What guitar does Willie Nelson play?

Willie Nelson plays a custom guitar called “Trigger”. The Martin N-20 classical acoustic guitar was originally given to him by the producer of his first record, and he has played it ever since. It is identifiable for its unique distressed look which includes missing paint and strings, the altered neck shape and an extra fretboard.

Early Influences on Willie Nelson’s Guitar Preference

As one of the most legendary and influential country music stars, Willie Nelson has been playing guitar for nearly seven decades. Although he’s renowned for his iconic Red Headed Stranger Gibson acoustic, few know about his early influences that ultimately led him to favor this particular model. Growing up in a musical household during the 1930s, Willie learned to play by ear at an early age and was exposed to an array of musical styles including folk, gospel, blues and honky-tonk. As he began to tour as a musician in his teens, he picked up on various techniques from a range of talented players which he incorporated into his own style. His first instrument was actually a Stella guitar which allowed him to develop a unique fingerpicking style further shaped by influences such as Bob Wills’ Western swing stylings.

This combination of influences enabled Willie Nelson to become the well-known picker and singer known today, often incorporating elements of all these genres into one song – something seen throughout Red Headed Stranger album. By mid-1970s however, Nelson had moved away from electric guitars entirely and embraced the steel stringed acoustics favored by folksingers like John Prine or Steve Young instead. It wasn’t until later in life when Willie discovered Martin dreadnought series 12-fret model that he adopted what would be considered his signature sound: loud acoustic chords with those relaxed phrasing slides accompanying it – an ever present element across all genres of country music nowadays.

The Martin N-20: Nelson’s Favorite Acoustic Guitar

Willie Nelson is a music legend and his iconic sound comes from the Martin N-20 he has been playing since 1969. This specific model of guitar was produced by C.F Martin & Co. An American acoustic guitar manufacturer that began in 1833 and continues to produce fine quality instruments today. The N-20, now discontinued, had a spruce top with Brazilian rosewood back and sides as well as a mahogany neck with ebony fretboard. These components combined for a warm tone, plenty of volume, clarity, and great sustain–all qualities essential for Willie’s distinct style of country/folk crossover music.

The N-20 came equipped with white mother of pearl fingerboard dots but Willie later added several ornate designs along the length of the neck, including flowers and custom logos in tribute to Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame members like Ray Price. While it may not be known exactly why he chose this particular instrument for its signature sound many consider it to have been largely responsible for bringing attention to the C.F Martin & Co brand when Willie Nelson was at his peak popularity in 1970s Nashville music scene – while other famous musicians such as John Prine preferred similar models made by different manufacturers at that time period – giving rise to what could be dubbed “the golden age” of steel string guitars still revered today.

Whether you are looking for an exact replica or just something inspired by Nelson’s timeless tone there are modern versions out there that can give you your own version of “Stardust” sounds without breaking the bank – most notably contemporary instruments from brands like Taylor Guitars, who continue to innovate quality acoustic guitars into the 21st century.

The Trigger: An Iconic Customized Guitar with a Unique Sound

Willie Nelson’s guitar playing is as iconic as the man himself, and an important part of it is the one-of-a-kind instrument he plays: his custom Martin N-20 acoustic guitar nicknamed ‘Trigger’. The name Trigger was given to the guitar by legendary steel guitarist, Jimmy Day, who said that hearing Willie play the instrument made him feel like he had been shot with a gun.

This unique piece of musical history has become something of a legend in itself. Made from German spruce wood, this highly modified instrument features signature tuners and strings which give Willie Nelson’s distinct sound. The addition of a harmonic bar also allows him to produce sustained notes for longer periods of time than regular guitars can achieve. As such, this particular combination gives his songs their unmistakable twangy sound when played on his iconic Trigger.

In order to keep this custom beauty in perfect condition for performances across the world, Willie even has a dedicated road crew member whose sole job is maintaining Trigger and ensuring its distinctive quality stays intact at all times. It really goes to show how much effort goes into protecting an irreplaceable piece of music history.

Other Guitars in Nelson’s Collection and Their Significance

Willie Nelson is a legendary musician and his guitars are held to the same high standard. Though Nelson has become iconic for playing his beloved Martin N-20, he also owns several other instruments that are just as cherished by him and his fans alike.

The 1965 Guild F-50 he received from Kris Kristofferson in 1984 is likely one of the most significant in Nelson’s collection. The guitar was given to him during one of Nashville’s most influential times and it can still be heard on countless recordings today. It has been used to play some of Nelson’s biggest hits, including “On The Road Again” and “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground”.

Nelson also carries around a Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar which was made especially for him in 2007, complete with an autograph etched onto the neck. He likes this particular model because it fits perfectly into his lifestyle; being both lightweight and durable enough for travel without compromising sound quality or comfortability when performing live.

Nelson loves collecting different instruments – from Telecasters to banjos – so we can always expect more interesting additions coming from Willie in the future.

Legacy of Willie Nelson’s Guitar Playing and Influence on Music Industry

Willie Nelson has been a music icon for decades, and his influence on the industry is undeniable. He is especially known for his unique style of guitar playing. The instrument that Willie Nelson plays to this day has become an indelible part of the legend. His signature ax, a Martin N-20 acoustic guitar made in 1962, has been with him since 1969 when it was gifted to him by two friends.

The special bond between Willie and his ‘Trigger’ as he affectionately calls it have seen them grace thousands of stages and recording studios all around the world over the years – from tiny country bars in Texas to Carnegie Hall in New York City. Even after suffering numerous damages due to its travels and various repairs throughout its lifetime, Trigger still lives on today thanks to expert repair work by dedicated professionals including guitar builder Bob Hetzler at Santa Cruz Guitar Company who carefully restored it back to full working condition just last year.

It’s no wonder why so many aspiring musicians are drawn to Willie Nelson’s music and strive to learn how he plays; understanding how this master musician creates those memorable riffs can lead you down the path towards mastering your own craft one note at a time. From established artists like John Mayer or Norah Jones paying homage to him onstage with their covers of “Always On My Mind” or “Crazy” respectively, there’s no doubt that Willie Nelson’s legacy will live on through future generations of music lovers everywhere.






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