Acoustic Guitar Resources:
Acoustic Guitar Technology
- Acoustic Guitar Pickups Ain't What They Used To Be
- A nice self-contained discussion of current pickup technology for acoustic guitars,
concluding with a table that briefly summarizes several popular options, with pros, cons, and
estimated prices. Note that many options (including the latest transducer technology from B-Band, PUTW,
and LR Baggs) are not discussed.
- Guide to Acoustic Guitar Amplification
- Originally written to be part of the RMMGA FAQ, this guide grew into
a document of its own. It covers the basic issues of acoustic guitar
amplification, and provides an annotated list of references and descriptions
of the setups of dozens of professionally performing acoustic guitarists.
It dates from about 1996, and so does not cover some of the latest technology.
A revision is forthcoming.
- Pierce Campbell's Guide to Acoustic Guitar
- Pierce is a Connecticut-based singer/songwriter who is known for
his acoustic guitar technique. He has given workshops on acoustic
guitar amplification; this Guide summarizes his views.
- Harvey Reid:
Articles and Essays
- This site hosts articles and essays by multi-instrumentalist
Harvey Reid, including a number of articles on acoustic guitar
amplification and recording. Reid worked with the Fishman company
on the development of their "Blender" series of acoustic amplification
- Microphones & Pickups: Background and Information
- A brief, self-contained overview of the main features of three types
of transducers for acoustic instrument amplification: microphones, magnetic
pickups, and contact pickups. Includes discussion of the need for a preamp.
This overview was produced by EMI.
- Do-It-Yourself Acoustic Guitar Mic and Top Pickups
- Here you'll find plans and tips for assembling your own inexpensive
internal condenser mic
(also here) and
piezoelectric soundboard pickups
(at Harmony Central
and at Olga.net)
for your acoustic guitar, courtesy of RMMGA contributor Paul Marxhausen and others.
- Tall Toad Music's Amplification Page
- An article on acoustic guitar amplification techniques by
Teja Gerken of north California's Tall Toad Music.
- Dobro Amplification
- Photos and brief descriptions, including prices, of some equipment for
amplifying resonator guitars, provided by Resophonic Outfitters.
- RMMGA Posts on Resonator Guitar Amplification
- A collection of plain-text advice on transducer selection and usage
for amplifying Dobro and other resonator guitars.
- Piezo preamp on a budget
- A clear construction article for those with a bit of electronics experience who want to
roll their own preamp for a piezo pickup. [This site appears to have vanished as of summer 2000.]
- Digest of preamp construction articles
- A collection of Usenet news posts on building your own high-impedance preamp. Some circuits
were designed for electric guitar pickups and thus may not work well with acoustic
guitar pickups; try the project with the single FET and you may
- Fender Bass Piezo Preamp
- A unity-gain high impedance buffer for the piezo pickups in acoustic/electric Fender
bass guitars; this may work fine for many acoustic guitar piezo pickups (you will
likely need significant gain from your following equipment).
- RMMGA posts on the "Zyla Method" for pickup balancing
- John Zyla, a frequent contributor to the RMMGA newsgroup, developed a method
for evening out the string-to-string balance of pickups in otherwise troublesome
installations. It involves the use of a very thin lining of self-hardening clay
in the saddle slot. Though he developed it for use with the B-band pickup, it
is applicable to any pickup installation with troublesome balance. This web page
collects news posts by John and others introducing, discussing, and refining the method.
It currently covers the period from July 1999 when John first described the method,
to April 2000.
- Michael Johnson on "Gadgets: Wired Acoustic Guitars"
- Johnson's article with tips on acoustic amplification, originally published
in Performing Songwriter magazine.
The MusicIRG.com web
site has two pages listing basic contact info for manufacturers of
amps and effects for both electric and acoustic guitarists:
- L. R. Baggs at BaggsCo@aol.com
- L. R. Baggs manufactures piezo pickups, preamps, and pickup/mic
systems for amplifying acoustic guitars.
Further information about some Baggs products is available at
the Baggs pickup page at Seagull Guitars.
- Daedalus Music
- Based in Trumansburg in upstate New York, Daedalus Music offers
high quality speaker cabinets and component systems for acoustic guitar
by guitarist and woodworker Lou Hinkley. Lou also builds high quality
stage speakers and studio furniture. Martin Simpson has
said of Lou's work that it "Sounds like God in a box." The Daedalus
web site describes the products, hosts articles and reviews featuring
Daeduls cabinets, provides contact info for Daadalus
dealers, and also offers tips on using component amplification systems
for acoustic guitars.
