The plain text version of this document is posted regularly to the newsgroup and is available on the World Wide Web at:
http://www.museweb.com/ag/rmmga.txtAn HTML version, with all the URLs mentioned here included as active links, is available at:
http://www.museweb.com/ag/rmmga.htmlThis document was created in December 1996 and was last modified 24 Feb 2003.
Welcome to rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic, the Usenet newsgroup for discussion of all manner of things related to the acoustic guitar. It's hard to say "rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic" and even harder to type it quickly without making mistakes, so this newsgroup is affectionately known to its readers by its acronym: RMMGA.
If the computer program you are reading this document with has access to a news reader and a news server and can recognize web links, you can read and post to RMMGA by just clicking on this link: news:rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic. Otherwise, you'll have to get the appropriate software and learn how to configure and use it to join discussion on RMMGA. Contact your internet service provider for help with this. Please look over this document before joining the discussion.
RMMGA has its origins in an acoustic guitar players' email discussion list called "guit" started by Guy Snape and Kev Smith in January 1993. By the following summer, subscribership had grown to over 200, and subscribers felt the need to move to a more widely accessible public forum. After the required bureaucratic wranglings and a vote, RMMGA was born. For Guy's own brief recounting of the early history, read The Early History of RMMGA at
http://www.museweb.com/ag/rmmga_history.htmlIf you are interested in Usenet bureaucracy, you can read Guy's original Request For Discussion (RFD), the Call For Votes (CFV), and results of the voting in the Collected RMMGA Announcements on news.groups from July and August of 1993 at:
To provide a forum for the discussion of all aspects of acoustic guitar playing, including (but not limited to) technique, theory, instrument construction, recordings, performances etc.
Tablature for pieces written for acoustic guitar may also be posted: such posts should also be cross-posted to the other tablature groups.
The RMMGA FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions document) elaborates on it somewhat as follows:
This newsgroup is intended for the discussion of all matters pertaining to acoustic guitar. Common threads include, but are not limited to: Your guitar's construction, sound, setup, maintenance, worth, etc.; various acoustic guitarists, their music, setup, history, etc.; suggestions for reading material, videos, records, CDs, etc.; product reviews, show reviews, album reviews, etc.. You get the idea. If it's related to acoustic guitar, then chances are it's appropriate to discuss here.
There are specific news groups for classical guitar and instrument construction, but even those topics are sometimes discussed here. A quick look thru the current postings will give a pretty clear indication of what people discuss here, since the topics remain quite varied.
If you're a newcomer, please take the advice of the last paragraph seriously before posting to the newsgroup. Look at the current posts provided by your news server to get a sense of the type of discussion welcomed on RMMGA, and try to make sure your query is not a FAQ already dealt with in a recent RMMGA thread or in easily accessible online resources. The rest of this document provides pointers to resources that will help you determine this. As a bare minimum, please make at least some effort to verify you are not restarting a recent thread. You can search recent news postings from a variety of web sites listed below in the Search Engines and Directories section; a good starting place is Deja News at http://www.dejanews.com/.
Please note that the RMMGA Charter was written in 1993, when there was very little commercial use of the net. Indeed, this is true of most newsgroups, and it is thus unofficial Usenet policy to ask commercial entities to restrict commercial posting on discussion newsgroups (there are ".forsale" and ".marketplace" newsgroups that welcome commercial posts). If you are considering a commercial posting, please read the Guidelines for Commercial/For-Sale/For-Auction Postings at the end of this document. Personal "For Sale" and "For Auction" posts are welcome (they should be clearly identified with "FS" or "FA" in the subject), but read the aforementioned guidelines before posting.
PLEASE endeavor to follow the sensible, informal rules of "netiquette" when posting to RMMGA. Here are some simple guidelines that will help insure that your post gets read and that you don't get "flamed."
http://www.guitarnotes.com/guitar/rmmga/documents/rmmgafaq.shtmlor in plain text at
http://www.guitarnotes.com/guitar/rmmga/documents/rmmga_faq.asciiIt was maintained by Grant Alvis, but has not been updated since 1994. Although parts of it are dated (particularly lists of online resources), much of the information remains valuable. It includes a list of other guitar-oriented newsgroups (in section 4). The Table of Contents follows.
http://www.museweb.com/ag/who_where.txtContact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name and location to his version.
Kirk Reiser, a regular participant on RMMGA, has maintained a Who's Who on RMMGA list, containing contact information of readers willing to correspond or get together for a jam session. There is an HTML version on the web at
http://bumpy.braille.uwo.ca/ag/whois.pubContact Kirk at email@example.com if you'd like to add an entry for yourself. Kirk posts the updated list to RMMGA as his schedule permits.
In addition, Susan Jurist created an RMMGA photo gallery; it's now maintained by Tim Wampler and includes links to numerious RMMGA-related photo sites. You can find it at:
OLGA is a directory-based archive originally accessible only by FTP. However, some mirror sites now provide Web-based browsing and searching capability. OLGA is currently under legal attack by EMI, so mirror sites are frequently closing and moving. The best place to find information on the current status of OLGA and its mirrors is the OLGA Home Page at
If you are looking for acoustic music at OLGA, keep in mind that the acoustic guitar music archive (maintained by Dean Gaudet) is separate from the general music archive (it is in the "acoustic" directory). It is a good idea to search for acoustic songs in both the general and acoustic sections.
http://www.harmony-central.com/is "An Internet Resource for Musicians" of all types, not merely guitarists. However, its maintainer, Scott Lehman, mostly plays guitar, and thus this site's Guitar Resources section is first-rate. It includes a web interface to OLGA mirrors allowing searching or browsing for tablature, as well as collections of instructional material, guitar software, gear descriptions and reviews, FAQs on musical topics, manufacturer listings, etc.. It also includes a Classified Ads section.
