Peter Green: Remembering a Legend

Peter Green: Remembering a Legend

That the instrumental Albatross was a mammoth hit for Fleetwood Mac is testament to the lyrical nature of Green’s guitar playing. One of the biggest selling instrumental songs in English history, it’s the track that the Beatles wished they’d written. As Rolling Stone notes: “Its heavily reverbed guitar partially inspired the Beatles’ “Sun King.” “We said, ‘Let’s be Fleetwood Mac doing “Albatross,” just to get going,’ ” George Harrison recalled. “It never really sounded like Fleetwood Mac  …  but that was the point of origin.”

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Who Is Your Ultimate ‘70s Fantasy Supergroup?

Who Is Your Ultimate ‘70s Fantasy Supergroup?

By the time I read that the album included a bonus track featuring the work of one Mr. James Patrick Page, I was practically throwing banknotes at the screen. The Stones and Led Zeppelin are two of my all time favorite bands. The prospect of those two entities combined into one glorious rock ‘n’ roll supergroup? Of Messrs Richards, Jagger and Page together on wax at last? Shut up and take my money. 
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The Quotable Chet Atkins

The Quotable Chet Atkins

My heroes at the time were guys like Hendrix, Slash and Jimmy Page. Chet Atkins did not feature. Today, though, it would be a different story. Not only was Chet a fantastic guitar player; his sage wisdom on the subject of pickin’ was most definitely bedroom wall worthy. So, with that in mind, I’ve compiled a selection of my favorite Chet Atkins quotes for your reading pleasure. If these speak to you, then I’d heartily recommend printing some of them out and putting them up in your practice space. They’ve been motivating me these past few weeks; hopefully they’ll do the same for you. 

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The Amps that Powered Rock: The Marshall JTM45

The Amps that Powered Rock: The Marshall JTM45

“Jim Marshall & Son” opened in July 1960 at 76 Uxbridge Road in Hanwell, England. For the aspiring instrument seller, it was a case of right place; right time. Within a few short years, the London rock scene was burgeoning. Soon, the likes of Mitch Mitchell, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton and John Entwistle flocked to the renamed “J & T Marshall”, by now the de-jour supplier of guitars and amplifiers for the new breed. 

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Cigar Box Guitars: The History of a Folk Instrument Phenomenon

Cigar Box Guitars: The History of a Folk Instrument Phenomenon

The origin of cigar box guitars can be traced back to 1840 and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the emergence of the small, portable cigar box. Due to its small size and widespread availability, the cigar box made for the perfect body to a low-cost, DIY instrument. It seems that would-be strummers took to using them straight away, as trace evidence of cigar box instruments exists from 1840 to the 1860s. 
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Eddie Kramer: Words of Wisdom

Eddie Kramer: Words of Wisdom

Arguably rock’s greatest producer, nobody captures those sounds better than Eddie Kramer. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ll know the records he helped make: Led Zeppelin II, Frampton Comes Alive, Physical Graffiti, Kiss Alive!, The Woodstock Soundtrack, All You Need Is Love and pretty much the entire discography of Jimi Hendrix. Given his near sixty-year career behind the mixing desk, Kramer has a thing-or-two to impart about the ins-and-outs of the recording process. Today, we’ve selected some choice observations from our favourite Eddie Kramer interviews.

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How Taylor Guitars Changed the Sustainability Game

How Taylor Guitars Changed the Sustainability Game

The Grand Auditorium Bodyshape, the NT Neck and “V-Class” Bracing are all products of the company’s unique approach, and brought new life to a centuries old instrument. It’s not just Taylor’s instruments that win them accolades, though. In the past twenty years, the company has led the charge when it comes to making sustainable guitars. Today, we’re going to find out how they changed the sustainability game by changing the way they sourced their woods.

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The Martin D-28: Three Iconic Players

The Martin D-28: Three Iconic Players

Back in 2018, we ran a feature on the history of the Martin D-28. Today, for a long overdue follow-up, we’re looking at some of the players that made the guitar so iconic. The list of legendary D-28 wielders is so long that we’d need an entire article series to cover them all. For the time being though, we’re focusing on three of our D-28 playing guitar heroes and the stories behind their instruments.

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Three Ways to Play Like Chuck Berry

Three Ways to Play Like Chuck Berry

In the world of rock n’ roll, they don’t come much more iconic than Chuck Berry. One of the most influential players of all time, the likes of John Lennon, Keith Richards and Angus Young owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Chuck and the legacy of music he created. It goes without saying, then, that studying Chuck’s playing is about as fundamental a course in rock guitar as you can get. Today, we’re highlighting three ways that you can achieve that classic Chuck Berry sound.

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Genesis: Peter Gabriel vs. Phil Collins

Genesis: Peter Gabriel vs. Phil Collins

As rock critic Colin Maguire noted, on one side were the Collins detractors who claimed "[Genesis] sold out and became too corporate when Collins stepped into the spotlight." On the other were those who argued that “the [prog-heavy] Gabriel years were boring and hard to stomach.” Today, those factions remain.

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Tony Iommi and the Accident that Created Heavy Metal

Tony Iommi and the Accident that Created Heavy Metal

Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi is the man who invented heavy metal. “War Pigs,” “Children of the Grave,” “Symptom of the Universe”: those seismic riffs presented a blueprint that a generation of hard rock axe-wielders would follow. Circa 1970, Iommi’s playing sounded like nothing out there. His doom-leaden, monolithic, end-of-the world riffs were, well, heavy… man.