- B-Band Pickups
- Home page of the Finnish company EMF, manufacturers of a non-piezo
undersaddle pickup, the B-band, a very attractive alternative to
piezo undersaddle pickups. Their site includes descriptions of their full
product line (which includes pickups for other instruments, and preamps),
as well as independent reviews, and full product manuals. The B-band
pickup was developed in part with input from members of the RMMGA
newsgroup; this fact, combined with its other attractive features, have
made it perhaps the most-discussed amplification technology on the group.
The following links collect most of the substantive posts on the B-band.
For brevity, some posts have been omitted if their contents are quoted
in subsequent posts answering the issues raised. Note that EMF has
continually introduced new items and capabilities into the B-band line,
so that some early discussion (e.g., about the lack of a mic capability,
or problems with jacks) does not correctly reflect the capabilities
of the current product line.
- Pick-Up The World, Inc.
- Pick-up The World makes paper-thin, polymer-based piezoelectric pickups
for a wide variety of acoustic instruments. They are designed for mounting
on the instrument soundboard, but have a larger sensing area than typical
soundboard pickups (on electric guitars they can be mounted under the bridge
with a protective shim). Their site describes their various models, and
offers professional testimonials, a list of retailers, details about their
generous guarantee (30-day free trial), and contact info.
- Raven Labs Online
- Raven Labs was founded in 1998 by Steve Rabe, who pioneered the SWR
amplifier company. He builds small, high-quality pro audio gear,
including the "Master Blender," a high quality 2-source preamp/EQ/mixer/DI
ideally suited for dual-source (e.g., piezo pickup/internal mic) acoustic
guitar amplification, recommended by Martin Simpson, Laurence Juber,
and Daedalus Music's Lou Hinkley. The site includes detailed specs,
the owner's manual, prices, and dealer locations.
- K & K Sound Systems, Inc.
- K & K manufactures sound amplification systems for a wide variety
of musical instruments. They were originally based in Germany, but
moved to the US in 1995. Among their offerings are
the affordable "Spot" series of single and dual soundboard pickups
suitable for use with acoustic guitars, and stereo saddle pickups
(with separate elements for wound and unwound strings) in two models
optimized for steel string and nylon string guitars. They also
offer cables and preamps for use with their pickups. Their web
site describes their products, including pricing, and provides
catalog order info, contact info, and an international dealer list.
- Tone Hound Acoustic Sensors
- An undersaddle piezo-based sensor, produced by Wolff Erickson Incorporated,
a company founded jointly by luthier Gary Erickson and engineer Steve Wolff.
Some "propaganda" comparing the Tone Hound to other piezo pickup systems is
available in Erickson's Transducers for Acoustic Guitars
article. An additional source of information is the
Erickson Guitars web site.
- Orchid Electronics
- Orchid Electronics is a small company based in the UK run by
John Godsland. They offer a line of audio electronics products
including an acoustic guitar preamp (used by Show Of Hands, Albion Band, Jethro Tull and many others) and phantom powered DIs, and also produce
custom devices for customers.
- Dean Markley Pickups
- Dean Markley manufactures strings and a complete line of
guitar accessories including acoustic pickups (soundhole, saddle, and
top pickups) and acoustic guitar amps. This is their pickup page.
The site also includes a
Guitar World Magazine article reviewing the Markley XXT saddle
pickup, comparing it to the Martin Thinline Gold+Plus (essentially
a Fishman Acoustic Matrix) and the EMG under-saddle pickup.
- Sunrise Pickup Systems
- Jim Kaufman hand-manufactures a limited number of his acclaimed
electromagnetic soundhole pickups. He also produces preamps and direct
boxes for use with his and other pickups. This site provides price and
dealer lists, and contact information.
- The True Tone Sound M System
- Unofficial information about a new, simple, high
acoustic guitar amplification system made by True Tone Sound of
- Highlander Musical Audio Products
- "Highlander manufactures high quality pickups with matching preamplifiers
for acoustic guitars and acoustic bass guitars." Their site includes
their catlog, a list of distributors, installation instructions, a list
of links, and a very impressive list of well-known users. Besides
piezo and piezo-mic combinations for acoustic guitar, they also offer
systems specially designed for resonator guitars.
- Donnell Mini-Flex Microphones
- Donnell Enterprises manufactures and sells high-quality internal
mics for acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments. Their mics
are mounted on mini goosenecks allowing easy position adjustment.
They have models that clip on internal braces, or that mount permanently
via a soundhole jack. Most models are battery operated. Rane Audio
(see below) also resells Donnell mics for use with their AP-13 preamp.
This link sends them email; you can request their free brochure this
way. A web site is in progress.