http://www.musi-cal.com/is the place on the web to get concert information. You can search Musi-Cal by performer, date, geographic location, genre, etc. (e.g., "every folk concert within 100 miles of Ithaca for the next 2 weeks"); you can even specify automated periodic queries that get sent to you by email. There are several other concert databases on the web, but Skip Montanero, who maintains Musi-Cal, has made a special effort to work with acoustic artists and their agents to ensure that Musi-Cal's acoustic database is complete and that its interface is easy and informative. It is also a good place to locate artist and venue web pages. Performers and their agents will find detailed instructions for posting itineraries at the site, and Skip is generous in providing personalized assistance.
http://www.folkmusic.org/is the place on the web to find out about contemporary singer/songwriters performing acoustic music, and about venues, labels, magazines, and radio stations that support such music. This site hosts web pages for a number of acoustic artists, and also has links to web pages for hundreds of other acoustic artists. It also hosts links to many other resources of potential interest to acoustic guitarists, particularly those interested in traditional and contemporary folk music, including links to venues, radio station lists, periodicals, festivals, etc.. Hint: If you are looking for an artist's web site, you can try the search engine on the "Artists" page, but it only uses the Musi-Cal index. Many other pages are accessible if you click on the "Browse" button.
http://www.guitarnotes.com/guitar/rmmga/Archived here is the FAQ, the "Who's Who on RMMGA" directory, and a useful collection of informative posts (dating through 1994) including some instructional material, discussion of instrument properties, lists of guitar mail order companies, and lists of Martin and Gurian serial numbers. Grant can no longer maintain this site, so some resources may be out of date.
http://www.guitarnotes.com/is probably the most comprehensive and best-organized guitar jump site on the web. It is compact, providing only the title for each link. It is thus an ideal place to start from if you know where you want to go but just need to quickly locate the link, or if you'd like to spend lots of time browsing lots of resources. It covers both electric and acoustic resources, but Jason is an avid acoustic player and teacher, and it appears he has strived to make the acoustic coverage of Guitar Notes particularly comprehensive. You can add new links to this site via web forms at the site, or by writing to Jason Nieh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
http://www.museweb.com/ag/It provides a categorized index of links and original resources focused on the acoustic guitar, including those guitar resources that may be of equal interest to acoustic and electric players (such as most instructional material). It complements Guitar Notes in that it is annotated: almost every link includes a brief description of what you'll find. It thus takes longer to navigate around than Guitar Notes, but may save you time by providing basic information about a site without you having to actually visit it. This site also includes extensive archived information on acoustic guitar amplification and alternate tunings, as well as numerous collected RMMGA postings on frequently-asked questions. It also archives this document. If you find or author a site that you think should be included at AG, send the URL and a brief description to Tom Loredo at email@example.com.
The web search engines above attempt to automatically catalog almost everything on the web. Complementing them are topical directories that instead consist of a searchable subject index of links specifically submitted to the directory for listing in a particular category. Though their web coverage is not as comprehensive as that of the search engines listed above, their annotated, topical nature can make them more useful for many types of queries. Foremost among the topical directories is Yahoo! at:
http://www.yahoo.com/A good starting place for guitarist exploration at Yahoo! is their "Guitar" resource listing at:
http://www.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Music/Instruments/Stringed_Instruments/Guitar/Yahoo! also provides a collection of links to literally hundreds of other search and directory sites at their "Searching the Web" page at:
The RMMGA Charter was written in 1993, when there was very little commercial use of the net. The Charter specifically describes the newsgroup's purpose as being a forum for discussion, with no mention of commercial activity. An informal poll of the newsgroup in late 1996 revealed that the vast majority of RMMGA readers want to interpret this aspect of the Charter as implying restrictions on commercial use of the newsgroup. Indeed, this is true of the vast majority of newsgroups, most of which were chartered under similar circumstances.
Because of the non-commercial tradition of Usenet, it is broad Usenet policy to ask commercial entities to restrict commercial posting on discussion newsgroups (there are many ".forsale" and ".marketplace" newsgroups where such advertising is welcome). This policy is most clearly stated and explained in the Advertising on Usenet document, regularly posted in the New Usenet News Users Newsgroup, news.announce.newusers, and also available on the web at
http://www.furrs.org/FAQs/advo.htmThose considering using RMMGA or other Usenet newsgroups for commercial purposes are strongly encouraged to read this document.
As a brief summary of how RMMGA readers see this policy applying to RMMGA, commercial posters are encouraged to observe the following guidelines:
These guidelines may seem somewhat restrictive, but note that there exists a newsgroup dedicated solely to the sale and trade of music equipment and services: rec.music.makers.marketplace. There are also several web sites that cater to the sale of such goods and services; use the web site directories listed above to find them.
As in the off-line world, the best way to develop business is to develop a good reputation. If you run or are part of a commercial enterprise that serves acoustic guitarists, your best on-line "advertisement" is likely to be active, useful participation in RMMGA discussions, both those related to your business and those unrelated to it. Feel free to describe your business in response to relevant queries, or to include your business URL in your signature (.sig file) in any of your posts. Just avoid making unsolicited advertisements that give the impression that you are treating the newsgroup simply as a billboard.
RMMGA is an unmoderated newsgroup, and neither the guidelines of the Charter nor the guidelines for commercial use can be officially enforced. But be forewarned that longtime and new RMMGA readers alike are protective of the noncommercial nature of the group. Those whose posts do not adhere to the spirit of the guidelines of the charter or the commercial guidelines are likely to receive complaints, publicly, privately, or via their net postmaster. This is more likely to hurt business than to help it.
This document is maintained by Tom Loredo, who also runs the AG web site mentioned above.
Peace to you!Tom Loredo / firstname.lastname@example.org