Daisy Rock is doing whatever it takes to help girls play guitar and enjoy music. ~Tish Ciravolo

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Best In Show Delivers Top Gear From NAMM

Winter 2010


The final morning of The NAMM Show 2010 kicked off with a bang as a panel of music retail experts discussed their favorite products from the convention. Best In Show, a NAMM University educational session held Jan. 17 at the Anaheim Hilton, featured six panelists who represented single-store operations, small- to mid-sized chains and one of the industry’s top trade magazines. The panelists offered views on the best companies, products and services they saw during The NAMM Show.

Myrna Sislen, Middle C Music, Alfred Publishing

Nearly 700 attendees listened as the panelists were asked to discuss their top choices in four categories:

  • Something Small — A great product that’s either small in price or small in size.
  • Gotta Stock It — A product that retailers want to stock right now
  • Companies to Watch — An exhibitor with trendsetting products or services.
  • Best In Show — The best product or service that panelists saw at NAMM.

This year’s panelists included:

  • Todd Skaw, owner of Guitars Etc., Longmont, Colo.
  • Myrna Sislen, owner of Middle C Music, Washington, D.C.
  • Jim Rupp, owner and president of Columbus Pro Percussion, Columbus, Ohio
  • George Hines, owner and president of George’s Music, a 10-store chain headquartered in Berwyn, Pa.
  • Mike Guillot, director of purchasing for Mississippi Music, a four-store chain based in Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Zach Phillips, editor, Music Inc. magazine, Elmhurst, Ill.

Best In Show
Sislen :: Daisy Rock Guitars
This is Tish Ciravolo’s 10th anniversary of producing guitars for girls and for women. That is really quite an achievement in this industry, which is, well, male-dominated. There is an entire market out there for girls, and they want to play. Tish is the first to really go after that market. Many others have followed. She supports her dealers. This is a really, really fine company.

Companies to Watch
Sislen :: Alfred Music Publishing
If you’re going to be in retail and want something that can deliver strong profit margins, then you’d better be selling print music. Alfred has a new CEO in Ron Manus. I expect some great things out of Alfred under his direction. Right now, Alfred has a new band and orchestra method called Sound Innovations. The nice thing about this is that the band directors will be able to design their own band books. They can choose the repertoire. They can choose what kind of technical aspects they want to stress. It’s very innovative.

Gotta Stock It
Hines :: Tascam DP-008
It’s a very portable, very small eight-track recorder that can be used for recording fast ideas or with a band. It has a built-in stereo condenser mic. So, you can just bring it to rehearsals. And it fits in a guitar case. It’s that small. It breaks the price-point barrier for anything like it. Instead of needing a computer, here you still have something that’s very convenient and versatile. It has a USB connect. It has an SD card built in. It is just really well-thought-out. This is like a dream come true for those of us who want to do home recording. Guillot Tascam’s new recording family They’ve got 25 new products. Everything from the DR2d, which is a mini-recorder that will record two different tracks and you can slow down a recording without changing pitch, to the DR-08, a super-small digital [eight-track] recorder. The stuff is great. It sells. You can make a lot of money with it.

Something Small
Guillot :: Mighty Bright Lights
Everybody is your customer for these products — everybody in every household, in every church. You can get these lights for under $25 and really sell them. If you’re on stage or in a practice situation and need to read a book or read music, these deliver the light necessary to do the job.