- Joe Mills Audio Products
- Joe Mills manufactures acoustic guitar transducers; you can email
him for more information about his products. Online users of his
acoustic guitar mics rave about them. There is also a
Joe Mills Mini Mic info page
at the Highlander Pickups web site and a similar page, including
ordering information, at Acousticon.
- Microvox Microphones
- A UK-based company specializing in "studio quality microphone
pickups for all acoustic instruments." It appears they are intended
for mounting on the outside guitar top, clipped to the edge of
the soundhole (like an AT-831b). Their mics are very
affordable, though they may require purchase of a separate
power supply. No US retailers are yet
listed (as of April 97), but email and phone ordering contacts
- Rane Audio
- Rane manufactures the AP-13, a single rack space, two-channel
preamp for acoustic instruments. A very versatile and good-sounding
box. Full documentation is available at this site, which also offers
tons of great technical information about audio issues. A model of
what a good company site should be like!
- Trance Audio
- Trance audio offers high quality pickups and preamps for amplification
of acoustic guitars. Their Acoustic Lens pickup is the successor
to the famour FRAP pickup, and Michael Hedges uses the Trance
Inducer preamp with a FRAP pickup. Their page provides info about
all their products, including full owner's manuals.
- Along with their highly rated electric guitars and amps, Carvin
manufactures and distributes electric acoustic guitars and acoustic
guitar amps, as well as PA equipment. Their prices tend to be quite
reasonable because they sell their own equipment direct.
- Shadow Pickups
- DiMarzio Pickups
- EMG Pickups
- Artec Sound
- Artec makes equalizers, piezo pickups (crystal and piezo
cable), and magnetic (soundhole) pickups for acoustic guitars.
Their products are sold by various guitar manufacturers as
onboard electronics. They also sell magnetic pickups and
active preamps for magnetic pickups for electric guitars.
- The Fender site includes links to pages listing their PA gear
and acoustic lace pickups. Very little pickup info is provided, however.
- Martin Guitars
- Their "News" page has some scant info about Martin Thinline pickups.
- Seymour Duncan Pickups
- SD makes pickups for electric guitas and basses, and for
acoustic guitars (including soundhole pickups, piezo contact
pickups, and saddle pickups). Their Acoustic
Pickups page offers some very basic info
about their acoustic offerings.
- Roland US
- Roland's product offering focuses on electronic musicians, but they
also offer the AC-100
Acoustic Chorus amp for acoustic guitars, and some acoustic players
use their Midi guitar equipment.
- SWR Engineering
- SWR makes the California Blonde acoustic guitar amp, endorsed
by Laurence Juber.
- The FRAP (Flat Response Audio Pickup) was perhaps the first
pickup system to produce an amplified tone good enough to satisfy many
discerning pro players. It is no longer in production (though the Trance Lens
is similar), but this page by FRAP fan Kurt Ruff provides info on the FRAP,
including a copy of an early FRAP pamphlet, and info from some notable
The audio production newsgroup rec.audio.pro is the
place to go with questions about recording techniques, microphone selection and
- Rec.Audio.Pro/RMMGA posts on microphone selection and placement
- A collection of advice on microphone selection and usage
for recording acoustic guitar, culled from the rec.audio.pro and RMMGA newsgroups.
- The Home Recording Website
- "Information on products, hints and tips on getting the right sound
and setup, software, links to other sites, and bulletin boards to
post questions and tips. You will also find the official Home Recording
FAQ and information on the Home Recording Mailing List."
- The Internet Recording School
- This site is run by "Papa" John Lowson, a Los Angeles based recording
engineer and producer. The site offers music recording instructional
info and tips on gear selection, home studio setup, and recording and
mixing. Lowson's video, Recording School 101, is available
from this site. There is not a lot of information as of the
site's opening (Spring 97), but it will hopefully grow as Lowson hopes to add
tips and instructional material on a weekly basis.
Miscellaneous Pro Audio Resources:
- ProAudio Web
- Live Audio Mailing List
- Started in February 1996. To subscribe, send email to
in the body. For more information, contact Dave at
- Live Audio and Sound Reinforcement WWW Board
- A web-page-based bulletin board, similar to a newsgroup in its
function, for discussing live sound issues. Discussion is archived
- Live Sound! International
- A bimonthly magazine covering live sound issues, with worldwide
circulation. Their site not only describes the magazine, but also
provides industry info (pro organizations,
trade show listings, etc.) and describes
various product offerings including a variety of instructional books
on live sound issues.
- World Wide Pro Audio Directory
- "Links to all major pro audio manufacturors."
