The NAMM show has wrapped up. Surely, there were many interesting new products introduced. I wrote about the re-birth of Magnatone amps. I think that’s really cool. But let’s be honest…lots of the products that are released every year are the “shiny new object” type only to be killed by the company that birthed it a year or two later. Often what passes for innovation is merely a repeat of what’s been done in the past or a twist on something someone else has already done. Think about how much mileage the industry has gotten out of Les Paul’s and Leo Fender’s designs? Those are like the Carnegie and Rockefeller of the guitar world….like the Gates and Jobs. Innovators that leave their mark.
True creativity is rare because it is risky. It will be judged for both what it is and what it isn’t. It might fail and be followed by a cacophony of “I told you so” statements. But true creativity isn’t afraid of failure. True creativity is like water…give it even the slightest opening and it will flow. Sometimes creativity yields long-last innovation…and other times it’s just…well….creative.
As I was trolling around online looking for interesting NAMM stuff I bumped into a recorded performance in the Taylor booth by the artist Miyavi. Have you heard of him? To be honest, I had not heard of him. This guy is crazy creative. He does stuff on the guitar that is truly unusual and mixes it up in a Red Hot Chili Peppers like tempo that he pulls off with just him and a drummer (and a looper too…not judging…just saying).
I can’t tell if I personally dig it, but I this guy is seriously pushing the envelope. This is different from any type of guitar playing I have seen. There’s clearly some bass playing influence…but you have to give him credit for something different. Time will tell if he is seen as an innovator.
I feel bad for the guy who has to set up his guitar….