NAMM Oddities 2006 The Other Room
Guitars Goodies Percussion Instruments Techno Geek Toys You Figure It Out

Viola d'Amore

I'd thought the exhibitor called this a "violin demore", at least that's what I got from his somewhat broken English. Thanks to a couple of astute Oddities readers I've been clued into the correct name. The Viola d'Amore is an interesting specimen has seven strings on top that are played directly and seven more strings underneath that resonate sympathetically.

KM Music Co.
985 E. Orange Fair Lane
Anaheim, CA 92801
(951) 775-3537



Flying V Uke

Just because you play ukulele doesn't mean that you can't rock like Michael Schenker. Speaking of rocking on uke, check this guy out. He just tears it up on a version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

Praiseland Music
5632 Rosemead Blvd,
Temple City, CA 91780
(800) 506-0477




Aero Uke

This is a replica of an extremely rare ukulele that was originally made to commemorate Lindbergh's trans-atlantic flight. The sound holes are labeled "altimeter" and "airspeed" and it even comes with a cast bronze landing gear stand.

Ukiyo Ukuleles
355 N. 5th St.
Grover Beach, CA 93433
(805) 481-8532



The Tiki Flea Uke

To round out our compreshensive coverage of the latest in ukulele technology, we bring you the Tiki Flea Uke. This brings new meaning to "voicing and instrument."

Flea Market Music
790 Litchfield Turnpike
New Hartford, CT 06057
(800) 459-5558




Truncated Bass

Even though this bass might look like a war victim, it sounds surprisingly good. Even at the NAMM show I could hear that the tone was better than any of the electric uprights I've ever listened to. It's called the "Czech Ease" bass because it's made in the Czech Republic and it's much easier to check onto an airplane.

David Gage String Instruments
36 Walker St.
New York, NY 10013
(212) 274-1322


Double-Neck Strumstick

The original Strumstick was covered back in the 2000 Oddities and I've seen them at every Winter NAMM since so they must be doing something right. Since the Strumstick is designed to only play notes in a specific key the addition of another neck allows the lucky Strumsticker to play in two keys.

McNally Instruments
Box 387
Hibernia NJ 07842
(800) 397-6563




Covering the Basses

On the left we have your run-of-the-mill 5-string fretless banjo with active pickups. On the right is your garden variety bass dulcimer. Some of the sounds coming out of the dulcimer reminded me of the bass sound Mark Sandman used on the Morphine albums.

Walk On Water Musical Instruments
210 W. 2nd St.
Pueblo, CO 81003
(719) 542-6516



Brown Notes

With the lowest string tuned to a C# this bass puts out a fundamental frequency that could beach whales. Given enough amplification you could probably elicit an interesting physiological reaction from unwitting concert-goers. If anyone plans on doing this let me know, I'll set up a clean underwear concession at the show and make a killing.

Benavente Guitars
Grants Pass, OR
(541) 472-9451




Brass Canvas

After seeing these how could any self-respecting sax player be satisfied with their plain old silver or gold horn? Just in case these paint jobs are not gaudy enough for you they also have a glow-in-the-dark paint option.

Greatmind Instrument Mfg. Co.
23112 Mountain Pine
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
(949) 331-4797



Too Hip

I guess I could say this violin is hip but I try to refrain from using cheap jokes like that. I have no idea if the additional bits do anything for the sound of the violin but they definitely limit your choice of cases.

Universal Music Instrument Co., Inc.
C.P.O. Box 2121
Seoul, Korea
(032) 563-6399




5-String Fretless Piccolo Cello

In addition to the violin at the top of this page, KM Music was also showing something a little more normal but Oddities-worthy nonetheless. I particularly liked the grain on the neck.

KM Music Co.
985 E. Orange Fair Lane
Anaheim, CA 92801
(951) 775-3537


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©2006 Barry Wood