Ernie Ball Music Man has signed on as one of the founding partners of Guitar.com Live, the revolutionary new digital guitar show from the makers of Guitar.com. In the lead-up to the show, Brian Ball – who stepped up to the role of CEO of Ernie Ball last November – has given his thoughts on this exciting endeavour, while also teasing an exciting and all-new instrument for the brand, which will be launched exclusively at the show.
“This is such a unique opportunity,” Ball tells us when asked why Music Man wanted to partner with Guitar.com Live. “This state-of-the-art digital stage will allow our customers the chance to discover our products, artists, and brands in an all-new advanced virtual environment.”
Guitar.com Live’s virtual space isn’t just about recreating the experience of an in-the-flesh guitar show, but doing something different and unique, as Ball explains: “By using AR technologies, we are able to push the boundaries of physical space and create a fun and engaging visual experience that might not be possible otherwise.
“Guitarists from all over now have the opportunity to experience our virtual booth and the unique offerings that we will have available during the event.”
However, it wouldn’t be a guitar show without some exciting new product launches, and for Guitar.com Live Ernie Ball Music Man will be showing off a brand new type of instrument that the company has never done before…
“Our motto has always been we build tools for the performing artists but won’t stop the building process until they are done and happy!” Ball explains. “In this case, we have replicated a 41-year-old instrument with all its wear and battle scars down to the last screw! This rendition process is not new to the music industry but it’s an exciting new avenue for us. It’s got four strings on it and played by a world-renowned musician in one of the most revered rock bands around the globe!”
The ongoing global pandemic and the ensuing economic impact changed the landscape for every kind of business. Ernie Ball Music Man is no exception, but the brand’s track record of working with online guitar stars gave them a sure footing in this strange new world.
“What is really great is we have aligned ourselves with artists/influencers that were just getting started a few years ago and have grown their respective audiences exponentially,” Ball explains. “They have become social media stars in their own right and very important to our business. Artists such as Jared Dines, Ryan ‘Fluff’ Bruce, Mateus Asato, Kfir Ochaion, Family Jules, and Aldana Bass were all discovered online.
“Many of our established artists have also made great use of newer platforms like Twitch, Tik Tok, and Instagram. Examples are Jason Richardson, Herman Li (Dragonforce), Vigil of War (Alicia Vigil), Yungblud, Shannon Callihan, Palaye Royale, and Panic At The Disco. A lot of these partnerships have blossomed into frequent marketing endeavours, full product endorsements, and in some cases, building artist series Ernie Ball instruments for retail.”
But it’s not just marketing instruments that has changed dramatically this year – the very act of making a guitar now comes with hurdles that were unimaginable a few months ago.
“Building high-end electric guitars and basses in the US has never been an easy endeavour,” Brian notes. “But COVID-19 has introduced new challenges as we implement social distancing, new PPE and safety procedures in order to keep our employees safe.
“That being said, we’ve been able to pivot and continue to produce and launch the products that we’ve been excited about since the beginning of the year. In fact, we are hard at work right now developing the new products we want to introduce next year. The goal has always been to bring innovative, intelligent and interesting instruments to market. That has not changed.”
Ernie Ball Music Man is a founding partner of Guitar.com Live, a three-day virtual guitar show that takes place on 2-4 October 2020, featuring product launches, artist performances, industry panels and much more.
Entry is free – to register as an attendee, head over to guitar.com/live.