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Why the NAMM Show Kinda Sucks: One Guitarist's Opinion

The NAMM Show: The ultimate candy store for musicians of all types.

While most people never get to physically attend a NAMM Show, they’ll certainly be assaulted by an array of dry, unimaginative gear reviews and explanations in a din of wailing instruments and overall noise.

Sure, there’s the rare artist interview or performance, but even those guys seem like they don’t want to be in the madhouse that is the NAMM Show. That’s right, people, the NAMM Show isn’t just rock stars and gear, although there are plenty of both hanging around. You want to try out that $6,000 Les Paul? Sorry, you’re just going to have to look at it—we don’t have any amps for you to use.

Oh, you wanted to see how these new drum kits sound? Guess what? So do 53 other drummers, and they’re all playing one right next to you.

However, testing gear is the least of your problems. The NAMM Show has a dark side, and I’ve taken it upon myself to expose the truth about all the ways NAMM sucks, if nothing else to let you know that, really, unless you’ve got connections to get you some VIP treatment, you’re better off just staying home.

Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric brand Music is Win. His insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons and gear demonstrations along with entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician receive tens of millions of video views per month across social media. Tyler is also the creator of the extremely popular online guitar learning platform, Guitar Super System. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tyler has been teaching guitar for over a decade and operates a production studio in Nashville, TN.