August 2011 Archives

Musical Instruments Fair Association Japan hosts 2011 Musical Instruments Fair Japan from November 3 (Thu.) through 6 (Sun.) at Pacifico Yokohama.

At the 1st exhibitor meeting held on July 20, Yukio Ohashi, vice chairman of the association, said, "Slow economy and the unprecedented disaster in Northern Japan in March have adversely affected the exhibitor registration and space requests. Both go below the results of the previous fair as of this writing. However, I believe the exhibitors feel the role of the fair more than ever in these gloomy circumstances.

"We know that the visitors expect on-site musical experience at the fair. They have deep desire to touch and play the latest music gears. Obviously, the exhibitors are preparing versatile programs to meet their expectations. To enhance excitement, we have plans as organizer to stage mini concerts and educational sessions throughout the fair ground.
Though there are voices for strict sound control at the fair site, my personal opinion is that the visitors can make sounds since they come to experience musical instruments on display. It doesn't mean that we should accept excessive sound level. They should comply with common rules of society. After all, they are just 4 days of year.

"We plan to make the 2011 Fair an all-industry promotional opportunity to create new music makers encouraging the visitors to experience music playing on site. During the period, we team with various music groups and invite the visitors at the concerts to the fair ground where they can see and touch digital drums, electric acoustic guitars and a host of wind instruments."

Sixty three companies and four industry associations have already signed to take part in the fair this year. Exhibit space will be 30% less than the previous fair. But adding organizer events space, the total scale of the show will be 85% of the previous fair.

2011 Musical Instrument Fair Japan Exhibitors (as of July 20)
Audio Technica/Beating/Casio Computer/Cosmo Music/ESP Co., Ltd./ESP Musical Academy/Fillmore/Flute Manufacturers Pavilion/Garage S/Global/Gottsu/Hana Cloth/HookUp/Gakken Publishing/Ippinkan/Ishibashi Musical Instrument Store/Japan Music Trades/Japan Piano Technicians Assn./Kanda Shokai/Kawai/Kawakami Guitars/Korg/Kyoritsu Corp./Maikai Wood Hawaii/Marue/Miki Gakki/
Mizuho Gosei Kogyosho/Moridaira Musical Instruments/Assn. of Musical Electronics Industry/Music Publishers Assn. of Japan/Nseuvellaxe & AmGriffbrett/Nihon Electro Harmonix/Ocarina Promotion Assn./Otokichi/Office Remix/Prima Gakki/Pro Audio Japan/Rittor Music/Rokko Design Plays/Roland/Schecter Corporation/Seiko Sports Life/Seiren/Sharp & Flat/S.I.E. /Slick/Suzuki Musical/Taiwan Sahduoo Wind Instruments/TEAC/TC Group Japan/Techsol/Techno Promotion/Three G International/Tobu Music Distributors Assn./Tokyo Musical Instruments Manufacturers Assn. /Toyama Musical Instrument/Toyo Gakki/TRAN GmbH/World Frontier/Yamaha/Yamaha Music Trading/Yamano Music/Zodiac Works

Japan Musical Instruments Association announced 'School Music Revival' project on July 20 to save children and students suffered from the mega earthquake and tsunami in Eastern Japan in a joint-initiative with Ryuichi Sakamoto, music legend. The project provides the 1,850 local schools with check-up, maintenance and repair and tune-up services for their damaged musical instruments in association with manufacturers, local music dealers and distributors. To support the activities, it formed 'School Music Revival' Fund (  (photo top, from l. to r., Masamitsu Yamano, Hirotaka Kawai, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mitsuru Umemura and Hitoshi Ohashi.)

The project spends 3 million yen as a start to provide the aforementioned services, and the activities are expected to last for 3 years. The retail members of JMIA in the area, manufacturers and distributors plan to complete check up of the instruments owned by the schools in the given area by the end of September, and provide necessary services. The manufacturers and distributors are paid for the cost from the fund.

The instruments subject to give repair and restoration services include, pianos, electronic organs, reed organs, electronic keyboard instruments for school, percussion instruments, marching/band instruments and related accessories, recorders, keyboard harmonicas, accordions, harmonicas, wind instruments, Japanese traditional instruments and stringed instruments. (photo right: Ryuichi Sakamoto talks about his involvement in the project.)

As the second step, the project supports the schools providing budget to buy new instruments and students music activities.

The members presented at the July 20 press conference included, Mitsuru Umemura, president of JMIA and president of Yamaha, Hirotaka Kawai, president of Japan Musical Instrument Manufacturers' Association and chairman of Kawai, Hitoshi Ohashi, president of Japan Musical Instruments Wholesalers' Association and president of Prima Gakki, Masamitsu Yamano, president of Japan Musical Instruments Retailers' Association and chairman of Yamano Music, and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Sakamoto, who visited Rikuzen Takada, one of the hardest-hit cities, a little earlier, said, "I was totally struck by the scene. Since 3.11, I have asked myself what I can do for the people and the area. Now I believe in the power and role of music. It's indispensable for the people there to regain normal life. A great number of gears for music were destroyed or damaged in vast areas. I feel it's my mission as an individual working in the music society."

