Thalia Guitar Blog
The Story Behind Willie Nelson’s “Trigger” Guitar

The Story Behind Willie Nelson’s “Trigger” Guitar

In the early days of his career, Willie Nelson went through a variety of guitars. Nelson was signed to RCA records, and that meant that plenty of guitar manufacturers were lining up to gift him instruments to test. Willie started out on Fenders, experimenting with Telecasters, Jaguars and Jazzmasters, before switching to Gibsons. Then, in 1969, the Baldwin Company offered Nelson one of their 800C Classical Acoustic-Electrics, complete with a Prismatone pickup and amp.
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What is the Best Pink Floyd Album?

What is the Best Pink Floyd Album?

And all of those eras have standout albums. Barrett’s first, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, remains much cherished to this day. Atom Heart Mother and Meddle, with their bold, side-filling progressive suites, are rightly regarded as prog rock landmarks. And I don’t need to extol the virtues of Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and the Wall to you. The countless column inches already devoted to those landmark albums in the annuls of rock journalism tells you everything you need to know. 
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Three Electrifying (and Electrified) Slide Performances You Need to Hear

Three Electrifying (and Electrified) Slide Performances You Need to Hear

As the story goes, the Allmans’ version of the track came about after Gregg Allman gifted the self-titled Taj Mahal album to Duane for his birthday, along with a bottle of Coricidin pills (Duane had a cold that day). Inspired by the rendition of Statesboro Blues on the album, Duane, who had never played slide guitar before, washed the label from the Coricidin bottle, fashioned a makeshift slide from it, and taught himself how to play the track.
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Neil Young: Words of Wisdom

Neil Young: Words of Wisdom

“When you're young, you don't have any experience - you're charged up, but you're out of control. And if you're old and you're not charged up, then all you have is memories. But if you're charged and stimulated by what's going on around you, and you also have experience, you know what to appreciate and what to pass by.”
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John Mayer: Three Incendiary Live Covers

John Mayer: Three Incendiary Live Covers

Being a great songwriter comes from understanding great songs. And, as Mayer’s impressive covers repertoire shows, he has that knowledge in spades. Not just a great player and a great writer, Mayer knows how to interpret other peoples’ material to maintain the character of the original while injecting his own unique flavour.
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Remembering Dusty Hill

Remembering Dusty Hill

“When I started playing in a three-piece, I realized that you have to do the song, not your personal performance, so you have to be tasty with it and enjoy the playing. Writing the song helps a lot; if I’m involved in the writing process, it comes to me. I think one of the best bass players in the world for that is Paul McCartney; he played the perfect part for everything, in every song. Sometimes you don’t even notice the bass — I hate that in a way, but I love that in a way. That’s a compliment. That means you’ve filled in everything and it’s right for the song, and you’re not standing out where you don’t need to be.”
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The Quotable Bob Marley

The Quotable Bob Marley

“One good thing about music—when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
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Whitesnake Were a Blues Band?

Whitesnake Were a Blues Band?

The version of the band that Coverdale formed in the late 1970s is pretty far removed from the iteration that cracked the American market in the subsequent decade. For many years, Whitesnake only really found success in their native UK. And the BritSnake was more like a down-and-dirty blues-rock extension of Deep Purple than the hair-rock flock that Coverdale established later down the line. 
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Queen’s We Will Rock You: Why Less is Often More

Queen’s We Will Rock You: Why Less is Often More

The weird thing about “We Will Rock You” is that, in spite of being one of the most iconic guitar based rock songs of all time, there’s no actual guitar in it for the first few minutes. 
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Tommy Emmanuel Playing Hendrix is Everything You’d Hope…

Tommy Emmanuel Playing Hendrix is Everything You’d Hope…

In the footage, Emmanuel kicks off with his original Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute, “Stevie’s Blues,” before launching into an absolutely mind-bending take on Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Before clicking play, I’d consider disconnecting the phone and sending the dog/kids outside. For the next eight and a half minutes, you do not want to be disturbed. 

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The Enduring Influence of Who’s Next

The Enduring Influence of Who’s Next

"I was around nine when a babysitter snuck Who's Next onto the turntable. The parents were gone. The windows shook. The shelves were rattling. Rock & roll. That began an exploration into music that had soul, rebellion, aggression, affection. Destruction. And this was all Who music."
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Gibson Oddities: The Ripper and Grabber

Gibson Oddities: The Ripper and Grabber

While the Ripper and the Grabber were short-lived, they didn’t disappear from the limelight entirely. In the 1990s, a new generation of bass players including Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and Weezer’s Matt Sharp brought the forgotten instrument back into the public eye. For those musicians, the Ripper and the Grabber were dream pawnshop finds – solid, good-sounding instruments that wouldn’t break the bank.
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Do Double Albums Outstay Their Welcome?

