With this post, I’d like to make a case for those of us with a serious interest in the harp guitar (in whatever form) to continue – or increase – our engagement with other like-minded players, builders, historians and fans.
This thought rose out of a long and emotional discussion after our Sunday dinner at last month’s 19th Harp Guitar Gathering. Someone had mentioned Facebook, and I (yes, you can blame me) felt compelled to bring up my observations with the group of 2 dozen or so HGG participants that gamely chimed in with feedback of their own experiences, pros and cons.
Ultimately, Randall Sprinkle – a moderator over at the Acoustic Guitar Forum and more recently on SB’s Gathering board – and I agreed that, whether we are on Facebook or not, we should all consider “pooling resources” and join and support the already worthwhile activity over at the AGF’s dedicated Harp Guitar area.
To that end, the Harpguitars.net home page menu now contains a new permanent link (“Harp Guitar Forum”) in the “On the Web” section that will take you offsite to the AGF site’s Harp Guitar forum section.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that I am not affiliated with Acoustic Guitar Forum in any way. I do not moderate there nor endorse its policies or content. I merely suggest it as a potential option for public discussion and sharing. While well-moderated, it does not preclude encountering objectionable users or conversations.
One major benefit I see is that the topics and posts are all archived, which is a huge plus. In the case of Facebook for example, every week or so another new member asks “What harp guitar should I get?”…and folks chime in with the same repeated comments (“I love my ________” i.e.: “Timberline” “Tonedevil” Emerald” or boutique maker). That’s because the previous hundred post threads disappear down the endlessly-slow-loading page. On the AGF platform, topics and posts are permanently archived (as on my old Forum), and easily searchable. Surely this is a much better option for certain topics, just as Facebook is great for sharing your latest news, acquisition or video.
Specifically, though, the link and suggestion is there to provide an alternative for those who simply do not care to use Facebook (for this or any other purpose). Perhaps some might find it more fun and worthwhile engaging with each other. There are also some of my own constituents who mention missing the original Harpguitars.net Forum for more in-depth sharing of projects and research; the AGF looks to be close.
I’m heading over to AGF now to catch up on posts – but I’ll admit, I know very few people there (especially with those damn user names, like we’re in some stupid secret Eyes Wide Shut anonymous club; those just annoy me) – so please join me!
Regards, AGF User “Gregg Miner”
For those new to my site or the world of harp guitar forums, here’s a little backstory:
When Harpguitars.net debuted in 2004 (the summer after the first Harp Guitar Gathering), I made sure it was equipped with a forum. This was to take the place of Don Adams’ short-lived effort (2000-2002) along with a subsequent Yahoo forum started by my friend Benoit Meulle-Stef.
I was happy to see my Forum grow, while the site hosted photos from new builders and players around the world. Eventually, with so many social media sites springing up, my forum participation tapered off, and I made the decision to retire it in 2019.
Meanwhile, I found some of my harp guitar friends moonlighting over at the Acoustic Guitar Forum, which had created their own Harp Guitar category around 2018. I joined them there when I could, paying for a Harp Guitar Music sponsorship so that I could answer questions about our Timberlines (the AGF is notoriously strict about their “commercial” rules and regulations).
And then…Facebook. Love it or hate it, many of us seem to rely on it for a multitude of activities and communities we find there. A Harp Guitar Group was created there ages ago by Jeff Titus, who kindly added me as Admin, with other Admins joining later (I volunteered Nate Blaustein, who continues to do an incredible job locating and sharing HG-related posts there).
That group now has almost 2000 members, perhaps half of which who joined during one single day when “approvals” were lifted (they were re-instituted after I noticed). While many of my HG friends and colleagues are there and group posts are more frequent and active than ever, I unfortunately now share very little, as I can’t abide a thousand strangers (many who clearly have no connection to the instrument, if even music) being privy to my life. Others I know use it routinely, so don’t let my whining influence you.
I do post regularly on my own personal FB page, though the majority are marked “Friends only. ” I’m fairly selective about who those are, even while hoping to meet new friends and share interests. (PS: I’m an old school email guy, if ever you want to introduce yourself.)
Thanks for reading,
– Sir G