NAMM: So Much More Than Long Hairs and Van Halen Fans

Brandon Ferguson
Almost every year for the past decade it seems like I have some musician friend who struts around waving a NAMM show pass in my face like the fucking golden ticket to Wonka's Chocolate Factory. My turn to stroll amongst the aisles of new musical products finally came this weekend. The fact that I had to go for work didn't sour the experience in the slightest. 

It truly was a fantastic experience of Wonka-esque proportions, even for a guy who hasn't played a guitar in years. The event features miles of booths stuffed with every type of musical products imaginable, from the newest line of condenser microphones to doumbeks.  While industry insiders and retailers may look for new products their customers would like to drop some hard earned cash on, it was my goal to try and find a few products that diverge from the buying habits of Chickenfoot fans and check out some of the items off the well-worn Fender/Gibson/Martin path. 

Here's a list of a few items demonstrating unexpected trends or quirky innovations in the industry that may possibly go unheeded by that withered old Steve Vai fan looking to drop a few g's on a new signature Ibanez.  As some of these items are new to the market and therefore untested, I make no claims as to their quality. But keep in mind, that gimmicky musical item you buy today, may just be a coveted hipster toy 20 years from now:

NAMM-Show-Foot Drums.jpg
Brandon Ferguson
Eric Jaqua makes doing seven things at once look easy.
Foot Drums: These wooden wonders, built with the multi-tasking singer songwriter in mind, have been manufactured by Farmer Musical Instrument Co. since 2006. It's basically a large kick drum in a square wooden frame which sits on the floor. It's equipped with seven foot pedals controlling shakers, a cowbell, a snare and cymbals. Though the item 'aint cheap--with a list price of $1,600--just think of all the money a songwriter could save not advertising in the classifieds for drummers. And don't forget the headaches egotistical drummers are notorious for causing.

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