Screen Reviews

Harmony Central

This huge site is well-known to many – and possibly most – musicians with Internet access. And recently it has even been in the music news (more about that presently) to the extent that even a good number of music fans have heard about it.

But before we get to the newsworthy aspect(s) of Harmony Central, we need to define just what it is. Probably the best description would be an attempt to present an all-in-one resource for musicians. The site includes large databases of user (not professional critics or writers) reviews of music products like instruments, amplifiers, and effects, in addition to professional writers’ reviews. The site also has news items on new products, a “Guitar Lick of the Day,” “Tip of the Day,” free classifieds for those selling gear and looking for other musicians, and a number of bulletin boards with thousands of members.

It’s the bulletin boards where Harmony Central has been in the news of late. In the guitar forum, a description of one participant’s purported involvement with the Limp Bizkit guitarist auditions, where waivers required those trying out to only play original compositions and sign rights to same over to the band, resulted in a huge outpouring of vitriol from forum posters complaining that Durst and company were fixing to “steal” music from the auditionees, not to mention just general ill-will for the whole “rock-rap” genre, oftentimes referred to on the boards by the pejorative slang “flog.” Poor Fred got his feelings hurt and responded on the Bizkit Web site denouncing “haters,” and winding up with a few columns in the most recent Spin magazine in the process.

The forums, however, are a lot more important for their information exchange than for those rare times when what gets said there pisses off some no-talent rich guy. I’ve learned tons about guitars since becoming a “member” (actually most people would probably say I’ve always been a “member,” but that’s another issue altogether) and in a couple different cases individuals who work for music retailers have gauged market interest by polling members on what new models to make, as well as even letting forumites know about unadvertised specials that the major manufacturers won’t let them put in their catalogs or on their Web sites.

If you’re a musician or thinking about making a music gear purchase, Harmony Central is well worth a stop. Just don’t be a hater, OK?

http://www.harmony-central.com


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