honored at the 34th Annual American Eagle awards along with Harry Shearer and Crystal Gayle.
Summer NAMM was much smaller than the Anaheim show, but apparently is growing as attendance was up 26% from last year. It was held at the Music City Center, a fabulous modernized building which was an impressive sight, and located within walking distance to Nashville’s famous Broadway street for the tourists who wanted to take in all the fun of Nashville has to offer.
There were many pros to the show being a bit smaller, in that it was not overbearingly crowded. I got in super easily without having to line up for hours to get my badge, you had a lot less area to walk around (though I still did plenty of walking so was glad to wear my flats,) and more time to talk to people and view the products. Sadly, I still didn’t manage to get to do everything that I wanted to and I wished I’d had more time! It was also easier to navigate- the NAMM smartphone app was especially helpful with this giving you walking guides to which booth you wanted to see, listing the events taking place, and even letting you schedule your appointments on the app! I was wandering around getting lost for a little bit until I realized you could do this on the app, and it made my life a lot easier!
There were many artist performances and product demonstrations taking place within the venue at various booths, and also Whisperbooths for quieter demos without all the hustle and bustle of all the other demonstrations taking place. I managed to catch Diamond Dixie at the Kyser stage, and on the bigger outdoor Reverb.com stage, many performances were taking place from local and national acts, the highlight being legendary Charley Pride’s performance on Saturday which was Musical Industry Day.
At NAMM’s “Idea Center,” there were many TEC Tracks seminars one of the highlights being “The Future of Production in Nashville – A Masterclass in Contemporary Country: featuring Sheryl Crow.” The session panelists consisted of Jeff Trott (Producer and Songwriter), Alberto Vaz (Engineer), and Andrew Petroff (Programmer), and was moderated by Doug DeAngelis of A3E. Sheryl Crow attended via livestream due to her busy schedule.
And, of course, there were many new product releases such as the BOSS Katana-Mini Guitar Amp which makes a great sound for such a small amp; and the Magnetic Cling On tuner where the tuner is attached with a magnet on the back of the headstock of the guitar so it is visible only to the player. New guitars and pedals galore which I’m looking forward to testing out for product reviews coming soon!
Gretsch Guitars had a gorgeous wall of guitars. New at Summer NAMM were the G6118T Players Edition Anniversary™ with String-Thru Bigsby®, G6122TFM Players Edition Country Gentleman® Hollow Body with String-Thru Bigsby® and Flame Maple, G5420TG Limited Edition Electromatic® Single-Cut Hollow Body with Bigsby® and Gold Hardware, G5435 Limited Edition Electromatic® Pro Jet™, and G9520 Limited Edition Jim Dandy™ 24″ Scale Flat Top Guitar.
RELATED STORY: Gretsch® Adds Five New Models to Showcase at #SummerNAMM
There were also some cute accessories such as the Groovy Accents guitar pick earrings and GiGY’s cute custom cases, along with neon guitar strings by DR Strings, and an array of practical and funky looking guitar straps from different manufacturers like Revo and Henry Heller. Stay tuned for my review of a wooden guitar strap from Revo soon.
I even met Mr. C. F. Martin, IV himself proudly showing off their guitars. Several in particular I saw was the GPC-16E which is an addition to their 16 series. It’s a Grand Performance size guitar made of solid koa back and sides and lists at $2,999. Another model I was shown at the booth was the OX2MAE small body X Series made of a mahogany high-pressure laminate (HPL) top, back and sides, features a herringbone applied rosette, a high performance neck, and a Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Richlite fingerboard and bridge. This guitar lists for $729.
All in all, it was a great experience attending Summer NAMM, and I would recommend it along with the Winter show. I’ll be looking forward to returning there next year!
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