This is Part II of our review of NAMM 2013. You can read the first article here: NAMM 2013 Part I.

To avoid the crowds, we skipped the show on Saturday and went Sunday once things had settled down. Although it seemed like a good idea to skip a day, we missed out a few great shows and seeing Stevie Wonder!

Since the show was less busy, we had more time to try out some of the different instruments and gear available at the show as well as catch up with several of the vendors. Unfortunately, because it was the last day, a lot of the people working at the booths had headed out and so we didn’t get the chance to talk to them.

Tip: If you’re going to NAMM to network, it’s better to head out on a Friday or Saturday despite the crowds because you’re more likely to meet up with the people you need to talk to. If you’re there to try the different instruments, Thursday or Sunday are best. Sunday is also great because a lot (not all) of the exhibitors sell the products they have on display in the booths (they don’t typically do this the other days because they need the products there to show).

Here are a few things we did and saw on Sunday:

1. Bought new wood inlays for KenKase Reed Cases. As you may or may not know, my father and I have a reed case company called KenKase. Over the last few years we’ve started adding beautiful stone and wood inlays to customize the cases and so I picked up a few new options at NAMM.

2. Got a new Protec case for my alto. Protec launched their cases in new colors this year at NAMM and I fell in love with the green cases. I bought the alto case they had on display and hope to get the flute case soon!

3. Saw Jessy J perform at the Selmer booth.

4. Played a ukulele that was built like a mini six string guitar. Dean guitars had the miniature guitar on display and I couldn’t help myself. I haven’t learned ukulele and this mini guitar version made it possible for me to play something comparable.

5. Plastic saxophones by Vibrato. These were one of my favorite things to see at the show. I visited the booth on more than one occasion to play them. Plus, they come in really fun colors.

6. Digital wireless microphones. Several manufacturers including Audio Technica, Line 6 and Shure have launched digital wireless microphones. These new mics sound great (they don’t compress the sound like the older wireless systems).

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.

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