It's the largest ever project to save music by 785 businesses involved in Japanese music products industry.

2011 Tokyo Guitar Show

| No Comments

Yamano Music and Fender Musical Instruments co-staged Tokyo Guitar Show from June 25 and 26 at TFT Hall, Ariake, Tokyo. The event celebrated 10th anniversary this year welcoming thelargest 4,200 visitors in its history.

Tsutomu Iwasaki, assistant manager, Overseas Division of Yamano Music says, "The impact of the great disaster in Northern Japan caused spontaneous restrain of all types of social events. But our decision was to organize the show as usual because we believed that it will definitely provide music makers and general music fans with pleasure of experiencing valuable musical instruments and artists' performance that was our original concept since the very beginning."

The show sold 159 guitars and basses, the largest in 10 years, and raised 63 million yen proceeds.

The organizer entertained the audience with expanded live concerts and talk shows featuring such big artistss as Ken of L'Arc-en-Ciel and INORAN of LUNA SEA, The Paisleys, Number the, The ROOTLESS and MIYABI.

Iwasaki concluded, "Ten years of history and accumulated know-how have made it the most successful show that celebrates a mile stone. It's worth to note that female and young visitors significantly increased this year. You will see larger exposure of mid-range products easily accessible by those first time buyers along with intensified entertainment programs next year."

The music retailer exhibitors:
Ikebe Musical, Ishibashi Music, The Guitar Lounge & Velvet Sound, Kagetsu Rock, Kamo Brother Music Center, Guitar Traders, Junsei Guitars, Shinseido RockInn Shinjuku Store, Nancy, Neuvellaxe & Am Griffbrett, Big City Guitars, Hoochies, Mars' Guitar, Miki Gakki, Musicland Key, Yamano Music Ginza Store, Walki'n, Guitar Planet, T. Kurosawa G-Club, Gold Star



The manufacturer exhibitors:
Washburn Guitars, Cort, Boss, Korg, EVH, Fender Acoustic, Fender Custom Shop, Fender USA, Guild, Lag Guitars, Jackson & Charvel, KID/Korg Import Division, Levy's, Voyage-Air Guitar, PRS Guitars, Squier, Taylor Guitars, Vox

In addition to the above exhibitors, 5 music publishers including Japan Music Trades, and 5 miscellaneous partners staged their booths.

Aria Pro II Electric Bass

| No Comments

A new 5-string model to the compact-body IGB Series electric bass features curved top basswood body, maple neck, 24 frets rosewood fingerboard, traditional J type pickups, light-weight structure well comparable with 4-string model, excellent playability, balance, and sound fit to any style of music.

With narrower setup of the strings than conventional models, it's more suitable for pick and finger play than slap style play.

The body finished in All Black makes a good combination with black hardware, pickups, and a logo.

Further details are available from:

Korg Chromatic Tuner

| No Comments

pitchblack+ ¥20,000
The pitchblack+ guitar and bass pedal tuner has two new eye-catching color finishes of Red and Chrome-plated. Only 1,000 units are built and distributed in the world market.

In addition to ±0.1 cent tuning accuracy, they provide wide detection range from  E0 to C8, calibration from 436Hz to 445Hz, True Bypass output, 13-element LED meter that allows the user to tune instrument in any angle, and 4 display modes. Rich tuning modes include chromatic, regular, open D, E, G, A, DADGAD and flat tuning. Up to 5 temperaments can be programmed for quick tuning.

They allow tuning two instruments in different tuning modes at the same time that is helpful for recording and live performance.

Further details are available from:

Kiwaya Ukulele Strap

| No Comments

"Ki" Ukulele Strap ¥2,100
A strap designed for ukulele player with patterns derived from Hawaiian Palaka shirts is now available under "Ki" brand name produced by Kiwaya.
Unlike previous ukulele straps hooked to sound hole, it comes in the same style as guitar strap so that the player can hold instrument without hands. It's most suitable for ukuleles equipped with endpin and pickup.

It's finished either in Palaka Blue or Palaka Red.

Further details are available from:

Suzuki Harmonica Key Stickers

| No Comments

HKS-01 for tremolo harmonica ¥1,000
HKS-02 for 10-hole harmonica ¥1,000
Suzuki has introduced two types of key stickers. Affixing them to harmonica body and cover, the player can identify keys of his instruments. The packages contain stickers with embossed key names easily recognized by fingers.

The HKS-01 contains 60 oval embossed stickers, 25 rounded stickers and 3 rectangular stickers. While, the HKS-02 contains 56 oval embossed stickers, 30 rounded stickers and 3 rectangular stickers.

Further details are available from: