There are so many forums out there targeted for music lovers. And most of their contents and discussion are generally the same. However, the fun you have while you are surfing these forums depend on that specific online community and it's niche where u fit in.
Personally, i love 2 music forums where i frequently visit. I may not contribute much to them, but, i could juz spend hours studying all the info being poured into interesting discussions.
Topics on guitars and gears are especially of my interest. After reading one of those threads, i can actually understand and appreciate slight differences of Charvel guitars of different eras. Now, how awesome is that. Even faded glam rockers can't do that. There are really intelligent people out there, who are willing to pour information into these forums. Time spent browsing these forums is certainly time well spent.
The 2 forums i mentioned, were jamtank.net from malaysia and the soft.com.sg from singapore. As i said earlier, the discussion in these 2 forums are rather similar in some ways. I guess it's because of the generally similar social background of Malaysians and Singaporeans. That is also probably the reason i feel at home in those 2 forums.
As often as i can, i try to stay updated about news on the latest gigs from both these forums. Some of the members there are also active musicians. So you don't have to go too far to hunt for tickets to your local gigs. This was how i got my tickets to the Caliban gig in Kuala Lumpur last year. Ijam from the band Restraint was kind enough to take a longer ride after work to drop me the tickets for the show, in which Restraint was one of the opening acts.
There are so many gigs in Singapore that don't get well publicized in Malaysia and the news travels a lil slow (Well, maybe a day or 2 later. Heck, that's still a delay) sometimes across the causeway. So, I find it quite useful to stay in track of news in soft.com.sg as well and not just JamTank.net.
These forums are also a great way for people to share knowledge on music gears, how to use them, how to mod em, how to screw with em, who is the best guitar tech in town, what gears to complete that never-complete rig of us basement rockstars, and valuable recording tricks. After reading a couple of threads, you'll feel like a newly grad music producer, eager for making music and shoving it out into the public, now that you know how. Well, maybe it ain't that easy. But, it certainly helps. The user Fish on Jamtank.net has contributed a lot to this sort of threads. He has some nice recordings to prove the quality of his work too.
And the best and most addictive of music forums are of course the classifieds. It's an open market out there. No written rules. Just gentleman's agreement to seal the deal. Now, if only, the world economy was done in such a way. We wouldn't have to worry about oil wars in the Middle East anymore. It would probably be much worse. The Middle Easterners would probably trade oil for porn. But, there still wouldn't be oil wars.
Anyway, if you've got anything related to music to put up for sale. This is where to put it. It's free. And the traffic in these forums are pretty decent. Well, of course it's not like your old beaten up Squier Telecaster is gonna get snapped up in minutes. It may take quite a while (by that, i mean a few days to a few months) to get some real offers, especially with increasing value of your product. I got an offer for my Boss DS-1 almost a year after i put it up for sale but, my Squier Telecaster got sold withing 2 weeks i put it up.
My suggestion is to research the market value, before putting anything up for sale. But, don't worry. Most of the time, overpriced items are usually commented on by fellow forumers quite quickly. However, i must say, the price offered by most buyers online far surpasses offers from second hand stores anytime. So, unless you are boarding the next plane to neverland, and there's no rush, i'd say u should put ur gear up for sale on forums. However, i must warn u about lowballers. These are probably just folks trying out their luck or pricks who enjoy annoying people. Well, you can't blame the forums. It is an open registration anyway.
Another advantage of selling through a forum is that you are able to trade stuff with others. So, sometimes cash isn't needed at all.
Putting stuff up for sale also teaches you about your instrument. Like my friend's Ibanez Rx. I didn't know it was one, till i put it up for sale. I thought the damn thing was an Rg. Silly of me of course, but at least, i learned from the kind forumers.
Surprisingly, buying is a whole other ball game. You may find the very gear you need at an unbelievable price, and the deal maybe real. You might be the owner of a mint Yngwie Malmsteen Fender Stratocaster for merely RM 3000, cuz the seller's flying away to Detroit to be a rockstar. But, most times you have to be extremely wary of deals when buying. Things that may go wrong are like, the product doesn't work since it was soaked in a flash flood, or the guitar neck could have been broken in a bedroom gig and since replaced, reducing the value of the guitar itself, or the guitar could very well be a China made copy made of plywood and fiberboard, or worst of all, the product probably doesn't even exist and the fake seller is just trying to make off with a one time rip off, and you will never hear from the f**ker ever again, and never could nail him down for ripping off ur RM 2000 for that "imaginary" Ibanez Prestige RG (not that it happened to me or anything, but, i have read some sad stories on the forum after these tragedies had occurred to the unwary). Nevertheless, I must stress out that these bad deals are a mere minority. Most of the deals are done on both sides (buying and selling) by honest joes like you and me. The safest buying, in my opinion, are from "established" sellers. These are usually forum members with high ratings. (forum members rate each other to boost the reputations of those who deserve). These sellers do not own shops, but otherwise they run a business similar to a music store in any other manner. Some sellers offer testing of their products, at studios. There are some who offer product viewing at home. Especially, sellers on soft.com.sg. Personally, i find that risky in so many ways. So, i suggest you discuss with the seller to meet at a neutral ground if you really intent on buying the item. I will introduce some of these sellers in subsequent posts. I have contacted some of them in regards of product buying, and they have all been extremely cooperative and helpful. Never pushy even once.
Last and not least, you can discuss whatever you want with these guys in the forum. Well, it ain't a porn forum, so save that for elsewhere. But, you could always find active discussions on current issues, political, social, and what not. It's really interesting to see what these guys have to say.
Conclusion: These 2 forums, jamtank.net and soft.com.sg are pretty cool and worth the hours of attention. Internet interaction can't get any better than what these online communities can offer. 2 thumbs up for both these websites.
Rock n roll never dies :)