Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Strumming and chumming

Want to eavesdrop on endless chatter about guitars and (mostly) music-related matters? You can tap into every thread that has ever wound though the informative Google acoustic discussion group rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic by going directly to http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic/about?pli=1

Just click on any highlighted monthly total from the last 15 years and you have entered the inner sanctum where more than 100,000 topics have been covered. If you're a player visiting for the first time you just hit the mother lode. It's a lot to wade through, and at times you will encounter an excess of back-patting and birthday wish back-and-forths, but hey -- maybe these people just love each other. What's wrong with a bit of comraderie among stummers? You can also scan the topics list and avoid some of the off-topic chatter, unless you truly want to know about the eats at the O'Hare airport.

These are players of every skill level contributing information and dispensing suggestions and advice. You might even want to join the group and start a thread of your own, assuming you have a specific query to pose or worthwhile info to share.

What started with a then-robust 568 posts in September 1993, mushroomed to a high of 9,471 posts in January 2002. But there have been some lean months since (including "only'' 3,435 posts last December). It's not for me to reason why, though I suspect the related groups for jazz and beginners (also worth visiting if your interests and playing level apply) may have splintered the original group. And no doubt there are many other sites out there that have sprung up since.

And threads can wear a person down, you know? The all-time poster, Wade Hampton Miller, has nearly 10,000 posts. I remember Wade once giving me advice about the appropriate strings to wind on my war-era Gibson L-50. What I didn't realize is he apparently had a response for EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING!

Did I mention these Usenets are free????

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff here Jim! I've enjoyed reading the posts...
    However, I'm hung up on the fact that you have a Gibson L-50 and I've yet to see it. That'll have to be fixed when I return to the country. Until then... I look to your blog to remind me of the beauty of classic American music and guitars while I'm away. Keep it up!