- Matt Salerno's Ultimate Audio List
- A list with alphabetized sections of links to sound consultants and
contractors, and manufacturers, all on a single web page. Nothing fancy,
but a useful quick list.
- Geoff Martin's Audio Pages
- Includes a small but growing "bibliography" of online resources
on audio topics, including white papers by Geoff on "The Decibel" and "Stereo
Microphone Techniques." There is also an extensive categorized
list of Audio and Music Links.
- Tascam DA-88 Web Page
- Digisound: The Digital
Audio WWW Site
- Includes various digital audio information and links, and a "classifieds"
area for selling and buying used gear.
- Oasis Duplication's Musician's Guide
to CD/Cassette Manufacturing
- A guide for musicians, explaining the steps required to
produce commercial quality CDs/cassettes, hosted by a major name in
- Pro Sound News
- Home page for "the international newsmagazine for the professional
sound production industry."
- Mix Bookshelf
- Information about a small selection of books carried by one of
distributors of musical and pro audio publications, the Mix Bookshelf.
There will soon be a
Site at the Gibson Mall (under construction as of Spring '96).
The Mix Bookshelf is associated with
- USA New Gear Price List
- A compilation of market prices for electronic music and pro audio
equipment, compiled from submissions of Usenet and other Internet
readers. Includes a large list of dealers, with contact info and
web page links.
- Joe's Production and
- Boulder, CO based CD and cassette manufacturer, specializing in
dealing directly with musicians and small labels.
- Includes lists of studios, manufacturers, and dealers, and classifieds
where used gear is sold.
- Steve's Pro
Audio and Recording Page
- A nice categorized collection of links on acoustics, digital audio,
pro audio gear, MIDI, parts/mods, studios, etc..
- Precision Audiotronics
- Information about In-Ear Monitor systems.
- Michael Green
Audio Visual Designs
- A commercial site, among whose products are materials for adjusting
- Core Sound's Home Page
- Miniature binaural mics, digital audio interfaces, cables, and
other items for pro and hobbiest digital audio.
- Information and reviews for microphones by various manufacturers.
- Bose: Better
Sound Through Research
- Home page for the Bose Corporation, best known for their
home and sound reinforcement speakers. See also the
- Mix Magazine
- A US-based magazine covering professional recording, sound, and
music production. This site includes equipment previews/reviews.
Mix tends to cover higher-end solutions than other
publications such as Recording, Electronic Musician,
- Acoustic treatment supplies, including "Acoustics 101", a tutorial.
- Where To Get It!
- A handy compendium of dealer contact info for sound and stage equipment,
focusing on the NY/CT area, but including some national dealers.
- JBL Professional
- Do I have to explain who JBL is?!
- Yamaha Professional Audio
- Product descriptions for Yamaha amps, mixers, processors, speakers,
and recorders. Includes links to other Yamaha divisions (such as music
products and consumer electronics).
- EAW: Eastern Acoustic Works
- Manufacturers of highly acclaimed (and pretty expensive!) sound
reinforcement speakers. Their fine site includes not only lots of
product information, but also a variety of other fun and informative
audio links (including "some of the dumbest jokes and lamest humor
you'll find on the internet"). Particularly useful is their extensive
"Applications" section, offering specific product recommendations for
venues of various types and sizes. You can also request their
Product Guide CD-ROM from this site.
- Provides information on products for professional musicians, and
hosts sites for
American Musical Supply and Victor's House of Music.
- Church Sound System Learning Center
- Tons of technical info on optimizing church acoustics.
- The MiniDisc Page
- This site (in Japan) offers
tons of info on the MiniDisc recording format (74 minutes of digital
audio or digital data on a recordable disc in a 7cm square cartridge;
audio is stored with a lossy compression algorithm). Includes links to
info on the MD4 4-track MiniDisc "PortaStudio" machines. There is
also a USA mirror site.
The Japan site may be faster.
- The Music Company
- A "specialist sound, lighting and video contractor with it's headquarters
in Bradford in the North of England... now regarded as one of Britain's
foremost centres of expertise in sound and vision technology." Though
most info here centers on their business, their Hotlinks page has a
useful alphabetized collection of pro audio manufactuter links, as well
as other music industry links.
- Sci.Physics.Acoustics FAW
- The FAQ document for the sci.physics.acoustics newsgroup,
including discussion of such topics as measuring sound intensity,
architectural and building acoustics, etc..
- The Audio Revolution
- "The world's online reference for high end audio, high end home theater,
audiophile music and videophile film." This somewhat overhyped commercial
site includes an email directory of experts on various audio topics who
will field questions, information about acoustic treatments for
rooms, and other links and information.
