Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2012 Edition

Packrat Barry



The Slaperoo is something of a one trick pony, but it's one awfully cool trick.

It's basically composed of square metal tubing with a thin metal band streteched along its length as a "string." When you beat on it, you change the pitch by pressing the band against the tubing just like fretting a stringed instrument.

The inventor, Andy Graham, has a number of other inventions that I would personally love to see exhibited at NAMM.

The Slaperoo

Alien Upright

Taking a cue from John Hurt's character in Alien, Chris Cardone thinks of this bass as his baby.

It's just your average carbon fiber 5-string electric upright with a built-in lighting system and every pickup system known to man.

I'm looking forward to seeing this multi-year labor of love when its builder, Fleishman Instruments, is finished.

Alien Upright

Fretless Sax

Some sax players have enough trouble playing in tune without taking away all their keys.

Safe Sax indeed.

Fretless sax

Who Watches the Luthiers?

Pretty butterfly
Some nice flowers
A dog with head split in half.

  • Tianjin Sanjin International Trade Co., Ltd.
  • 2-1-803 Danyi Gardern
  • #23-1 Fukang Road
  • Nankai District, Tianjin
  • China 300191
Tianjin Sanjin violin

It Might Be a Tumor

It's Not a Toomah!, it's a Pellegrina-Pomposa Asymetrical Viola made by David Rivinus.

Pellegrina-Pomposa Asymetrical Viola

Beneficial Mutation

You couldn't walk ten feet at NAMM without running into a ukulele, they were frickin' everywhere.

With ukuleles becoming commonplace, it takes something out of the ordinary for one to catch my eye. This harp ukulele did just that.

aNueNue harp ukulele

Paddleboard Set

What we've got here is a lap steel in the middle, flanked by nylon and steel string ukes. At least the ukes can double as paddles.

And this wraps up my uke coverage for this year.

Mahalo did score extra points for producing the nicest product brochure I've ever seen. They then subsequently lost all those points (and more) by failing to include any contact information whatsoever in said brochure.

  • Team Int'l. Co. Ltd.
  • 1801, Building B, Central Plaza
  • 22 Jianshe Damalu Road, Guangzhou, China
  • Guang Zhou, China
Mahalo instruments

The Sound of One Hand Shredding

I've seen Bill Clements performing at various NAMM booths for several years. As you can hear in the video, the guy can play, even while he's having a conversation with someone.


Once you start playing, you have to play to the end… wait, that's Jumanji.

The Harpejji G16 is a tapping instrument that you play from the end. Each string is one whole step different from its neighbor and you move up a half step for each fret. The uniform intervals make it an isomorphic instrument, which means that a single chord shape will work in all keys.

  • Marcodi Musical Products, LLC
  • P.O. Box 7580
  • Baltimore, MD 21207

I'd Tap That

Another entry in the "new tapping instrument" category is the Kelstone. It's more similar to The Stick than the Harpejji because is uses 4ths tuning and you approach it from the side. It differs from the Stick in that it's played while the instrument rests on a surface rather than being strapped to the body.

  • Kelst NV
  • Postbus 44
  • Rotselaar, Belgium
  • RPR Leuven 895 967 719

Death is… Whimsical… Today

A student performing sax or clarinet mouthpiece exercises creates a sound that puts you at risk of having the SPCA being called out, not so with the Silencer.

The real reason this is in the Oddities is because of my first impression of girl on the poster. She reminds me of Natalie Portman in the film The Professional. Then again, I look at things a little differently than most.

  • Jancic AG (Inc.)
  • Offiziersgasse 16
  • 5612 Villmergen
  • Switzerland
The Silencer

(Turn) Up The Wazoo

How do you make a kazoo even more abrasive? You add a horn that makes it 3X louder and call it The Wazoo. And if that's not enough, you put a pickup on it for amplification.

The Wazoo

What is the Airspeed Velocity…

…that is proper for good flute tone? I don't know… arrhhhhhh

The Pneumo Pro is a clever training device for beginning players that helps teach them how to properly guide the air column.

Pneumo Pro

Only a Matter of Time

With carbon fiber showing up in just about every product imaginable, it was only a matter of time before instruments such as trumpets got the treatment.

daCarbo trumpet

They Melt in Your Mouth,
Not in Your Hand

Blast Cult was showing these delicious-looking upright basses. Which flavor do you want?

Blast Cult basses


Isn't that an appropriate name for a smurf-colored cello?

Cecilio Musical Instruments cello

Sunflowers or Ninjas?

The sunflower violin is nice but I don't suspect even a ninja-covered violin is going to make playing violin exciting in the eyes of most 4th grade boys.

Rozanna's Violins

Visual Non Sequitur

DR Strings used this egregious crime-against-art to show off their neon strings.

DR Strings bass

Claire Isabell

There are two things that I expect to see at NAMM every year: oversized objects and translucent instruments.

Moses thoughtfully fulfilled one of these expectations for me.

Moses bass


When I heard the name of Godin's electric oud, I couldn't help but think of Milla Jovovich in the film, The Fifth Element.

This is a beautiful instrument, by the way.

Godin MultiOud
Next Up: Techno Geek Toys

©2012 Barry Wood