the official website for guitarist Jason Martin

NAMM 2013


Just got back from the most exciting and entertaining music and musicians trade show in the United States! NAMM 2013 was in full force last weekend and I pulled out all the stops to get you the best presentation that it deserved.

I got up and out of bed on Friday morning at 3:45am to get on the road and up to the Anneheim Convention Center by 8am for the opening breakfast at the Hilton. I got there right at 8am and the show opened with a bass ukulele and ukulele performer as well as an introduction and a guest speaker that was there to help you understand the way that the world has changed from the baby boomer era to generation x and generation y and now to a whole new generation that includes all of us known as generation c. The c stands for connected and represents how now we have all of these other mediums to view the world from smart phones and tablets to compters. televisions, magazines and newspapers. Good seminar anyway!

The last time I came to NAMM back a couple years ago, I was given a yellow visitors badge. This meant that I had to go downstairs first before I could be allowed on the upper floor. I had no problem with this other than I ended up spending half the day downstairs and killing my battery in the basement due to a lack of reception. The other cool thing was that Voyage-Air Guitars were the first booth in so I got to say hi and thank you to them before I did anything else. From experience, I figured it would be good to head downstairs first to get a look at the fresh magazines and say hi to my friends promising myself not take as many pictures. What I didn’t prepare for was the fact that I was using Instagram and needed solid internet access to get my pictures uploaded. I was able to get quite a few up, however I about killed my battery in the basement again just like last time.

It was good to see Barney and Virginia again and I was able to meet Jeff and Jamie Cohen down there as well. We were able to talk a lil business and a lil fun. Recently, I used my Voyage-Air VAD06 in a Take Lessons video describing the parts of the guitar for beginning guitar players. I wasn’t able to fold my guitar in half for some reason, but the video still turned out really well. I’m still pleased with the guitar and still bring it in to most every session! Spending a little more time downstairs I met a few companies that I would like to invest into and traded some business cards back and forth as well as saw a performance by a band playing down at the Voyage-Air Guitar booth. The biggest suprise was when I saw a giant size poster of one of my idols, Cliff Burton.

I’ve always been a huge Cliff Burton fan, I may have even mentioned in my previous blogs that he died in a tragic bus accident on my 7th birthday (September 27, 1986) and always felt a strong connection with that maybe even more since Jason was the name of the next Metallica bassist. Little did I know that Cliff’s dad Ray was there and they were unvailing the new Cliff Burton signature bass guitar. It also happened to be Ray’s birthday so I was able to share cake with Cliff’s dad. How cool is that?

There were artist signings going on upstairs so I decided to check that out next. Last time I was here, Schecter guitars was right at the top of the escalador and was expecting to see them there again. This year Carvin was in that spot and right around the corner I saw my first signing. I looked over and Scott Ian of Anthrax was signing and right next to him was Dave Ellefson of Megadeth. I heard that Anthrax lost their guitar player a few weeks ago so a part of me wanted to wait in line to talk to Scott about taking over on guitar for them but deep down, I really did not want to wait in line. I checked out the signing schedule and as I was scoping the times out, Dave gave a look back from the signing table and gave the the head nod of recognition. He must have remembered that I had met him at Guitar Trader a couple months ago.

I had met another guitar player a couple years back that was also doing a signing around the corner. Kerry King, the guitar player from Slayer was signing autographs at Monster and the line was around the corner. If you guys are new you may not remember or seen the video of my eyeballs popping out of my skull watching Kerry’s fingers as he taught my to play the intro to “Raining Blood”

Watching everyone stand in line for the signings was a bit discouraging this year because for I’d met most of these guys before. The amount of metal celebrities at this event was awesome! I can’t even count how many people I bumped into on accident over the course of the three days that I was there.

The Schecter room was next on the agenda. My latest and two new favorite guitars were from this company and I wanted to go say hello to Sergio, the guy that set up my guitars for me. Walking up to the second floor and checking out that they had an actual room is a big step up for them. I was impressed when they were on the ground floor too, but they definitely stepped up and deserved it. I also wanted to talk to Sergio about getting me a pass to the Schecter after party. When we made it up to the room it looked like there was a line to get in and Sergio was able to let me in as an artist so I didn’t have to stand in line. As it turned out it was filled with all these really cool guys that I’ve idolized as guitar players for some time now. Jeff Loomis, Chris Polland, Ballsac, Gary Holt, Tommy Victor and others. One guy was actually elbow to elbow with in the pit the following evening!

I got some really cool pictures of a lot of their guitars that had come out and it was fun posing with a few of them that I owned or had seen a few months prior when I had gone out to the custom shop. I was very impressed with the display and I’m glad to be recognized by the company! I was almost so recognized by the company that the guitar player from Cheri Bomb and I were just hangin’ out talking guitars and I think she may have thought that I was employed by Schecter. Great guitars by the way, if I haven’t mentioned that already!

From there all I had to do was step outside and I bumped into Chris Broderick of Megadeth. I think he was hanging out waiting for Jeff Loomis to get done signing so that they could go to their next booth for another event. I said hi to Chris and said congrats on the new Jackson guitars that were up in the Fender room. I had met Chris a few months ago when he came down and did a clinic with Dave Ellefson for Jackson guitars. I gave him my business card in case he wants to set up a lesson some time. (Me taking lessons from him, not vice versa… just to be clear) He had also mentioned that he new pick was available from his website. It seems similiar to a banjo pick but he made a really sweet clip out of it and I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

This year was a lil different from the last time that I had visited NAMM. I knew a lot more people and it was more of a community feeling this time. After seeing Chris I was able to meet Avenged Sevenfold and in the meantime see the guys from Great White, Anthrax, Mastadon, Megadeth and others just carrying on their business going up and down the hallways. After getting up to the front to see A7X it also happened to be the same time that Nikki Sixx was going to be introduced to his new Schecter bass. I actually bumped into him outside the bathroom afterwards and that was an interesting experience. Upstairs I heard about a drawing that Gibson was going to be doing where you could win a guitar, all you had to do was wear a button and have your badge scanned.

The Gibson room was awesome, the displays were great and it was cool seeing everything from the SG’s to the Explorers and semi-hollow bodies. My first experience in the Gibson room I was there to meet the infamous Zakk Wylde. Just standing in line I look over to my right and there is Robb Flynn of Machine Head hanging out backstage talking to some fans. I was on the back end of the line and the security guys cut the signing off right before I was about to get my chance to meet Zakk. He stood up, looked around and said he would have time to do another 30 signings and I was able to go up and say hi.

After the Gibson room I had to go see what was going on down at Fender. Fender had one of the best rooms the last time I came and there were video games going on and all the other great things that Fender offers. This year was amazing as well! There were vintage guitars from the 1950’s on my right and I was able to get a few camera clicks in this time a round. Fender also carries the Jackson models and I was able to check out the Randy Rhodes and Megadeth segnature models. It was totally cool to see the Rhodes in a green and gold color since they are typically just seen in the black and silver.

To be continued…