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First time at NAMM....any recomendations?


bhodaway10

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You don't eat at NAMM. NAMM eats you.

 

:D

 

Just kidding. I did my first NAMM visit in 2008 and you may be able to find my threads from then on the forum. My first recommendation is that you try your best to get there on Day 1, in the morning. This is the least crazy day before all the trendy peeps start showing up Friday into the weekend. It is much easier to get your bearings on what is around when you're not fighting crowds.

 

Get the map (should be plenty near the entrances) and take a look at the lay of the land. Try to do a once-over and then prioritize the places you want to spend more time. Certain companies like Roland, Yamaha, Korg always set up in the same place with a fairly predictable display, taking up quite a bit of floor space. These are easy to find. The smaller companies like Moog, Nord, DSI, etc. will have a smaller booth that may be in different places. You can't just walk to one area and find all the keyboards - they are spread across 4 floors in the convention center.

 

It's a bit mind-boggling at first, but huge fun. So try to get there on Day 1 and by Day 2 you'll be an old pro. As for parking, there are some well-marked parking lots that charge $10-15 for the day and that's what I did on my very first Day 1 trip. After this, I became more exploratory and sought out some residential parking on the outskirts that was unrestricted (be careful you don't park in a private community as tickets are expensive). You may have to walk 4-5 blocks, but I prefer the exercise over the $15 per day parking pass.

 

Eating...NAMM has a few areas with food that would remind of being at a ball game. Pretzels, hot dogs, stuff like that. Nothing to get excited about at all. I'd recommend you enjoy a good breakfast before NAMM and pack some snacks with you, like granola bars and fruit. Snack for lunch and then enjoy a nice dinner. Hopefully you're coming to the NAMM hang at Buca di Beppo from dB's thread.

 

If you want to hang out a bit while at NAMM, I suspect that Markyboard and I will be wandering around. Send me a PM and we can exchange cell phone numbers. I won't arrive at NAMM until midway through Day 2. :( I will miss the more relaxed pace of Day 1.

 

Regards,

Eric

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Is there any recommendations for parking, things to check out first, eating, etc?

 

1. Park wherever you can, and best of luck at that. Some people actually find parking at the Marriott lot next to the convention center, but more likely, you'll end up in the lot across Harbor Blvd. (no big deal, it's a short walk).

 

2. Walk into the convention center. Make sure to have your badge and a matching ID or you will NOT get inside.

 

3. Start at Hall A, to your right (north) as you approach the front of the convention center. The halls are not entirely grouped by product category, but in general, Hall A is recording and technology, Hall B is a mishmosh of guitars and tech stuff, Hall C is guitars and band/orchestral instruments, Hall D is drums and more B/O instruments, and Hall E is for the smaller/newer companies you may haven't heard of but still do neat things occasionally.

 

4. Convention center food is expensive and tastes like ass, mostly. To add insult to injury, there are usually long lines to get food and then nowhere to sit and eat. Best of luck there.

 

5. Wear comfortable shoes. You will hurt in any case from all the walking and standing, but might as well not make it worse than it has to be.

 

6. I hope you like things like being in a mall at holiday time. The crowds and noise can be hell if you're like me. You may consider bringing earplugs.

 

7. Keep your eyes open for notices of free performances at various booths.

 

8. When you invariably get lost, note that there are show directories toward the front of the halls. Pick one up.

 

9. Don't waste your time trying to pick up on booth babes. They hate you, just by nature of your being there.

 

10. Stay away from Disneyland. That place is evil.

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I have a secret parking spot, but haven't been to NAMM in three years now, so it might have gone away. :-(

Eugenio Upright, 60th Ann P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico Bari, Dano Bari

Select Strat/Tele, Am Pro Jazzmaster, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, T64, PM2, EXL1, XK4, Voyager

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Good suggestions.

 

-It's LOUD. No, really. It's LOUD. I see some people with earplugs there, a smart idea. It's LOUD.

