Community Guidelines

We built Fretbase to be a community of guitarists from all levels to come together, learn, share and expand the music they create for the world by collaborating with others.  We want Fretbase to be a haven for guitarists, a place where guitarists from all over the world can come together to share information and help each other with the resources needed to make better (or at least more) music.

These community guidelines are designed to make sure Fretbase is an inviting community.  We hope you’ll help us make sure Fretbase is the kind of place you want to hang around with your guitar.

General Themes

1.  Fretbase is for guitarists of all levels. One of the founders of Fretbase has been playing for 20 years and the other one has been playing for about 3.  Fretbase should have much to offer both of us and people within and outside of our range.  The beginner looking for their first guitar and first song to play should find useful information just like the pro that has been playing for over 40 years.  Likewise, we expect players at all levels to have something valuable to contribute (that is why almost all content is editable).

2.  Discussions on Fretbase should be constructive and encouraging. Our goal is to create a site that helps guitarists learn how to play better.  If you find somebody in the community that could use some suggestions, please don’t criticize them.  Point them to some resources that might help and provide them with some creative suggestions.  We want Fretbasers to help each other.

3.  We love recorded music and wanted to make sure artists get compensated for their work. Fretbase tries to link to artist-friendly options for downloadable music and guitar tabs when possible.  We hope you’ll do the same.  And yes, we too hope The Beatles would license their music to Amazon and iTunes already.

4.  We want to help local music stores. We have spent an extraordinary amount of time in our local music stores (much to the chagrin of our wives, girlfriends and the people we owe money) and feel local music stores play a critical role in getting communities interested in music.  We want to help drive more people to their local music stores when possible which is why we try to link to local dealers for instruments whenever possible.

5.  Most importantly, we want Fretbase to embody the good feeling we get every time we pick up a guitar.

Specific Guidelines

1.      Descriptions.

a.       Factual.  The first section of each guitar, artist, and song page is the “Description.”  Descriptions are meant to contain factual information about the guitar, artist or song.  Opinions about the guitar, artist or song go in the “Comments” section.  For example, it is good for a description to say, “The Martin D-28 was made with Brazilian Rosewood until 1969″ (fact) but not so good for the description to say, “The Martin D-28 is a better quality guitar than the Gibson J-45 (opinion).  Wikipedia is a good source of the kind of factual information we’re talking about here.

b.      Attribution.  Like any reference, Fretbase relies on 3rd party sources for a lot of the data that finds its way to Fretbase.  Please add attribution in the Description section when you add content from a specific source..  Attribution for any image used for the main image should be placed in the description section as well.  Manufacturer websites and Wikipedia are the only places from which large chunks of text should be lifted verbatim, and then clear attribution should be provided.

c.       Copyright.  We make every effort to abide strictly by copyright law but the laws are not always cut and dry.  We assume manufacturers are happy to have their own guitar information redistributed (since we are trying to increase interest in those manufacturers’ guitars) and so we do get specs and descriptions from manufacturers’ websites.  If you are a guitar manufacturer and there is info on our site, that you would like removed, please contact us at this e-mail address:  copyright@fretbase.com and we’ll address your concerns immediately.  Please also see our “Copyright Notices” section.

2.      Specifications.   If you elect to add specifications to a guitar’s page, please try to use specifications from the manufacturer’s website whenever possible.  This makes the specs easier to verify and ensures their accuracy.  We also like to try to keep these concise – so “Guitar Top” just becomes “Top,” etc.

3.      Images/Gallery.  We use images from manufacturer’s websites to illustrate the beauty of their guitars (have we mentioned we’re pretty into guitars?).  If you are a manufacturer and don’t want your images used on Fretbase, please contact us at copyright@fretbase.com and we’ll address any concerns.  Remember, we have created Fretbase because we love guitars and want to increase awareness and interest in these fine instruments and the images really help that (i.e., our users love their “guitar porn”).  Other than manufacturer images, the only other images that should be uploaded to Fretbase are images that you have the rights to (i.e., images you have created yourself), images for which the rights have been granted through a Creative Commons or other type of license  (like a GNU license) or images that are in the public domain.  If you want to upload a flickr image, please make sure a Creative Commons license has been granted and link to the original image on flickr in the Description.  Again, we respect copyrights and are trying to do the right thing.

4.      Related Items.  This is where we would like to see guitars that are either (a) very close in construction to the guitar on that page (e.g., Martin D-28 and Blueridge BR-160 or (b) are the next guitar up or down in that line of guitars (e.g., Taylor GC3 and Taylor GC4).  Related artists should include artists that are related because they have played with the main artist or artists that play in a similar style.  Related songs should include songs similar in style to the song on that page (whether from that artist or not).

5.      Guitars on Artist Pages and Artists on Guitar Pages.  Guitars should only be added to artist pages if either (a) that guitar has actually been played by that artist or (b) if the exact guitar is not on Fretbase, the guitar provided is the closest guitar currently made by the same manufacturer.  It helps us a lot if the use of that guitar by that guitarist is verifiable (e.g., if the musician mentions using that guitar on a website, a magazine or is photographed using that guitar).  We want to try to keep this area as accurate as possible so please make sure that if you add a guitarist to an artist that he or she really played it or something just like it.  If you see a match between an artist and a guitar that is inaccurate, please contact us at contact@fretbase.comPlease note that the artists are usually not paid endorsers of the guitars listed on the artist page.  The information is intended to be factual information about which guitars have been played by that artist and do not imply a paid endorsement or any endorsement at all by that artist. Most importantly, please add guitars, songs and artists that you are think we should have on our database.  We have built this site on a wiki-like platform to allow our community to contribute to it.

6.       Comments.  This is where our users can come together around any guitar, artist or song to collaborate or share info.  If you have a certain guitar for sale it is OK to mention this in the comments for that guitar.  We love recommendations for how to play certain songs or like a certain artist.  What we really want to avoid the kind of comments that eventually evolve to, “No, you suck.”  One of the wonderful things about music is that it is very subjective.  Reasonable minds will differ.  That being said, if you don’t appreciate the musings of Eric Johnson you are out of your mind.

7.      Videos.  We think YouTube has done a wonderful job of hosting videos (200 million users can’t be wrong, can they?) and so we are using YouTube as our primary video hosting source.  We assume YouTube has the right to distribute the videos they make embeddable form their site.  That being said, we only embed YouTube videos when the party uploading the video to YouTube elects to make the video embeddable.  If you are the copyright holder in any video you see on Fretbase and you don’t want it here, please let us know at copyright@fretbase.com.  We will be enabling videos hosted by other sites as we expand Fretbase.

8.      Guitar Tablature.  Again, we do not host full guitar tablature on Fretbase.  Rather we link to tablature that has been recommended by our users and editors.  We are also working on linking to tablature available from paid sources (like Sheet Music Direct, MusicNotes and MXTabs).

Copyright Notices

We take intellectual property rights very seriously.  Please see our Copyright Notices section if you’d like to send us a copyright notice.

Preserving the Community

In an effort to make sure Fretbase is as welcoming and useful a community as possible, we reserve the right to remove any content submitted to Fretbase without notice.

Changes

These Community Guidelines will be modified from time to time (as we get a little smarter).  Please check back occasionally to see our updated Community Guidelines.

Refrain

We feel lucky to have found the opportunity to create Fretbase and we look forward to seeing where the community takes it.  If you would like to share any feedback, we’d love to hear it.  Please write us at contact@fretbase.com.

Now it is time to get back to researching some hollow-bodied guitars.

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