- Free, real-tim, interactive web classifieds serving major US
and Canadian cities. Includes "Musical - Pro Audio Gear" and
"Musical - Gutars" sections.
- Music Books Plus
- An on-line dealer of music and audio books, with a searchable
and browsable catalog.
- Audio Review
- Audio product reviews from online customers, not paid
critics (but mostly consumer audio, not pro audio). Also features other discussion groups, classifieds, and links.
- live_audio WWWBoard
- An archived on-line discussion of topics relating to sound reinforcement.
- A Basic Intro to Concert Sound Engineering
- A plain text basic guide to running sound, oriented towards acoustic
settings. Includes a nice discussion of the engineers role as a
"ambassador" between the venue and the performer.
- Yorkville Netwerks "Professional Audio for Dummies (and not so dummies)
- A guide to pro sound issues at the Yorkville web site, covering system
setup and operation, signal flow, microphones and sources, mixers, processors,
amps and speakers from a beginner's point of view. A nice resource, though
you'll be clicking through a lot of web pages.
- ARX is an Australian audio electronics company that manufactures
signal processors, amps, and speaker systems. Their site offers the
usual product descriptions, and also a small but useful FAQ collection
(Why do I need equalization? What is a parametric? What does a direct
box do?), app notes for their gear, as well as online owners manuals.
Their gear can be ordered direct from the US; info is at the site.
- rec.audio.pro FAQ
- Gabe Wiener's FAQ document for the pro audio newsgroup, with sections
on the business of audio, audio interconnections, analog tape recording,
digital recording, digital editing and mastering, a market survey,
sound reinforcement, sound restoration, recording techniques, industry
information, and other miscellaneous topics. Coverage is broad but
sketchy in places; but it's a good start if you are new to the field.
- InterStudio Limited
- This UK company is an international dealer in pro audio equipment.
Of special interest are their Sound Check CDs, test CDs for calibrating
- A "Communication and Entertainment Support Services" company. Their
Library page has an article on using Crown and Radio Shack PZM mics.
- Michael Hartkopf's Microphone Homepage
- The Microphone Database at this site has specs/test date for a variety
of recording and sound reinforcement mics. The Microphone Booklet describes
various mic technologies. There is also a microphone FAQ.
- 4-track FAQ
- The FAQ document on 4-track recording, as posted to alt.music.4-track.
- Articles on interconnections/grounding/ground loops:
- University of Oregon Electronic Music Primer
- Rumored to contain lots of great info, this site requires Shockwave
for Director plugins, and is thus inaccessable to Unix systems.
- Jim Cara's Digital Music
- Hosts some information resources and a modest collection of links
on digital audio and MIDI for musicians. Includes industry news, NAMM show
- Raw Music
- "The music site with an attitude" claims to "cover every aspect of
the musical world on the World Wide Web including Midi... Music Education...
Pro Audio..." So far it's more hype than content, but who knows what
the future holds....
- Suppliers of good quality electric guitars and PA equipment at
discount prices, because they only sell their gear direct. Their electric
guitar are highly rated by guitar magazines, and their PA equipment has
gotten good reviews on newsgroups. They also sell electric-acoustic
- Garwood Homepage
- Garwood manufactures one of the premier in-ear monitoring systems.
Their site describes their products, but also provides various
technical info on in-ear monitoring in general.
- Bross Audio Designs
- Manufacturers of affordable in-ear monitoring
and "personal mixer" electronics,
- EQ: Selected Columns and Articles
- This site is hosted by Digital Atomics, a commercial corporation providing
various audio services. It also hosts dozens of articles
and columns from
EQ magazine ("Ten things to know before recording digital", etc.).
- Mini Disc Multitracker Comparisons
- A table comparing the features of various multitrack mini disc recorders
and industrial mini disc recorders.
- The web site for "Norway's leading music technology magazine." In
Norwegion, of course (except for some news items in English), so I
can't offer any comments about content....
- SigTech: Cambridge Signal Technologies
- SigTech specializes in signal processing to correct room acoustics.
Their site describes their products, including an AES technical paper
with a detailed discussion of room acoustics.
- Reading Lounge at Infinite Sound Cafe
- A colection of articles and reviews by J. Arif Verner from Recording, Electronic Musician, and other
magazines, covering such topics as guitar software, acoustic amplification,
guitar synthesis, etc..
- The Mic Shop
- A Nashville shop specializing in sales, service and rental of
hiqh quality recording studio microphones. Their site lists mics
available for purchase.
- Power Technology DSP FX
- A highly-rated digital audio workstation system for PCs,
including hiqh quality reverb and digital effects algorithms.
- Prosoniq sonicWORX
- Post-production digital audio software for Power Macs. The site
includes a demo version.
See the MusicIRG.com Guitar Accessories Listings for basic contact info for manufacturers of
accessories for both electric and acoustic guitarists.
- The Shubb Company
- Home page for the manufacturers of Shubb capos, with information
on their guitar capos (including partial capos), Dobro capos and pars,
and SongMaster and GigMaster software products for Mac and Windows
(for cataloging and organizing song and gig information).
- Third Hand Capo Company
- The Third Hand Capo Company manufactures the Third Hand Capo,
which allows you to selectively capo any subset of strings. They
also distribute instructional material on using the capo.
- Jim Dunlop USA
- Dunlop offers a wide variety of musical accessories, including
picks, slides, and capos. Their site includes photos and lists of
options for their full product line, including their famous (cheap!)
toggle capos and more recent Picker's Pal, C-Clamp, and Trigger capos,
slides made from many materials, and picks in a wide variety of
styles. (I swear by their 1mm Nylon picks myself!)
- Breezy Ridge Instruments/John Pearse Strings
- This site provides info about John Pearse handmade strings for
acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, fiddles, banjos, violins,
dulcimers, resophonics, and other instruments, including charts with
string guages in each set and list prices. There is also info about
other Pearse accessories (slides, armrests, pickups, humidifiers,
instrument supports, capos), and instructional books and videos.
This is also the home page for Breezy Ridge hammer dulcimers.
- Dean Markley Strings, Inc.
- Besides strings, Dean Markley also manufactures a complete line of
guitar accessories including acoustic pickups (soundhole, saddle, and
top pickups) and acoustic guitar amps.
- D'Addario Strings
- GHS Strings
- Gore Music/Elixir Strings
- Gore (of Goretex fame) has created a new guitar string---the
"Elixir" wound strings are coated with their PolyWeb coating
dramatically increasing longevity, reducing friction, and instilling
other benefits. It may sound like hype, but it's actually true.
Expensive, but worth it. This site describes the strings and
gives phone order information and a list of authorized dealers.
You can also purchase the strings online at the
Elixir Strings page at NOMA.
- Clayton Guitar Picks
- Besides picks, Clayton also offers a variety of other electric and
acoustic guitar accessories, including slides, polish, and chord charts.
- JLD Bridge System
- James Oliver's bridge system is designed for fixing "bellied" tops
on guitars, but can be also be used to prevent bellying from happening
and to possibly improve the balance and increase the volume of an
acoustic guitar. They are used by Taylor guitars for repairing instruments
sent to the factory, and are an integral part of Breedlove guitars.
I've archived here two reviews of the system
reported on RMMGA that give more detail about the installation and its
- The Bouncer
- The brainchild of Paul Ames, The Bouncer is a passive (non-electronic)
sound reflector that allows guitarists to study their performance more closely,
their audience will hear, and sharpen their skills as well as increase playing
- Thompson Vocal Eliminator
- A rack-mount device that purports to eliminate vocals from
audio recordings more successfully than other such devices. This latest
version of the device uses DSP to more successfully eliminate vocals and
restore a stereo sound than earlier, purely analog versions. It allows
tuning and key changes, as well as addition of echo/delay to the added
- Blues Tools
- This company manufactures harp (harmonica) holders and gig bags
for harp players.
- Thomastik-Infeld Vienna
- "Thomastik-Infeld is one of the major string manufacturers worldwide."
Their web site includes a catalog, description of their R&D, a dealer
directory, tradeshow calendar, endorser list and other info.
- String Swing Mfg.
- Wisconsin-based manufacturer of handcrafted musical instrument
hangers and holders for personal use and retail support. They also make
holders and hangers for various sports items (skateboards, guns, bows).
- Martin Guitar String Catalog
- How to build your own rack
- Kent Williams's article detailing how to construct a case for
holding 19" rack-mount gear using plywood and pre-drilled rack rails.
- The Y Strap
- Inventor Michele Morin, a designer and producer of leather
garments, has designed a new guitar and bass strap
reputed to be ergonomically superior to standard straps. This site
describes the strap and offers reviews and purchase info (including
a dealer list). The strap will set you back $50 to $100 (plus shipping),
depending on the model. Morin is based in Quebec, Canada, and the site
is in English and French.
- The Amazing Guitar Cleaner, Polisher & Protector Cloth Home Page
- Info about the $13 "blue cloth" impregnated polishing cloth.
Includes an address for mail orders. Over 30,000 of these cloths
have been sold.
There are many places on the net to go "shopping" for freeware,
shareware, and demo
software for guitarists and for musicians more generally.
