Alex Matthews

Music Gear at NAMM 2015

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ESP Custom Bass Guitar @ NAMM 2015The first official day of the 2015 NAMM Show was held on Thursday January 22nd at the Anaheim Convention Center. Thousands of music merchants, owners, suppliers, employees, endorsed artists, and guests made the trek into Anaheim, battling large crowds to witness all of the latest releases in musical instruments, audio products, and music technology. This year’s convention featured over 1600 companies representing over 5000 brands of musical instruments and had nearly 100,000 attendees as well as the hundreds of related live concerts and events taking place in Southern California all weekend long. The number of new exhibiting companies more than doubled from 2014, as 331 companies showed at NAMM for the first time proving that the music industry is alive and well and new companies look to NAMM to kick start their product lines.

Highlights from the floor included many new and exciting drum and percussion instruments and accessories. Iconic drum company Ludwig was showing off their highly portable drum-kit called BreakBeats endorsed by Tonight Show drummer Ahmir Questlove Thompson. This set is sure to be music to any drummers ear that plays on the street or has to carry their set from gig to gig quickly. As Questlove himself puts it “I wanted to build a device that was apartment-friendly and compact for the street musician; but also something that was quality sounding. A gritty, raw, ‘break-able’ kit for gigging in clubs that you can fit in a cab. Breakbeats by Questlove does it all.” This set could be a nice option for a student drummer looking for a smaller kit or for a working pro looking to save his back!

Sabian Cymbal Wall @ NAMM 2015Another percussion related company generating a lot of buzz is called DrumLite. Started by college friends Joey Nesbitt and Jeff Sevaldson and based in Minneapolis Minnesota this company manufactures custom LED lighting kits that can be installed into virtually any drumset to add a colorful kick to any performance. After coming to NAMM for the first time only a few years ago, this home grown company is already doing very big things. After being featured in a drum-set played by Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at last year’s SuperBowl Halftime performance, the company has recently announced a distribution deal with industry giant Peal Drums to bring their lighting kits into music stores across North America. This year also brings the release of a new DMX based lighting controller with a more robust feature set allowing individual drum triggering and more rock solid touring dependability. This is a young music company on the rise and is guaranteed to be doing big things in coming years.

For any musician or avid music fan, a day at the NAMM convention is literally like being a kid in a candy store. An overwhelming array of nearly any kind of musical instrument can be found along with most of the top musicians from around the world roaming the various displays and booths. The talent and artistry on display from both the manufacturers behind all these wonderful instruments and products as well as the musicians demoing them is truly fascinating. Below are highlights of some of the music gear on display throughout the 2015 NAMM show.

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PHOTOS BY: Chris Loomis – Jeff Serpa – Alex Matthews

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