What an overwhelming and exciting day at the NAMM show! January 25 (also this fine editor's birthday) marked some pretty special moments in the industry.
First off, as a female guitar player myself, and as someone who initially met and interviewed Nita Strauss for this very blog, I was both honoured and super excited to be at the official launch/announcement of her signature guitar model from Ibanez. Strauss becomes Ibanez's first female signature artist and joins the ranks of Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, and Paul Stanley (who also made an appearance at the booth yesterday), adding her name to a list of who's who of guitar players. Featuring a "Deep Space Blonde" (black to blonde burst) colour highlighted by a gorgeous maple top. Featuring an ebony fretboard with Nita's signature EKG-like "heartbeat" fretboard markers, Luminlay side markers, and Edge Zero-II bridge, the additional feature on the guitar is a new set of Nita Strauss signature pickups from DiMarzio. Strauss spent the past year developing these pickups and the good news for those not in the market for a guitar is that the signature set will be available from DiMarzio on their own as well. (Ed's. Note: We interviewed Nita minutes after she saw the finished product and announced it and we will be posting that here shortly!)
The excitement over the Ibanez JIVA (Strauss' signature model) has not worn off and I will be back to drool over it at the Ibanez booth later today.
Fender unveiled their new line of effects pedals, and BOSS has a bank of 4 GT-1000's - the replacement for the GT-100 - that users can plug into and jam on. I did just that and I'm looking forward to trying it some more today as well.
Sully Guitars has a wonderful new lineup of import guitars called the Conspiracy Series, and this will add to the already stunning custom shop work Jon Sullivan does. With clients such as Nikki Sixx, Acey Slade, and Steve D from Buckcherry (who also has a new signature model by Sully Guitars), you know you have to add one of these to your arsenal.
A host of new products is the norm at NAMM, and there will be no shortage of that these next few days. Be sure to follow us on social media for more updates throughout the day. Here is what is going on January 26 at the show:
10:30 a.m. How to Make a Hit Record, moderated by Bob Clearmountain, Anaheim Hilton California Ballroom A
5:30 p.m. Roomful of Pianos: For 20 Pianos (20 pianos play in unison), Anaheim Convention Center, Lounge 88 (Level 3 Ballroom)
5:45 p.m. All-Industry Drum Circle, Anaheim Convention Center Palm Court
6:00 p.m. YAMAHA All-Star Concert on the Grand 2018,NAMM YAMAHA Grand Plaza Stage
6:30 p.m. Parnelli Awards, Anaheim Hilton, Pacific Ballroom
6:30 p.m. She Rocks Awards,House of Blues Anaheim