 

- Bring aspirin. And throat lozenges if you think you might talk a lot over the din.

 

- Bring Airborne or something similar. The air inside is pukey.

 

- Go outside halfway through the day for at least half an hour and sit and enjoy the sun.

 

- Have fun. Most people are in a good mood, are helpful and cordial. Remember that they're busy, but otherwise, have a lot of fun and explore.

 

- Visit Hall E. Lots of smaller booths with interesting instruments and contraptions and things and stuff.

 

 

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Muriel Andersons All Star Guitar Night.

 

Several of the vendors will have tickets to events that happen off campus. These are the places where you'll see wonderful jams and performances by world class people in small (and at times, not so small) venues. The vendors start out during setup trading piles of passes among each other, so the Fender rep just might be holding passes to the Korg party, and like that. You pretty much have to know someone to get a hookup, but not always. Sometimes, you just ave to know to ask.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Others have good points too, my list:

 

Thursday and Friday are much less crowded, so if you can be there those days, you will find it everything easier. Then Friday and Saturday, when it is way over crowded, you can be more relaxed.

 

Walking shoes are essential - you will be on your feet all day.

 

So is the map you get when you get inside. I usually head for the music software hall first (can't remember - think it was B).

 

I bring bottled water, banana, trail mix, whatever works for you - food is $$, lines, and not maybe what you want to eat.

 

One of your missions is to find out what the concert or party options are for each night. Concerts are usually free, you either have to know someone at a sponsoring booth, or get to the hotel ballroom early to stand in a long line, or both.

 

Be careful with your voice - after a full day, because you are talking over everything, it may get played out.

 

Some smaller manufacturers will sell gear at the end of the show for a reduced price rather than transport it back - never hurts to ask.

 

Ken is right, hall E, which is downstairs, is where the newer/smaller companies are, always something interesting there.

 

There are artists performing in some booths - I have seen Jan Hammer, Edgar Winter, Will Lee, BT, many people. Don't overlook people you haven't heard of. One of my best NAMM musical moments was hearing (using headphones) a couple of singers in a microphone manufacturer's booth who were just singing to backing tracks - they were so good, it made me forget about all the technology (and wish I could sing :-)

 

It's a great place to meet people; there's a lot of good people in the MI.

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Wear black- you would think the entire music industry is attending a funeral, not a convention! One year I was going to meet someone who I had never seen face-to-face before, I told him I would be wearing an orange shirt and he found me less than 5 minutes after NAMM opened- I kid you not!

 

Other suggestions above including comfortable shoes, aspirin/tylenol for possible headache, etc. are great ideas. The Muriel Anderson Guitar Night is amazing, try to see it if you can. And no, Disneyland is not evil...a lot of NAMM people end up at the bar at the Grand Californian, one year my wife and I ended up sharing drinks with Dave Mason....!

 

Oh yeah- Hall E! It is "the basement," but some of the more innovative and cooler stuff is down there. For keyboards the past few years it was Muse/Receptor, John Bowen, Infinite Response/VAX77, Haaken Continuum, Waldorf, Analog Haven, etc., smaller companies just getting started get "relegated" to the basement. For guitarists, a lot of the boutique guitars/gear is down there (Anderson Guitars, etc.); It is also a bit quieter down there (though not without its moments), so a nice break from the cacophony on the main floor.

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Walking shoes are essential - you will be on your feet all day.

 

I bring bottled water, banana, trail mix, whatever works for you - food is $$, lines, and not maybe what you want to eat.

 

One of your missions is to find out what the concert or party options are for each night. Concerts are usually free, you either have to know someone at a sponsoring booth, or get to the hotel ballroom early to stand in a long line, or both.

 

Be careful with your voice - after a full day, because you are talking over everything, it may get played out.

 

Some smaller manufacturers will sell gear at the end of the show for a reduced price rather than transport it back - never hurts to ask.