Do Double Albums Outstay Their Welcome?

Sandinista! found critical acclaim upon release; Rolling Stone’s John Piccarella gave it a five-star review and called it the Clash’s White Album while Village Voice voted it number one in their 1981 Pazz and Jop critic’s poll.  But, in the aftermath of the initial hype, people started to question whether the record really was the Clash’s bona fide masterpiece.
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Carlos Santana: Words of Wisdom

Carlos Santana: Words of Wisdom

“There's a melody in everything. And once you find the melody, then you connect immediately with the heart. Because sometimes English or Spanish, Swahili or any language gets in the way. But nothing penetrates the heart faster than the melody.”
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Jared James Nichols’ Early Les Paul Restoration Sounds Insane

Jared James Nichols’ Early Les Paul Restoration Sounds Insane

“On 17 November 2013 one of the biggest recorded tornadoes tore through Washington, Illinois killing and destroying everything in its path. This guitar was found in the front yard of a home in the rubble. It has not been touched since, there is still mud on it!”
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All Along the Watchtower: The Best Hendrix Song?

All Along the Watchtower: The Best Hendrix Song?

As for Dylan, he was magnanimous, scarcely believing what has come from his raw materials. “It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”  
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These “New” Hendrix and Doors Songs… Were Made by A.I.

These “New” Hendrix and Doors Songs… Were Made by A.I.

“To show the world what’s been lost to this mental health crisis, we’ve used artificial intelligence to create the album the 27 Club never had the chance to. Through this album, we’re encouraging more music industry insiders to get the mental health support they need, so they can continue making the music we all love for years to come.
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Time Corrected Van Halen is the Worst Van Halen

Time Corrected Van Halen is the Worst Van Halen

“They’d barely had any studio experience… at that point, we really wanted to get them before they knew what they were doing – just have them come in and play and then get them out. So we spent very little time in pre-production, in fact, we treated the first album like it was a demo.”
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Picks Are Way Older than You Think…

Picks Are Way Older than You Think…

As a quick recap, in the late 19th century, picks made from tortoiseshell (the shell of hawksbill sea turtles to be precise) were the gold standard when it came to assisted strumming. However, this along with the popularity of tortoiseshell in the manufacture of a bunch of other stuff, lead to the near extinction of the hawksbill sea turtle. Once it was placed on the endangered species list in 1973, tortoiseshell picks went the way of the dodo.
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Where Do You Stand on Modeling Amps?

Where Do You Stand on Modeling Amps?

Fortus isn’t wrong about the challenges of achieving certain tonal subtleties when using modelling amps and plugins. But, the truth is, the technology is getting better. I’ve been playing around with a couple of tube amp imitating plugins recently that get surprisingly close to capturing the nuances Fortus is talking about – at least to my luddite ears. And, I don’t doubt that differences between modelling amps and the real thing will be practically imperceptible in the not too distant future.
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Four Iconic Uses of the Wah Pedal

Four Iconic Uses of the Wah Pedal

“We were looking for something that would go with [Shaft’s] walk. Isaac told the drummer, ‘Give me some 16th notes.’ I was tuning my guitar, and checking the pedals out. I turned on the wah wah pedal, and was testing it out using a little pattern. [Isaac] said, ‘What are you doing?! Keep playing that! Keep playing that riff! I stayed on the same key the whole time -- all through the whole entire damn structure! Didn’t change anything except the structure of my foot.”

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Check Out this Recently Unearthed Led Zeppelin Footage

Check Out this Recently Unearthed Led Zeppelin Footage

Back in the 1970s, there wasn’t much of an outlet for fan-shot 8mm footage. You’d watch it at home, maybe show it to a couple of friends, and then probably leave it on a shelf somewhere and forget about it. That’s exactly what happened with Godman’s movie. As he told RNZ, the footage sat untouched for decades in his shed.
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The Right Way to Start a Band

The Right Way to Start a Band

Starting a band isn’t as straightforward as you might think. If you’re gonna do it, do it right.
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This Fingerstyle Cover of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir is Mindblowing

This Fingerstyle Cover of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir is Mindblowing

“After driving the iconic guitar riff along with the a thundering kick drum and snare snap provided by booming right-hand slaps, Marcin shifts up a gear with a dizzying display of his prolific playing skills, executing a number of high-speed percussive drum lines and melodic strums.”
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