When we think about Thanksgiving, we think about the festivities. Turkey and Cranberry sauce, Thanksgiving day football, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – you know what we mean. But, at its core, Thanksgiving is about, well, giving thanks. And that goes for us guitarists as well. Here at Thalia, we’re been thinking about the guitar-related things to be thankful for this holiday season. These are some of our observations.
“When I picked it up, I was completely humbled. It was a shock-and-awe moment. It changed everything I’d ever thought about acoustic guitars leading up to that point… It was the most amazing acoustic guitar I’d ever played or heard.”
“The Tree” is something of a legend in guitar luthier circles. It’s the source of a mythic, unusually dense, centuries old mahogany that’s uniquely quilted, uniquely beautiful, and coveted by master guitar builders and their rock star clients. If you want a guitar made from this legendary wood though, it’ll come at a price – somewhere in the region of $30,000 to $40,000. But what is “the Tree,” and where did it come from? Read on and find out…
When it comes to tonewood, mahogany carries some serious weight in the guitar world, both literally and metaphorically.
A mainstay in both acoustic and electric guitar manufacturing, it’s been used to make some of the most iconic instruments of all time. And, it’s prized in lutherie for both its aesthetic and sonic properties.
Today, we’re getting to grips with mighty mahogany; its varieties, its tonal characteristics and its sustainability.
When you think about British guitar heroes of the late 1960s and early 1970s, a few names are likely to crop up:
Jimmy Page; Eric Clapton; Jeff Beck; Keith Richards; George Harrison; Peter Green.
We’ll call these guys the usual suspects.
Richard Thompson, however, is not a usual suspect.
When you think of horror movie soundtracks, it’s probably screeching strings and spooky synths rather than fingerstyle guitar that first come to mind.
But, in anticipation of Hallows’ Eve, we – the Thalia ghoul squad – have been doing a bit of digging to find some acoustic guitar goodness with a suitably seasonal edge.
There are plenty of acoustic guitars out there that’d we’d describe as “classic.” “Iconic?” that’s another thing entirely. In our book, truly “iconic” guitars are few and far between. Often, when that term gets used to describe a six-string, it’s more marketing man hyperbole than true fact.
Partial capos used to be something of a niche product, but in the past few years, they’ve grown exponentially in popularity. But what is a partial capo, and why do you need one? Partial capos have amazing applications for players at every stage of guitar playing. They’re incredibly useful for beginners struggling with learning chord shapes, they make alternate tunings a breeze, especially when playing live, and they unlock new sonic possibilities, facilitating sounds you didn’t know your guitar could make.
When it comes to electric guitars, you don’t get much more iconic than the Gibson Les Paul. Along with the Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster, it’s the instrument that cemented the solid-bodied electric as a bona fide guitar phenomenon, rather than just a passing phase.
Here at Thalia capos, we love open mic nights.
They’re a great opportunity to meet other musicians, as well as to take your guitar playing out of your house and into the great wide world.
But much more than that, the awesome thing about open mic nights is that they’re, well… open. Unlike a bona fide, ticketed gig, literally anyone can get up and play.
Historically, maple is synonymous with the manufacture of stringed instruments. Violins, violas and cellos have been made of maple for hundreds of years, and the wood was the resource of choice for many a revered luthier in the world of classical music.
"It's hard to imagine what contemporary music would be like if people like John Fahey had not been obsessively fascinated with roots American music from the 1920s and 30s. That's the secret of a whole swathe of modern rock'n'roll.”
In the last edition of this blog, we asked for your thoughts on the greatest fingerstyle players of all time. You guys responded in droves, and now the results are in.