 

Ken is right, hall E, which is downstairs, is where the newer/smaller companies are, always something interesting there.

 

There are artists performing in some booths - I have seen Jan Hammer, Edgar Winter, Will Lee, BT, many people. Don't overlook people you haven't heard of. One of my best NAMM musical moments was hearing (using headphones) a couple of singers in a microphone manufacturer's booth who were just singing to backing tracks - they were so good, it made me forget about all the technology (and wish I could sing :-)

 

It's a great place to meet people; there's a lot of good people in the MI.

 

Yeah, all that is right as well. The shoes thing is crucial. You definitely put some miles on those. That's part of the reason why I mentioned that you should go outside and sit for at least half an hour midway through the day.

 

Ask about buying stuff on Sunday especially.

 

The other thing? Try and see if you could ever guess what year (or decade) just by looking at musicians are dressed, how they are popping and slapping the bass or playing the guitar with two hands on the fretboard, how much hair spray people have, or what the rock bimbos look like. :D

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That's part of the reason why I mentioned that you should go outside and sit for at least half an hour midway through the day.

 

 

 

4. Convention center food is expensive and tastes like ass, mostly. To add insult to injury, there are usually long lines to get food and then nowhere to sit and eat. Best of luck there.

 

 

That's why last year my buddy and I just walked out of the convention center and 10 min down the street to cheesecake factory. It was the best decision we made all day. The cheesecake factory was just far enough away that it was pretty mellow at 2 PM, and we got into a great conversation with a couple cute chicks sitting next to us. It renewed our spirits and refreshed us before heading back into the convention center, and it was nice not to have to shout at one another.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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If you don't mind walking a half mile to save $15, I usually find parking on a little residential street that runs parallel to Katella, with just a small median separating it from Katella itself. It's west of Euclid. You just park there and walk to the convention center.

 

Along the way on the walk there's a taqueria in a strip mall that I found to be quite decent if you like random taqueria's (I do). I have walked back to that taqueria at lunch time and found hardly any crowd at all.

 

I don't know if walking there was faster than waiting in the food line, but I was walking outside in the nice winter sunshine, and had a way better meal than a convention center hot dog! :D

 

Of course, YMMV.

 

Have fun, NAMM is a blast! I'm really going to miss it this year.

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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If you want to hang out a bit while at NAMM, I suspect that Markyboard and I will be wandering around. Send me a PM and we can exchange cell phone numbers. I won't arrive at NAMM until midway through Day 2. :( I will miss the more relaxed pace of Day 1.

 

Regards,

Eric

 

 

Same here - PM me for my cell if you want. I'm out in LA (cough) "working" (cough) but should be at NAMM by early Thurs. afternoon. I'm going as a VIP guest this year so feel free to buy me beer. :/

 

 

Also try to pick up your badge before Thursday if you don't already have it. I usually get there at least a day early. When I used to arrive on Thursday the badge line was awful. Not sure if it still is.

 

 

9. Don't waste your time trying to pick up on booth babes. They hate you, just by nature of your being there.

 

Really? You wouldn't know it from the post dinner "activities". :love:

 

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9. Don't waste your time trying to pick up on booth babes. They hate you, just by nature of your being there.

 

Hmmmm. That's almost throwing down a challenge. :D

 

They must get hit on incessantly. And not just by guys standing in line waiting to post for a photo with them.

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Hmmmm. That's almost throwing down a challenge. :D

 

They must get hit on incessantly. And not just by guys standing in line waiting to post for a photo with them.

 

Think about it logically. It is like hitting on strippers. They are paid to be there and be nice, but they have lives at home that don't include you. There might be an unattached gal there doing that work, but then there is also a road rule that says "never sleep with anyone crazier than you" and out of all of the thousands of visitors to the booths, why would she pick -you-?