Two prominent guitar-specific sites are the
guitar software directory at OLGA (try using the mirrors
mentioned in the OLGA entry
if this link is too busy),
and the guitar software directory at MIT's Harmony Central.
We provide descriptions of and links to some of this software below.
For general music and audio software on various platforms, a good source
is the Shareware Music Machine (also at MusiciansNet).
It may also be worth your while to peruse the larger machine-specific archives.
Although these archives are not exclusively devoted to music software, they
contain useful freeware and shareware, and commercial software developers
sometimes post demos of their products to these archives. If you can
locate a search engine for an archive, a search on "guitar" or "music"
is likely to turn up some interesting items.
Here are some of the prominent machine-specific archives:
- IBM PC and Compatibles:
- Unix/XWindows/SGI Workstations:
Finally, here are descriptions of and links to some useful bits of software,
most of them available from the sources just mentioned. Also, check
out Federico Marincola's list of shareware and freeware guitar/lute software, and
Marty's House of Guitars DOS/Windows Software Page
Many thanks to Josh Pincus for help in
tracking down some of the PC software listed here!
- Blank Sheet Music and Chord Diagrams
Below you'll find documents with various combinations of staffs or
chord frames in two formats: PostScript and Acrobat Reader PDF.
The PDF versions will likely be the easiest to deal with since
good PDF viewing/printing software is readily available for
free and is easy to use (e.g., Acrobat Reader from
Adobe). The PostScript files
will be useful if you'd like to customize the documents (change
the number of staffs, or the line spacing). Free PostScript
viewing software is also available; more info is at the link below.
If the formats below seem likely to suit your needs, just grab the
PDF files and print them.
If you'd like to customize the documents, grap the PostScript files.
The first four PostScript files below are actually all the same file,
with different lines commented out at the end (the "%" is the PostScript
comment character). They are configured for 8-1/2" by 11" paper, but
are written so they can be easily changed. Basic documentation appears
at the end of each PostScript file. If you don't know what a PostScript file is
or how to print or modify one, check out our
Brief Guide to PostScript.
- A page of 8 standard (5 line) staffs: PostScript or PDF
- A page of 7 tablature (6 line) staffs: PostScript or PDF
- A page of 5 systems of pairs of
5-line staffs (Grand staffs): PostScript or PDF
- A page of 5 systems consisting of
a standard staff and a tablature staff: PostScript or PDF
- A page of 100 blank chord diagrams on
a 10 by 10 grid, each spanning 5 frets: PostScript or PDF
You'll also find chord block sheets at the Famous Guitarmaker Internet World Headquarters,
and a web page with graphical lead sheets and tab sheets you can print from your browser
at the Vision Music Manuscript page.
The Guitar section of About.com also has a page with various types of
Blank Staff Paper.
you'll find LaTeX code to produce blank music paper (LaTeX is an excellent document preparation
system used widely by scientists and mathematicians), as well as other PostScript code.
Finally, Windows users can use the Graph Paper Printer shareware
program to print various types
of "graph" paper, including music manuscript paper.
- ASCII Tab Editor
- Bucket o' tab (Win)
A freeware guitar tablature editor.
- MusEdit (Win)
- A commercial ($79), feature-laden notation package designed for stringed
instrument users, capable of producing tablature and standard notation as well
as MIDI output; it can also accept MIDI input. A free viewer lets nonowners
view, print, and playback a score.
- TablEdit (Win)
- Matthieu Leschemelle's commercial guitar and fretted instrument
shareware with MIDI playback and MIDI or ASCII export. Supports
alternate tunings and 4 to 7 strings, duets, etc. Supports French,
English, and German languages, with French and English help files.
Very popular among readers of RMMGA.
- TLC: Tabs, Lyrics, Chords (Win)
- Inexpensive shareware for creating and manipulating ASCII tab and chord sheets.
Includes transposition capability and a database of scales and chords, and
other additional capabilities. The web site includes a collection of useful
lesson and tablature links.
- Muse (Win95/NT)
- Laurie Griffiths' low cost (L10/$17) music notation editor that produces guitar tab.
Can input and output in ABC folk music format. Handles lyrics and guitar
chords, MIDI playback, ASCII guitar tablature output. 30 day free trial.
The price will double as of 1 Feb 99; there have been many significant
improvements over the history of this program.
- Coda Music Technology's Finale
- The premier notation program for production of tablature published
in US acoustic guitar magazines, including Fingerstyle Guitar
and Acoustic Guitar. Extremely powerful, but at a price.
Well-supported both by the company and by an active email users group.
- Lime (MacOS, Win)
- Full-fledged commercial notation software with automatic tablature
capability (in any tuning). A demo is available at this site; the
fully functional version costs about $75.
- Noteworthy Composer
- Award-winning $39 Windows shareware for notating music with
lyrics, with playback capability. No tab capability, however.
- Instab (Win95 & NT)
- A free program to quickly generate ASCII tablature files.
- Guitar Pro (Win)
- "This multitrack tablature editor allows you to enter tablature
and it will play it back. It can also import tab files off the
internet and play them back. It has an amazing chord
library, midi converter, and much more."
- Chords (Win)
- Written by David Moss in response to requests posted to the RMMGA newsgroup,
this is "a program for
making chord diagrams and exporting them via
the clipboard into other programs. Paste them into
your Word guitar tutorial, or paste them into
Paintshop Pro, save them as GIFs and put them
on your web site." It's also free, both source and executable!
- PaperChord (MacOS)
- PaperChord 1.0 is a desktop publishing tool for guitar players. You can
chord-progression documents in standard notation on a staff and you can
create easy readable chord diagrams in grid form. It uses a plain
text tag format to allow easy creation and exchange of files over the internet.
Ultimate Chord Chart (PostScript file)
- A five page chart of nearly 1000 different chord fingerings in all twelve
- DRS Image & Sound, Inc. (Mac, some Windows)
- DRS markets ChordBook, Mando!, and ChordNamer!, software for browsing
chords on guitar and mandolin. Alternate tunings are supported.
- CyberChord (Windows)
- PC-GUITAR (DOS/Windows)
- "An intuitive point and click software program that turns your PC
into a smart musical instrument." For experimenting with chord
progressions and melodic lines, providing accompaniment, and MIDI control.
It also includes guitar chord and scale references. (To be honest, I
read the long page describing it and still don't have a good idea of
what it does!)
- Chordman 1.1a (Windows 3.1)
- Freeware program to calculate chords and scale voicings, and to
identify unknown chords. For instruments with 4 to 12 strings, with
customizable chord rules and tunings and playback/MIDI capability.
- ChordMaster (PC)
- "A chord chemistry and sequencing tool designed specifically for guitarists, which combines traditional guitar tablature with fingering,
timing and tuning information that works with MIDI or sound cards and
includes context-sensitive help." It plays songs, displaying the
fingering on-the-fly, prints songs, and identifies chords entered on
a fretboard (and provides alternative voicings).
- Nut Chords (also here) (DOS)
- This "chord finder for professionals" finds chords on piano and guitar.
For the guitar, it works in any tuning. Freeware.
- DynaChart (Win95)
- "A dynamic and interactive chord and scale chart generator for
stringed instruments." Shareware.
- ChordWizard (Win)
- SlowTune (Mac)
- Commercial ($60) software to slow down recordings without changing
the pitch, as an aid to learning and transcribing difficult passages.
- Seventh String Software's Transcribe! (Mac/Win)
- $30 shareware.
- CoolEdit (Win)
- Commercial software for editing sound samples, capable of slowing them down
without changing pitch, which facilitates transcribing difficult passages.
- Presto! (Win)
- Demoware program "that makes it easy for Windows users with CD-ROM
drives to learn songs and solos from any audio CD." Can create loop
- Roni Music's Slow Speed CD Transcriber/Musician's CD Player (Win)
- Allows you to change the speed of music from a CD or a WAV file without changing its pitch.
- World Wide Woodshed's SlowGold & SlowBlast (Win)
- $50 for Slow Gold, $20 for the simpler Slow Blast.
- Dubbeldam Software (Windows)
- Software for automated recognition of notes and chords in
recorded music, and for tuning.
- EarTraining (Mac)
- Perfect Pitch Music Tuners (Mac)
- Shareware tuning programs of various types: Guitar, bass, chromatic,
lab meter, grand staff meter, WaveWindow.
- Six String Software
- Commercial guitar software for Windows/DOS operating systems. Demos
can be downloaded from this site.
- Song and Artist Tracking System (Win95)
- A multipart database application with a Song Library (keeping studio
and copyright info, costs, etc.), Instrument and Eqpt. Inventory,
Studio Manager, Employee Manager, and Schedule Manager. Shareware,
- G Vox Software
- Mission Recording and Audio: Drivers and Demos
- A collection of demo and driver digital audio software for PC and
- Sound Chaser Home Page
- A commercial distributor of sound/audio software whose site includes
a lengthy listing of available wares as well as info on educational/theological
discounts. Their listings include useful descriptions of available
software and links to manufacturer sites. They also sell audio cards,
MIDI interfaces, and MIDI software.
Tom Loredo /