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A Guitarist’s Response to Covid-19

A Guitarist’s Response to Covid-19

Whether we’ve been cursed or not, these are most definitely “interesting times” we’re living in. In the past few weeks, we’ve faced unprecedented upheaval on a global scale. Things we took for granted at the start of the year – stocked supermarket shelves and the freedom to congregate as we please – are no longer a given. “Social distancing” is now a fact of life and I’ve washed my hands so many times past weeks, you’d think I murdered a Scottish King… 
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Gibson Oddities: The SG100

Gibson Oddities: The SG100

Introduced in 1971, the SG-100, SG-200 and SG-250 were intended to supersede Gibson’s budget friendly Melody Maker instrument as the company’s entry level offering. As you’re probably aware, however, they didn’t. Indeed, within one year, production of SG-100s, 200s and 250s had ceased altogether.   So what happened? Why did these budget model SGs fail, and are these much-maligned guitars due a re-evaluation today? Hold on to your hats, ‘cause we’re about to find out.

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What’s on Your Pedal Board?

What’s on Your Pedal Board?

Guitar pedals are incredible tools. But, sometimes, the sheer wealth of pedals on the market leads to option paralysis. To put it another way, there are so many choices out there, we end up not actually choosing any because we’re so overwhelmed by it all.  While mulling this problem over the other day, I had a thought. If I were restricted to owning only a handful of pedals, what would I choose? What – for me anyway – are the essential units that help me craft the guitar sound I like?

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Which Type of Guitar Buyer Are You?

Which Type of Guitar Buyer Are You?

As we all know, the right number of guitars to own is always one more than you currently have. Yes, there are individuals that have a monogamous relationship with one instrument. But we’re betting that the majority of readers have a couple of six strings on the go at any given time.  We all like to buy guitars. However, not all guitar buyers are alike. In our experience, there are three kinds of guitar buyer out there. And, there are pros and cons to each approach.    

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Iconic Guitars: Gibson Flying V

Iconic Guitars: Gibson Flying V

Gibson’s Flying V is such an icon, it transcends the realm of guitar nerdery. Along with Fender’s Strat and Gibson’s Les Paul, it’s one of the most recognizable guitar silhouettes of all time. And, at one time or another, it’s an instrument that every would-be head banger has coveted.  But, the Flying V wasn’t an instant hit with customers on its release in 1958. Indeed, it would be almost two decades before Gibson’s futurist axe found its sizable niche. In today’s post, we’ll find out why. But first, we need to know what was going on with Gibson’s number one product circa 1957…

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The Story of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”

The Story of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”

The original version of “Comfortably Numb” – the one first heard on Floyd’s 1979 opus, “The Wall” – is so iconic that it’s hard to imagine the song any other way. But, it could have been a very different story. Floyd lead men Roger Waters and David Gilmour had completely opposite visions for the track, resulting in much friction between the already strained writing duo.  Today, we’re taking a dive into the making of “Comfortably Numb”; where it came from, how it evolved, and the fraught, fracturing partnership that produced it. 

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MTV Unplugged: Iconic Guitar Performances (Part Two)

MTV Unplugged: Iconic Guitar Performances (Part Two)

We’re back with part two of our MTV Unplugged iconic performances rundown. In this edition, we’re covering three more of the show’s legendary episodes and what made them so special.  So without further ado, let’s dive in with a ‘70s superstar rediscovering his roots…

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MTV Unplugged: Iconic Guitar Performances (Part One)

MTV Unplugged: Iconic Guitar Performances (Part One)

There are plenty of great MTV Unplugged performances. And then there are those that are truly transcendent; the ones that changed the way we thought about an artist or introduced them to a new generation. In this article, we’re running through three of those iconic MTV Unplugged moments and what made them so special.

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Neil Peart: Words of Wisdom

Neil Peart: Words of Wisdom

Last week, the rock world lost one of its greatest drummers. Neil Peart of Rush passed away at age 67 after a three-and-a-half year battle with brain cancer. To say that Peart left his mark is an understatement. “Neil Peart, that’s a whole other animal, another species of drummer,” Stuart Copeland said of him in 2018, a comment that will resonate with Peart’s many admirers. Instantly recognizable and uniquely inimitable, his playing inspired a generation.

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Prince’s Greatest Guitar Performance… 15 Years Gone

Prince’s Greatest Guitar Performance… 15 Years Gone

I’ve always loved Prince’s guitar playing, and I think he deserves more recognition for it. Given the man’s undisputed musical polymath status, his six-string prowess was ultimately obscured by his myriad skills in singing, dancing, arranging, producing and writing. But, my god, when he had that axe in his hand and the solo break came, Prince slayed with the best of them.

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The Best Beatles Solo Albums… According to You!

The Best Beatles Solo Albums… According to You!

A couple of weeks ago, we asked what you thought was the best solo album released by a former Beatle. And you guys obviously have some strong opinions on the topic, because you responded in droves! Now, we’ve tallied the results and can reveal the top five Beatles solo albums according to the Thalia faithful. Where did your favorite record end up? Read on to find out!

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MTV Unplugged, Martin, and the ‘90s Acoustic Revival (Part Two)

MTV Unplugged, Martin, and the ‘90s Acoustic Revival (Part Two)

In this edition, we’re diving in with the first taping of MTV Unplugged, and how a special relationship between the program and Martin guitars was established. In 1989, MTV recorded the inaugural episode of Unplugged. But, pitching the radical new format to artists and audiences wasn’t exactly easy. As producer Alex Colleti recalls, “getting someone to do the first one was like rolling a boulder up a hill. There were maybe 50, 60 people in the audience; I could look at footage and name half of them, because I had to invite people”

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Tony Iommi and Pete Townshend Gibson SG Guitar

Gibson SG Legends

Here at Thalia, we’re big fans of the Gibson SG. Winning out in both playability and aesthetic departments, it’s an iconic axe for a reason. With that in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that an iconic axe has so many iconic players. Today, we’re spotlighting three Gibson SG wielding guitar legends, and the stories behind their signature instruments.

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