 

Meanwhile, how can you guys miss the obvious? There are hundreds of women at the show just like you, strangers in town, away from home, unattached, looking for something interesting to do after hours.

 

When the other guys would go to the strip clubs after work, if I was looking for a female companion I was going to the regular clubs that are recommended by the hotels. That is where you find others in like circumstance, looking for the same thing you are looking for. As often as not though, I was looking for where the locals go to hear music, looking for good new music and players. "Chicks" are everywhere, good music is a lot harder to find.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Wow, thanks guys for all the recommendations!

 

I would have come out earlier but I have a gig on Friday and I actually turned down a gig on Sat to go down. It's also my birthday on the 17th and I thought this was a good way for me to see and celebrate with some of my close friends down in LA and to experience NAMM.

 

Luckily, I live about 30 min down south from San Francisco so I'll leave either after my gig Friday or super early Sat AM.

Too bad I'll miss the dinner!

 

Hopefully I can run into some of you guys!

 

 

www.brianho.net

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianho

www.youtube.com/brianhojazz

 

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Think about it logically.

 

Hmmm. Okay, a pleasant alternative. :D

 

It is like hitting on strippers.

 

A sort of less extreme version of that in that they are paid to do a job and are braced for every manner of come on, having seen most of it.

Meanwhile, how can you guys miss the obvious? There are hundreds of women at the show just like you, strangers in town, away from home, unattached, looking for something interesting to do after hours.

 

Who says we miss that? I'm totally not there to hook up, but if I were, that'd be one fantastic way to do it, and is a common way that many playas go about it.

 

 

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Hall E is why I go to NAMM.

 

Make sure you go there first, as some of those vendors pack up early. Not even all of them stay for Sunday.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Ann P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico Bari, Dano Bari

Select Strat/Tele, Am Pro Jazzmaster, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, T64, PM2, EXL1, XK4, Voyager

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+1 on Hall E -- that's where all the new "inventors" hang out; you'll find crazy stuff like MIDI controllers made out of cardboard wrapping-paper tubes, and electric guitars made out of stone. I am NOT kidding.

 

+10 -- find the acoustic piano showroom area; you'll find several hundred sq. yds of brand new grand and upright pianos just sitting there for you to tryout. I've spent hours there before, just playing beautiful instruments that I'll never be able to afford. It's fun, and no one will bother you, especially if you're good. In fact, the salespeople standing around will look rather nonplussed that a *musician* has actually wandered into their midst.

 

Remember, NAMM is a convention for *salespeople*, not for musicians. You'll be surprised at the ratio of people you'll meet that don't play a note...

 

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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Remember, NAMM is a convention for *salespeople*, not for musicians. You'll be surprised at the ratio of people you'll meet that don't play a note...

 

To be fair, keep in mind that 90% of us sales and marketing people -- like dB, the mod of this forum -- got into the business because we were already musicians. I've been in MI for 20 years, and the grand majority of people I've worked with are indeed musicians. Many of them may not play much, but almost everyone plays a little, at least. :)

 

But NAMM is indeed a business convention.

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BTW, both Hall E and the upper two floors (where the pianos are, amongst other goodies), open at 930am, a half hour before the main exhibition hall.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Ann P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico Bari, Dano Bari

Select Strat/Tele, Am Pro Jazzmaster, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, T64, PM2, EXL1, XK4, Voyager

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+10 -- find the acoustic piano showroom area; you'll find several hundred sq. yds of brand new grand and upright pianos just sitting there for you to tryout. I've spent hours there before, just playing beautiful instruments that I'll never be able to afford. It's fun, and no one will bother you, especially if you're good. In fact, the salespeople standing around will look rather nonplussed that a *musician* has actually wandered into their midst.

 

 

Or you can go into Bosendorfer and watch them stare you down as you let loose on one of their grands, and then suddenly someone next to you tries to one up you by hammering out the Revolutionary Etude. It's a classic recipe for a headache.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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