NAMM convention 2020: What is NAMM?


Nadia Harman, Writer

Dave Hunter

January 16 – 19  is the convention for the National Association of Music Merchants otherwise known as NAMM. This convention takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center every year the third weekend of January. It’s a place that has it all from guitar manufacturers to piano manufacturers to kazoos. Every big name company in the music industry like Gibson and Yamaha show up to this convention to show off every new product that’s being sold this upcoming year in 2020. 

The first NAMM convention started in 1902 after being born in 1901 by the fifty two members of the National Piano Manufacturers Association. The first convention was held in the YMCA hall in Baltimore, Maryland. It then moved from place to place for almost 100 years until the winter NAMM show which stayed in it’s new home of Anaheim, California in 2000 where it has stayed for 20 years now. 

File photo by Keith Durflinger, 
Buyer Derek Deyong looks at Rickenbacker guitars during the NAMM Show 2018

Unlike many other conventions, this one is very restricted to only a handful of people. The only way you can get into NAMM is if you are an owner, supplier, employee of these companies, endorsed artist or NAMM member. The only way an average person can get in is if you have friends that work for one of the many companies that showcase their gear or if you’re lucky, and a friend of an artist.

Ibanez showcase wall featuring artists like Paul Stanley, Joe Satriani, Nita Strauss and Steve Vai

The convention consists of brands and artists showing off their new gear for this year. They also have signings where you can meet artists and take a picture with them or have them sign a piece of their signature gear for you. NAMM hosts a number of different concerts with featured artists all coming together and usually playing cover songs. One of the most exciting things they have is their award ceremonies for a number of different things like the TEC awards and the She Rocks awards.


She Rocks award ceremony 2018 with Shirley Manson of the band Garbage and Nita Strauss and Lita Ford shredding side by side.

Every music lover will be refreshing their phones and checking social media religiously to see what their favorite companies and artists will be releasing in 2020. Artists and brands have been teasing pictures on their social media of what is to come this week. Many artists have been showing snippets of their signature items since late last year to create hype for this winter convention. It will be very interesting to see what will come in the music business in 2020.