I just got back from a day at NAMM. For those that don't know, it's the largest music show in the country (maybe the world for all i know). The main reason I was there was that I was suspect of a pickup in my electric violin. Sure enought, the pickup for the A string is defective, so I have to get it serviced. Hope it doesn't cost much.
Anyway, here's my thoughts on NAMM. First, it's about dealers and secondarily musicians. When there, I went from booth to booth, and the first question always was 'are you a dealer?' When answered, no, they were deflated, but still went through the motions.
A few booths though, were genuinely interested in the musician. I found that nearly all the strings makers were really nice and interested in everything a musician had to say. At the Super-Sensitive booth, they were practicly gushing over themselves when I told them I've been using their Sensicore's for years. That kind of service made me buy 3 sets of strings from them too. Oh word to anybody thinking of going to NAMM, if they sell in their booth, buy, since the prices are dealer prices!
I went to a lot of different case companies there, and found each very interested in all their products, and listening to the artists to make sure their cases meet their customers needs. One, Accord, even said they'd make custom cases for even one off instruments, all they'd need is measurements. I'd say that's good service, but then again, their violin case is made of carbon fiber and costs like $1500. I did go to the Bam France booth, and saw the case that will be shipped to me next month. It's ABS Carbon Fiber look, and it looks nearly as good os the Accord, so I'm not complaining;)
Every booth that had violins I took a look. Most were just so so, but there were some beutiful ones in the german section. Heinrich Gill had the largest crowd, but right next door, Heinrich Roth, looked nearly as good. I also visited the electric violin luthiers too. Jordan Electric Violins were there, and they had about 8 of their nice models. Their tone really is nice and their craftsmanship is great. I'm glad I bought one of theirs. I also went to the Wood Violins booth, and well, the best part to me was the booth was stocked with nice skinny female sales people. The wood violins might play well, but I don't think they look as nice.
Other booths that made a noteable impression to me was Moog. They had their Therimin Pro, which is beautiful and haunting at the same time. One booth was Girl Guitar Company, that sold really girly instruments. They were pink with flowers or butterflies on them. The whole booth was pink, and moms brought their daughters wearing pink to the booth. It was all, well, pink.
I found that when people asked what instrument you play and you say 'violin', you get two reactions. One is disdain, like 'it's an archaic instrument, how can you possibly be so stupid to play that'. Or two, 'wow, you play violin, you must be one of the truly gifted to play that'. The only booths that didn't have that kind of response were violin makers. They were like, 'oh good, tell me what you like best about the violin'. Very refreshing.
I thought it was funny when some booths asked if I've tried their rosin too. I'm like, 'you mean this stuff runs out'? Honestly, has anybody every bought a replacment rosin? I don't mean, if you lost it, left it, broke it, but really used it all up? Hee hee, anyway.
I finally decided on a case and it's pefect timing really. My teacher noticed that I've been putting in my bow diagonally since it's too long for my student case in one slot, damn coda bows. And that puts pressue on the violin itself since the bow crosses over the fingerboard.
I looked at all kinds of cases and decided on the Bam Hightech Carbon with the large music pocket. This one is full suspension, is long enough for my bow, and has a full music pocket. Besides that it looks like I'm smuggling nuclear secrets in it. I can't wait to try use it with my electric. That instrument already looks like something out of Flash Gordon. I'll probably mostly be using it with my acoustic though. I didn't think I'd enjoy playing acoustic as much as I do, but it's got a certain quality that's different than the electric. The electric on the other hand is sooooo much more forgiving.
Yes, I know, boys with their toys. Oh, but such wonderful toys;)
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