“One of the secrets to my sound is almost beyond explanation. My battered old Martin guitar, Trigger, has the greatest tone I’ve ever heard from a guitar — and I’ve played a lot of guitars, including a lot of other Martins that were the exact same model as Trigger.
A lot of the guys in the band have been with me for decades, but Trigger has outlated every musician I’ve played with, and after all these years, I have come to believe we were fated for each other.
The two of us even look alike. My musician pals haven’t carved and written their names on me the way they have on Trigger, but we’re both pretty bruised and battered.
The holes I’ve worn in Trigger are from my pick zinging up and down a million times on the face of an acoustic guitar that’s not supposed to be played with a pick, but at this point those holes are part of what makes Trigger sound exactly right.
I also play other guitars, of course, including a black electric Fender during the blues numbers on our show, but Triggers as much a part of my sound as the way I play.
If I picked the finest guitar make this year and tried to play my solos exactly the way you heard them on the radio or even at last night’s show, I’d always be a copy of myself and we’d all end up bored. But if I play the instrument thta is now a part of me, and do it according to the way that feels right for me — in each place and time — then I’ll always be an original.
At the very least, I know it won’t get boring.”
The Tao of Willie
A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart
by Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin