Guitars Descend on Nashville for Summer NAMM Show

Posted on July 18, 2014

NASHVILLE, TENN.—Walk down Lower Broadway in this storied southern city on pretty much any afternoon and you’ll hear acoustic guitars and pedal-steel spilling out of Tootsies and other famous clubs along the city’s legendary strip. But if you’re in town for the Summer NAMM Show, the cacophony of new guitars and gear blasting from the massive new Music City Center nearby almost drowns out the twang.

Acoustic Guitar editor Mark Segal Kemp was all over the exhibit floor on the first day of NAMM Thursday, talking with guitar and gear makers, and listening to some of them pick and strum a little folk, country, and flamenco.

Master luthier Andy Powers talks with Kemp about Taylor’s new budget-priced 150e 12-string dreadnought—and picks a little on the instrument. Former aerospace engineer Ellis Seal (and current guitar designer for McPherson’s Kevin Michael line) tells why he left Lockheed Martin in 1998 with the firm belief that he knew the secret to coming up with a better-sounding carbon-fiber guitar.

Travis Perry shows off a new device for beginning guitarists called the Chord Buddy, which makes learning how to form chords easier and more fun.

For indie rockers and young string bands wanting to expand their instrumental palette, Deering has a new Goodtime Solana 6 Banjo, a nylon-string instrument perfect for the guitarist who wants to switch things up a little. Deering’s Barry Hunn shows how it’s done. 

Finally, guitarist John Souki’s primary instrument is an electric guitar, but Kemp bumped into him at Merida’s booth, playing a little flamenco. He says Merida’s line of nylon-string guitars are so easy to play he almost forgets they’re acoustics.

Stay tuned. We’ll be coming back all weekend long with more videos and photos of stunning new instruments and gear from the NAMM Show in Music City, U.S.A.

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